2002 Series Extreme Crashes

Classic, smooth, and glassy tones…cranked up to eleven.


Paiste’s 2002 series was introduced in 1971 as a solution for heavy-hitting drummers on the burgeoning hard rock scene who demanded sturdier instruments with more powerful tones. That same year, one of Paiste’s premier artists, Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, could be seen pummeling a set of fresh 2002s while touring the world in support of his band’s smash-hit fourth album. Given Bonham’s longstanding tenure as one of the most influential drummers of the past fifty years, it should come as no surprise that, for many players, the definitive cymbal sound for rock ’n’ roll begins and ends with the 2002 series. The volume war has continued to escalate, so once again Paiste had to answer calls for even more durable yet musical models. Enter the 2002 Extreme crash, which is available in 18″, 19″, and 20″ sizes.

The Specs
Like all 2002 series cymbals, these hefty new Extreme crashes are made entirely by hand at Paiste’s factory in Switzerland. The bronze used for these is 92-percent copper and 8-percent tin (aka B8). This particular alloy is known for producing brighter and more high-energy tones, making it ideal for applications requiring tons of volume and presence. Each of the three Extreme crashes features a large, wide bell, super-consistent hammering, and lathing bands of varying width. They’re all quite heavy and exhibit very little flex. In fact, if the 20″ wasn’t labeled as a crash, it could easily masquerade as a medium or medium-light ride. Similarly, the 18″ version exhibits the stiffness and strength of a bottom hi-hat, for those of you experimenting with oversized crash-hat pairings.

The Sound
In my experience, most crashes labeled as “rock,” “heavy,” or “extreme” sacrifice some musicality and frequency balance in order to produce volume levels that can compete with cranked guitar amps and skull-shaking subwoofers. If you were to only assess these new 2002 Extreme crashes with a light, cursory tap, you’d probably dismiss them as more of the same. These cymbals spring to life, however, at dynamic levels well beyond where most “normal” crashes choke out. You simply can’t overplay these things, but at the same time they seem to have a built-in high-frequency attenuator that keeps the ultra-high overtones from becoming painfully harsh or piercing.

When struck with the appropriate amount of force, each of the Extreme crashes had a punchy, midrange attack that opened up to the smooth, glassy shimmer that’s a hallmark of the 2002 series. The 18″ was the most contained yet splashy sounding of the three, and it had the least distinct bell tone. The 20″ had the warmest and broadest crash and the cleanest ping. The 19″ had a breathier attack and the most distinctive bell. For very aggressive applications, the 20″ would be hard to beat; it can roar as loud as anything we’ve ever heard while retaining an unexpected amount of warmth and richness. The 18″ would be the answer for playing styles or musical passages requiring sharper and faster crash accents. The 19″ falls right in the middle, so it could be an ideal choice for a primary crash in most situations where you’re swinging for the fences. www.paiste.com Visit your local Paiste dealer or shop now at Sweetwater.