Paiste 2002

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2002 logo.jpg

Introduction: 1971
Background: Introduced in 1971 in response to Beat and amplified Rock music that required a cymbal to be able to cut through frequencies and volume levels that the Giant Beat series could not. Paiste 2002's are energetic cymbals developed for amplified music. They mic up easily, the sound is very lively, full and brilliant. They are much favored by some of the world's top rock drummers. 2002 cymbals are made from our CuSn8 bronze, an alloy Paiste first used in 1965. These instruments work well in live and studio environments that require high energy levels without sacrificing warmth, musicality or precision. 2002's are ideal for drummers and percussionists who enjoy expressing a significant portion of their sound with cymbal colors.
They can best be described as bright, warm, heavy and decidedly energetic with powerful projection characteristics. The original 2002 sound evolved during the 60's and 70's, when numerous Paiste players used them to create the era's rich Rock, Jazz, Fusion and Country heritage. Today's 2002 retains the core elements of the original classics, which remain essentially unchanged since their inception in 1971. The 2002 series also includes heavier models which were added recently to satisfy contemporary needs for elevated power and volume.(1)
Innovation: Created by fusing the power of the Giant Beat with the musicality of the Jazz line Formula 602, the first cymbal series for electronically amplified musical was born - 2002. Using Paiste's CuSn8 alloy, also known as "2002 Bronze" or "B8", it is a Professional Level cymbal. Hand Hammered and Hand Lathed, and created by employing proprietary manufacturing methods, it is one of the most versatile cymbal series on the market for over 50 years.
Alloy: CuSn8 (Also known as "2002 Bronze")
Quality: Professional
Offered as: 2002
Production: Manual craftsmanship, hand hammering, hand lathing.
Applications: All volume settings, live and studio. From medium soft to very loud settings, its brilliant warmth and precise tone have made it a favorite of drummers worldwide.
Users: Working musicians, enthusiasts, all players who need energy and drive and want their cymbals to cut through the music in all settings. Notable past and present 2002 players include: John Bonham, Ian Paice, Cozy Powell, Phil Rudd, Alex Van Halen, Rick Allen, Tommy Lee, Stewart Copeland, Jeff Porcaro, Chester Thompson, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford, Charlie Benante, Nicko McBrain...
Sound: Bright, warm, brilliant, musical, precise with high energy levels and powerful projection characteristics.

2002 Models In Production




Chinas (& Swishes)

Splashes (& Bells)


2002 Discontinued Models & Sizes




Chinas (& Swishes)

Splashes (& Bells)


Paiste, never one to ignore the esoteric crowd, has long offered "standard" specialty items like Splashes and Gongs. They have also been at the forefront with their own innovations like Bells, Rotosounds, Accents, Cup Chimes, Sound Plates,and Bell Chime. One of the most visible users of these cymbals is Stewart Copeland. The Paiste Percussion Rack has been a fixture of his setup going back to the early 1980's.

Cup Chimes No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7
Original in inches 8" 7½" 6¾" 6⅜" 5⅞" 5⅜" 4⅞"
Current in inches 8" 7½" 7" 6½" 6" 5½" 5"
In Centimeters 20 19 17 16 15 14 12.5

Note: Over the years the cup chimes have been cataloged in several ways. It is assumed that this is due to the original diameter being measured in the metric system and not in inches. The cup chimes are tuned to each other. They are not "tuned percussion" as they are not tuned to specific notes like cortales, but are tuned relative to the others within the set. Therefore the diameter may be adjusted to achieve this tuning.

2002 Black (Big Beat)

2002 big beat.png

Introduction: 2016
Background: 2002 Black "Big Beat" represent a modernized, yet timeless interpretation of the legendary 2002 sound. Visually, the cymbals feature a distinctly new hammering pattern for the 2002 family, a slightly darkened, semi-matted finish and simplified black logos to distinguish the Big Beat set. With the 2002 Black Big Beat models, we take the 2002 sound into a new realm, while preserving the legendary 2002 heritage.
Innovation: Created by fusing the power of the Giant Beat with the musicality of the Jazz line Formula 602, the first cymbal series for electronically amplified musical was born - 2002. Using Paiste's CuSn8 alloy, also known as "2002 Bronze", it is a Professional Level cymbal. Hand Hammered and Hand Lathed, and created by employing proprietary manufacturing methods, it is one of the most versatile cymbal series on the market for over 30 years.
Alloy: CuSn8 (Also known as "2002 Bronze")
Quality: Professional
Offered as: 2002 Black (Big Beat)
Production: Manual craftsmanship, hand hammering, hand lathing.
Applications: Soft to loud settings • Live and recording • Rock, Indie-Rock, Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Country, R&B, Soul, Gospel and modern hybrids rooted in those styles
Sound: Warm, deep, brilliant, lush, full, wide • Big Beat cymbals are rooted in the world of “2002 Bronze”, with its celebrated brilliance, clarity, precision and strength. Big Beat models add particular warmth, depth and complexity to the mix. They are perfect for broad, voluminous sound without being overly aggressive.


(These cymbals are called "Singles" in Paiste's literature)


The 2002 "Black Label" series from 1971 to 1981

1st production run 2002's in 1971 had the "box stamp" emboss
1971 Swiss produced 2002, no serial number, notice lack of "2002" below Paiste
"Jazz/rock" stamp on 20" heavy ride
"rock" stamp on 14" hi-hats

The most successful line of Paiste cymbals reflected in sales numbers, unrivaled by any other line.
Top Rock 'n' Roll drummers of the '70's incorporated 2002s into their set ups, virtually every English rock drummer from that era used 2002's with few exceptions! These cymbals were the sound of rock throughout the 70's.
During this time the 2002 line featured black lettering and stamp (see picture on right). Paiste collectors often refer to this original series as "Black Labels", this original series didn't offer as many models, but Paiste did offer them in a variety of sizes not available today.
The first 2002 cymbals appeared as prototypes around the end of 1969 and throughout 1970 before they were officially introduced and became a full line in Paiste's program in 1971.
The very first cymbals off the production line had a "border" around the the 2002 stamp/emboss, we call this the "box stamp". We understand the box stamp emboss is the rarest of the rare when it comes to preserial 2002's. Our research has found that this emboss was difficult to apply and was quickly dropped in favor of the classic "open stamp" 2002 emboss we see throughout the 1970's into 1980 and early '81. Early 2002 cymbals prior to and after their official introduction also did not have serial numbers* (*see serial number explanation below), some early preserial models do not have the series name “2002” ink stamped below the name Paiste (see picture to the right).
There are small differences between the German and the Swiss made 2002’s: there's evidence the German 2002's were slightly heavier and possibly a little darker sounding.
(1974 European catalog sizes listed below) 2002's were not readily available in the U.S. until Rogers took over Paiste distribution in 1974, their selection was limited until Paiste took over U.S. distribution in 1981.





China type


1975 additions:

1st. appearance in 1976 catalog:

1978 additions/changes:

Heavy Hi Hats and 20" Heavy Rides made in the Swiss factory are now given an additional "Rock" / "Jazz Rock" stamp respectively.
This additional stamping lasts into the early part of the Red Label phase. The German factory does not seem to use these additional stamps.
Sound Edge gets "Hi Hat" added to prior "SE Top" and "SE Bottom" labeling.
Hi Hats were stamped as Top and Bottom until 1979 when they became stamped as "Medium Hi Hats".

1st. appearance in 1979 catalog:

1979 or early 1980 additions:

Serial numbers*

From several people researching this particular subject for several years: All hard evidence points to the Swiss production 2002 serial numbering starting in the spring of 1972 (there are no early 70's Swiss made 2002's with 1xxxxx serial numbers!).
See more detail in the "Serial number" section
German-made 2002's started having serial numbers applied from late '74 to early '75 onwards, but they used a different system than the Swiss system: The first digit does not equal the year, they are numbered consecutively.
If you are looking at a German Black Label Paiste from the 1970s, the second digit is a good general indicator of the year.
I.E. a German 2002 with a 17xxxx serial is from 1977 or 1978 (NOT 1971!). In this case, a lower third digit most likely early 1977 while a higher third digit puts you closer to 1978.

As a general rule for all Paiste lines made in Switzerland:
6 digits no lettering: '72 to early '81, the first digit indicating year (0xxxxx) is 1980

6 digits with plain "PAISTE 2002" stamp: '81 to '86, the first digit indicating year (3xxxxx) is 1983

6 digits with pAisTe (logo): stamp: '86 to '90', the first digit indicating year (9xxxxx) is 1989

8 digits from '95 to 2011 the first two digits indicating year.

The 2002 series from 1981 to 1986 - "Red Labels"

450px-Paiste 2002 20 China 1.jpg

Used by themselves, or augmenting other lines, especially RUDE, 2002s became an important component of music in the 1980's. From Pop to Rock, New Wave to Heavy Metal, 2002s were becoming almost ubiquitous.
Paiste made a few changes to the 2002 line and starting in 1981 labels would be silk screened red, gone were the days of rubber stamps!
Paiste expanded the series to include models like the Heavy Crash to better fit the then-current trends in music.
Also, a new model in an already impressive list of innovations, the Novo China Type, was introduced at NAMM in June 1983.
The "Novo", as it is often referred to, was originally called inverted China". It had a round bell unlike the regular 2002 China Type, but more importantly, it featured a profile that allowed it to be mounted upside down.
To this day, Paiste is the only company to offer such a China.(*)
By 1986 the following models and sizes had been added to the series: Splashes in 8", 10" and 12" sizes, a 10" Bell, 16" China Type, the Novo China Type, Heavy Crash, and the Power Ride.
Also, given the new emphasis on stage appeal, certain models were available in Paiste's Reflector finish for an additional $10 charge.

  • (It should be noted that Sabian did offer a similar cymbal in their now discontinued Radia series, that was made in cooperation with former Paiste endorser Terry Bozzio.)

1986 Phasing Out / Re-Introduction & The 1990's

2002 from 1987

1986 saw a big production shift to reduce costs: many new series were introduced to replace all the lower lines from the 1970's.
Among these new series was the 3000 line which was designed to replace the 2002, Robert Paiste's intent was the 3000 was an evolution of 2002 to "match" the current music trends at the time. However, the 3000s weren't as successful as hoped and fans of the 2002 objected to Paiste's decision to "discontinue" the series.
The outcry from drummers and dealers was substantial, many were still asking for and still ordering 2002's. The 2002 line was actually still available and never officially canceled, it was even listed on US/European dealers paperwork and available for order. What Paiste did was to scale back the production of 2002's to a limited amount of stock, this allowed their factory labor to focus on the new lines. The 2002's were still available and could be ordered in from Swiss factory; they just weren’t marketing them in ads, the 3000/2000 etc. were the new thing. By late 1987, Paiste put out an updated flyer to dealers mentioning the line was still active. In 1988 it even made an appearance in Modern Drummer, listed in some drummers' setups.
Even though the 2002s weren't fully phased out (limited production), they were officially re-introduced in 1988/89. Although never printed on the cymbals, this new era of 2002 became known as the "Everclassic" 2002 series. Many ads in drumming publications from this time make reference to this name.
Paiste now counted Six (6) professional series of cymbals: Signature (then called simply Paiste), 3000, 2002, 2000, Sound Creation, and Formula 602.
As the Signature series became wildly popular, the 1990's were a slow growth period for the 2002, as the decade rolled on, more series were phased out. The 3000 series that was once regarded by the company as the next flagship line, was quietly discontinued in 1994.
The RUDE family of cymbals that were in the 3000 series were then added to the 2002s. RUDEs would remain there until 1999 when they would become their own line (again), as they were when Paiste first introduced them in the early 1980's.
The company, who once embraced esoteric music within the series, discontinued certain sizes. Gone were small Rides and huge crashes and China Types.
This decade would see few new models added to the 2002 series, like the Power Crash (1994), Power Bell Ride (1996), Extra Heavy Hi-Hat (ca. 1994/95), and the Power Splash (ca. 1995).

2002 Special Edition Cymbals

2002 nov mod drummer.jpg

In January 2002, Paiste announced the availability of selected 2002 series models in a "Special Edition" issue. The cymbals were faithful reproductions of vintage 2002's. No changes to current manufacturing methods were required as the hand crafting of 2002 cymbals has not changed in the past 30 years. They featured the original hand stamped logos as used in the early 1970's.

These "Special Edition" models were made available to commemorate the series' 30 year anniversary, and in response to requests for a special celebration of the cymbals in the year synonymous with its name. 2002 Special Edition models were accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. They were only be manufactured during the year 2002.

Certificate worded as follows:

"Paiste 2002 is one of the most successful and legendary musical instrument brands ever. Created for the needs of a totally new generation of musicians, 2002 cymbals have been part of a sound that changed the world of music. During the 1960's Beat and Rock music took the world by storm. A prevalent feature of the new music was the extensive use of electronic amplification. To answer this sound challenge, Paiste began creating cymbals from 8% Bronze, and so the Giant Beat series was born. As the new music styles matured and evolved, the requirements of cymbal sound became more complex. The answer was a fusion of forceful Giant Beat and sophisticated Formula 602 sound qualities. The resulting cymbals were introduced in 1971 and christened '2002', a number at once reminiscent of the '602' and expressing a completely revolutionary concept by choosing a year far ahead in the future. Since this year has actually arrived, and the cymbals are still made successfully, it seemed appropriate to celebrate the more than 30 years of history of one of the most influential musical instruments ever created. Thus, this certificate accompanies a 'Special Edition' 2002 cymbal, as recorded below by its model name and serial number. 'Special Edition' 2002 cymbals are identical to the cymbals manufactured in the early 1970's, a condition easily achieved since 2002 cymbals have been made exactly that way ever since. The one concession to history is the application of brand and model designations using the traditional black, hand stamp method. We hope you enjoy this magnificent musical instrument, which, due to the limited manufacture only in 2002 is sure to become a cherished collector's item."
These cymbals had an 8 digit serial number, unlike the 1970's 2002s which only had 6.

The New Millennium

Responding to the nostalgia craze of the mid-2000s, some larger models were re-introduced. Besides these, many new models came out this decade, some carried over from the discontinued Dimensions series.
Among these were the "Rock" series, Crunch Hats, and the Dry Ride . Among the entirely new 2002 models include the Cool Ride. At medium-thin, this is probably the lightest ride ever in the series. Paperthin, Full Crash, and Thin Crash, all offered in other series before, were now made available as a 2002 for the first time.
Also added the "Wild" series that featured the Reflector finish, and hammering unlike a 2002. It is an interesting note that for perhaps the first time, 2002 has featured intricate hammering on select models very much unlike the traditional style. The Rock Bell Ride at the right is a good example of this hammering.

In 2005, Paiste added some new models to the 2002 series to adjust it to the present and future, by adding some models of the Dimensions series in it. In the year 2007, the line is further expanded into the loud genres by adding larger cymbals and the more aggressive “Wild” models.
Cooperating with Alex Van Halen, Paiste introduced the 2002 24" Big Ride in 2010. The cymbal features Giant Beat design parameters and character, while utilizing a 2002 finish.

Information from:

  2. 1979 Paiste Catalog
  3. 1998

Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1986
Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1987-1988
Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1988-1989
Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1990
Modern Drummer Buyer's Guide, 1993
Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1995/96
Modern Drummer Equipment Annual, 1997/98
Modern Drummer, June 1983, pg. 122 "Paiste Introduces Inverted China"
Modern Drummer, September 2002, pg. 4 2002 Limited Edition Cymbals ad
Paiste "Six Cymbal Lines" Ad 1981

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