Theory about Paiste 400s

JimmySticks

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@drummerjohn333, glad to see your still here and paying attention to your thread after 5 years!:)

I'm glad I stumbled onto your old thread, you might have helped me find my dream ride, we'll see, thank you!
 

drummerjohn333

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@drummerjohn333, glad to see your still here and paying attention to your thread after 5 years!:)

I'm glad I stumbled onto your old thread, you might have helped me find my dream ride, we'll see, thank you!
Love it!

I will never sell mine. I think I might like my 22in 404 ride a hair better.....except for the bell. The bell on the 400 is awesome. Not sure if I will ever get into the 2002s as their bells leave alot to be desired. And yes, as you can guess, I love my 505s. Call me crazy though, I have owned the 22in 505 ride three times.....and have sold them all.....in favor of my 4XXs.
 

JimmySticks

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Love it!

I will never sell mine. I think I might like my 22in 404 ride a hair better.....except for the bell. The bell on the 400 is awesome. Not sure if I will ever get into the 2002s as their bells leave alot to be desired. And yes, as you can guess, I love my 505s. Call me crazy though, I have owned the 22in 505 ride three times.....and have sold them all.....in favor of my 4XXs.
Not selling them is always good to hear, that means they have that special sound.

I Googled these cymbals, and few hits came up with threads from another drum forum, and they slagged these cymbals there. But honestly, nobody on that forum sounded very intelligent or knowledgeable on them, kind of just making stuff up. No matter, I'm excited and can't wait to get this one. Will it be "the" ride cymbal for me? Can't wait to find out!
 

Seb77

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I will always have a soft spot for 505 cymbals, as they were on the kit I learned to play on, at school. These cymbals could do anything, from rock (moderate volume) to old-time jazz/swing. I played some really old Glenn Miller arrangements, on a pair of 505 medium hats, and it "sounded like the original" as an experienced player complimented me.
 

JimmySticks

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Ok, just played my "new" 22" Paiste 400 Series ride cymbal for a bit.

Looks - she is certainly not the prettiest Paiste out there. Looks machine hammered in pretty even rows with big round marks. The lathing isn't to deep. The color is lighter than my other Paiste's, which I'm guessing comes from the 2002 B8 alloy they use. The purple lettering is a turn-off and in general, it looks like a pretty cheap cymbal overall. Made in W. Germany, so it must be from the 80's is my guess.

Sound - nice! She weighs in at 2350, give or take a couple of grams, so I'm thinking Medium/Light range. This is my first 22" ride and she plays big. Nice wash, but not overwhelming, with a pretty lush sound and the shimmer we expect out of Paiste. It does have a slightly dark sound to it, a bit dry, but not very trashy. Stick definition is good and audible. I'd say she's pretty jazzy. I used both wood and nylon tips, and the wood makes it a tad darker than nylon and sounds a little better to my ear. Big sounding crash and a fantastic bell sound.

Conclusion - I bought this ride for jazz and to compliment my 20" Paiste Prototype ride and right now, I think it will do that very well. I love the bigger sound of the 22" and it has a very pleasing tone, especially when played gently. She's not a 602 or Masters by any means, but neither is her price tag. This could be a good answer for drummers on a budget. Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase.

Thanks @drummerjohn333 for this thread on the lesser known and maybe under appreciated Paiste's! :thumbright:
IMG_20210603_160846.jpg
 
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Gcort49

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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 20in 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.
The 505 and 400's are sleeper jazz cymbals. Totally agree.
I once had 505 hats....sweet, and used for jazz more than my Bos Master hats
 

toddlittle827

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Just addressing some production stuff touched on prior in the thread:

The Paiste 400 series was produced from 1986 to 1991 when the 400/1000 lines were deleted and replaced by Paiste Alpha

The 400 series was not a direct replacement of the 404. They replaced the 404 at that particular price rung (and were actually slightly cheaper) but were not of the same quality. I know it all depends on one's ears, but from a strictly manufacturing standpoint the 404 is a superior cymbal just as the 505 is a superior cymbal to it's price point replacement, the green label Paiste 1000. The quality of a 505 is actually much more on par with the 2000 line. Personally, I think the 404s are also better cymbals than 1000s.

According to an interview I have with Toomas Paiste, there were 2 reasons Paiste changed up the B8 lines in 1986. One, was to introduce the innovations in the 3000 line. Two (and more importantly according to TP) was to get the quality of the budget series in line with prices. The 404s and 505s were too good for what Paiste was selling them for.


The 400s were only made in the German factory. They did not make them in Nottwil.

KIM the German factory serial numbers do not work the way the Swiss serials do. The first digit does NOT equal the year of production on vintage German Paistes. Serials on the 400 cymbals range from 3xxxxx to 6xxxxx (maybe even some 7xxxxx cymbals) The lower the serial the closer to 1986, the higher the serial the closer to 1990.

German Paistes are no better or worse than their Swiss cousins. The quality of the cymbal depends solely on the particular series (and with the really vintage lines what alloy was being used at the time), not on the factory that produced it. I don't know who started this whole thing about German Paistes being inferior - they are not and back in the 70s and 80s the German factory made all of the professional B8 Paistes including 2002s, Rudes, 2000 and 3000. People just aren't as familiar with them as they were only produced for the GDM and aren't often found outside of central europe. The quality is the same, however, the German examples do tend to be a little heavier and a little darker sounding apples to apples.
 
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JimmySticks

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Just addressing some production stuff touched on prior in the thread:

The Paiste 400 series was produced from 1986 to 1991 when the 400/1000 lines were deleted and replaced by Paiste Alpha

The 400 series was not a direct replacement of the 404. They replaced the 404 at that particular price rung (and were actually slightly cheaper) but were not of the same quality. I know it all depends on one's ears, but from a strictly manufacturing standpoint the 404 is a superior cymbal just as the 505 is a superior cymbal to it's price point replacement, the green label Paiste 1000. The quality of a 505 is actually much more on par with the 2000 line. Personally, I think the 404s are also better cymbals than 1000s.

According to an interview I have with Toomas Paiste, there were 2 reasons Paiste changed up the B8 lines in 1986. One, was to introduce the innovations in the 3000 line. Two (and more importantly according to TP) was to get the quality of the budget series in line with prices. The 404s and 505s were too good for what Paiste was selling them for.


The 400s were only made in the German factory. They did not make them in Nottwil.

KIM the German factory serial numbers do not work the way the Swiss serial do. The first digit does NOT equal the year of a production. Serials on the 400 cymbals range from 3xxxxx to 6xxxxx (maybe even some 7xxxxx cymbals) The lower the serial the closer to 1986, the higher the serial the closer to 1990.

German Paistes are no better or worse than their Swiss cousins. The quality of the cymbal depends solely on the particular series (and with the really vintage lines what alloy was being used at the time), not on the factory that produced it. I don't know who started this whole thing about German Paistes being inferior - they are not and back in the 70s and 80s the German factory made all of the professional B8 Paistes including 2002s, Rudes, 2000 and 3000. People just aren't as familiar with them as they were only produced for the GDM and aren't often found outside of central europe. The quality is the same, however, the German examples do tend to be a little heavier and a little dark sounding apples to apples.
Wow, a lot of good information in that post, thank you.

I knew very little about these numbered B8 series cymbals, but it seems that's because they didn't penetrate the American market very much, so I guess that's why they are sort of unknown here. As for the W German made cymbals being as good as the Swiss, I didn't say they weren't. I was just asking because I didn't know. Heck, I didn't even know Paiste produced cymbals there. It seems weird to see West Germany on any product these days.

And your point of this being a cheaply made cymbal is well taken. As I said in my review I thought it looked cheaply made, but then it's all about the sound in the end and this seems to fit the bill.
 

Gcort49

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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.
Right On!
At the time, 505's were considered, 'the poor mans 2002'. Paiste did away with them, for fear of a lower cost B8, which sounded too much like the 2002 and even more popular, would take away from 2002 sales.
 

Seb77

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Too bad! Why didn't they just raise the prices of the 505s? Add a 303 below or something?

We had a set of these at school, I played my first band rehearsal ever on 505 cymbals. Wonder if they still exist.
 

toddlittle827

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Basically in a sense they did while changing the name. The first Paiste 2000s are essentially 505s (when accounting for the weight difference / a 505 Crash = a 2000 Thin Crash from 1986) and were priced higher and now marketed as a professional caliber cymbal (which the 505 never was marketed as) As the 2000 production went on the they became their own distinct, different animal than a heavier 505.

I have some other random Paistes but I mostly play Green Label 505s (have a bunch of them) and I enjoy them every bit as much as I did the 2002 set up I played in my first stint of drumming during the 80s and early 90s. great cymbals!
 
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toddlittle827

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Wow, a lot of good information in that post, thank you.

I knew very little about these numbered B8 series cymbals, but it seems that's because they didn't penetrate the American market very much, so I guess that's why they are sort of unknown here. As for the W German made cymbals being as good as the Swiss, I didn't say they weren't. I was just asking because I didn't know. Heck, I didn't even know Paiste produced cymbals there. It seems weird to see West Germany on any product these days.

And your point of this being a cheaply made cymbal is well taken. As I said in my review I thought it looked cheaply made, but then it's all about the sound in the end and this seems to fit the bill.
I realize you didn't say that, I just put that comment in my post about the German - Swiss quality thing because that is something I come across every once in awhile in forums and cymbal groups. I guess it stems from people thinking the German factory always made the budget lines and the Swiss factory only made the pro cymbals back in the old days, That was never the case. Both factories made both levels of product (except the German factory didn't make the B20 cymbals - although there are a small number of 602 out there that are stamped Made In Germany and I have yet to see a German-made original Giant Beat). The German cymbals were basically just made for the German market, while the Swiss factory did most of the exporting, so most Americans have never owned a vintage German-made 2002 or 505 or 404 etc and are unfamiliar with them. Quite a few drummers who have played both prefer the darker German versions.

Another thing I see out there on the web with the really old Paiste lines is that the Swiss factory made the better B8 versions of the Dixie and Stambul while the German factory made the lower quality NS12 versions, or that the Swiss factory made the bigger cymbals in these lines (22" and larger) while the German factory made the smaller sizes.

This is also utter nonsense (again, who came up with this stuff???). The alloy that was used on these lines has everything to do with time of production, not what factory the cymbal was made in. All Dixies, Stambul, Supers, Ludwig Standards etc. were made of NS12 until sometime right around 1971 and then all were switched to B8 after that. And the German factory was making 24" and 26" Stambuls before the Swiss factory even opened.
 
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JimmySticks

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I realize you didn't say that, I just put that comment in my post about the German - Swiss quality thing because that is something I come across every once in awhile in forums and cymbal groups. I guess it stems from people thinking the German factory always made the budget lines and the Swiss factory only made the pro cymbals back in the old days, That was never the case. Both factories made both levels of product (except the German factory didn't make the B20 cymbals - although there are a small number of 602 out there that are stamped Made In Germany and I have yet to see a German-made original Giant Beat). The German cymbals were basically just made for the German market, while the Swiss factory did most of the exporting, so most Americans have never owned a vintage German-made 2002 or 505 or 404 etc and are unfamiliar with them. Quite a few drummers who have played both prefer the darker German versions.

Another thing I see out there on the web with the really old Paiste lines is that the Swiss factory made the better B8 versions of the Dixie and Stambul while the German factory made the lower quality NS12 versions, or that the Swiss factory made the bigger cymbals in these lines (22" and larger) while the German factory made the smaller sizes.

This is also utter nonsense (again, who came up with this stuff???). The alloy that was used on these lines has everything to do with time of production, not what factory the cymbal was made in. All Dixies, Stambul, Supers, Ludwig Standards etc. were made of NS12 until sometime right around 1971 and then all were switched to B8 after that. And the German factory was making 24" and 26" Stambuls before the Swiss factory even opened.
So are these numbered series hand hammered or machine hammered?

I ask, because it seems that Paiste get their trademark superior sound out of their B8 cymbals because they hand hammer and go through a more thorough manufacturing process than say Zildjian would do with their B8 cymbals. That also leads to Paiste having the highest price B8s out there.

I'm pretty sure 2002s are hand worked, just not sure about these older W German models. Thanks!
 

toddlittle827

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The numbered series were all essentially made like the 2002s - a combination of hammering with a foot-controlled pneumatic hammer and actual hand hammering. The level of work put into them makes them different.

If you compare a 400 (1986 to 1991) to a 404 (1978-1986) (both lower priced cymbals) you can see the 404 got a different, more involved hammering pattern while the 400 (and also the midline 1000 series) have larger (and less) hammer marks meaning they were probably quicker to hammer and finish off.

I have read that the "recipe" of B8 differs slightly depending on the line as well. This is probably part of the reason why the coloring on them is slightly different i.e. a 404 is not exactly the same color as 505. A 505 is not exactly the same color as its direct predecessor a B8 Stambul.

Also what helps make a particular series "cheaper" in price is the amount of cymbals in the line. That's something I learned to take into account from a long time higher-up Paiste employee I am friends with.

I don't hear much difference in the sound quality of a 505 to a 2002. A little bit, but not much... a 505 gets you a lot of the way there. But one of the reasons the 505s were so much cheaper than the 2002s at the time was that the selections in 505 were much, much less. In the late 1970s on into the 80s, you could get a 2002 Crash. Medium or Ride in every size from 13" to 24" 9except 23"). That's a lot of different cymbals. The 505 line up was more basic and limited. That helps keep the price down.
 
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