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Paiste Cymbals Comparison: The DCP’s Guide For 2021

Paiste cymbals are some of the most popular in the world and are used by millions of drummers. Popular models include the Big Beat, 2002, and the Giant Beat. Which legendary model is best for you?   We’ve put together a Paiste cymbal series comparison guide to help narrow down your shopping decision. Keep reading to learn how these popular models compare. After all, making an informed buying decision will ensure crashing success!  

Big Beat vs 2002 

As the name suggests, the 2002 series is a modern version of the classic 2002. It offers a warm tone with depth without losing the sparkling clarity many drummers associate with the original 2002 series. This means the multifunction cymbals don’t become muddy when played as a ride.   The 2002 Series offer very precise and clear sounds with a reliable projection. It’s suitable for medium-soft to very loud settings and offers a huge selection of crashes and rides.  The Big Beat has different hammering and is slightly darker in appearance (though it’s made from the same bronze alloy as the 2002). Its finish is semi-matte, and it features a black logo instead of red. This gives it a distinctive look that still bears a family resemblance to the 2002 we know and love.  The Big Beat Series offers a warmer and broader tone without aggression. It’s suitable for Rock, Gospel, Country, R&B, among other genres. This is a popular pick for both live performances as well as recordings.   While the 2002 has been defining the world of rock since 1971, the Big Beat has only been on stage since 2016.  

2002 vs Giant Beat 

The 2002 and Giant Beat series are two of the most iconic Paiste cymbals series in the history of rock. Both were used by John Bonham, famous for his fast ride-playing and intricate triplets.   The Giant Beat was launched in 1967, but as drummers started to play harder, they found their cymbals sometimes broke on stage. The 2002 series is made from the same alloy (CuSn8 bronze) but can take more of a beating.   Giant Beat discontinued the series in 1971, but after some adjustments, it relaunched in 2005. Today, it’s favored among players who want a multi-layered sound for both crashes and rides.   There is a limited number of models in this series, all which can be used as a crash and ride. This series offers a retro appearance, is a great choice for live music and recordings, and offers multi-purpose cymbals that can be used as both a crash and ride.  If you compare the 2002 series, you’ll notice that crashes aren’t as aggressive when played loudly, and the precise sounds produced means the rides don’t lose clarity.  

Big Beat vs Giant Beat  

From the names alone, you’d probably assume the Giant Beat series provides the superior sound. But the Big Beat series is the latest from Paiste, benefiting from more than 50 years of musical innovation.   In terms of appearance, the Big Beat series has a much sleeker look and boasts an attractive dark bronze finish. Although both have a hammered finish and feature black logos, the similarities really end there.   Big Beats are distinctively semi-matte and dark bronze in color. They offer a voluminous sound that won’t muddy your rides and is suitable for modern musical styles. Giant Beats are paler, with a flat profile and tight lathing. This shape means all the cymbals can be used as a crash and ride.   So, what about the sound? Paiste lovingly recreated the Giant Beat series to provide the vintage sound that characterized early rock. It has a distinctive glass-like sound and can be used as both a crash and ride. When played forcefully, it seems more aggressive than the Big Beat series.   


Whatever your playing style, there are Paiste cymbals for you. The perfect series for you will depend on the following factors:
  • Your genre of music
  • The settings where you’re likely to play
  • Your personal taste  
  For more information, feel free to get in touch with us at Drum Center Portsmouth!
10 months ago