The tale of slowly switching brands…

John Q. Drummer

Active member
The very first cymbal I had along with my first drum kit way back in the mid 80’s was a Paiste Rude crash. (Don’t remember which size, maybe a 16”?) Even though I was completely new to the instrument and had absolutely no basis for comparison nor had I built up any sort of a discerning ear regarding cymbals, I knew that I hated the sound of that bronze abomination. The next cymbal I got after that was a Zildjian, and then the next 150+ cymbals after that were all Zildjian. I stuck with Zildjian because they sounded closer to cymbal sounds that I heard on records and more importantly, the sound I heard in my head. Looking back, I think I always remembered that I did NOT care for that Paiste cymbal and thus I never bothered to consider them as a viable option for myself for literally decades.

I remember sometime around 2005-2006 or so and one of the first people I met in the industry was one of the upper level folks as Paiste, who happened to live 20 minutes away. At the time, I had been working for years at an independent drum shop with access to almost every brand of drum and cymbal. It was working at a drum shop that gave me the ability to “hear” other cymbal brands, like Bosphorus and Sabian. It was about this time that Paiste guy brought in a huge stack of Dark Energy cymbals which had been released a year or two before. It was at the point that I heard a Paiste cymbal that didn’t remind me of that horrible Rude cymbal from my youth. In fact, I kind of dug it. But at this point, I had already dove head-first into the Zildjian Constantinople rabbit hole and I wasn’t going to be swayed. Not at that point anyway.

Fast forward to the tail end of 2019, I was growing restless regarding my cymbals. I had done a record and wasn’t thrilled with the resulting cymbal sounds. After years of playing them, I started hearing a slightly gongy undertone in a large number of my Zildjian cymbals that I didn’t care for and started to distract me. (Not just recorded sounds, it was present in live performances as well.) For some reason, I starting researching cymbals, something I hadn’t done, well…ever. It had been primarily Zildjian for me since day one on the instrument. Not out of some misplaced allegiance, but simply local availability. Having purchased a few cymbals online, I realized very quickly that sound samples and actual sound aren’t quite the same thing, and some cymbals “feel” different from others. (Looser, tighter, brittle, etc…) I made it a point to always buy cymbals only after hearing them in person first. Well, Zildjian is everywhere hence it was easier to go with them for that reason alone.

After doing some research and listening to hundreds of sound samples, I kind of ended up really being drawn to Paiste. What? After 30 plus years and a terrible first impression, there I was. I came across a new 17” Masters Dark crash and a new pair of 15” Master Dark hats locally. Tested them, bought them and been playing them live ever since. That purchase really whet my appetite for the brand.

So now, where do I go? No idea. I understand the various Zildjian lines and what they sound like, but Paiste is like learning a new language. I want another pair of 15” hats from another line, a couple of more crashes and a couple rides. I actually need a splash cymbal as well. I think I want one of those PSTX 18” Swiss Thin Crashes. It’s gonna be fun. I like everything I heard in the various “Signature” lines, the 602 Modern and Classic sound nice.

The only Paiste lines that don’t speak to me are the 2002’s and Giant Beats.

Oh yea…and the Rudes. They still sound like bronze abominations to this guy.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I've always been a Paiste guy and I mix and match lines all the time. The thing that keeps me with Paiste is the consistency, you buy any one cymbal ( your 17" dark crash for example) and if you break it or damage it when you buy another it will sound exactly like the one it replaced This also the reason some don't like Paiste.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
It was expensive but I solved this dilemma for myself by building up two collections of cymbals: one set of Zildjian K and one set of Paiste 2002. This lets me go dark or go bright, depending on the gig.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I mean, they sure don’t sound like abominations on those early Police records. I suspect they can make more than one kind of sound, depending on the player.
I like how 2002's and Rudes sound on recordings as well, but in person... had an used 2002 18" Thin Crash years back and liked the sound of it. Also had an used 17" Rude Crash/Rude and i can understand the OP: it's loud and has gongy tones after you hit it, but this line is designed to cut through anything and not produce a nice layer sound like Traditional or Masters would. It takes force to open up, so it's not really suited for soft nuances.

Back to topic... more Paiste's have found their way back in my setup again (have a 2002 20" Novo China now, 2 accents and 2 PSTX models in a stack). In 2011 i was in the market for new cymbals and settled on Zildjian. And ofcourse for the next few years everything needed to be Zildjian (although for my practice set i had a mixed set of brands), but i kept ogling at Paiste. I almost decided to sell everything off and get a nice set of Formula 602's Modern Essentials after seeing/hearing that Vinnie promo vid and again was really tempted when Paiste released the 2002 Big Beats. The Traditional 22" Light Ride was a special place in my heart too. Coming to think about it... for the last 3 years or so I've been thinking a new set to replace my main hats (14" A New Beats) and a more complexer sounding ride than my current (21" A Sweet Ride). So maybe i should sell off my excess cymbals to fund those new purchases... like 15" Modern Essentials Hats and the 22" Ride
 
Last edited:

Zaster

Well-known member
I like how 2002's and Rudes sound on recordings as well, but in person... had an used 2002 18" Thin Crash years back and liked the sound of it. Also had an used 17" Rude Crash/Rude and i can understand the OP: it's loud and has gongy tones after you hit it, but this line is designed to cut through anything and not produce a nice layer sound like Traditional or Masters would. It takes force to open up, so it's not really suited for soft nuances.

Back to topic... more Paiste's have found their way back in my setup again (have a 2002 20" Novo China now, 2 accents and 2 PSTX models in a stack). In 2011 i was in the market for new cymbals and settled on Zildjian. And ofcourse for the next few years everything needed to be Zildjian (although for my practice set i had a mixed set of brands), but i kept ogling at Paiste. I almost decided to sell everything off and get a nice set of Formula 602's Modern Essentials after seeing/hearing that Vinnie promo vid and again was really tempted when Paiste released the 2002 Big Beats. The Traditional 22" Light Ride was a special place in my heart too. Coming to think about it... for the last 3 years or so I've been thinking a new set to replace my main hats (14" A New Beats) and a more complexer sounding ride than my current (21" A Sweet Ride). So maybe i should sell off my excess cymbals to fund those new purchases... like 15" Modern Essentials Hats and the 22" Ride
2002s don’t have to be harsh, loud or cutting, if you’re not trying to cut. Did you ever find Nick Mason’s ride sound all over Dark Side of the Moon “harsh”? I’d call it “shimmery” or “glistening”, personally— or “sparkly”. You can touch a crash cymbal anywhere from gently to forcefully too, naturally. I feel that crashes especially are very malleable to player’s intent, almost interchangeable sometimes, way more than rides or hats. I have a mix of Zildjian and Paiste, As, Ks, 602, 2002 up at any one time– brand schmrand.
 

iCe

Senior Member
2002s don’t have to be harsh, loud or cutting, if you’re not trying to cut. Did you ever find Nick Mason’s ride sound all over Dark Side of the Moon “harsh”? I’d call it “shimmery” or “glistening”, personally— or “sparkly”. You can touch a crash cymbal anywhere from gently to forcefully too, naturally. I feel that crashes especially are very malleable to player’s intent, almost interchangeable sometimes, way more than rides or hats. I have a mix of Zildjian and Paiste, As, Ks, 602, 2002 up at any one time– brand schmrand.
I was referring to the Rudes with harsh and loud sound in person, not 2002
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I used to play 2002's & 505's in the late 80's. Always loved their sound but found them susceptible to cracking. Switched to Zildjian Z's (for my sins) & played them for many years. Upon reflection, they were horrible, one trick pony's with harsh "gongy" overtones. I slowly switched to A's, A Custom & A Custom Projectors for live which, I still use. Invested in a set of K Dark's & Custom's for recording.
I acquired a full set of 2002's earlier this year (15" SE HH, 17/18/19" Crash, 20" Heavy Ride, 22" Ride, 22" Power Bell Ride, 20" Novo China) & am still to try them out. Very much looking forward to doing so though :) Let's hope the don't crack as easily this time :)
 

Zaster

Well-known member
I used to play 2002's & 505's in the late 80's. Always loved their sound but found them susceptible to cracking. Switched to Zildjian Z's (for my sins) & played them for many years. Upon reflection, they were horrible, one trick pony's with harsh "gongy" overtones. I slowly switched to A's, A Custom & A Custom Projectors for live which, I still use. Invested in a set of K Dark's & Custom's for recording.
I acquired a full set of 2002's earlier this year (15" SE HH, 17/18/19" Crash, 20" Heavy Ride, 22" Ride, 22" Power Bell Ride, 20" Novo China) & am still to try them out. Very much looking forward to doing so though :) Let's hope the don't crack as easily this time :)
Those 2002 rides are really pretty imo. I tried the 22” but it was too much sustain for my (recording) space so I got a 20”.
 
The 602's are obviously gorgeous if you can afford them. I was originally going to recommend the giant beat line, but you mentioned not liking them at the end of your post. I just got a giant beat 20" thin cymbal, and I have to say it's my new favorite cymbal hands down. If you haven't heard the thin giant beat yet, memphis drum shop has a great 1:30 minute video showcasing its buttery smoothness.
 

troutstudio

Junior Member
I mean, they sure don’t sound like abominations on those early Police records. I suspect they can make more than one kind of sound, depending on the player.
Many moons ago I had a Paiste endorsement here and I was given three or four sets of cymbals - 602 for the studio (they were are about to be discontinued) Sound Creation chinas and hihats, 3000 set for touring, ColorSounds (I had to promote those, I played the china) and some Rudes too. The Rude 20" Ride (?) became my main ride cymbal for about 20 years. I still have it somewhere. Really versatile cymbal. I had a 16" crash and here's the point of this ramble - it sounded awful behind the kit, but off stage or recorded it sounded great. But loud! Too loud. I usually play with a 16" crash on my right side and the dealer let me take the Rude to see if it would stop me bringing back cracked 2002, 3000 and 602s. The only cymbals I did that to. I have no idea how Charlie Watts played a 16" 602 on all those records but my theory is that if you're right handed, the last crash in your setup is at some risk, if it's small and fairly thin. I gave the Rude away and got a 17" 3000 crash instead. Problem solved. I still play a 602 16" in the studio but I have learned to hit the toms hard and the cymbals gently, which I find suits recording.
 

Zaster

Well-known member
Many moons ago I had a Paiste endorsement here and I was given three or four sets of cymbals - 602 for the studio (they were are about to be discontinued) Sound Creation chinas and hihats, 3000 set for touring, ColorSounds (I had to promote those, I played the china) and some Rudes too. The Rude 20" Ride (?) became my main ride cymbal for about 20 years. I still have it somewhere. Really versatile cymbal. I had a 16" crash and here's the point of this ramble - it sounded awful behind the kit, but off stage or recorded it sounded great. But loud! Too loud. I usually play with a 16" crash on my right side and the dealer let me take the Rude to see if it would stop me bringing back cracked 2002, 3000 and 602s. The only cymbals I did that to. I have no idea how Charlie Watts played a 16" 602 on all those records but my theory is that if you're right handed, the last crash in your setup is at some risk, if it's small and fairly thin. I gave the Rude away and got a 17" 3000 crash instead. Problem solved. I still play a 602 16" in the studio but I have learned to hit the toms hard and the cymbals gently, which I find suits recording.
I only play drums for recording, not live, so I never have the need to be heard over a band and my view is therefore very slanted and particular, but I can’t stand some of my nicest cymbals from the “player position”, or my snare which is an amazing black beauty, not a thing wrong with it— these instruments make sounds that are too loud to enjoy when sitting right next to. I cover my snare with tea towels, use tape, moongel etc and I can make stuff sound pretty nice for practicing and really get into the tones. But rarely when it’s time to hit record will I leave the muting strategies in place after A/B-ing those tones against taking them off and letting the instruments ring out. It nearly always records better. What may feel like too much cymbal wash when practicing can easily vanish from the mics— getting all that stuff to balance out in the overheads is just very different from how it lands on your ears sitting in the middle of it.
 

Zaster

Well-known member
Have to admit I also prefer 20's :)
The 22” is also really lovely, and deep. It seemed like in the right live situation it would be great. Or recording in a huge space, something requiring a lot of ambience— sci-fi soundtrack maybe! :)
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So now, where do I go? No idea. I understand the various Zildjian lines and what they sound like, but Paiste is like learning a new language. I want another pair of 15” hats from another line, a couple of more crashes and a couple rides. I actually need a splash cymbal as well. I think I want one of those PSTX 18” Swiss Thin Crashes. It’s gonna be fun. I like everything I heard in the various “Signature” lines, the 602 Modern and Classic sound nice.

The only Paiste lines that don’t speak to me are the 2002’s and Giant Beats.

Oh yea…and the Rudes. They still sound like bronze abominations to this guy.
The Traditionals and Masters crashes are dark, and also dirty — almost into trash crash territory. But, if you like a clean, more typical crash sound, try to find a Twenty series crash (they’ve been discontinued), if you don’t want to spend big bucks on a Modern Essentials or 602 crash.

The 22” Traditional Light Ride is just killer. So is the ME 602 Ride. The Masters Dark Ride is pretty but funky, with a very subtle, integrated bell, and a dirty crash.

If you still have that 16” Rude, get a thin 16” crash and have yourself a blast bashing some big hi-hats! :)
 

iCe

Senior Member
Now thinking about it... i remember when Paiste released the Rude 18 and 20" Basher models that i was surprised on how nice they sounded. What i do have realized over the years is that Paiste cymbals in recordings and live performances always cut through flawlessly.
For now i have set my sights on the 602 Modern Essentials 15" hats and the 22" Ride. Ever since hearing Vinnie play them in the promo i've been craving these. Decided that i will sell of my excess cymbals and drum stuff that have been collecting dust to finance these.
 

John Q. Drummer

Active member
I’m really going down the Signature Dark Energy rabbit hole. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’m thinking a whole set up from that line.

15” hats,
17” + 18” crashes,
21” Mk II ride
And probably the 10” splash. (Splashes are making a comeback y’all.)

And the PSTX 18” Swiss Thin. It’s just so dang funky sounding, but a bit more interesting and maybe a bit more versatile than like a china cymbal.
 
Top