What are the signature Don Hesley Paiste cymbals that he frequently uses when playing the drums? Who is Don Hesley? Does Don Hesley only use Paiste cymbals? Join us as we go to the specifics of Don Hesley’s cymbal gear
Who Is Don Hesley
So, who is Don Hesley? If you have heard of the name of the legendary band Eagles, then you may have already heard him perform. As the drummer and one of the lead vocalists of the band, Don Hesley has been an integral figure in the world of the rock and roll scene. As a drummer, he has also been a longtime artist of Paiste, which is why we are going to look at some of his most used cymbals when performing.
Don Henley Cymbal Setup
14-Inch Paiste Formula 602 Heavy Hi-Hat
A mainstay in Don Hesley’s cymbal setup ever since he was playing for the Eagles, the 14-inch Formula 602 Heavy Hi-hats from Paiste is really a perfect cymbal to match Don Hesley’s playing style. Made using a specialized bronze alloy called Formula 602, the cymbal is usually used in playing the jazz, blues, rock and roll, and vintage indie genres.
With this 14-inch hi-hat, it can deliver a bright sound with a medium to the very loud volume level. It has that detailed and crisp tone when you hit it lightly, while it can also deliver a loud sound when playing it heavily. It also has an average sustain and can cut through the mix. It comes with a medium-sized bell and has a traditional finish, giving it that classic Paiste cymbal look.
18-inch Paiste Formula 602 Medium Crash
One of the crash cymbals that you usually see in Don Hesley’s cymbal setup, the 18-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium crash cymbal has been one of the most used cymbals for Paiste lovers in the old days. It has that pure and controlled tone that is still great for playing a variety of genres, such as rock and roll, blues, jazz, indie, and many more.
Made using Paiste’s renowned Formula 602 bronze material, the crash cymbal has that traditional finish, which gives the cymbal a classic look that drummers usually prefer. This 18-inch crash cymbal is famous for its bright sound and balanced attack, making it a versatile cymbal for many genres. It has a medium bell size and can deliver medium to loud volume levels.
20-inch Paiste Formula 602 Medium Ride
As Don Hesley’s main ride cymbal every time he plays the drums, the 20-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium ride cymbal really suits his playing style as the drummer of the legendary band Eagles. This medium-ride cymbal comes with a traditional Paiste finish and is made of that renowned Formula 602 bronze alloy that was introduced in the drumming scene more than 60 years ago.
The 20-inch Formula 602 medium-ride cymbal can deliver a medium to loud volume and has that bright and washy sound that professional drummers would always love to hear. It has a balanced cut and a medium sustain, which suits lots of genres, such as rock, blues, jazz, and many more. This cymbal is also used by many when recording at studios.
19-inch Paiste Formula 602 Medium Crash
A bigger version of his 18-inch crash cymbal, the 19-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium crash cymbal is frequently used by Don Hesley when playing the drums for the Eagles, as this cymbal is known to deliver that bright, full, and clear crash sound that is needed when playing the rock and roll genre. It has that explosive attack with a medium sustain that really suits how Don Hesley plays the drums.
The 19-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium-crash cymbal can bring that medium to a loud volume level that is perfect for playing almost all music applications in mind. So, whether you will use it for playing on live stages or in recording studios, you won’t have any complaints about this crash cymbal.
14-Inch Paiste Sound Edge Hi-Hat
As a drummer who likes to play with some extra cymbals, one of Don Hesley’s extra hi-hats that he has used many times in the past is the 14-inch Paiste 2002 Sound Edge. Belonging to Paiste’s popular 2002 Series, the hi-hat has a wide frequency range with a complex but rich frequency mix. The hi-hat also has that pingy stick sound and pronounced chick sound that is perfect for playing a variety of genres.
This hi-hat has that full, warm, brilliant, and a little bit bright sound that tells you the difference between what a high-end cymbal sounds compared to entry-level versions. It also has that medium sustain and feels that it does not overpower the sound of the mix. Sharp and energetic, this 14-inch hi-hat would really suit lots of playing styles.
18-Inch Paiste 2002 Crash
Another cymbal under Paiste’s renowned 2002 Series that is frequently used by Don Hesley is the 18-inch Paiste 2002 Crash. This vintage crash cymbal is made using that famous CuSn8 Alloy Formation that Paiste is known for. As a popular crash cymbal to many, this 2002 Crash is widely used for playing in lots of genres, such as classic and heavy rock, blues, punk, heavy metal, soul, R&B, gospel, and many more.
As an all-purpose crash cymbal, it has that bright, warm, full, and shimmering sound that many drummers long to play with. It is very responsive and can deliver medium soft to loud volume levels. It has a medium weight and sustain, while it can bring out a washy stick sound and lively intensity.
20-Inch Paiste Formula 602 Flatride
If Don Hesley plays with an extra ride on his cymbal setup, one of the most that you will hear is the 20-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium flat ride cymbal. Made of B20 bronze, which is typically used in high-end cymbals, this medium flat ride has a low volume with a very mellow and balanced sound that is perfect for playing, especially in recording studios.
This ride cymbal has a medium short sustain and a medium weight. It has a very controlled intensity and is able to deliver a soft, woody, and shimmering stick sound. So, if you are looking for a ride cymbal that can give you that mellow and crystalline tone while still having that balanced and controlled feeling, the 20-inch Paiste Formula 602 Flatride would be the way to go.
15-inch Paiste Formula 602 Medium Crash
A smaller version of the 18 and 19-inch crash cymbals, the 15-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium crash cymbal is another frequently used crash by Don Hesley when playing the drums for the Eagles, as this cymbal has that bright, full, and clear crash sound that is perfect when playing the rock and roll genre. It also has that explosive attack with a medium sustain that is a perfect match to how Don Hesley plays the drums.
The 15-inch Paiste Formula 602 medium-crash cymbal can deliver that medium to a loud volume level that suits playing a wide variety of music applications in mind. So, whether you are planning to use it for playing on live stages or in recording studios, there is really no mistake in choosing this cymbal.
So, what are the signature Don Hesley Paiste cymbals that he frequently uses when playing the drums? Most of his cymbals are from Formula 602, while there are also some that are from Paiste’s 2002 Series.