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Paiste FAQ

Paiste Gongs

Why should I buy Paiste Gongs?

Paiste has been making gongs and cymbals since 1901! They’re a trusted and recognizable brand for percussionists, yoga instructors, and sound bath therapists. They make amazing, high-quality gongs with a consistent, beautiful tonal experience. They use a proprietary alloy that creates a very focused, deep fundamental tone and a rich, but concentrated array of harmonics and overtones that build with increased volume.

Paiste’s Symphonic Gongs became popular among Kundalini Yoga practitioners in the 1980’s for the range of sounds that could be created. Paiste’s complex harmonic builds and a rich (but focused) crash are perfect for unleashing the Kundalini.

Since then, Paiste’s immaculate, meditative sounds have become popular in sound bath and gong meditation, other forms of Yoga, and a range of mindfulness practices. People love their consistency, their high-quality, and the unique tonal qualities of this type of metal.

What material are Paiste Gongs made of?

Paiste gongs are made by hammering a small round metal disc until it is the desired thickness and diameter. The disc is a Bronze alloy called Nickel Silver, which contains Nickel, Copper, and Zinc. This is different from traditional Unlimited Chinese Gongs, which are typically made from a Bronze alloy of Copper and Tin.

Unlimited Chinese Gongs collection

Are Paiste Gongs better than Chinese Gongs?

This all depends on the taste of the player and the listener. We don’t think they’re better, we just think they’re very different – like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with bananas vs. a deli sandwich (both are delicious). Paiste Gongs have a very refined, focused tonal experience, with a clear fundamental tone and rich, but contained harmonics and overtones building to a controlled crash. Chinese Gongs tend to have a slightly less-focused (but more complex) fundamental tone building to a huge, complex crash that roars, especially with larger sizes.

Many sound therapists and gong meditation practitioners prefer the focused and controlled nature of a Paiste Symphonic Gong over a Chinese Gong, but the raw complexity of a Chinese Gong can also add a lot to a sound bath. If you’re lucky enough to buy multiple gongs, we often recommend having one of each because they can provide different functions for different meditative elements of a sound bath.

What are the differences between Paiste’s Symphonic, Brilliant, Planetary, and Sound Creation Gongs?

Symphonic Gongs are the standard style of gong made by Paiste as described above. Paiste’s Brilliant Gongs start out as Symphonic Gongs, but they are repeatedly polished until they have a beautiful, reflective face that looks like chrome. This thorough polishing creates an even cleaner sound. The tones are warm and vibrant with deep calming focus. The overtones and harmonics are rich and complex, but very focused and clean. It is a truly beautiful and peaceful experience to hear these gongs.

Paiste Brilliant Gongs

Planetary Tuned Gongs

Planetary Tuned Gongs are Symphonic Gongs that have had the fundamental note fine-tuned to match the resonant orbital frequencies of each of the planets, according to the calculations of French physicist and philosopher Hans Cousto. These gongs are the perfect sonic totem for approaching sound baths with astrological intention and experimenting with a sonic zodiac in your sound baths, meditations, and healing sessions.

Paiste Planetary Gongs

Paiste Sound Creation Gongs

Paiste Sound Creation Gongs are also fine-tuned, but instead of tuning them to a specific note or frequency, each one is tuned to match a certain feeling. Currently, they make a Sound Creation Earth Gong. Earlier Sound Creation series which are no longer manufactured included Water, Fire, “Fight”, and other elemental and archetypal energies and feelings. By listening and meditating with an Earth Gong, the experience may evoke Earthy thoughts and feelings.

Paiste Sound Creation Gongs

What size of gong should I buy?

For sound bath meditation, sound bath therapy, sound healing, meditation, and yoga, we recommend looking at Paiste Gongs that are 26” and above. Gongs smaller than a 26” diameter tend to crash much faster. They lose a lot of depth, complexity, and range that you are looking for in a meditative sound.

Above 26” the gongs start much deeper, they have a much longer build until they reach full volume, and the overtones and harmonics are much more complex. There’s a lot more room for exploration and play with a larger gong. If you’re just getting started and you have limited space, a 26” Symphonic Gong is a good start. We believe 32” is the sweet spot for sound bath meditation and sonic therapy.

Do your Paiste Gongs come with everything I need to get started?

Paiste Gongs ONLY come with a hanging rope, which is already tied to the gong for you. We do have Paiste Symphonic Gong Combo packages for beginners and people looking for a Paiste Gong with a Paiste Gong Stand and a Paiste Mallet. These packages come with a free Gong Bag, which is pretty helpful for storing your gong when you’re not using it, or for taking it from home to the studio. Click here to see those combos.

If you’re interested in a Paiste Gong, but you want a different stand and a mallet, but you’re not sure where to start...

We recommend you send us an email from our “Contact Us” page. Depending on your budget, as well as how and where you plan to use and play your gong, we can give you some recommendations tailored to your individual needs, whether you’re a sound healer, yoga instructor, ambient musician, percussionist, or just somebody who wants to confuse your neighbors.

I want a gong for sound therapy and meditation and I want to work on a specific chakra – which gong is right for that chakra?

We love chakras. We believe in them. We believe in the connection between the physical and the spiritual, the nervous system and the chakra system. But we don’t believe that one gong or one note or frequency has a monopoly on one chakra. The body is physical, but the spirit is eternal. Sonic frequencies are physical, but the act of creating and playing with sound and inspired intention is infinite.

Until there’s more research done on the effects of specific frequencies on specific chakras, we believe Chakra Healing is more about the energy and intention of the gong player, the vibe of the gong, and the relationship between the player and their experience of the sounds they’re creating.

One way to help guide your intention when it comes to working on “healing” specific spiritual problems with sound is to work with Planetary Tuned Gongs. For example, the spiritual energy of the planet Mercury is often associated (in spiritual philosophy) with the 5th chakra. But that doesn’t mean that it will only solve 5th chakra issues or that it’s going to “cure” ailments related to the throat (please, for the love of the Buddha, see a trusted doctor if you have physical ailments). But working with Mercury’s symbolism and energy is a great way to focus your intention on that specific chakra if that’s what you’re looking for.

On our YouTube channel, our Unlimited SuperBlog, and throughout our store, we have a massive video and audio library of gong and bowl samples, as well as instructional videos from Gongs Unlimited owner and trained clairvoyant Andrew exploring different spiritual techniques for working with sound. We recommend that you take some time to listen to different sizes and styles of gongs and see what type of sound you connect with. We can also make video samples of specific inventory if you’re not finding what you like.

YouTube Channel

Unlimited SuperBlog

I’ve never used a gong before – how do I play it correctly?

It’s easy to be intimidated by the gong! What if I hit it too hard? Or too soft?! It’s okay. I remember my first time with a gong! Who knew it could be so stressful? Sometimes it’s good to do a little deep breathing beforehand.

I like to approach a new gong by tapping it gently, listening, letting the sound unfold, and gently building the sound from there. For me, it’s all about feeling and hearing what’s coming out of the gong and responding to it while gently exploring all of the different parts of the face. After a while, you start to get more and more familiar with all of its quirks and its unique characteristics.

As mentioned above, we have a massive video library with audio samples and instructional videos to get you started. Just pop over to our YouTube channel and start looking through our playlists for more information. And remember, it’s just gongs!

How do I take care of my Paiste Gong?

This depends on the type of gong and the level of care or clean-up that it needs. Some gongs get dirty, or they get exposed to moisture or fingerprints, other gongs get scuffs and unidentifiable marks on them. But you want your gong to look nice for this weekend’s sound bath meditation event, right?

We have a range of cleaning and care products, as well as some good instructional videos on how to clean and care for your gong. Check it out! Cleaning and Care Collection and our video on how to clean Paiste here.

How much does a Paiste Gong weigh?

As most gongs get larger in diameter, they get heavier. Gongs of a similar style will weigh the same at the same size. We have some great information on sizing and weight here on the “Gongs Sizing Info” page which you can find here. These weights will vary slightly depending on whether you’re looking at a Paiste Gong or a Chinese Gong, and depending on what style, but this should give a good estimate for you!

I didn’t see my question here – what if I have more questions?

For more information, please reach out to our customer service team using the form on our “Contact Us” page. Somebody will get back to you with information as soon as we can!

Contact Us Page