I've had PST 3 for many years, they weren't bad but I felt it was time to upgrade them. I decided to move up to PST 5 series. When I changed out my 16" crash, there was a big difference in the sound. The PST 5 was much louder, richer, and fuller. So then, I changed out my 14" hi-hat to a PST 5 and to be honest, not a big difference in the sound.

There were two options, the "medium" PST 5 and the "rock" series. I went with the medium. However, the crash I was satisfied with was medium and not rock. It's confusing, but I expected any PST 5 to sound different from the 3s. I now want to upgrade my 20" ride, and I again have the option of "medium" or "rock". It seems inconsistent as to what the resulting sound might be. I would think that even a medium PST 5 would sound better than a 3.

Of course I play rock and metal primarily, but does that make the "rock" series a necessity? I don't know what to go with now.
Last edited by likeacat at Jan 28, 2016,
The rock series will be thicker and more high pitched to cut through the mix but you probably wont get as much wash as you would with the medium. I'd probably go with the rock series but look up videos (try them out in a store if possible) and see which sounds best to your ears.
I mostly play rock and metal and would only play the heavier cymbals for the first few years because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. Now I HATE heavy cymbals. Anything more than medium weight I can't do. Give me some nice, thin, jazz weight cymbals and I'm in heaven. They're trashier, explosive, smoother and have nicer decays. No, they won't cut as well, but cymbals are loud either way, I've never had an issue with someone not being able to hear me. The only thing I'd caution about going too light on is your ride, especially if you play your bell a lot. Lighter cymbals tend to have pretty weak bells, though there are some exceptions.

FWIW, the PST5 line is very similar to the 3s. I wouldn't haven't bothered upgrading unless I could afford 7s, 8s or Alphas. All 3 are fantastic and easily rival Paiste's pro lines. That being said, if you want some really killer cymbals on the cheap, look for some vintage 404 and 505s. They're so good, Paiste discontinued them because they were cutting into the sales of their flagship 2002 line, and for good reason... I own a lot of 404s, 505s and 2002s and its VERY hard to tell a difference sonically between them.
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I had good experiences with the PST5s, probably the best entry level value/sound tradeoff. If you want to get picky I dont like the PST5 ride cymbal but everything else is good especially the crashes. IMO, B8's and HCS are horrible cymbals. Very cheaply made. No expericence with ZBT. Ive only banged on PST3's at a store and they weren't any good. My advice, head to a guitar center/sam ash and try them all!

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Last edited by DennisKeener at Mar 4, 2016,