Paiste 18" Formula 602 Thin Crash Cymbal

In the late 1950's, Paiste introduced their 602 series of cymbals. Everyone loved them. The big names played them. So, one might wonder, why did Paiste stop offering them, and instead, moved on to new models? Well, the answer is right there in the question: new. It's in our nature to always be looking for something different, even when what we have is just about perfect. New model is something the marketing guys love, and we, as consumers, have learned to love it too. But there is another word: Retro, and it means we like going back in time to rediscover the pleasures of things we loved in the past. And, that is the 602. The irony is that the 602 has been out of the inventory for so long, today's drummers probably never heard of it, let alone play one. Well, here's your chance, and the 602 is, . . . now what is that word I am looking for? Fabulous!!

As a start, the 602 is available in a 16" and 18" Thin Crash, 14" Hi-Hats, 20" Medium Ride, and 20" Medium Flat Ride.

The 602 is a B20 bronze, and has extensive, deep hammering as shown in the photo above. The entire cymbal is lathed, but only the body is hammered, not the bell. You can also see that in the close-up, below. Notice the light streaks are deflected by the hammering on the body, and then, on the bell, the light streaks are straight.

The crash sound brings back memories for me, as I had my band in the 1960's. Although I didn't own any Paiste cymbals, I heard other drummers who did. The 18" thin crash, reviewed here, has a fast attack and a very neutral sound. The sustain is long, so those of you who like to hear the crash go on and on after you strike it, you are looking at a classic, literally. The body is too thin for riding, as the ping is lost in the wash, but the bell rides beautifully.



  • Manufacturer Line: Formula 602
  • Type: Crash
  • Style: Thin
  • Alloy: B20 - CuSn20 - 80% Copper, 20% Tin
  • Diameter: 18"
  • Metal Work: Hand Hammered, Hand Lathed, Regular Finish
  • Weight: 1363 gm
  • MSRP: $594 USA; Street Price $368
  • Paiste

In the spectrum, there are main peaks at 75 Hz, 220 Hz, 470 Hz (this gives the cymbal its tonality; high peaks below 1.2 kHz would make it a "dark"-sounding cymbal), 1.7 kHz, and several in the 3 kHz - 7 kHz range (from about 2 kHz to 10 kHz represents the body of the sound), before a decline to 60 kHz (everything above 10 kHz provides the sheen of the sound).


The crash peaks at 0.14 seconds with a long sustain.


Click HERE to listen to an audio sample, which will include crash (when appropriate), ride, and bell sounds (these are 24 bit, 176.4 kHz wav files, so be sure your sound card is capable of handling these high resolution sound files).

If your sound card cannot play the high resolution file, click HERE to listen to an MP3 sound file.