Are Paiste Giant Beats and Paiste 404 the same?

Jml

Senior Member
I have a set of the new/reissued Paiste Giant Beats, including the 20” multi GB. Then I recently came across a used Paiste 404 20” ride on sale for $50. So I immediately snatched it up. I just listened to both 20” cymbals and they sound remarkably similar. Are my ears deceiving me or are they truly cymbal twins? Anyone else have both sets? I thought the 404s were supposed to sound more like 2002s, but they don’t sound as bright.
 

jimb

Member
Crazy huh. I bought a 2002 18 crash thinking it would bury my old green label 505 18 crash...nope, the 505 sounds lighter, sweeter and is just all round nicer....weird.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
There's one way (and only one way) to assess a cymbal's appeal. IGNORE its label, as well as your associated expectations for that label, and listen to it. Unfortunately, most buyers don't go about it in that fashion. They get caught up in the notion that Cymbal One has to be better than Cymbal Two because Cymbal One holds a more vaunted rank in a manufacturer's hierarchy. While that's a surefire way to spend more money, it's not a guarantee that you'll be getting a superior cymbal. "Superior" is in the ear of the beholder, and no two ears are identical. Trust yours and no one else's.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
There's one way (and only one way) to assess a cymbal's appeal. IGNORE its label, as well as your associated expectations for that label, and listen to it. Trust yours and no one else's.

I have a poster on my studio wall from CB700 that shows the cross-section of the ear. The message says, "Your ear is the only endorsee that matters".
I've lived by that for over 20 years when selecting cymbals & drums. I pick what goes with my ear, not my gear.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I hear the Giant Beat character in the 404's for sure. Thin, mellow, dark, sweet...

I have a hi hat and a "ride" cymbal that is so thin I've never used it for anything but a crash.

The 404's and the 505's are definitely in the "hidden gem" category but they're getting harder to find. The 404's especially are fairly delicate cymbals so their numbers are only going to shrink.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I've shared this several times. Back in the 80s, I listened from several feet away to a 404 Ride and a 2002 ride played by the shop owner (I didn't actually play the cymbals myself in the shop). I walked out with the 2002, but I always wanted to go back and grab the 404 since I thought it sounded just as good, if not better, than the 2002. The 404 was definitely more mellow.

One thing that matters when playing a cymbal is also how it feels when playing it. It may be that the higher end cymbals just feel better under the stick than a lower end cymbal. I know that's true with a pair of the "budget" 13" Paiste 802 Plus hats I have. Though the 802 was on the top end of their budget lines at the time, the sound of the 802s are much better sounding to me than a pair of 13" Zildjian New Beats I have. But, the 802 definitely feels like a budget hat under the sticks, compared to my New Beat. I would be interested in knowing if the 404 you received plays/feels like a higher end cymbal or not.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I have a poster on my studio wall from CB700 that shows the cross-section of the ear. The message says, "Your ear is the only endorsee that matters".
I've lived by that for over 20 years when selecting cymbals & drums. I pick what goes with my ear, not my gear.

My approach is similar but also different. My cymbals are always of the same make and series. Once I pinpoint a sound I like, I seek consistency across the board, and I've found that sticking with a given line of cymbals is the most efficient means of attaining it . Other players might want contrast instead, which makes perfect sense, so they seek it across multiple makes of cymbals. The important thing throughout is to focus upon what's heard, not upon what's marketed.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
The important thing throughout is to focus upon what's heard, not upon what's marketed.

Absolutely right! 🤘

I've gone as far as bringing all my crashes to the store when buying a new one. I'll set them all up & leave one stand open for different models that will fit the color of the rest.
The only time I won't do this is when buying a china or effects cymbal as those sound vastly different by design.

One that gave me 0 issue was the Rocktagon. By itself, it's like a combo of a china & crash. So when I first went to get one back in the late 80's, it just seemed to fit everything. I still have it & use it in my set up.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
LOVED the 404 and 505 lines. when i was young they were so inexpensive and sounded great. an 18 inch crash was like 30 bucks new! i think a 404 16 was like 22 dollars!!!!!! that's not a lot of money today and wasn't a lot back them either. they didn't last and would crack a but the price was so good it didn't matter, i would just buy some more. They made the exact crash sound you were looking for when playing a classic rock song. I only used both lines for the crashes. never tried the hats or rides. I see them used once in a while and get nostalgic and think about grabbing them but I just dont need any cymbals right now.
 

Jml

Senior Member
One thing that matters when playing a cymbal is also how it feels when playing it. It may be that the higher end cymbals just feel better under the stick than a lower end cymbal. I know that's true with a pair of the "budget" 13" Paiste 802 Plus hats I have. Though the 802 was on the top end of their budget lines at the time, the sound of the 802s are much better sounding to me than a pair of 13" Zildjian New Beats I have. But, the 802 definitely feels like a budget hat under the sticks, compared to my New Beat. I would be interested in knowing if the 404 you received plays/feels like a higher end cymbal or not.
[/QUOTE]

It doesn’t feel like budget cymbal. It feels a little “thicker” than the Giant Beat. But I don’t know if it’s actually thicker or heavier. I checked the serial number and it’s a 404 from 1986. Not sure if they were thin or not back then. Still feel like I scored for $50 though.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
There's one way (and only one way) to assess a cymbal's appeal. IGNORE its label, as well as your associated expectations for that label, and listen to it. Unfortunately, most buyers don't go about it in that fashion. They get caught up in the notion that Cymbal One has to be better than Cymbal Two because Cymbal One holds a more vaunted rank in a manufacturer's hierarchy. While that's a surefire way to spend more money, it's not a guarantee that you'll be getting a superior cymbal. "Superior" is in the ear of the beholder, and no two ears are identical. Trust yours and no one else's.
But then I check out the label of my favourite sound and proceed to buy more sizes and types from that label 😂
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I pick everything blind folded. That way there's no bias from label, it's all auditory. As for finish (on drums) if my wife says "who in the f would buy that?" I promptly do as it is an appropriate level of gaudy.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
But then I check out the label of my favourite sound and proceed to buy more sizes and types from that label 😂

That's what I do too. As I explain in a previous post, I like my cymbals to speak with a consistent, almost singular voice. For me, buying within the same line is the safest and most efficient way to achieve that status. When I caution readers against enslavement to labels, I'm referring more to the presumption that one line is better than another because it's priced higher. That may or may not be true, but assuming that it's true can lead to dissatisfaction. Often, one cymbal costs more than another simply because greater labor went into its production. Greater labor just means more work, not necessarily a better cymbal. It all depends on what you want.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I would like to try the PST7 hats. I had a PST7 16”crash and didn’t love it so I sold it.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I would be interested in knowing if the 404 you received plays/feels like a higher end cymbal or not.

It doesn’t feel like budget cymbal. It feels a little “thicker” than the Giant Beat. But I don’t know if it’s actually thicker or heavier. I checked the serial number and it’s a 404 from 1986. Not sure if they were thin or not back then. Still feel like I scored for $50 though.
[/QUOTE]

Oh yeah! $50 is a great deal. That's great that it feels good when playing. Enjoy the cymbal!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I checked the serial number and it’s a 404 from 1986.
Where is this serial number? I have some 404 hats, the top hat has the Paiste stamp with the big 404 and the crescent moon and star. No serial number. The bottom hat just has Paiste 404 stamped in all block letters.

Did the serial numbers start after a certain date?
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
One thing that matters when playing a cymbal is also how it feels when playing it. It may be that the higher end cymbals just feel better under the stick than a lower end cymbal. I know that's true with a pair of the "budget" 13" Paiste 802 Plus hats I have. Though the 802 was on the top end of their budget lines at the time, the sound of the 802s are much better sounding to me than a pair of 13" Zildjian New Beats I have. But, the 802 definitely feels like a budget hat under the sticks, compared to my New Beat. I would be interested in knowing if the 404 you received plays/feels like a higher end cymbal or not.

It doesn’t feel like budget cymbal. It feels a little “thicker” than the Giant Beat. But I don’t know if it’s actually thicker or heavier. I checked the serial number and it’s a 404 from 1986. Not sure if they were thin or not back then. Still feel like I scored for $50 though.
[/QUOTE]
the 404's crashes from around 86 were on the thin side compared to budget lines now like ZBT's or Alphas. Not cheap thin though they didn't feel too thin when holding them. I've picked up really crappy cymbals before and just by touch, you know they are junk. These "felt" like top of the line cymbals if that makes sense.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
I would like to try the PST7 hats. I had a PST7 16”crash and didn’t love it so I sold it.
True, I don´t care much for the crashes either, especially the smaller ones. The 19" Thin Crash is pretty good though. And the 20" Light Ride is a great crash/ride. Doesn´t sound out of place with my Giant Beats at all.
 

theseer2

Junior Member
Also the PST7's get better with age as it tarnishes. I suspect thats also why the 404 and 505's hold up still. Fine Wine
 
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