9 Best Paiste Cymbals 2024

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Paiste is one of the most popular cymbal brands in the drumming world. They were often known as the cymbals of choice for rock drummers in the 20th century, but the brand offers a wide range of options for every musical style.

In this guide, I’m going to mention a few of Paiste’s best cymbal packs, along with carefully picked individual cymbals of each type that may interest you.

Paiste 2002 Cymbal Set – Best Overall

Paiste 2002 Cymbal Set

The Paiste 2002 Cymbal Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most popular options on Paiste’s product list. These cymbals have been in the business since the 70s, and they were made famous by rock drummers like John Bonham and Stewart Copeland.

They’ve become known as the brand’s definitive option for rock and metal drummers, as they tend to work the best within those styles.

The overall sound quality you get from the pack is loud and heavy, and all the cymbals cut through mixes with ease. However, each cymbal option in the pack has something unique to add.

The 14” Sound Edge hi-hats are a strong addition to the set. The bottom hat has a waved edge design to stop air from getting locked to improve the sound. These hats have an aggressive bite when you strike the edge, and they sound very articulate when played on the surface.

The 18” and 20” crashes are loud and powerful. They’re also very washy, thanks to their larger sizes. Cymbals that come in packs are typically 16” and 18”, so these larger ones give you more resonance. This also makes them feel fantastic to crash on for drum grooves.

The 22” ride cymbal is the loudest one of the set. It has a very thick body, giving you plenty of glossiness when striking it. The bell is also quite piercing.

These cymbals are made from Paiste’s CuSn8 bronze, which is a comparable alloy to B8 from other brands. Typically, B8 cymbals sound cheap, but these sound incredible.

Cymbal Type: Cymbal pack

Material: CuSn8 bronze

Size: 14” hi-hats, 18” & 20” crashes, 22” ride

Sound: Bright and powerful

Paiste Masters Thin Cymbal Set – Premium Option

Paiste Masters Thin Cymbal Set

The Paiste Masters Thin Cymbal Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the highest-quality cymbal set that Paiste offers. It features a full pack of finely-crafted cymbals with extraordinary tones and musicality.

The overall sound you get is a set of mostly dark and dry cymbals, so this is an excellent set for jazz drummers to consider. The cymbals are also slightly larger than usual, further catering to the preferences of jazz drummers.

The 15” Master Thin hi-hats have dark and throaty tones that make them sound incredible when played open. The open and washy sound blends beautifully within grooves, and the extra inch on the size adds a bit of presence.

The 18” and 20” Masters Extra Thin crash cymbals are beautifully resonant. They have tones that wash over your drum kit when they’re struck, and they’re incredibly musical as well. You can use the 20” crash as a secondary ride cymbal option too.

The 22” Masters Thin ride is a piece of art. It has such low-pitched and washy tones that it makes you constantly want to hit it just to hear them. When you crash on the edge, you get a massive sound that blends and holds everything together.

The bell of the ride is quite dark, but it’s still effective enough to be heard clearly.

The last cymbal you get in the pack is a PST X Swiss Thin crash. This is a crash from one of Paiste’s cheaper lines, but it offers trashy tones that perfectly complement the rest of the set. This is the cymbal you strike when you want to make a statement.

This is one of the most expensive cymbal sets available on the market, but I highly recommend it to anyone that wants high-end and musical cymbals.

Cymbal Type: Cymbal pack

Material: CuSn20 bronze

Size: 15” hi-hats, 2x 18” crashes, 20” crash, 22” ride

Sound: Dark and dry

Paiste PST 7 Session Cymbal Set – Best Budget Option

Paiste PST 7 Session Cymbal Set

The Paiste PST 7 Session Cymbal Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is arguably the best set of beginner cymbals available on the market.

Paiste offers a few more affordable cymbal packs, but this is the pack that I strongly suggest getting if you’re a beginner drummer. Cheaper options will tire out very quickly, leading you to want something better within a few months or years.

The PST 7 cymbals are passable for even professional drummers, as they’re surprisingly responsive in their playability.

They’re made from the same CuSn8 bronze alloy as the famous 2002 cymbals, meaning they have somewhat similar sounds. They just go through fewer production processes than those cymbals, so they’re not as high-end.

The 14” hi-hats have a light top and medium bottom. They sound quite lively when played on the edge, but they have a softer and more controlled sound when played on the surface.

The 16” crash is a bit brighter with a medium sustain. It’s relatively thin in its design, so it offers washier and more resonant tones than many would expect.

The 20” ride is the most impressive cymbal to me. When it comes to cheap cymbals, larger ones are always the worst. This cymbal completely denies that, as it sounds musical and is highly responsive. It even has a decent crash sound.

You won’t find too many cymbal packs that are better for the price. I strongly suggest getting these if you’re a beginner. I’ve also heard of drum teachers using these on their kits that the students use.

Cymbal Type: Cymbal pack

Material: CuSn8 bronze

Size: 14” hi-hats, 16” crash, 20” ride

Sound: Glossy and washy

Paiste Signature Classic Cymbal Set

Paiste Signature Classic Cymbal Set

The Paiste Signature Classic Cymbal Set is another highly popular pack option from the brand. While the 2002s are the full-on rock option, these are the more versatile bright cymbals.

The overall sound you get from the set is bright, energetic, and explosive. However, all the cymbals also have extensive playability, offering different tones depending on where you strike them.

Professional drummers often record albums with these cymbals, as they’re versatile enough for any genre. But the main bright character of each one makes them shine in a mix.

I’d compare them to Zildjian’s A cymbals, but these tend to be a bit higher-end. They’re also more expensive. In the set, you get three crash cymbals, a pair of hi-hats, and a ride cymbal.

The 14” Dark Crisp hats are thick and chunky. They have the meatiest sounds of all the cymbals here, offering thick tones to drive grooves forward.

The three crash cymbals have highly musical tones, as they offer excellent intervals as you play between them. Having a third crash cymbal in your drum setup gives you creative options that you may not be used to, but it’s really fun to explore those.

The 16” crash is arguably the worst-sounding cymbal of the three, but that doesn’t mean it sounds bad. I’m personally just not a fan of smaller crash cymbals.

The 22” Full ride rounds the set out with its strong tones and explosive washiness. It’s a powerhouse ride cymbal that somehow sounds brilliant in every style of music. You can crash it if you want, but it does sound a bit aggressive when you do that.

This set and the Masters set are Paiste’s best available packs. I’d recommend getting this one if you play a wide range of musical styles. Just note that it’s also very expensive!

Cymbal Type: Cymbal pack

Material: Paiste propriety signature bronze alloy

Size: 14” hi-hats, 16” & 18” & 20” crashes, 22” ride

Sound: Bright, yet complex tones

Paiste 22” Signature Series Dry Heavy Ride Cymbal

Paiste 22” Signature Series Dry Heavy Ride Cymbal

The Paiste 22” Signature Series Dry Heavy Ride Cymbal (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the more unique cymbals that Paiste offers. It’s actually a signature cymbal that was designed with the preferences of Danny Carey in mind.

If you don’t know who Danny Carey is, he’s a metal drummer that plays in Tool. He’s one of the best drummers in the world, and he’s known for incorporating all kinds of weird and wacky sounds into his setup.

This ride cymbal is an extension of his preference. Its main quality is that it’s seriously loud, but it’s dry enough to not be overwhelming.

The loud volume makes it a perfectly suitable option for styles like rock and metal. Although, I think metal music is where it fits in the best.

The large bell also has plenty of volume and punch behind it, making this ride great for playing things like blast beats.

The most noticeable aspect of the cymbal is its purple color. There aren’t too many purple cymbals available, so people will immediately notice this when they see it on your set. There are two kinds of drummers, though. Some will love it, while others will prefer more traditional appearances for their cymbals.

Overall, it’s an excellent ride cymbal for heavy players. If you’re a lighter player that prefers dark and washy rides, steer clear of this one.

Cymbal Type: Ride cymbal

Material: Paiste propriety signature bronze alloy

Size: 22”

Sound: Loud and aggressive

Paiste 14” Signature Dark Energy Hi-Hat Cymbals

Paiste 14” Signature Dark Energy Hi-Hat Cymbals

The Paiste 14” Signature Dark Energy Hi-Hat Cymbals are a high-end option to consider if you’re looking for a great set of hats. These are also from Paiste’s Signature line, but they’re a bit more complex than the hats that we looked at in the Signature Series cymbal set.

The fundamental tone of these hi-hats is quite dark and earthy. They have a bit of a low-end growl, causing them to blend quite nicely within a mix.

However, they’re complex enough to get different types of sounds depending on where you strike them. They’re a bit tighter when struck near the center, and then they open up as you move to the edges.

The bottom hi-hat is a bit heavier than the top one, leading to quite a strong sound when you close them with your foot. This caters well to drummers that keep time with their left foot, as the hi-hats will easily be heard when you do that.

Regarding styles of music, I’d say that these work best for jazz, funk, and other softer styles. They’d also work really well for studio recording.

The downside is that they’re seriously expensive for a pair of hi-hats. So, you’ll need to save up quite a bit before getting them. Also, make sure that you love their sound before paying that much!

Material: Paiste propriety signature bronze alloy

Size: 14”

Sound: Dark and washy

Paiste 18” RUDE Wild China

Paiste 18” RUDE Wild China

The Paiste 18” RUDE Wild China (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the loudest and most aggressive cymbal on this entire list. This is the cymbal you want if you play metal and need something massive to hit during breakdowns.

When you strike it, you get a quick and biting sound that shoots through the air and then disappears fairly quickly. The sound is a mixture between trashy and dark, but it’s so aggressive that you also get touches of brightness.

It’s one of those cymbals that some drummers will love, while others absolutely despise its sound. That’s often the case with most china cymbals, though. They’re one of the least used types of cymbals due to them mainly being used by pure metal drummers.

With that said, I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a china. It just does everything that you’d expect a china cymbal to do, and it definitely makes a big statement whenever you hit it.

Paiste’s RUDE cymbals are also a bit more affordable than many of their other high-end lines, so you may not pay as much for this china as many people would think.

Cymbal Type: China cymbal

Material: 2002 B8 bronze

Size: 18”

Sound: Short and very aggressively trashy

Paiste 14” PST X Swiss Flanger Stack Cymbals

Paiste 14” PST X Swiss Flanger Stack Cymbals

The Paiste 14” PST X Swiss Flanger Stack Cymbals (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the popular stack cymbals that you’ll find in Paiste’s product line.

You get two cymbals here that interact with each other like hi-hats, but you can place them on a regular cymbal stand. The amount of washiness you get will depend on how tight you set the wingnut.

The top cymbal is made from CuSn8 bronze, while the bottom is made from MS63 brass. The brass cymbal is a lower-quality one, but these cymbals work brilliantly when placed together.

The top one offers the bright and trashy tones, while the bottom one takes away a lot of the nasty overtones, rounding the sound out.

This is a very affordable stack on offer, but it’s one that many professional drummers love to use. When it comes to white noise and trashy stacks, it’s often better to get something like this compared to high-end options that sound similar.

Just don’t try using these cymbals on their own, as they sound really bad when not placed on top of each other.

Cymbal Type: Stack cymbal

Material: CuSn8 and brass

Size: 14”

Sound: Short and trashy

Paiste 8” Signature Splash Cymbal

Paiste 8” Signature Splash Cymbal

The Paiste 8” Signature Splash Cymbal (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a fantastic little cymbal to help you play accents and jabs within grooves and fills.

The thing that impresses me most about this splash is how much tone it has. Smaller cymbals typically only have one sound, but you can get a from it depending on how hard you hit.

It has similar bright tones to all the other Paiste Signature cymbals, but it tends to blend more within mixes than cut. If you want something to cut, you may want to consider a larger version.

Another great feature of this cymbal is that it works beautifully in a cymbal stack. The tones make a stack sound a bit more musical, which is often what they’re missing when drummers use lower-quality cymbals.

Cymbal Type: Splash cymbal

Material: Paiste propriety signature bronze alloy

Size: 8”

Sound: Bright

What To Look For In Paiste Cymbals

Single Cymbals vs Packs

The Paiste brand has an incredible number of cymbal packs available. Many of them come from the lower-end PST lines, but the high-end Signature, 2002, and Masters packs are what most pro drums gravitate toward.

When looking to buy cymbals, you’ll save a bit of money from getting a pack, as one cymbal in the pack ends up being free when compared to buying all those cymbals separately.

Another benefit of a pack is that you get a cohesive sound from the set, as all the cymbals come from the same line.

However, buying cymbals individually gives you the opportunity to have more of a personal touch with your setup. You can create a cymbal setup that is unique to you by selecting a range of different cymbals from various lines.

Also, you may not need an entire cymbal pack. If you just need a crash cymbal or two, it’s better just to buy those on their own.

Cymbal Material

The material used to make a cymbal is the biggest contributing factor to the sound quality and responsiveness that you get.

The general guideline is that brass cymbals are the cheapest and worst-sounding, and B20 alloy cymbals are the best.

However, that’s not entirely the case when it comes to Paiste. The brand has a strong reputation for using “lower-quality” metals to make professional cymbals.

They’ll use alloys like B8 and B10 to make cymbals that professional drummers love to use, whereas other brands only cater to beginner drummers with those alloys.

Paiste also uses a lot of secret alloys that are made up of various metals. The Paiste propriety signature bronze alloy is a good example of this.

So, you need to look at Paiste cymbals a bit differently when comparing the materials that they’re made from. It’s better to just do listening tests and hear them than to give a judgment on the sound based on the metal used.

Cymbal Type

In the above list, I mentioned a few good cymbal pack options from the brand. I then listed enticing cymbals from each cymbal type.

When looking for a single cymbal, you should know what all the cymbal types are so that you have an exact idea of what you’re looking for.

If you’re an experienced drummer, you can gloss over this section. For all the beginners out there, here’s a quick summary on what all the cymbal types are:

Hi-hats – The thick cymbals that go on hi-hat stands. They always come in pairs with a top and bottom cymbal, and they’re mostly used to play drum beats. They range from 12” to 16”.

Crash cymbal – Thinner cymbals that have explosive sounds. They’re mostly used for crashing sounds to signal new song sections. They range from 16” to 20”.

Ride cymbal – The largest cymbal in a drum kit setup. It’s typically quite thick, and it can be played on the edge, bow, and bell. Rides range from 20” to 24”.

China – The most aggressive sounding cymbal type. It looks like an inverted crash cymbal, and it produces a trashy and explosive sound. Chinas can range anywhere from 10” to 22”.

Stack – This is when two or more cymbals are placed on top of each other. You can use any combination of cymbals, but most cymbal companies also sell pre-made stacks.

Splash – A smaller version of a crash cymbal. A splash has a bright and explosive sound that is higher-pitched than a crash cymbal sound. It also has less resonance. Splash cymbals range from 6” to 12”.

If you decide to get a cymbal pack from Paiste, you’re most likely to get a pair of hi-hats, two crash cymbals, and ride cymbal. Some of them may have an extra crash added to the mix.

Size

Size is something else to consider when purchasing cymbals. The smaller a cymbal is, the less resonance it will have.

You also need to factor in weight. Heavier cymbals sound far more aggressive, while lighter cymbals sound mellower and more musical.

When it comes to Paiste, most drummers associate the brand with heavy and bright cymbals. That’s because the 2002 and Signature lines are the most popular ones. However, the Masters line has plenty of thinner and more dynamic cymbals in it.

You just need to decide what qualities you like in a cymbal, and then pick appropriate sizes for that. It also depends on what style of music you play.

Sounds

Here’s a quick summary of all the cymbal sounds that you may hear:

Bright – Bright cymbals have high-pitched tones that pierce through mixes. This means that they can easily be heard amongst other instruments.

Dark – Dark cymbals have low-pitched tones. They blend within mixes, making them harder to hear clearly, but they add a great sense of depth when played with other instruments.

Warm – Warm cymbals are similar to dark ones, but they often have washy sounds, whereas dark cymbals can sometimes still be a bit aggressive.

Trashy – Trashy cymbals have an element of white noise to them. They have clanging sounds that are harsh. They also have the least amount of resonance, meaning they don’t ring for very long.

Glossy – Glossy cymbals have shimmering tones. They’re similar to bright cymbals, but they have a boosted sense of energy behind them.

You can find all these cymbal qualities from Paiste cymbals, so you need to know exactly which qualities you’re looking for to find the appropriate cymbal options for you.

Price

Finally, you need to consider how much everything costs. Paiste’s high-end cymbals are slightly more expensive than the popular high-end options from other brands. That gives many people the impression that Paiste is a more expensive brand.

However, that’s only true when comparing those particular cymbals. If you look at the brand’s lower-end options, you’ll see plenty of cymbals with incredible value for the money.

If you’re on a budget, you should check out all the PST cymbal lines. Paiste offers a few of them, with the PST 7s being the most popular ones for beginners.

If you’re able to spend a bit more, the Signature, 2002, and Masters lines are the better options. The brand also offers a few mid-tier lines, such as the RUDE and Formula 602s.

Top Paiste Cymbals, Final Thoughts

My favorite thing about Paiste is how they use metal alloys that are typically seen as “lower quality” to make some really high-end products.

It leads to some more affordable cymbals that tend to sound really good. Whatever sound you’re looking for, Paiste will have it in their product range.

They’re also one of the few brands that sell colorful cymbals. They’re a bit of a hit-or-miss, but they’re excellent for drummers that like that sort of thing.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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