Guide to Paiste Cymbals

Paiste have been making cymbals for a seriously long time. The result: Lots and Lots of great ranges! Due to the brands extensive product offering, we've put together an in-depth guide to help define the key benefits of each. There's a series here for just about every drummer out there!


Paiste are one of the most well-regarded cymbal producers on the planet and its really not hard to see why. Since their inception, they have constantly designed, crafted and released a product range that contains innovative sounds, shapes, construction techniques and materials.

They continually strive to create cymbals and gongs that meet the needs of the most discerning modern drummer. This philosophy and dedication to delivering the highest quality gear has secured their place in many percussionist’s hearts around the world. No matter the drumming style or genre of music, you’re sure to find a product by Paiste!

The History of Paiste

Michail Toomas Paiste – an Estonian musician and composer living in Russia – decided to found a music store and publishing business in St. Petersburg during the early 1900s. Business was good, but the onset and subsequent events of the Russian revolution forced him to return to his native Estonia in 1917, where he opted to restart his business. It is here where the Paiste brand was really born. Initially, cymbals were designed and produced to meet the needs of traditional marching and concert bands - however, with the emergence of the drum set as we know it today, Turkish style cymbals were needed to keep up with an ever-increasing demand. These early instruments received international recognition, awards and acclaim, and were soon being shipped overseas to the USA and the rest of Europe.


The outbreak of WW2 then caused the company even more upheaval. They were forced to relocate to Poland, where once again the company was rebuilt. A wartime shortage of raw materials nearly forced them to cease operating entirely, but they managed to survive. During 1945 the family was then forced to flee again, this time heading to Germany as refugees. Despite these constant roadblocks, Paiste continued to manufacture and export cymbals thanks to their great reputation and work ethic. Fast forward to 1957 and the company decided to uproot operations to Switzerland; the main headquarters of the brand has been based here ever since.

A selection of drummers endorsed by Paiste includes Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Pat Carney (The Black Keys), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine) and Joey Jordison (ex-Slipknot). This range of contrasting genres and styles is a true testament to the versatility, performance and sound of Paiste cymbals!

About the 2002 Series Cymbals

Style: Powerful & Warm with Great Projection.

The Paiste 2002 range has developed a somewhat legendary reputation within the drumming community. Since 1971, the series has been a drumming mainstay, especially within rock music. Its helped to define the sound of a generation of iconic drummers. Its warm, powerful sound with extremely impressive projection results in a set of cymbals with amazing clarity and wonderful tone. They are an excellent choice for both the studio and onstage – working well across rock, metal, punk, blues and even soul, funk and gospel. This extreme versatility has made them the number one choice for many different types of players.

Paiste 2002 Series

Each cymbal is made using a unique CuSn8 bronze alloy. This was developed by Paiste during the ‘60s when the company realised that the new electronically amplified music of the era needed a cymbal alloy that could sonically compete with increasing volume levels and new frequencies. This metal (known as ‘2002 Bronze’) is now used across the series and other Paiste ranges due to its impressive properties. It is known for its precise, bright sound that can effortlessly cut through in just about any kind of mix.

Used By?

  • Frank Beard (ZZ Top)
  • Charlie Benante (Anthrax)
  • Pat Carney (The Black Keys)
  • Stewart Copeland (The Police)
  • Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
  • Ian Paice (Deep Purple)

About the Masters Series Cymbals

Style: Rich & Thick.

The Masters series consists of meticulously handcrafted cymbals that are moulded from a CuSn20 bronze. This bronze alloy has been around since the Bronze age and is the most commonly used material within cymbal production. It provides you with the widest frequency range possible, which ultimately enhances the cymbals versatility and makes it great for use across many contrasting genres.

New Paiste Masters 2018 Cymbals - Andertons Music Co.

The result of this construction (when it comes to sound) is a set which is characterised by a rich, thick, warm tone that is all encompassing throughout the series. However, across the range you’ll also find certain opposing sonics too; dark to bright; sustaining to dry; rough to smooth; washy to defined. There’s something here for players of pop, country, funk, R&B, blues and even jazz music!

Used By?

  • Leon Cave (Status Quo)
  • Steve Jordan (Eric Clapton, John Mayer)
  • JD Blair (Shania Twain)
  • Maineo (Alicia Keys)

About the Signature Series Cymbals

Style: Well Balanced, Articulate & Clear.

The Signature family are handmade by some of the best Swiss craftsman currently working in cymbal manufacturing. Built using a special proprietary bronze that has been created from the ground up just for making cymbals, these are instruments of astounding quality. They are very well balanced – making them ideal for most volume settings and musical scenarios. Even if you’re playing with a more stripped back band setup, you won’t overpower your bandmates.


These cymbals sound great when applied to a really wide range of genres too. No matter if you are playing R&B, funk, metal, rock, pop, big-band, blues or country, they will perform excellently. This is down to their expressive, articulate tones and rich, clear sound. Enhanced sensitivity also allows you to perform and practice with improved accuracy, making each strike carefully considered. It would be more than fair to say that this is a real cymbal all-rounder.

Used By?

  • Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake)
  • Tico Torres (Bon Jovi)
  • Chuck Burgi (Billy Joel)
  • Danny Carey (Tool)
  • Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
  • Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
  • Meg White (The White Stripes)

About the 602 Series Cymbals

Style: Two Differing Variants.

The 602 range is split between the Formula 602 ‘Modern’ and ‘Classic’ style cymbals. Both are formed using the popular CuSn20 alloy, however they differ in other areas:


A truly legendary cymbal, this variant is known for a soft, delicate musical sound. It needs accurate playing to get the best out of it. However, when used well, you’ll get one of the most clear and consistent sounds around. The silvery, understated tones respond well across a number of styles, but is especially good when applied to Rock, Jazz, Blues and Pop.



Developed in conjunction with drumming legend Vinnie Colaiuta, the Modern variation offers brilliant dynamics, with a really layered tone. Making use of Vinnies experience, this collaboration has produced a series that not only meets his specific needs, but also those of drummers everywhere. They’re incredibly versatile, with a warm, deep and rich sound which lends itself well to live and studio playing – no matter the genre!

Used By?

  • Matt Flynn (Maroon 5)
  • Jeff Lardner (Van Morrison)
  • Will Bowerman (Dua Lipa)

About the Traditional Series Cymbals

Style: Dark, Layered & Smoky.

The signature Traditional range has been produced from a cymbal specific, proprietary bronze. They are high-quality, intended for drummers who are serious about improving their drum setups with some premium grade products. They can be applied to both live and studio recording situations, working particular well in soft to medium volume settings (across pretty much every genre). A dark, layered and smoky sound - with great control over volume and dynamics - ensures an excellent playing and auditory experience with every single strike.

Xavi Reija plays Paiste Signature Traditionals Cymbals!

Used By?

  • Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting)
  • Steve Goold (Owl City)
  • George Receli (Bob Dylan)
  • Bill Rieflin (R.E.M.)

About the 900 Series Cymbals

Style: Strength & Warmth.

The 900 Series cymbals is crafted from the same CuSn8 bronze alloy as the 2002 series – bringing similar legendary characteristics to the table as its iconic counterpart. This gives it a comparable strength and warmth. Each model is subjected to an intense lathing and hand hammering process and includes a unique, slightly darker visual finish. This highlights the hammer marks and lathing grooves, in turn delivering a striking look.

Paiste 900 Series & Chris Allan

About the 101 Series Cymbals

Style: Bright & Cutting.

The 101 series sits at the budget/entry-level end of the spectrum within the Paiste cymbal product range. They are made from an MS63 brass, which is used in manufacturing due to its low cost. This material is consequently found in budget and entry-level cymbal offerings across the industry, which makes them an incredibly affordable choice if you’re just starting out on your drumming journey. This construction decision also adds to their higher levels of durability – increasing the amount of punishment that they can take before you’ll need to upgrade.

Just because they are cheap to produce doesn’t mean that they lack punch though. They sound bright and cutting, with an overall tone that makes them suitable for most musical styles. They’re also arguably more suited to live playing than studio use due to their fairly powerful style.

About the PST X Series Cymbals

Style: Filthy & Gritty Effects.

The PST X consists of a number of budget friendly effect cymbals. Each adds a new, individual tone to your kit. With a largely dirty, gritty sound quality (courtesy of the varying sized holes across their surfaces), this range adds explosive sonic capabilities to your drumming arsenal. They are particularly good during a live setting, and are sure to catch an audience’s attention with their distinct silky look and trashy voicing.

Paiste's PSTX Demo by Jordi Geuens

About the PST 3 Series Cymbals

Style: Affordable, Beginner Cymbals.

The PST 3 (or Paiste Sound Technology) sees a union between the expertise of German hi-tech ingenuity and Swiss cymbal craftsmanship. They boast a seriously bright, powerful sound, with a cutting clarity that will pierce just about any mix. These surprisingly nice tones at such an affordable price tag make them an ideal starting point for beginner drummers, or those working with a budget.

Paiste PST 3 Universal Cymbal Set

About the PST 5 Series Cymbals

Style: Accessible Best Seller.

The PST 5 is the best entry point if you’re looking to buy your first set of bronze Paiste cymbals. It’s this accessibility that has propelled the range to become one of the company’s best sellers. This popularity is largely down to how they deliver a clean, cutting sound (that’s suitable for all genres) which is simultaneously well priced. Designed by the Swiss Sound Development Team, they are very lightweight – making them super easy to take with you for those first live shows!


About the PST 7 Series Cymbals

Style: Traditional Look & Sound.

The PST 7 combines affordability with a very traditional looking and sounding set of cymbals. This style is reinforced through a special hands-on lathing process employed by the in-house Swiss craftsmen over at Paiste. A technique like this has resulted in a clear, warm sound with airy undertones that makes them suitable for all musical styles.


About the PST 8 Series Cymbals

Style: Focused & Full.

Even though they’re crafted from the brands iconic 2002 bronze, the PS8 still retains a seriously attractive price. Featuring a shiny, Reflector finish and traditional hand hammering, these cymbals sound focused and full, with a clarity and definition that usually isn’t found at this price point. They can be used for live playing, however, they’re arguably a more casual choice if you’re considering using them for recording.

Paiste PST 8

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