Paiste Stambul

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Stambul NS12

Stambul logo 2.jpg


No location name: earlier model (pre-1957) or late model toward end of the production run (1970-1975)
Swiss Made: first ones out of the new factory (1957 to 1958)
Made in Germany
Made in Suisse: (1957 to 1958)
Switzerland: (1959 to early 1970's)

Introduction: 1932
Discontinued: 1970? (NS12 version) 1978 See B8 Stambuls for '71 and later history
Background: Introduction 1932 / Discontinued 1971 (NS12 version) 1978* (transitioned into the 505 series).see B8 Stambuls for '71 and later history Pending further investigation*

The official Paiste '09 timeline states that the Stambul series ends in 1964 and shows Stambul 65 being the continued or new series until about 1978, there is documentation and catalogs listing them for sale from the late 1960's through the 1977 catalog.
As far as the dating and where these cymbals were made, the following provides a basic timeline:
1932-1940 (Estonia)
1940-1945 (Poland)--relocation from WWII, small production
1945-1948 (Germany)--relocation from WWII, small production
1948-1957 (Germany)--expanded production once again
1957-1978? (Switzerland & Germany)

The Stambul line was considered Paiste's top-of-the-line cymbal prior to the F602 release, where it took a second place position after 1959.
Dating and identifying Stambuls, like other cymbals of this time frame are a real challenge, as there are only a few means to physically evaluate a time period. We have provided a few indicator elements to help narrow down date ranges:

Indicator #1 Alloy Type: NS12-Nickel Silver was used from 1932 through 1964, as B8 came into play by 1965 and was then utilized with most of their cymbals moving forward and into the early 1970's (need confirmation, the B8 transition could be as late as 1971).

Indicator #2 Mounting Hole Size: Most cymbal stands started to be changed/made stronger by 1957 or 1958, as many drum companies started this trend with their hardware. Today's mounting holes are (1/2" diameter), but previous sizes ranged from (7/16" to 3/8" diameter). This allows one to know that the cymbal was made most likely prior to 1960.

Indicator #3 Distinctively Larger Bell: Stambuls used to have a much larger bell than what is now a common size (see pics below). This feature helps to date them prior to 1960, as well. This is shown in the 1950 and 1952 catalogs. We aren't exactly sure when the down-sizing of the bell took's possible when Paiste transitioned into using B8 after 1963 and with the new release of the Stambul 65's in 1965.

Indicator #4 Colored Ink Labels: During the late 1960's and into the mid-1970's, Paiste used ink labels on their cymbals. This included other series, not just Stambul. You could see "black" ink labels for the Paiste name and Series name located at the 12-O'clock position, and usually "red" ink labels at the 3-O'clock position, as well as under the bell for Size. It wasn't until later in the 1970's that Paiste went to all black labels, at least the majority of the time.

Indicator #5 Location Name: We believe this can be helpful as an indicator because if the logo had No location shown, it was either an earlier model (pre-1957) or one used later towards the end of the production runs (1970-1975). There were 2-3 different location names used for those cymbals made in Switzerland. Germany used "Made in Germany". The following show the variations for Swiss made:

"Swiss Made" this is believed to be the first one used out of the factory (1957 to 1958)

"Made in Suisse" we've only seen one of these, but assume this was probably another early run (1957 to 1958)

"Switzerland" this was utilized through much of the remaining years (1959 to early 1970's)

As far as the embossed Stambul logo, we are fortunate that the overall logo style did not change much over the entire life of the Stambul (see logos to the right). It's design uses a large size, hollow block letters with 1 or 2 thin vertical lines through each letter spelling out "Stambul". But, this name was all set on a curve or arc form above the logo components. Below this was the Star and Crescent pattern that was tilted so that the star was in the 10-O'clock position with varying cross-hatchings through its interior. The words, 'Trade' and 'Mark' were set to the outside of this logo: "Trade" on the left of it, and "Mark" on the right. Underneath this was the signature "Paiste" name, it was actually shown with part of a lower-case "m" at the "P" location, representing Mikhail M. Paiste.

  • Note: There is one occasion where there is no signature under the logo. Instead, Paiste used the "Robert Paiste" name in a typical type font. And, after 1957, most Stambuls had a Location name under the signature.
  • Note: Robert Paiste took ownership of the company in 1957, so this was likely that Paiste had a dedication to him by using his full name on this cymbal. This seemed to only occur at or after he took control of the company, so likely from '57 to '59.

Provided below is a quick dating chart until further information is found:

Early 1950's ('52):

  • NS12, small (7/16") mounting hole, and 'possibly' (5 or 6) cross-hatchings in the star and (13 or 14) in the crescent, and No location identified. Additionally, the 'Trade' and 'Mark' are spaced farther away from the logo work during this time frame.


  • Small (7/16") mounting hole, NS12, No location under Paiste signature, No ink stamps, star cross-hatching (7 or 8) and crescent has (13 or 14). Some say "Foreign Made", as well.

1957 to 1958:

  • NS12, location says "Swiss Made", star cross-hatchings (10 or 11) and crescent has (17 or 18).

1958 or 1959 to ?:

  • NS12, location says "Switzerland" and lists "Robert Paiste" above, star cross-hatching (9 to 11) and crescent has (17 or 18).

Late 1960's & early 1970's:

  • B8 (need confirmation), star cross-hatching (5 or 6) and crescent has (13 or 14), various locations (Switzerland, Germany or no location), and ink labels present.

Post 1970 'Transitionals' into 505:

  • See the B8 Stambul page for '71 and later history
  • B8 version, star cross-hatching (7 or 8) and crescent has (13 or 14), some have "Paiste Stambul" in the black ink stamp. End of series run show ink labels saying "Paiste 505" in black at 12-O'clock position under embossed logo. It is speculated that Paiste was just trying to rid themselves of excess Stambul inventory at this time.

As far as Stambul models, weights and sizes, this is what the research has shown (see catalog pictures below):

1950 CATALOG: (all cymbals were made up to 20" in size, there was a special order option for 22")
Concert & Marching (Turkish-style) Medium & Heavy: 12" through 20"

Marching (Chinese-style) Medium with raised edges: 10" through 20"

Hi Hats of 2 types for "Charleston" cymbals (as they were called then): Flat 10" through 14" (strong 'chick' sound) Thin & Medium
Up or High: 9" through 14" (rattling sound) Thin & Medium
Be-Bop (Strange hollow tone/deep, full sound) Thin & Medium: 10" through 13"

Swish cymbals (particular sharp tone) Thin & Medium: 11" through 14"

'Zisch' cymbals (Hiss or hissing beautiful sound) Paperthin & Thin: 10" through 14"

'Gong' cymbals (Strong, full sound) Medium & Heavy: 11" through 20"

1952 CATALOG: (this catalog was expanded and it offered a universal list for help in ordering)
Hi hats (11"-16") Hiss Paperthin's or Swish Thins: 10"-14" Thins (13"-14"), and Thin or Medium: 16"-20"

Jazz (Types: Zisch, Swish, Be-Bop and Gong) Paperthin, Thin & Medium: 10" through 20"

Concert & Marching (Turkish-style in pairs) Medium & Heavy: 14" through 20"

Marching (Chinese-style in pairs): 14" through 20"

1965-1969 Paiste (Swiss) CATALOG: (all were made in Thin, Medium or Heavy)

Jazz, Hi-hat, Marching & Concert: 10" through 20", 22", 24" and 26"

Marching (China-type in pairs): 15" through 20"

10" through 20", 22" and 24"

1970 PRICE LIST (European):
Thin, Medium & Heavy: 10" through 20", 22", 24" & 26"

Marching: 14" through 16"

Concert: 17" through 20"

Hi Hats: 13" through 16"

Chinese-style: 15" & 16" Marching china's in pairs, 17" through 20" Concert china's in pairs

Information from: Paiste 1965 catalog Todd Little
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