Consumer Reviews

The best Paiste cymbals

Whether you’re a studio pro looking for a new sound or a beginner who just bought your first drum set, one of the most important parts of your signature sound comes from your cymbals. Paiste has been creating innovative and affordable cymbals since the early 20th century. For four generations, their cymbals have been favored by professional artists around the world.

With such a wide range of choices available, you might want to start with a cymbal set like the Paiste 106BS18 2002 so you can explore the full range of Paiste cymbal sounds and have everything you need for your drum set in one package. It comes with a ride cymbal, two crash cymbals and a hi-hat and is great for many genres, from rock to metal to country.


What to know before you buy Paiste cymbals

Cymbal sets

Drum cymbal sets are a great choice for beginners or drummers who play a lot and want something simple that they can take on the road. Paiste cymbals usually include two rides and a crash cymbal.


Paiste cymbals range in size from six to 22 inches depending on type. In general, bigger cymbals are louder, but it also depends on their shape and materials.



Paiste cymbals are made out of various types of metal alloy, which is a blend of metals including copper, zinc, nickel, tin and sometimes bronze. Each metal gives the cymbal a different acoustic quality. For example, an alloy of bronze and tin usually sounds bright and is easy to hear above the rest of the drum kit.

Some Paiste cymbals are cast from a mold created out of metal alloy and then pressed and hammered by hand or machine into the desired shape. This manufacturing process creates a cast cymbal. Others are cut from a sheet of metal alloy, which creates a sheet cymbal. In general, sheet cymbals tend to be less expensive to produce and cost less as a result. However, depending on the alloys used, this is not always the case.

Paiste cymbals features 

Parts and shape of a cymbal

The parts of a cymbal influence its shape and sound. The center of the cymbal is called the bell. The surface is the outward flat part of the cymbal, which produces a variety of tones depending on how hard you hit it and which sticks you use. The edge of the cymbal gives you the fullest sound. For example, on a crash cymbal, you generally hit the edge to accentuate the end of a musical phrase. The edge of the cymbal is also the most delicate part, which is why you should store your cymbals upright in a bag when they’re not in use.

The shape of a cymbal is characterized by its taper and its curvature, or bow. The taper is the decreasing thickness from the bell to the edge of the cymbal. The bow is the shape created when the cymbal is hammered and part of the surface curves downward from the bell.

Types of cymbals

The most common types of cymbals are crash cymbals, ride cymbals and hi-hats. Usually, a basic drum kit has one crash cymbal, one or two ride cymbals and a hi-hat.

Specialty cymbals

Other types of cymbals are splash cymbals, which are usually about six to eight inches in diameter, China cymbals, which have holes drilled into them for a very brash, dramatic sound, and cymbal stacks, which are cymbals arranged by size on top of one another. If you have some tools, you can do some of this yourself to experiment with different tones by drilling into cymbals or stacking your own.

Accessories and hardware

Cymbals are generally mounted on tripod-style stands but can also be mounted vertically or overhead on a drum rack. The cymbal is secured to the stand by a wingnut with a felt underneath.

The hi-hat is mounted on a straight stand with a foot pedal, which triggers a clutch that opens and closes the hi-hat.


Paiste cymbal cost 

Paiste cymbals range in cost from about $35 to $1,800, with the higher price range often including a series of cymbals.

Paiste cymbals FAQ

I recorded myself playing drums and the cymbals ring out a lot, drowning out the rest of the drums. What can I do to prevent this?

A. To dampen or reduce ringing on any drum or cymbal, you can use pieces of tape on the drum head or cymbal bell, or you can use a thin piece of gel called a moon gel.

I’m left-handed. Does this make a difference in my drum kit setup?

A. Usually, left-handed drummers set up their kit in the opposite orientation as right-handed drummers, meaning the kick drum goes on the left, the hi-hat goes on the right and the ride cymbal goes on the left. Some left-handed drummers still prefer to play the hi-hat with their left hand, though, in which case they might leave the cymbals in a right-hand configuration. Try a few different setups and see which one feels best.

Which Paiste cymbals should I get?

Best of the best Paiste cymbals

Paiste 106BS18 2002: available at Amazon

Our take: This all-purpose cymbal set is loud and clear for live settings and recording sessions. The 2002 series is modeled on Paiste's classic 1971 rock cymbal series.

What we like: It includes an extra crash cymbal. The 20-inch crash has clear high end without ringing or harshness.


What we dislike: Some drummers might find the price too high. Depending on genre, some drummers might find them too bright.

Best bang for your buck Paiste cymbals

Paiste PST 7 Effects Pack: available at Amazon

Our take: If you're looking for an affordable series of effects cymbals, the PST 7 Paiste cymbals are a solid option.

What we like: The 10-inch splash cymbal is bigger and brighter than most splash cymbals. They're made from the same alloy as the 2002 series at a lower price.

What we dislike: Some drummers find that the tone of this series is not that varied and slightly flat. Some drummers might feel the China cymbal is too loud and harsh.

Honorable mention Paiste cymbals

Paiste Signature Classic Cymbal Pack: available at Amazon


Our take: Paiste's Signature cymbals are available in a variety of sizes and weights and are full and punchy.

What we like: The hi-hats are very loud, making them great for rock. This set comes with a free 16-inch crash cymbal.

What we dislike: The hi-hat sounds slightly one-dimensional and does not have a lot of variety in tone or volume. The crash cymbals are not always loud enough compared to the rest of the cymbal pack.

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Adrian Wengenroth is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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