The 404 production info goesI note that it has no serial number - is that because it was a budget model? It just has Paiste 404 engraved below the bell.
1974-1979 Black ink
1980-1985 Brown ink
according to: http://www.nf-drums.com/paiste_fanpage_paiste_timeline.htm
although be warned the info on that site is not entirely consistent with other info I've got for the years for other lines. It all needs independent verification, but it is an ok first approximation until we get better info.
I don't know about the 404 series not having serial numbers. I'd be interested to see a close up of any ink, and the Paiste 404. I presume that the Paiste 404 is the usual die stamped form (not what I call engraved, although there seems to be very different usage by Paiste centric drummers including "embossed" for what I would call die stamped). Also the case of the Paiste matters. Paiste used
no PAISTE (1972-1982)
PAISTE series name (1981-1985)
PAISTE no series name (1985-1991)
pAisTe no series name (1991-1997)
pAisTe 8 digit serials (1998-not sure when the laser serials started)
and the case is significant. So I expect yours is PAISTE 404 and that fits with Brown Ink. I'd be interested in hearing from other 404 owners about the serial numbers (or lack thereof) on their cymbals. Maybe they didn't have serial numbers, and maybe yours is a mistake. The factory isn't 100% accurate in everything they do, and it is possible that the serial number was either left off or struck so lightly it isn't visible. But we would know a bit more if we have the context of knowing what other 404s out there have in terms of serial numbers. A quick look and I've found an example of a 1985 404 Brown Label, and also seen a 1984 and a 1983. Die stamped example of serial number with series name
versus engraved date M-YY (done at the factory with an engraving pen)
The advantage of keeping the terms for these methods separate is why I eschew "engraved" for things which are die stamped. The Pasite centric term "embossed" is used in place of "engraved" or "carved" which I maintain isn't the very best way to describe the process of pressing a pattern in with a die stamp. Maybe it's a Swiss thing.
Steve the Cymbal Student
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