Usually the biggest cymbal in a drummers setup this quite often means it is the most expensive. When you own a well crafted ride cymbal, its sheer scale can often be what allows it to give out an almost magical range of sounds. All drummers have their own idea of how a ride should sound. Some drummers are looking for a dry and dark sound like Meinl Byzance Traditional or plenty of cut and definition from something like a Sabian AAX-Plosion or a nice lush wash from Istanbul Agop’s Traditional range.
Brass ride cymbals are the cheapest type available but wont dent and bend like starter cymbals can.
Hand crafted ride cymbals such as Sabian’s HHX, Istanbul Agop’s traditional range, Paiste’s 2002 range and Meinl’s Byzance Traditional range are generally seen as the highest quality available. Hand hammering techniques bring out depth and darkness that other methods can’t achieve. However machine finished B20 ride cymbals such as the Sabian AAX range and the Istanbul Agop Xist range tend to be a bit brighter and aggressive than their hand hammered counterparts. This makes them great for rock, punk and metal. The Xist range in particular is priced like a mid range ride cymbal but sounds like pro level making it a great value choice.