Theory about Paiste 400s

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
249
Location
Michigan
I have been very outspoken and very promotional in regards to the Paiste 404s. They were outselling the 2002s and so Paiste discontinued them so they could maintain the reputation of the 2002s.

Meanwhile, I have also mentioned that the 400s are a great Ride cymbal for jazz. Please allow me to elaborate.

The 404s and the 400s have quite similar lathing. They are both made with the 2002 bronze alloy, their lathing is very similar, yet the 400s have a sharper thicker/deeper lathing. I compare the two models often. In addition, I just get the feeling that....the 400s seem to "feel" more "brittle" to me. I am not alluding to any cracking issues with them or a more of a tendency for that at all - it is just a "feel" that I get when I play them.

Another difference, which is a major indicator, is the hammering. 404s have alot of finer smaller, more shallow hammering. The 400s have the large deep hammering that surely contributes a great deal to their sound. They are alot more warmer and darker sounding. I believe if Paiste did not hammer them like that, they would sound much prettier and have a wider application.

My theory is that when Paiste went to engineer the 400s, they were very conscious of the results they got with the 404s and felt they had to differentiate the 400s from the 404s and all the other lines as well for that matter. Therefore, that is when they decided to apply that heavy, deep hammering to them. If they would not have applied that, they would have been left with a cymbal to market as a mid-level cymbal but would have been eaten up by the consumers as it would have been a better cymbal than what they were aiming for. They did not want what happened with the 404s to happen again with the 400s - hence the heavier hammering to modify the sound, and indeed perhaps as some experimentation for the effects of such hammering.

That's my take. I have both a 404 22in and a 400 22in. The 404 is prettier and has a wider application, and the 400 is a great sleeper jazz cymbal. If jazzers would get their sticks on them, I believe that many would be pleasantly surprised and they would start to become a very practical addition to their ride cymbal arsenal.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

atomicdave

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
5,809
Reaction score
138
Location
Delphi, Indiana
I think the idea was to make a cymbal for less $ by cutting out labor in making them....and they came out with nice sounding cymbal with less manufacturing process (the amount of metal cost in any cymbal really cant vary too much, ya'd think). I never had any 404's, but the 505's were pretty much 2002's to me, not any diference but the ink.
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
atomicdave said:
I think the idea was to make a cymbal for less $ by cutting out labor in making them....and they came out with nice sounding cymbal with less manufacturing process (the amount of metal cost in any cymbal really cant vary too much, ya'd think). I never had any 404's, but the 505's were pretty much 2002's to me, not any difference but the ink.
We have costed out the materials cost before although I haven't looked up that work. Tin is more expensive than Copper so B20 is more expensive than B15 is more expensive than B8 in terms of raw inputs. But there is more to creating a blank than the raw materials. Once the blank is created the labor costs in hammering and lathing come into it, although in addition you need to consider wastage. Wastage is where the cymbal is rejected further along in the process. According to information from Paiste the Sound Creation Dark Rides had a high rejection rate, and this was part of the higher price as well as why they aren't considering reissuing them at this time. So there is much more going on in terms of production costing than you might think. Then we're on to the question of retail pricing. Total production cost of a cymbal enters into that, but is only one of the factors in setting retail price. There is a complex mix of inputs like not cannibalizing your own brand, and responding to the mix of cymbal lines your competitors have in the marketplace. One of Paiste's points of difference from the other major manufacturers is that Paiste offer relatively high labor cost production methods on B8 cymbals. Or as Terry puts it "Paiste know B8". :happy11: That gives them the possibility of having some B8 lines at a lower price point, but again they need to be concerned about cannibalizing their 2002 sales.

Meanwhile, yes the Sound Creation Dark Ride New Dimensions do have hammering similar to the 400 and the Sound Formula. But the pre New Dimensions Sound Creations have a much more irregular pattern than the New Dimensions. The New Dimensions introduced the Concentric Circle Pattern with large hammer blows. Examples of what I'm talking about when I contrast irregular and concentric circle (albeit showing Avedis cymbals) are found here:

http://black.net.nz/avedis/hammering.html

I have no idea what the hammering shift with the Sound Creations New Dimensions represented in some complex decision matrix involving: minimizing wastage, reducing hammering times (production simplification), experimenting with new sounds, and who knows what else. But the 400s are 1986 on and Sound Creation New Dimensions 1984 on, so the years are right for the experimentation with that new hammering style to move from the Sound Creations to the 400s, and then later (1990) to the Sound Formula line.

I'm reminded of the production simplification which went on with the number of Sound Edge ripples on the 602 hats from the earliest Patent Pending days through to the Blue Labels.
 

Nacci

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
3,413
Location
Roxbury, NH.
Fascinating, me thinks this thread just helped out the very quite "Paiste 404" broom closet at eBay.
 

bluejacketsfan

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
521
Reaction score
44
Location
Pomeroy,Ohio
I think the 400s are on my list of cymbals to check out. There's not much info on the Wiki for them, so it'll be good for that too.
 

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
249
Location
Michigan
BTW - I can report:

One frustration that I have had with my 22in 400 ride is that it has too much roar, drowning out the brighter stick. If it were up to me, it would not be so heavily hammered and a bit more controlled.

So, as I usually naively try to get more brightness out of my cymbals by cleaning them (I like the look of clean cymbals too) - usually to be frustrated that it did not make that much difference (if any perceivable). Well - I just cleaned this 400 and I believe it possibly had never been cleaned before. I did not even clean the bottom - just the top. It did not brighten the color much at all - but gained alot of shine.

The sound - WOW - I was very much impressed with how much it brought out the stick, the nice bright attack of the stick. It is now alot louder (stick) so that the roar does not bury the nice pretty bright stick. Now, mind you, this is a darker BIG sounding cymbal - it is a 22 and it sounds like a big cymbal.

If you own a 400 ride - I strongly recommend you clean & polish the top (I used Paiste cleaner). It will really bring this cymbal to life - bring out the pretties :) - including bring out more stick. Select the stick accordingly, and the 400 Ride (especially the 22) makes a wonderful JAZZ ride, no matter how loud the band gets. For that matter, it may even be a good cymbal to use in a Big Band setting - so long as the top is clean clean clean and you use the right stick (make sure it is solid, as in no cracks, splintering), and best results come from using a nylon tip.

-John
 

Ncl Knight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Messages
147
Reaction score
2
Location
Australia
Slightly off topic, but the 505's are worth checking out too. I have a few of them and they sound really good (much better than there status in the Paiste world would suggest).
 

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
249
Location
Michigan
ncl_knight said:
Slightly off topic, but the 505's are worth checking out too. I have a few of them and they sound really good (much better than there status in the Paiste world would suggest).
I have noticed something notable about the 505s recently. They have a reputation for being the 'poor man's 2002s'.

I honestly don't have enough experience with the 2002 rides, so I can't speak all that much regarding how the 505 rides relate to the 2002s. I can say though that the 505s don't seem all that different from the 404 rides. I think weight makes all the difference regarding the 404 & 505 rides.

As far as the crashes - that is what has prompted me to comment here. I recently acquired a 16in 505 Crash, so I am running my 16 & 18 505 Crashes. It is common knowledge that they are more focused than the 2002s. What is remarkable about them is that they seem considerably darker than the 404s and 2002s - when played quietly or moderately. Then - the harder you hit it, the brighter it gets. The 404s don't seem so dark to me - only much more 'unfocused' with a wide spread. I actually believe in some ways the 404s are more similar to the 2002s than the 505s are.

Meanwhile, bringing this back - compared to the 404s and 505s (and 2002s) the 400s are a totally different monster altogether.
 

MarcCrossland

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
260
Reaction score
10
Location
Simi Valley, CA
the 404 medium crash, 20" is a great cymbal. They are a lot lighter than 2002's, and more mellow. great crash/ride. hard to find tough!
 

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
249
Location
Michigan
I finally got a video shot. The first cymbal (far right) is a 22in 400 Ride.

Here it is:

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Drumstickdude

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
149
Location
United kingdom
I must say I've only had experience with the 20" 404 ride I recently got, it is a very nice ride ( sound) but in these damn loud rock bands! the only problem is it's just to quiet no volume.
 

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
249
Location
Michigan
Drumstickdude said:
I must say I've only had experience with the 20" 404 ride I recently got, it is a very nice ride ( sound) but in these damn loud rock bands! the only problem is it's just to quiet no volume.
I would agree - and you will get the same kind of thing going on with the 400 ride as well. These 400s/404s are best suited for jazz or any genre that will not pit you up against screaming guitars. For those, I would go with something more like the 505 or 2002. I also recall that the 802 is quite a loud and cutting ride.

The compensation you get with the 404 is that you can also crash it......you can use it as a crash in your rock gig and a ride in your jazz gig.
 

Drumstickdude

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
149
Location
United kingdom
Believe it or not the other drummer who comes to the community big band rehearsal said he couldn't hear it in that either, I could give it another shot in that band I suppose maybe clean it up as well see if it helps but doubtful.
 

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
2,455
Location
Queens NY
Old thread warning! :mellow:

Are these old 400 series Paiste's all made in West Germany? That's what I seem to be noticing, but I have no experience with them. Are the W German Paiste's any good?
 

flatwins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
211
Reaction score
299
Location
Tulsa, OK USA
Slightly off topic, but the 505's are worth checking out too. I have a few of them and they sound really good (much better than there status in the Paiste world would suggest).
I LOVED the 505 line! I had some awesome ones but foolishly sold them off several years back.
 

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
2,455
Location
Queens NY
Well, I just found and ordered a 22" Paiste 400.

They seem to really sound pretty jazzy, so I'm taking a shot. It'll be my first 22". These older Paiste's might really be sleepers, I hope. I'll do a quicky review when I get it if anyone cares.
 


Top