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Best Paiste cymbals

Which Paiste cymbal is best?

Paiste is one of the most prominent brand names in percussion, and there’s a reason why. The company’s cymbals are graced with industry-leading sound and usually, long-term durability, making them the perfect companions for any drummer.

If you’re looking for a single cymbal and aren’t sure which to choose, the Paiste 2002 20-inch Ride Cymbal is a classic, offering a versatile take on a ride that can be used for a variety of different cymbal sounds – without making the buyer need to purchase an entire line of cymbals at once.

What to know before you buy Paiste cymbals

Musical style

A determining factor for deciding which is the best cymbal set is the musical style or styles for which you plan to use them. While louder, longer-sustaining cymbals such as a bright crash work best for heavier and louder styles of music like punk, metal, rock and others, you can find a number of cymbals with softer sounds and longer-sustaining resonance for softer genres.

Hammering and lathing

Hammering and lathing are processes done in cymbal manufacturing that help add or remove color to or from the cymbal’s tone. Hammering generally adds depth to a cymbal’s sound by creating a more dynamic sound developed by a less-perfect cymbal shape. Lathing happens after the cymbal is hammered, and the process adds several tonal grooves – either close together for a more focused resonance or farther apart for a wider, darker sound.

What to look for in a quality Paiste cymbal


One factor that determines a cymbal’s sound is the material from which it’s made. In general, standard cymbals tend to be made from some kind of copper alloy, with the cheapest cymbals being made of brass. Others are made of bronze, with higher or lower levels of copper in the metal makeup, relating to the cymbal’s overall quality. Cymbals with more copper, called B8 (92% copper and 8% tin), tend to be cheaper and lower quality, while those with higher levels of tin, called B20 (80% copper, 20% tin) are considered the industry standard for recording and live performance.

Size and thickness

Size and thickness are major parts of a cymbal’s sound, with cymbals ranging in diameter from 8 to about 24 inches in most cases. A cymbal’s thickness also is called its “weight” by manufacturers and it determines the overall pitch. While thinner cymbals tend to produce a lower sound, those with thicker weights tend to produce a higher-pitched, more resonant sound.


The overall tone of a given cymbal is the most significant selling point, largely made up by the factors listed above. The bell, bow and edge make up a cymbal’s tone when hit at various points on the cymbal’s surface, with the bell being the center raised part of a cymbal, the bow being the overall curve of the cymbal, and the edge being the very outer rim of the cymbal’s surface.

How much you can expect to spend on a Paiste cymbal

Cymbals vary significantly in price. While Paiste cymbals tend to cost a little more than many low-end cymbal brands, you can find them ranging from $40-$600 for a single cymbal or hi-hat, or $1,000-$2,000 for an entire set.

Paiste cymbals FAQ

Where are Paiste cymbals made?

A. Paiste cymbals are manufactured in Nottwil, Switzerland, although the company originally was established in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1906.

What artists use Paiste cymbals?

A. Many prominent artists and drummers use and have used Paiste cymbals, including multiple drummers from Miles Davis’ bands, ZZ Top’s drummer and legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

What’s the best Paiste cymbal to buy?

Top Paiste cymbal

Paiste 2002 Classic 20-Inch Ride Cymbal Made With 2002-Style Bronze

What you need to know: Those looking to start with a ride cymbal or pick up a ride cymbal will find both the 20- and 22-inch bronze cymbals from Paiste to be one of the company’s most iconic cymbals, with a versatile ride sound and an overall warm tone.

What you’ll love: Paiste’s 2002 ride cymbals remain a modern standard in both recordings and live music. You can use the 20-inch variant for crash sounds as well as ride sounds, for those who don’t want to purchase multiple cymbals at once or are picking up their first cymbal.

What you should consider: Some users said this cymbal was more expensive than other brand-name cymbals of this size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Paiste cymbal for the money

Paiste PST8 Reflector 16-Inch Rock Crash Cymbal Made With B8 Bronze

What you need to know: For those playing in louder music genres, this PST8 Reflector 16-inch crash is a great, bright-sounding cymbal with powerful and short crash sustain as well as B8 bronze.

What you’ll love: Beyond being one of Paiste’s most affordable cymbals, the PST8 Reflector also makes for a great crash cymbal for louder musical projects and those preferring a crash to other cymbals.

What you should consider: A few buyers complained this cymbal broke or showed more signs of wear and tear than other cymbals after just a few years of use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Paiste 106BS18 2002 Cymbal Pack With 2002-Style Bronze and Free 18-Inch Crash

What you need to know: If you can afford the extra money, buying this pack of Paiste 2002 cymbals will save you money in the long run, since Paiste throws in an extra 18-inch crash for free.

What you’ll love: Featuring each flagship cymbal of Paiste’s 2002 cymbal line, this Paiste cymbal bundle offers Paiste’s iconic 2002 bronze sound at an affordable price for a set.

What you should consider: Despite offering a free extra crash cymbal, this Paiste cymbal pack is more expensive than buying a single or a few cymbals.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Zachary Visconti writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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