Most splash cymbals range in size from 6" to 12" in diameter. Some makers have produced cymbals described as splash cymbals up to 22" in diameter but these would be better described as medium thin crash cymbals. The most common size is 10", followed by 8".
The normal function of a splash cymbal is to provide a short, often highly syncopated accent. For their size, they are hit relatively hard to produce a quick attack and decay. They tend to have little taper so as to provide the necessary strength for this, the bell being little thicker than the rim, with the inevitable result that the tone has little richness.
For softer passages where a richer tone is required, some makers produce thin splash cymbals with a sound and taper similar to a crash cymbal. These specialised cymbals have exceptionally thin rims and will break if played badly or too loudly.
Another use of a splash cymbal is to mount it stacked with a larger cymbal, that is the two are mounted between a single set of felts with a large part of the smaller top cymbal in contact with the other. This produces a sound partway between that of a closed hi-hat cymbal and a sizzle cymbal.
China cymbals 12" or less in diameter are sometimes described as china splash cymbals or more rarely as mini chinese.
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