Paiste Cymbals Vs. Zildjian

Paiste Cymbals Vs. Zildjian Brand Comparison: Paiste VS. Zildjian

Paiste cymbals vs. Zildjian, which is better? If you are a drummer who’s planning to buy a new set of cymbals, wait and read the article first to give you the best information in helping you decide the best cymbal option that you can have for your budget.

High-End Cymbals

Paiste Signature Dark Energy

A top-notch level cymbal series that many drummers dream of having, Paiste’s Signature Dark Energy would really be an excellent option to have in your cymbal setup. Introduced in 2004, this flagship cymbal series is handcrafted by highly skilled and experienced Swiss craftsmen from the start to give you that Paiste sound that many professional drummers love to hear. These cymbals are made of Paiste’s signature bronze to ensure that quality sound is able to live through ages.

They can be used in soft to medium-loud applications, so you can use them in your live performances or studio recordings without any problems. These cymbals have a dark, multi-layered sound that is also warm, crisp, and rich to give you that superior feel that you’d only get from high-end level cymbals. These cymbals are also very versatile, so you can play them with genres such as swing, jazz, blues, Latin, pop, and many more.

Tony Escapa, Scott Pellegrom, Tom Zovich, Jeremy Kleynhans, Dan Needham, Karl Latham, and Carsten Klick are just some of the many names that are known for playing the drums while using Paiste’s Signature Dark Energy cymbals on their setup.

Zildjian K-Custom

If you are looking for a top-level Zildjian cymbal that can give you that dark sound that you are looking for, then the Zildjian K-Custom cymbals would be the way to go. These cymbals have a drier and darker sound that is inspired by the Zildjian K cymbals but come with unique finishes, new manufacturing techniques, and some tonal modifications.

With a mix of distinct K hammering and newly developed hammering techniques, the K-Custom cymbals have that dark and rich sound that makes them a famous option to lots of legendary and famous drummers. These cymbals are made of Zildjian’s Secret Family Alloy and come in a variety of finishing options, such as traditional, brilliant, unfinished, and hybrid. The K-Custom is available in sets or individually, whether it is a hi-hat, crash, ride, china, splash, or effect.


Although Paiste cymbals vs. Zildjian’s lines are really top-notch, if I have to go with a decision, I will have to choose the Zildjian K-Custom as the better one. Always remember that when it comes to these cymbals, there is really no mistake in choosing one, as they are all top-level quality.

Mid-Level Cymbals 

Paiste RUDE 

If you are a heavy metal drummer but are on a tight budget, the Paiste RUDE cymbals would be an excellent option for you. Introduced to the drumming world in 1980, RUDE cymbals are designed with some inspiration from the popularity of the metal and punk genres in the 1970s. Made using CuSn8 Bronze, or also known to many as the 2002 Bronze, the cymbals can give you the sound that is a perfect match for playing rock, metal, and punk genres.

The RUDE cymbals are known to deliver medium to extremely loud volume levels that are perfect for recording and live applications when playing punk, heavy metal, hard rock, and many other genres that require some loud cymbals. They have a powerful, bright, lively sound that can easily cut through mixes. The RUDE cymbals are available individually in hi-hats, crashes, rides, china, splashes, and effects.

Francis Cassol, Logan Sheppard, Jason Willer, Chris Barkensjoe, Michael Brush, Charlie Koryn, Will Andrews, and many more are just some of the famous drummers that are using the Paiste RUDE cymbals in their everyday setup.

Zildjian S-Dark

If you are looking for a set of mid-level cymbals that are affordable and can give you that dark sound you are looking for to suit your playing style, one excellent option that you should look into is the Zildjian S-Dark Series. These cymbals have a distinctive, dark, and explosive sound that is really great for an intermediate cymbal line.

With Zildjian’s random hammering and its proprietary finish, the S-dark cymbals have a slightly drier sound compared to the Zildjian S Series and many other mid-level cymbal lines that are made for playing darker genres. So if you are a hard rock or metal drummer, these cymbals have the intensity and projection that can surely meet what you are looking for in one.


When it comes to mid-level cymbals that are known for their dark sound, these options from Paiste and Zildjian are really great to have, as they are also affordable, which is an advantage for those who do not want to break the bank. However, if push comes to shove, I would have to go to the Paiste’s RUDE Series, as I prefer their sound slightly better than the Zildjian S-Dark Series.

Entry-Level Cymbals

Paiste PST 5

If you are looking for an entry-level cymbal that sounds great at an affordable price, Paiste also can offer you that. With its PST 5, you get a high-quality sound that is better than most of the beginner-level cymbals you see in the market while sold at a very competitive price point. Introduced in 2014, these cymbals have a lighter weight which is another advantage for an entry-level cymbal, as it is able to deliver a warmer and deeper sound while still having that distinct brightness it is known for.

Made of its famous 2002 Bronze, the Paiste PST 5 has that bright, clean, focused, and cutting sound with very musical characteristics. You can use it in a wide variety of musical applications, whether your setup needs soft or loud cymbals or you need to play with it in live applications or studio recordings. For an entry-level cymbal, you can impressively use it in different genres without any problems.

Luis Garza, Gerit Lamm, and Simone Lockhart are some of the known drummers that have used the PST 5 in their setup, so even if this is an entry-level cymbal series, the PST 5 is still chosen by professional drummers, there is no reason for you not to try playing with it.

Zildjian I 

If you are a Zidljian fanatic who’s looking for an entry-level cymbal set that you can use for your practice or even for your performance, the new Zildjian I Series would be the way to go. As the replacement for its discontinued ZBT Series, the I Series has that expressive and bright sound that the former series is known for.

The cymbals are made of B8 Alloy, which is typical for entry-level cymbals, while they also come with a traditional finish. Its name is taken from the Turkish word Ilham, which means Inspiration, the I Family cymbals are really an excellent option to have if you are still a beginner who loves to have a great sound in your playing.


As I tried both cymbals, I would have to choose the Paiste PST 5, as I consider it to be one of the best cymbal lineups in the entry-level series that are available in the market.

So, Paiste cymbals vs. Zildjian, which is better? Although both cymbal brands are really great and are very famous in the industry, if I had to choose one, I would have to go with the Paiste cymbals. However, either of the two brands would really be an excellent option to have in your cymbal setup.