Paiste 505

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505 Logo
Black label Swiss stamp.
Black label German stamp.
505 Swiss Logo
'81 and later German green stamp
German "hollow crescent"

Introduction: 1978
Discontinued: 1986 (German factory offered 505s until 1993!)

Background: The successor to the long-running Stambul series, Paiste 505's were released to the public in 1978 and slotted in under the 2002.
There are definitely oddball sizes and types out there that were produced during the transition from the Stambul B8 line and cymbals with both a Stambul emboss and a 505 hand stamp logo exist (see pictures below).
Early Swiss-made Black Label 505's have a single line hand stamp which was later changed to a double line stamp mirroring the 2002 logo, probably in the latter part of 1978 or early in 1979. German-made Black Label 505's always have a single line hand stamp, also the German factory used a different serial numbering system than the Swiss factory, see "Deciphering German serial numbers".
The transition to the Green Label silk screened logo begins in 1981. There are a substantial amount of Green Label 505's out there with no serial number.
At least some German Green Label 505's made in 1983 have a logo variant with a hollow crescent moon and star (picture on lower right).
The line gains new sizes, types and weights during the Green Label phase before it is discontinued in 1986 (The German factory continued to offer 505's in their catalogs until 1993, most likely leftovers) and replaced in price point by the 1000 series and in sound and quality by the 2000 series.
According to an interview with Toomas Paiste, there were two reasons Paiste changed up the B8 lines in 1986:
1. To introduce the innovations in the 3000 line (new lathing, etc.).
2. To get the quality of the budget series in line with prices (more importantly according to Toomas).
The 505's were "too good" for what Paiste was selling them for: they were 35% cheaper than an equivalent 2002 but required almost the same amount of hand labor to produce.

U.S. availability:

  • Rogers never listed 505's in their catalogs or distributed them in the U.S. from 1978 to 1980 (no black label 505's were sold in the U.S.)
  • 505's were not available in the U.S until ~1981 when Paiste opened their North American distribution center, by then they had the printed "green stamp" logo along with an expanded selection of models and sizes.

Alloy: CuSn8 (Also known as "2002 Bronze")
Quality: "A truly affordable pro-quality cymbal at the student or semi-pro level. Paiste experience, craftsmanship and understanding of choice materials give these cymbals many professional features".
Production: These cymbals were fully hammered into shape, not stamped, the same production techniques were used as on the top line cymbals.
Applications: All types of music, particularly pop and rock.
Sound: "505 cymbals produce a fully resonant, vibrant sound. They are developed to provide the drummer with a good quality cymbal. All Paiste 505 cymbals give a true professional cymbal sound with clear character definition. The ride cymbals have strong definite stick-rhythm sound. The multi-purpose medium cymbals can be used for loud, forceful crash or gentle ride effects, crash cymbals give compact, cutting accents."

Early 80's "Green label" models and size additions can be seen in green below:






Europe only (or U.S. special order):


Initial 505 listing in Paiste's European 1978 catalog (same sizes/weights as the Stambul series)





Information from: Paiste catalogs, Todd Little, Dan Garza, Boris Smit

1979 Paiste catalog
1985 Paiste catalog

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