Lemon 15-inch Electronic China Cymbal Review

Is the Lemon 15-inch china a good budget option for someone wanting a realistic-looking electronic china cymbal? Find out in this long-term review

Looking for a budget electronic china cymbal? As recent as 2016, there wasn’t even such a product on the market. But now, thanks to a growing trend of electronic drums that look like acoustic drums, there’s a much greater variety in shapes and sizes of electronic cymbals. That variety is now trickling down to the low end, in the form of this, the Lemon 15-inch electronic china. I’ve owned this cymbal pad for just over 10 months now, so read on for my full review!

Lemon 15-inch China pros and cons

Unbeaten value for money compared to mainstream competitorsBuild quality is not as good as mainstream (and more expensive) eCymbals
One of the only China-shaped electronic cymbals on the marketChoke function is more challenging to use than on Roland pads
Good triggering response and playability

Price: $55 + around $45 shipping from Alibaba, or $125-145 on eBay or Amazon

Who makes Lemon cymbals?

You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Lemon cymbals – it is certainly not a mainstream brand. These cymbals are in fact made by a Chinese company called Shanghai Jiajun Science & Trading Co., which makes a range of electronic drum products.

Until recently, Lemon cymbals have only been available from Alibaba, but more and more are now popping up on eBay and Amazon via resellers. Lemon cymbals are also causing a bit of a stir on drum forums, with many wondering if they are actually any good given the bargain basement price of just $55. But beware – if you’re seeing this price on Alibaba, that’s not the price you’ll pay – shipping is around that price again, plus you’ll need to add sales tax depending on where you live, and a transaction fee depending on how you pay.

Design and build quality

As with the Lemon 18-inch ride, this budget 15-inch electronic China has good build quality for the price but falls slightly short of its bigger brother. On my unit, the upper rubber surrounding the bell area feels slightly suspended over the plastic base, as if it wasn’t glued down properly. Possibly a small imperfection, though this has no impact on the performance of the cymbal since the bell area is not playable.

The pad has a decent amount of rubber around the edge, where you are most likely going to be playing it, though slightly less than on the edge of a comparably-sized Roland CY-15R pad, which may be a cost-cutting measure on this budget china.

Flipping over the cymbal, you’ll also notice a much simpler underside to a typical Roland cymbal pad, with a very basic design, again hinting at the low price point.

the underside of the Lemon 15 inch china is very basic in comparison to a typical Roland cymbal pad

How to set up the Lemon 15-inch Electronic China

The cymbal comes with a Roland-style rotation stopper which can be attached to your cymbal mount, but you’ll need to supply your own cymbal felt and wingnut. Simply remove the lower cymbal felt from your cymbal mount (if you’re using a standard cymbal stand for acoustic cymbals), drop the rotation stopper on in its place, and tighten it in place with a drum key so that the stopper’s edge is horizontal to you. You can now place the cymbal on top with the playing side facing you and replace and tighten the wingnut.

As with using any non-Roland cymbal on a Roland module, the best way to set up your pad is to try and experiment with a built-in preset, and adjust the sensitivity where needed. I tried the CY-15R preset on my TD-11 module, which worked well after increasing the sensitivity slightly. Results were similar with both the CY-14 and CY-12 presets.

Triggering response

The Lemon China is a dual zone pad with playable edge and bow zones, though in some ways the bow area is not really needed, as you’d most likely play the edge of a china cymbal.

The triggering response was good, with a full range of dynamics possible – though not really necessary, as a china is often used for sharp accents.

The cymbal supports a choke function, though its shape makes it a bit difficult to play. To use the choke, you need to grab the cymbal after playing it, specifically both the top and bottom of the rubber edge. This is difficult as the rubber doesn’t extend that far inwards on the underside of the pad. It’s all too easy to accidentally grab the plastic instead of the rubber, so the choking function can be a bit difficult to trigger.

However, it’s not a major issue, as I can’t remember ever needing to choke a china cymbal in a song, and the classic china sound has a very short decay anyway. If you need the choke function, then you might be better off with a different pad.

Acoustic noise

A big reason why drummers buy electronic kits is for the reduced volume. Fortunately, the Lemon china is about on par with any other rubber electronic cymbal when hit, similar to a Roland CY-15R or CY-14C. The pitch is slightly different, with a higher pitch thudding sound than the two Roland cymbals.

Remember though, that the acoustic volume from an electronic kit isn’t just from hitting the pads, it’s also from impact noise. Learn more about soundproofing your drum room, or check out some Roland Noise Eater alternatives.


This is a budget cymbal which means it comes in equally budget packaging. In fact, the pad came in a plastic bag within a tatty box – no foam or other protection. On the plus side, it made it all the way from China and works correctly, so it seems to have done its job.

The packaging for the Lemon 15-inch china is very basic - just a box and a plastic bag

Long-term review: How has the cymbal held up?

After 10 months of use, the cymbal is going strong, triggering as well as it did when brand new.

One small difference with Lemon cymbals compared to Roland cymbals is that they seem to get dirtier quicker. The rubber has more of a rough finish compared to the smoother look of the Roland rubber, and the grooves etched into the rubber are deeper on the Lemon cymbals. This means dust seems to stick more, and the rim tends to pick up marks slightly more easily than Roland pads.

This can be cleaned up using 303 Aerospace Protectant spray, which is a popular choice recommended on many of the eDrum forums. For more information, visit my guide on how to clean electronic drums.

Alternatives to the Lemon 15-inch China

The closest competitor to Lemon 15-inch China is the ATV 17-inch China (model number aD-CH17), however, this comes in at a hefty $399 or £449 – substantially more than the $125-145 that the Lemon goes for on Amazon or eBay.

For the price, even if the Lemon china turns out to be less reliable over the long run, you’d still be able to get through three of these (and have change left over!), before breaking even against the ATV.

Another alternative might be the new Roland CY-14C-T, one of their new range of thin crash cymbals, which comes in at a more reasonable £280 in the UK, but for some reason substantially more in the USA at $359.

If you’d prefer a brand name cymbal, then the Roland may be a good option, if you can get it for a good price. Roland pads are well known to be very robust, but remember that this is a new design that’s only come out in the last couple of years, so it remains to be seen if the new design lives up to Roland’s reputation.

Should you buy the Lemon 15-inch China cymbal?

The Lemon 15-inch Electronic China is the only option currently for a china-shaped cymbal pad significantly below $400. If you really want a pad that looks like a china cymbal, then this makes it the only option for many due to the high cost of its only true alternative.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this cymbal considering the price. Yes, there are some areas where you can tell this is not a high-end product, but the good news is these shortfalls are fairly inconspicuous and generally limited to the underside of the cymbal.

If you have around $125-145 spare, then the Lemon china is worth a look!

The Lemon 15-inch china cymbal

Where to buy

You can usually find the Lemon 15-inch Electronic China for sale at, or at Alternatively, you can buy it directly from the manufacturer at Alibaba, though be aware of the lengthy shipping times, and remember that tax and shipping will almost double the $55 list price, depending on where you live.

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By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

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