Next move after a string of bad luck with breaking my Paiste 2002s

Road Bull

Silver Member
So before we get into the known axioms about technique and whatnot, let me tell you I have often advised the same. I always try to use glancing blows when hitting my cymbals. I like to think of myself as a conscientious hard hitter. However, I have had a run of bad luck with cracking cymbals lately. Over the past several months I have lost (2) 2002 SE top hats, (one replaced under warranty, one purchased used ), a 2002 22" crash (bought used ), and lastly a Reverend Al's Big Ride (bought new, but out of warranty window by 5 months)...

So now I am a little apprehensive about breaking more cymbals and I am questioning my cymbal choices.

I have opened up the clutch on the hats. They were not super tight, but I am letting them slosh more. I have switched from Vic Firth Metal (N) to Vader 2B. I think this is better on my wrists AND gear. Plus they are much easier to finesse.

I have swapped out my 2002 15" SE hats for 15" Alpha Rock Hi-Hats, my 22"crash was replaced by a 22" 2002 Wild Ride (sounds great as a crash), my RABR with a 2002 22" Ride and lastly, my 2002 24" Ride with a 24" Alpha Rock Ride.

Overall, I am happy enough with my cymbals. 3 out of 4 are discontinued within their lines.

So, going forward, I might just use the cheaper Alpha line. They still offer up to 20" crashes.

My other option that I am leaning towards is just going back to Zildjians. I have a set on my home kit that includes a 24" A Medium Ride, 21" A Sweet Ride, and the classic 14" New Beats. This is another solid line up, and seems to be cheaper overall thanot 2002s. But more importantly I am really coming around to that Medium Ride. I think that generally speaking Paiste ride bells sound better to me, but... the Zildjian is no slouch.

I am just pondering my next direction. I have had good luck with my Paiste line up for several years before they all decided to leave together.

I look like I play hard, but I am not hitting nearly as hard as it seems that I am.

Has anything like this made you think about changing you cymbal set up?


Silver Member
I can't help much as I have never broken a cymbal (so far).

But I do recall an interview with Phil Collins many years ago where he said that he played Zildjian (at the time) because he found that he cracked Paistes. He also said that Chester Thompson (who was playing Paiste at the time) was the other way round - he played Paiste because he cracked Zildjians. (I think this was before the rise of Sabian - they both moved to Sabian later!)

At least that's what Phil said in the interview. Could it be that some cymbals are more vulnerable to breaking for certain players?

Road Bull

Silver Member
One thing I have noticed and have tried to become more sensitive about is my hearing protection. Sometimes this gives us a skewed sense of how much volume is being produced. I play in a rather loud rock and roll band. I have always worn hearing protection. I think that this "can" make you feel as though you are not "keeping up". I have been taking my phones off for a few minutes to hear just how much volume my ride is projecting playing at various intensities.

Plus, when you play mostly, well all rides... you don't have to hit that hard to produce a great amount of volume. My plan is to dial it back a bit.

Before the last few months, it had been well over a decade since I broke my last cymbal. Maybe I am just making up for lost times.


Platinum Member
I personally play thin Zildjians because they flex easily. If you need more volume, get bigger sizes, but still thin.
I've always felt that 2002's felt stiffer and more brittle, but maybe I've only played the heavy models.

Though in the long run, you have to play what feels and sounds right to you.


Platinum Member
I like your Zildjian setup.
I agree about the bells. Of course, each cymbal is different, but generally I like the Paiste bell sound better than most Zildjians.
But I like some of the Sabians I've tried even more.

I've never cracked a cymbal, so I can't comment on that too much.
I've bought a lot of cymbals that other people have cracked though.


Platinum Member
Giant Beats might be the happy medium if you're thinking more Paiste.

They're thin and a bit warmer than 2002's and really versatile.

The newer soundedges have deeper ridges than the original ones so it's easier to break them. I have a Signature Soundedge bottom and a Meinl Amun Soundwave bottom I've been meaning to get a top hat for, for years now. If you can pick up a 70s soundedge bottom the top hat will be fine. I have a pre-serial 602 soundedge bottom hat and an old A Rock top hat from the 70s and I've gigged them regularly with no problems.

I've only ever changed cymbal line if there was a sound I was after. If you want a clean sound it's Paiste all the way. If you like a warmer sound it's Zildjian for me. Can't comment on the Sabian stuff because I've never used them.

.....then again there's always UFIP/Meinl/Istanbul/Bosphorus


Senior Member
I hope I don't sidetrack this to much, but what does the crack do to the sound quality of the cymbal? Can you drill a stop at the end of the crack and keep using it? Maybe cut out a wedge? Can the be brazed (repaired)? Obviously cymbals are not cheap so it would seem awful to just toss them if they get a little crack. I also realize that if you do nothing the crack just continues to grow.



Platinum Member
I can't help but wonder if thinner pies might survive a little longer. Plus, I tend to agree with Morrisman that 2oo2s feel a bit stiff, which is one of the reasons I don't buy them anymore.

Only down side is thinner cymbals tend not to project as well. When I saw Black Sabbath last month, their drummer (can't remember his name, but he was a stellar choice (Bill who? Haha)) used larger, thinner Meinls and honestly, they were the only part of the kit that didn't make it through the mix. So I'd be careful about how thin you go if you go that route.

So yeah, you're in a pickle, no doubt about it. When I saw you guys play, I was stunned and amazed at how loud you guys were, but I'm a fan of that anyway so no complaints here. Your guitar players are obviously very aware of their tones and drive their powerful amps hard into saturation territory, so rather than the typical scenario of the band raising their volume to match the drummer, this time it's the drummer (you!) having to match theirs.

If I were you, I'd revisit those A Zildjians and build another set around those, but keep the crashes on the thinner side, as in nothing heavier than a Sweet Ride, Crash/Ride, or one of the newer thinner Medium Rides -as long as it's still got some visible wobble when you smack it.

Though really, at your guys' volumes, you might just want to make friends with the idea that cymbals are expendables like sticks and heads so you can more easily shrug it off when they go. Beats despondency!


Platinum Member
You need Sabian APX - seriously.

Have to look used though - discontinued.
Cheap, tough, glassy, loud.


Platinum Member
I'm fortunate that I learned how to strike a cymbal fairly early into drumming. After two years and daily playing, I've not broken a single one.

That said, there are times when I'm playing and trying to do something unfamiliar, and cymbal striking technique often goes to hell for a crash or three. I think it is these durr-hurr-durr moments when cymbals break.

Road Bull, When you break a cymbal, do you know exactly when you've done it? Can you feel it happen?

Captain Bash

Silver Member
In this situation I would recommend Zildjian A custom projections, these are loud, (too loud) for most bands I play with. But man in a high volume situation requiring cut and a bit of shimmer with the feel of a normal cymbal (not a man hole cover) these are fantastic.

Much underrated in my opinion, here is an old video of me playing two ZACprojection crashes 17 and 18" paired with a modified 21" Johan hammered meinl bionic ride and my favoured std. A zildjian mastersound 13" Hats.

If you want more then I would think a 19 and 20 projection crash would really pack a punch.


Platinum Member
My experience mirrors your, unfortunately. I've broken every 2002 crash I ever bought. And before the endless admonitions about technique begin, in forty years of playing I've rarely broken a Zildjian and never broken a Sabian. So no matter what anyone else's experience is, in my experience Paiste 2002s are more fragile.

Love the sound, but I don't use them anymore. I think you'll have better luck if you switch.

Road Bull

Silver Member
Thanks for all the replies, experiences and feedback. I do play loud, but I am also super careful with my gear. I don't do a lot of fast follow up cymbal strikes or hit when the cymbal is on the up pivot.

I have been rockin my 2002s for a little over 2 years and thought it was just a bit of a myth about Paiste durability. And by no means am I putting Paiste down. They make fantastic sounding cymbals. I understand that when you play loud, you may have to PAY LOUD. I am just a bit surprised that it seemed to hit the fan all at once. Hell... I replaced my RABR because I started to feel a bit vulnerable and didn't want to break such an expensive beautiful cymbal. I started using a 22" Ride in its place, and a 22" Wild Ride where my 22" crash was. These offer a ton of volume with a lot lower energy. And my hats and new ride are heavier Alpha line.

Going forward I think I will pick another path. I had started using Paiste because they offered a lot of "big cymbal " options. That, and I could find good deals used online. But it seems to be a bit less sustainable than I had hoped.

I am most familiar with Zildjian cymbals, so I see them as a natural progression. I like the Sabians that I have heard, I just don't see to many larger options. Do they make a 24" medium ride?

I guess now it's time to get out there and start checking some cymbals out.


Senior Member
After many years of 5 and 2B abuse, I finally managed to crack a Paiste Sound Formula Full Crash. It's a 3/4" radial crack from the edge. I do also see the beginning of some stress fractures around the mounting hole of my 16" Sig full crash. Bear in mind, these cymbals are over 20 years old.

I can see breaking a crash but a 24" ride (!).... I don't know what to say. Why aren't you miking your kit at that point?

Road Bull

Silver Member
After many years of 5 and 2B abuse, I finally managed to crack a Paiste Sound Formula Full Crash. It's a 3/4" radial crack from the edge. I do also see the beginning of some stress fractures around the mounting hole of my 16" Sig full crash. Bear in mind, these cymbals are over 20 years old.

I can see breaking a crash but a 24" ride (!).... I don't know what to say. Why aren't you miking your kit at that point?
The particular ride in question is by far more of a crash than a ride. The Reverend Al's Big Ride is probably one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest of the 2002 line. It was designed for Alex who like the sound of 2002s, but the feel and weight of the Paiste Giant Beats. I think I might have played exactly once in a place that mikes cymbals. Rock venues generally Mike the bass drum, and Toms if your lucky. Beyond that, it just doesn't happen.

Also I would not say that Alex is not tapping on his ride either. But it is not a big deal to him if he breaks a few either. When I have cracked my cymbals, they have all been less than quarter inch into the cymbal from the edge. I have seen other people hammer on their Giant Beats, and dent or crack them. I know theyou are more delicate overall. The RABR is just too close to these specs for my needes.

When I play I am not torquing down my cymbal washers to make them just eat all the energy they take. It just happens though. After comparing cymbal weights, Paiste offers nothing very close to Zildjian New Beat weights. Even their Rude line doesn't come close to the same weight. I am just coming to accept that Paiste is not a great fit for me, at least financially... lol.

I think that's why drummers in bands like Weedeater, Melvins, and Big Business just use the Alpha lines. If you are planning on breaking a few eggs, you might want to have a cheaper chicken laying those eggs. No golden geese for me Mr. Wonka.


Platinum Member
I've broken Zs and Ps and I'm pretty sure it wasn't from monkey bashing them.

I would stick with Paiste to make sure you don't get a dog when you replace the next break.


Try Vic Firth Abe Laboring Jr sticks. They are like a 17" long 2B with a long taper and an elongated oval tip, so they are much easier on cymbals and heads than other big sticks.

Road Bull

Silver Member
Try Vic Firth Abe Laboring Jr sticks. They are like a 17" long 2B with a long taper and an elongated oval tip, so they are much easier on cymbals and heads than other big sticks.
I just dropped back down to Vater 2B. I used to play Vic Firth Metal, but I have come to feel that they are just too long, (also 17"). The 2B width feel nice and the slightly shorter stick makes them a lot easier to move around.