The Arborea Mute low volume cymbals are popular on Amazon. They cost less than half the price of some of the more popular low volume cymbals out there. Let’s see if they are worth the lower price.
Feel & Playability
In terms of playability these play just the same as any other low volume cymbal I’ve tried. They weight about the same, which is a little lighter than normal cymbals of around the same size. They respond to sticking action and other techniques just the same as any other cymbal. The ride cymbal has a workable bell area which is good. Their playability is one of their better qualities when I compare them to other low volume cymbals in my roster.
The volume reduction of these cymbals is around 50-60% depending on how aggressively you play. I was seeing around 10-15 decibels of noise level reduction when testing these with a decibel meter. When I was playing these I felt like I still needed to wear some ear protection, but I have pretty sensitive ears and I’m overly careful with ear protection these days.
They aren’t as quiet as the other low volume cymbals I’ve tried such as the Zildjian L80, Evans dB One and Sabian Quiet Tone options. So if you need the most aggressive volume reduction, there are better options out there. But these are still more quite than normal acoustic cymbals for sure.
Tone & Sound Quality
The tone of these cymbals is one of their weak points in my opinion. They have a somewhat harsh and clanky sound to them when I compare to my other low volume cymbals. They kind of remind me of the type of cheap, unbranded cymbals that might come with a budget drum kit in terms of sound quality.
The hi-hat sounds pretty chunky and it doesn’t have the light smoothness that I’ve come to expect from better quality low volume cymbals. When I play the hi-hats closed, they have a weird metallic aftertone tone to them that sound kinda rough. When open they sound fine but they’re just not as crisp as I’d prefer. The sound of the hi-hat is what turned me off of these cymbals the most.
The crash and ride cymbals sound decent, I liked them better than the hi-hat. They are louder and more harsh sounding than some of my other favorite low volume cymbals, but they get the job done. The bell on the ride cymbal sounds pretty good, which I was pleasantly surprised with when compared to the rest of the tonal qualities.
Build Quality & Durability
In terms of build quality there’s a mix of things I do and don’t like about these. The metal that the cymbals are made from doesn’t feel overly cheap and I didn’t notice any denting or cracking after playing fairly aggressively. They seem like they’d probably hold together just as good as any other low volume cymbal I have but time will tell. The outside edges and the edges of the punched holes are smooth. I couldn’t find any rough edges anywhere, so that’s a positive.
My biggest complaint about the quality is the painted finish. I purchased the red version which is basically just red paint on metal. The paint was chipping off already the first time I played them. It was most noticeable on the edges where I was striking the cymbals and in the center holes that mount on the cymbal stand. That kind of bugged me because these cymbals look really sharp when they are new, but they loose that new look very quickly and turn into scuffed up looking cymbals pretty fast.
I don’t think I’d recommend using these for live play simply due to the tonal qualities, especially with the hi-hats. They just didn’t sound like they were anything I’d want to do a performance with. The low volume nature could make them enticing for lower volume venues or situations, but I think if you’re wanting to play live with low volume cymbals there are lots of better sounding options out there.
Cymbal Types & Cymbal Packs
These are available in a cymbal pack that includes the following:
- 14 Inch Hi-Hats
- 16 and 18 Inch Crash
- 20 Inch Ride
- Cymbal Bag
There are no china or splash cymbal options that I can find. The inclusion of a cymbal bag is a nice touch that I wish some of the more expensive low volume cymbals would include.
- Very affordable
- Includes a cymbal bag
- Ride cymbal has a decent bell sound
- No rough or sharp edges
- Not as quiet as other low volume cymbals
- Metallic, ringy sound especially from hi-hats
- Painted finish scratches and chips very easily
The Arborea Mute cymbals are some of the cheaper low volume cymbals I’ve found and they are about what I’d expect from the price. Their tone isn’t as smooth as more expensive low volume cymbals and the painted finish wears easily. If you just need something cheap to reduce your cymbal volume by around 50% they can fit the bill, but pretty much any other low volume cymbal set I’ve tried is a better quality option.