Hi-Hats: Tight or loose????

Winegums

Silver Member
I like my top hat nice and loose, I have stiff felt on my clutch so that it doesn't move too much though. If I were playing 13"s I would tighten up the clutch a bit.

loose and sloshy, with the top nuts just barely keeping a little check on the cymbal.

Drawback is this usually makes it easier for the bottom nut to unthread itself while playing. Anyone have easy tips (aside from Loctite) to prevent that?
You can find locking hihat clutches that use a drum key to lock the bottom nut on.

Or like others have said you can just get some teflon tape and wrap the threads. I wouldn't use loctite or any adhesive.
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
Interesting. The bottom nut on the hi-hat stands I've used have an internal flange (basically, they aren't threaded all the way through) and the flange tightens against the bottom of the clutch sleeve. I've owned three or four stands of various brands and haven't had a problem.

Both of my clutches have this design too, but for some reason the bottom nuts don't stay locked against the bottom of the sleeve. My old Iron Cobra clutch nut eventually stripped out even though I'm careful not to overtighten.

Honestly, it may have everything to do with how heavy my foot is while keeping time with the hats. But I'm also sitting here watching Jimmy Chamberlain stomp away for a full show and not once have to reach under his top hat to retighten it.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Both of my clutches have this design too, but for some reason the bottom nuts don't stay locked against the bottom of the sleeve. My old Iron Cobra clutch nut eventually stripped out even though I'm careful not to overtighten.

Honestly, it may have everything to do with how heavy my foot is while keeping time with the hats. But I'm also sitting here watching Jimmy Chamberlain stomp away for a full show and not once have to reach under his top hat to retighten it.
It looks like that Gibraltar clutch Les referred to might be a good solution, not to mention being quicker to use. I may end up with one for that reason alone.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Depends on the gig and the cymbals but I range between a little loose and very loose. I don't like them tight because I find it chokes the sound when I play them open or try to get a sizzle and I think it puts a bit of stress on the cymbal to not be allowed to move a bit when struck hard.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
loose and sloshy, with the top nuts just barely keeping a little check on the cymbal.

Drawback is this usually makes it easier for the bottom nut to unthread itself while playing. Anyone have easy tips (aside from Loctite) to prevent that?
Gibraltar quick release clutch- no screw to loosen! See above, clearly great minds think alike. I now have 2, one for my gigging kit and one in my stick bag fro rehearsal room kits.
 

Kenflux

Member
Ill second the quick release hi hat clutch from Gibraltar, one of my best purchases. makes set up easy and never comes loose.
on the topic of top hi-hat, I usually have mine tight but after reading a few answers i may loosen them off and see how i feel about the sound.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
As loose as I can without having that extra space between felt and hat. I just losen it until I have that annoying extra click when depressing down with my foot then tighten it until thst click goes away and voila !
 

Derek

Silver Member
I tend a bit on the sloshy side with mine. Also, so far a satisfied user of the Quick Release clutch.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
I tighten the nuts on top of the clutch just to the point that there is no play or slack when I play the hats with my foot. That way the top hat can swivel and tilt very easily. I tilt my hats as far as my stand will go, so keeping the top cymbal as loose as possible works well.
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
I've got my clutch fairly loose on my top hat. I like the sloshiness that that entails. I also find that having it super tight just chokes the hell out of the cymbal, and it doesn't respond as nicely.
 
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