13" vs 14" Hats?


Junior Member
I was looking for some new hi-hats to invest in, but got a little bit stumped when I had to choose between 13" or 14" hats. Could anybody tell me what the main sound differences are between the two sizes?


Platinum Member
The pitch will be higher with the 13s. That'll be the main difference, but it can be quite significant.


Firstly, congratulations on the avatar.

Secondly, 13" hats will be a little brighter and lighter - both to play and to feel when compared to equivalent hats of a larger size.


Gold Member
I love the lightning fast response of 13's. I try to find 14's that play as much like 13's as possible if that makes sense.


Gold Member
I love 13s for how quick they are. I use them for everything else other than Metal. They have that high pitched chick and sizzle. I have heard Meinl Soundcaster Fusions in 14" that would give any 13 a run for the money on sound. They are not too heavy either other than the 13.25 K cust Hybrids I think this would be an excellent choice for 13" sound with 14" volume.


Gold Member
I use a 15" hi-hat on the left and a 13" hi-hat on the right, with a DW9502LB remote hi-hat stand.


Gold Member
I've always preferred the smaller drum sizes and hihats. I have 13" Paiste Twentys and use them for everything.



Light and quick. I came into a complete Sabian Paragon set several years back at a killer price so I took em all and the case. Way more cymbals than I need, but there are 2 sets of hats in there. I tried the smaller pair and fell in love with them.

If not for getting that set I'd never have tried them.

Maybe not the best for chinky heavy Zep type timekeeping, but very versatile and fun to play.


Platinum Member
I find myself going in the opposite direction. I've been playing 15" hats for a few years now and I'm just about ready to go to 16". I like the dark, meatier chick I get from larger hats.


Gold Member
In all these years, I have never tried 13s. Always 14s. Hearing you guys describe them makes me want some 13 inch hats.

Joe Morris

I only used 13" hats forever. Most posts here are correct they are brighter sounding. Which in some cases on recordings can sound thin. Recently I have switched back to my 14" hats because I like the sound quality better for recording plus I feel like I have a bit more hi hat surface to hit. That 1 inch makes a big difference. There is a joke here but i will leave it alone. Anyway check out the Meinl fast hats. The 13 are really fast and the 14 are pretty quick too. Its really all a matter of what sound your looking for. I have had as many as 3 sets of hats on my kits, but now im down to 2. So I have the option for a brighter sounding hat on my right side.



Jakester, you really aren't the brightest spark on the fire are you? Why would you have 13" as back-up hats? Why not just have another pair of 14" hats? Why would you even need back up hats?!


Silver Member
+1 on 14" hats that act like 13s. I have a set of 14" Sabian Bright hats that occasionally force me to remember that they are indeed an inch bigger than they sound. That said, I want a set of 12" hats. I don't see or hear those much.


+1 on 14" hats that act like 13s. I have a set of 14" Sabian Bright hats that occasionally force me to remember that they are indeed an inch bigger than they sound. That said, I want a set of 12" hats. I don't see or hear those much.
I have a set of Zildjian 12" Recording hats that I use once in a great while.



Senior Member
zildjian do a 13 and a 1/4" hats (k custom hybrids)
personally i love them and have 2 pairs :)


Senior Member
Just buy whichever ones sound the best. Sure, we can say the obvious things like pitch difference and response time....But that's not going to help you at all to decide which you prefer. I'd certainly expect the difference between 13" and 14" hats of the same model to generally be much smaller than the difference between two different makes of 14"s.

Personally though, my current hats are a pair of Meinl 13" Extra Dries. Planning on getting a pair of 10's next.


Platinum Member
There really is just a slight difference in the pitch.
I compared K Custom Hybrid 13 and 14 hats side by side.
I picked the 13's. I just liked them a slight bit more.
Try and buy what you like.
I have played 15 inch hats as well as of course 14's.
I like all size hi-hats.


Gold Member
I like playing one pair of 13's and one pair of 15's! They're both awesome sizes, just need to be used in the right applications. Like you wouldn't want to start off your funk gig with the 15's, nor the blues with the 13's.