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Old 03-13-2013, 06:09 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

One of the churches where I play in a worship band has a pair of 14" Paragon hats, and while I find they cut really nicely, I also found them to be lacking when you "fan" the hi-hat. Not sure if "fan" is the terminology today, but in the old days that was what it was called. If you don't know what I mean, think of those hi-hat accents in the beginning of Steve Miller's Take the Money and Run.

Anyway, I wanted some feedback based on experience in regards to my findings. Is it because they are Paragons, or is that just the way a thicker top behaves? My own personal hat is a vintage 14" thin UFIP top over a vintage A Zildjian bottom. FWIW, I recently tried an A Thin Crash as a top and while it cuts well and fans great, I'm wondering if the significantly more cut of the Paragons is characteristic of a thick top. What should I look for in a top that would give me a bit more cut without compromising the fan abilities, or is there even such an animal?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

Hmm. I never played the Paragons, but with a thicker top, that just means you'll be using more force for your fanning technique. Old skool Zildjian New Beats are a thin top mated with a medium bottom. The thicker you go, the less musical they sound. So I'm surprised you say the paragon top is thick. I figured those were supposed to be 'musical' hi hats as well.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I refer to what you're talking about in 3 ways...hats can be clangy (heavy and gongy), sloshy (have some body but start to "open up" more than clangy ones), and sizzly (thinner hats that open up easily and "sizzle" well--kinda like a riveted cymbal sound). Not all heavy cymbals are clangy--my HHX Evolution hats are proof of this. I think it has more to do with how much tension or how stiff a cymbal is that detemines its sonic characteristics, but I'm no expert...
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Hmm. I never played the Paragons, but with a thicker top, that just means you'll be using more force for your fanning technique. Old skool Zildjian New Beats are a thin top mated with a medium bottom. The thicker you go, the less musical they sound. So I'm surprised you say the paragon top is thick. I figured those were supposed to be 'musical' hi hats as well.
The Paragon is about twice as thick as both my my UFIP, and the 14" A Thin Crash I tested as a hi-hat top. I'm not so sure "force" would make them "sizzle" on fanning, at least not in a flattering way. I've tried a lot of different things with them, too, inlcuding loosening the hi-hat clutch felts, and nothing seems to enable them to fan nicely. I keep using them, because in a worship music context, a killer fan is not critical, and the way they cut pretty nice. But, in my secular band, there's no way I'd use them because of the lack of fanning. Hence my question on what might have cut AND fan sizzle.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
I refer to what you're talking about in 3 ways...hats can be clangy (heavy and gongy), sloshy (have some body but start to "open up" more than clangy ones), and sizzly (thinner hats that open up easily and "sizzle" well--kinda like a riveted cymbal sound). Not all heavy cymbals are clangy--my HHX Evolution hats are proof of this. I think it has more to do with how much tension or how stiff a cymbal is that detemines its sonic characteristics, but I'm no expert...
You might be right as far as cymbal flexibility goes, which is why my thinner top and crash-used-as-top both blow the thicker Paragons out of the water when it comes to fanning.

But, am I correct in assuming that in general that thicker hats produce more cut with the closed hi-hat sound?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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But, am I correct in assuming that in general that thicker hats produce more cut with the closed hi-hat sound?
Yes they do, but the problem with hi-hats is that they're already in this frequency range where nothing else is, so even thinner New Beats tend to stick out in your overall drum mix. I've heard many a beginning drummer just obliterate his own drum sound by concentrating too much on his hi-hats, when in reality, he could really go light on the hats and produce more bass drum and snare drum instead.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Hmm. Old skool Zildjian New Beats are a thin top mated with a medium bottom. The thicker you go, the less musical they sound. So I'm surprised you say the paragon top is thick. I figured those were supposed to be 'musical' hi hats as well.
NEW BEATS are medium weight top and a heavy bottom, which is somewhat of a standard Hi Hat pairing. W/o looking Im going to guess PARAGON'S are weighted close to the same. Don't think Neil Peart would have a heavy HH top.



What should I look for in a top that would give me a bit more cut without compromising the fan abilities, or is there even such an animal?

"Fan abilities" with cut? You can fan a heavy HH top, it just takes more power, tho it would probably be too loud. Weight ads cut, so medium weight HH tops will have more cut than light tops.

You've got the word- 'Sizzle'

Sizzle hat's, or hat's with rivets installed. When the hats are closed the rivets are virtually nonexistent, when you open the hats (fan) the rivets come alive and sizzle. You get the best of both worlds. I prefer an explosive 'fan' sizzle w/my hat's, and I get that with rivets.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

All I can say about the Paragons is that when you fan them, instead of being able to get a long "shhhhhhhht", you get nothing but a very quick "shht". If you try to hit them hard, you get a clangy fan.

Whether thickness is indicative of weight or not, all I know is that my UFIP top is 826 grams, the A Thin Crash I put on as a top is 820 grams, and when eyeballed, they appear to be the same thickness, or close enough that you can't see the difference. The Paragon top appears to be twice as thick.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

You might try pairing a Mastersound or Soundedge bottom with your existing tops, since you like the responsiveness of the ones you have. I've found the rippled bottom to give a characteristic cut of its own - maybe that would do the trick without going to a heavier top!
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

Really? I had no idea a bottom even made a difference. I will start messing with my bottom a bit. Wait, that didn't come out quite right. :-)
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I play a set of fairly thick and dry hats (Murat Diril 'Black Sea' 14") and it comes down to familiarity and playing technique. You have to spend time with them. With my hats, they're quite capable of the sound you describe but you have to work at it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I've found the rippled bottom to give a characteristic cut of its own - maybe that would do the trick without going to a heavier top!
I've used (and owned) sets of hi-hats with a rippled bottom before, but I found that they produced a very weak foot-splash sound with the pedal (which I assume is what fanning means).

Although rippled bottoms give you less air-lock and more cut, they also provide less surface area for the top and bottom to interact when splashing and therefore give a weaker sound, which would take the OP back to square one.

Hope everyone is well,

Kev
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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All I can say about the Paragons is that when you fan them, instead of being able to get a long "shhhhhhhht", you get nothing but a very quick "shht". If you try to hit them hard, you get a clangy fan.

Whether thickness is indicative of weight or not, all I know is that my UFIP top is 826 grams, the A Thin Crash I put on as a top is 820 grams, and when eyeballed, they appear to be the same thickness, or close enough that you can't see the difference. The Paragon top appears to be twice as thick.
You might have a 'dog' set of PARAGONS. If you can try another pair, they may sound different. I've played more than a few HHX EVO hats and they were all different in sound and feel, enough so that I could tell. Not as much consistency as you might expect.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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I've used (and owned) sets of hi-hats with a rippled bottom before, but I found that they produced a very weak foot-splash sound with the pedal (which I assume is what fanning means).

Although rippled bottoms give you less air-lock and more cut, they also provide less surface area for the top and bottom to interact when splashing and therefore give a weaker sound, which would take the OP back to square one.

Hope everyone is well,

Kev
In the example given by the OP ("Take the Money and Run" intro) the slightly open hat is struck with the stick and then closed. (In our backwoods vernacular, we just called it hissing the hat, lol!) So I don't think a foot-splash is what he is talking about when he says fanning, but I don't know for certain.

Now, I am assuming that when he says cut, he means the way the hat sounds when played with the stick with the hat in the closed position. And the rippled bottom does give some advantage there, in my experience.

In any case, I was just offering another option he can check, and see if he likes it.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I have no clue what fanning is. I keep getting that Ringo 8th note swingy visual ... Do you mean like a "bark"? Because I totally get not being able to get thick cymbals to open up enough to get a good bark ... Also, I always thought that sloshy was a characteristic of thinner hats and sizzle was what manhole covers did when left open.

Maybe we need to convene a panel of resident experts to determine what the correct descriptors are once and for all. I'll go ahead and appoint myself committee chair: it is now a lingo foul to use any form of the word "fan" as it relates to drumming unless one is used for making your free range farmed hair blow around in your sexy rock video :-)
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I agree, thinner hat tops don't cut as much. They sound darker and have a softer stick feel but in a band situation they can get a bit lost.

At least I'm finding that with my 16" hats (2 crashes).

I just googled paragon hats 'cos I'd never seen/heard them. The 'brilliant' ones look and sound just like my ufip supernova hats... ufip says on the site they're quieter (aside from other properties) because they're made from sheet metal, perhaps paragons are similar.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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I have no clue what fanning is. I keep getting that Ringo 8th note swingy visual ... Do you mean like a "bark"? Because I totally get not being able to get thick cymbals to open up enough to get a good bark ... Also, I always thought that sloshy was a characteristic of thinner hats and sizzle was what manhole covers did when left open.

Maybe we need to convene a panel of resident experts to determine what the correct descriptors are once and for all. I'll go ahead and appoint myself committee chair: it is now a lingo foul to use any form of the word "fan" as it relates to drumming unless one is used for making your free range farmed hair blow around in your sexy rock video :-)
Agreed Mike.Fanning is how Ringo played his hats.His hand not only went up and down,but also from side to side.Almost in a U or V motion.

A hi hat bark is what's being played in the intro of " Take the Money and Run".You can also clearly hear hi hat barks on the Beck, Bogert and Appice album.Carmine was master of the technique,on tunes like "Lady" and "Superstious".

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

[quote=IDDrummer;1118676] In the example given by the OP ("Take the Money and Run" intro) the slightly open hat is struck with the stick and then closed. (In our backwoods vernacular, we just called it hissing the hat, lol!)
/QUOTE]

Ahh, I'm with you now. In that case rippled bottoms might be exactly the solution the OP is looking for. I remember a while back a member was talking about hi-hat "sip", which caused a lot of confusion. That said, there's something quite nice about seeing old terms being used, I remember talking to a drummer who still referred to the hi-hat as the "sock cymbal"...I vote we bring back "tub-drum".

Hope everyone is having a great start to their weekends,

Kev
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

It sounds like I better clear some things up! :-)

MIKEM, "Fan" is the original technical term for hitting a closed hi-hat at an angle then opening it a nanosecond after the strike, then closing it again, which produces a sound like you would hear on the accents on 3 and 4 of the second measure after the leading fill on the intro of Steve Miller's Take the Money and Run. As described by someone else's post above, "bark" would be considered an equivalent colloquial term. And, TAMADRM, aka Steve B, I beg to differ about Carmine Appice and fanning, as I am the master at it, which is why I am so concerned. You naven't heard my Boogie Oogie Oogie, have you? :-)

Hi-hat Cut - the ability to be heard through the mix when riding a closed hi-hat. That said, BO EDER, what you said about hi-hats being heard without a lot of effort is exactly why a good hi-hat cut is desired. You should not have to work at that, and I prefer that every little nuance and inflection be heard... even mistakes. If your mistakes are heard, that can make you a better or smarter player. Hint: Sometimes being smarter is easier than getting better - If you make a mistake, just repeat it; not only will it sound like a "technique", many times repeating a mistake puts you right back in the groove! :-)

To clarify, Paragons are not quiet at all. They cut very well, but their fan abilities are much to be desired. I've been working at them every Sunday for a year now, and while you can get a fan out of them, you simply cannot get anything other than a quick one, never mind a prolonged fan. You can't really sizzle them, either... if you try, they sound like two cymbals rattling and/or clanging together, if you can imagine that. Trust me, I know what a true sizzle is, as I have a 1972 Zildjian 20" Sizzle Ride, and can sizzle my own hi-hat very well, too. While I previously attributed these idiosyncracies with the Paragons to them being thick, after CADDYWUMPUS's comment about stiffness, I paid careful attention last night when I was playing them again for the umpteenth time, and it certainly seems like their stiffness is the issue. Granted, other people might not notice the way they fan, but I'm a sticker for technique, and quite particular, if you haven't noticed by my other posts (and by the fact that I find Westone IEMs to sound like crap when so many artists like them, but that's another story), so Paragons are definitely not what I would pay any amount of money for.

Mastersounds - I just returned from Guitar Center, and for the record, the 14" Mastersounds were... let's just say WOW! They are everything a drummer would want. Nice crisp, clean and cutting, and they were sweet as heck when fanned. A pretty penny, to be sure, but they really are everything they are hyped to be. For the record, I am so mad at whoever suggested them, because now I WANT SOME! I was originally looking for a 14" crash, for Pete's sake! I won't mention any names, ID DRUMMER, but whoever suggested Mastersounds owes me the $328 I will inevitably end up spending for them, because I'd be hard-pressed to try and come up with as good of a sound, no matter what mix of tops and bottoms and crashes-as-tops combo I try. Although the A Thin Crash top does indeed provide for killer fans, and a not-bad cut, it doesn't hold a candle to the Mastersounds. In fact, nothing I've ever heard in my entire life does! By the way, can someone please tell me when the equipment aquisition in this profession ever ends? :-)
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I was just about to respond about fanning. After giving it a little more thought, I think the term makes sense, and your description is pretty good: if you're playing lazy 8ths with the stick while playing lazy 8ths with your foot, and if done such that the stick hits the hats at or around the same time as the foot closes them, there's a kind of airy and sloshy thing happening while still maintaining some amount of articulation. Is this what you're describing?

The best example of this I can think of is on Abbey Road during The End right after the drum solo, where Ringo uses this kind of riding technique right through to where everyone stops and it's just piano 8ths.

I'm not including the obvious accented hat openings that close on many of the 2 & 4s thru that section, though. To me, those are just run-of-the-mill disco barks (albeit tasty mellow barks done within the context the effect described).

In any case, I'm not hearing that effect on Take the Money and Run - to me those are barks because the top cymbal is far enough away from the bottom cymbal for long enough to open up clearly and is then cleanly choked off when the cymbals come back together. But maybe you're talking about something going on between those that isn't obvious to me on my crappy computer speakers?

I hereby rescind my ban on the word "fan" for drumming applications :-) ... as you were, men - smoke 'em if you got 'em!

BTW, I'm digging this discussion about tension and stiffness in the metal and its effect on how cymbals play and sound. Paragon hats, according to Sabian, are medium weight both top and bottom, so if anything they should be lighter and easier to play than New Beats, Ks, A/K Mastersounds (though not A Custom Mastersounds which are medium-thin over medium), Evolutions, Stage Hats, AA/HH Regular (or medium) hats, et al, ... all of which use a medium over a heavy.

I've played Paragons before, too, and wasn't particularly fond of them because they just didn't seem all that responsive, despite their "lighter weight" (but I think Sabian may be playing loose and fast with those terms, tbh). There is definitely something else at work here.

... which leads me to this bit of forum flaming (kidding!) - as much as I like Sabian cymbals, there is something in the metal they produce and work, and its present in every line they make ... I don't know how to describe it, but to me they sound mellower across the board than their closest competitor (Zildjian). My pet theory is that Sabian metal has less tension than Zildjian such that even my Ks tend to be bighter than my AAXs. I had a pair of AAX Stage Hats, which were kinda cool and not bad to play, but they didn't seem to produce all the frequencies that my very typical New Beats do, and were surprisingly mellow for hats that are among the brightest in their entire catalog. Zildjian gets hated on for being harsh, and I often agree with this criticism, but at the end of the day, they're more even across the frequency spectrum even though many of those overtones seemingly conflict, giving them their harsher sound (especially with the A series). Sabian manages to avoid those conflicting overtones simply by not having as many there to begin with). This is not necessarily a bad thing and is part of what gives Sabian the charm they have, but it seems to be a result of their cymbals being somehow softer (lower alloy tension) than Zildjians.

Anyway, all this to say that a subtle technique like "fanning" won't be as effective if the cymbals in question aren't producing the full array of frequencies and/or overtones.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Mastersounds - I just returned from Guitar Center, and for the record, the 14" Mastersounds were... let's just say WOW! They are everything a drummer would want. Nice crisp, clean and cutting, and they were sweet as heck when fanned. A pretty penny, to be sure, but they really are everything they are hyped to be. For the record, I am so mad at whoever suggested them, because now I WANT SOME! I was originally looking for a 14" crash, for Pete's sake! I won't mention any names, ID DRUMMER, but whoever suggested Mastersounds owes me the $328 I will inevitably end up spending for them, because I'd be hard-pressed to try and come up with as good of a sound, no matter what mix of tops and bottoms and crashes-as-tops combo I try. Although the A Thin Crash top does indeed provide for killer fans, and a not-bad cut, it doesn't hold a candle to the Mastersounds. In fact, nothing I've ever heard in my entire life does! By the way, can someone please tell me when the equipment aquisition in this profession ever ends? :-)
Ahem, who? Me? lol Sorry to help you spend money, but glad you found the sound you like.

For me, gear acquisition ends when I run out of money! haha.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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... which leads me to this bit of forum flaming (kidding!) - as much as I like Sabian cymbals, there is something in the metal they produce and work, and its present in every line they make ... I don't know how to describe it, but to me they sound mellower across the board than their closest competitor (Zildjian). My pet theory is that Sabian metal has less tension than Zildjian such that even my Ks tend to be bighter than my AAXs. I had a pair of AAX Stage Hats, which were kinda cool and not bad to play, but they didn't seem to produce all the frequencies that my very typical New Beats do, and were surprisingly mellow for hats that are among the brightest in their entire catalog. Zildjian gets hated on for being harsh, and I often agree with this criticism, but at the end of the day, they're more even across the frequency spectrum even though many of those overtones seemingly conflict, giving them their harsher sound (especially with the A series). Sabian manages to avoid those conflicting overtones simply by not having as many there to begin with). This is not necessarily a bad thing and is part of what gives Sabian the charm they have, but it seems to be a result of their cymbals being somehow softer (lower alloy tension) than Zildjians.
I think you're on to something with that. (though the "fanning" you describe is something I love doing with my HHX hats, i think it works great with those) Anyways, there is just something about the Paragon line that makes everything feel much stiffer than regular Sabians. It's peculiar. OP had best start saving up for those Mastersounds, then :)
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:55 AM
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I was just about to respond about fanning. After giving it a little more thought, I think the term makes sense, and your description is pretty good: if you're playing lazy 8ths with the stick while playing lazy 8ths with your foot, and if done such that the stick hits the hats at or around the same time as the foot closes them, there's a kind of airy and sloshy thing happening while still maintaining some amount of articulation. Is this what you're describing?

The best example of this I can think of is on Abbey Road during The End right after the drum solo, where Ringo uses this kind of riding technique right through to where everyone stops and it's just piano 8ths.

I'm not including the obvious accented hat openings that close on many of the 2 & 4s thru that section, though. To me, those are just run-of-the-mill disco barks (albeit tasty mellow barks done within the context the effect described).
Those "accented hat openings that clse on many of the 2 & 4s" are indeed fans. That said, most people play fans just like that, on the 2 and/or 4, periodically, and those fans only take one 1 eigth note. But, there are ways to apply a fan that span more than 1 eighth note, IF the hi-hat cymbals are conducive to such techniques, which is what I've talking about in relation to the Paragons.

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I've played Paragons before, too, and wasn't particularly fond of them because they just didn't seem all that responsive, despite their "lighter weight" (but I think Sabian may be playing loose and fast with those terms, tbh). There is definitely something else at work here.
Yes, like they're too stiff or something.

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... which leads me to this bit of forum flaming (kidding!) - as much as I like Sabian cymbals, there is something in the metal they produce and work, and its present in every line they make ... I don't know how to describe it, but to me they sound mellower across the board than their closest competitor (Zildjian). My pet theory is that Sabian metal has less tension than Zildjian such that even my Ks tend to be bighter than my AAXs. I had a pair of AAX Stage Hats, which were kinda cool and not bad to play, but they didn't seem to produce all the frequencies that my very typical New Beats do, and were surprisingly mellow for hats that are among the brightest in their entire catalog. Zildjian gets hated on for being harsh, and I often agree with this criticism, but at the end of the day, they're more even across the frequency spectrum even though many of those overtones seemingly conflict, giving them their harsher sound (especially with the A series). Sabian manages to avoid those conflicting overtones simply by not having as many there to begin with). This is not necessarily a bad thing and is part of what gives Sabian the charm they have, but it seems to be a result of their cymbals being somehow softer (lower alloy tension) than Zildjians.

Anyway, all this to say that a subtle technique like "fanning" won't be as effective if the cymbals in question aren't producing the full array of frequencies and/or overtones.
Good point, but I think the action of the top hat is the main contributor to the lack of good fans (and I don't mean those folks that applaud after a tasty fill, either).
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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OP had best start saving up for those Mastersounds, then :)
I think IDDRUMMER should start the contributions, and you should be in charge of collecting the funds for me from everyone else, since you are jumping on the wagon of me HAVING to spend more money. Yes, there seems to be no choice for me now. One one hand, I vaule the input of everyone on this forum. On the other, why is it that this free forum always ends up costing me money? :-)
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

Sizzle hats are exactly the term I use to describe the sound of my vintage A series thin crash over my Mastersound bottom ... the combination works great!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Sizzle hats are exactly the term I use to describe the sound of my vintage A series thin crash over my Mastersound bottom ... the combination works great!
So, would you say that a bottom alone makes a signficant difference? For example, have you heard your A Crash on a regular hat bottom, then switched to the Mastersound bottom and noticed a significant difference ?
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Those "accented hat openings that clse on many of the 2 & 4s" are indeed fans. That said, most people play fans just like that, on the 2 and/or 4, periodically, and those fans only take one 1 eigth note.
Okay, fair enough. In over 30 years of playing, I've never heard anyone use that word to describe such a common and pedestrian "technique". But it's possible, I suppose, that it's some obscure and arcane term that someone of my youth and geography is too far removed from to ever have heard before. The word "fan" doesn't really capture the abrupt and explosive nature of playing hats like that, IMO. I think "bark" is closer, though still not perfect - it seems to work better when used as a choked crash sound (as in Take the Money and Run), but not as well when ended on the beat (as with the Ringo example).

In any case, all you need is a top cymbal that opens up. Bottom cymbals matter too, and contribute a lot, but if the the top won't open up, then you'll only hear the cymbal edges rattling together without much cymbal body or tone.

I had a pair of A Custom Mastersounds (medium-thin / medium) that played really well until the top cracked. I went to eBay and picked up a AAX Stage Top. That combo was terrible (like the Paragons, a medium / medium) and they were ridiculously hard to control for some reason. I couldn't step on the pedal hard enough to get anything I'd associate with tight articulation. So I went back to eBay and got an AAX Stage Hat bottom (heavy) and that worked like a charm. I think the medium weight A Custom bottom didn't have enough mass to immediately stop the vibrations of the medium weight Stage Hat top, which is why they played so sloppy. But paired up with a heavy bottom cymbal sturdy enough to control the top, I got all the tight control and articulation I wanted. Probably why medium / heavy is such a popular combo in all the major's lines.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

Haha, I wonder how to register as a nonprofit group? Maybe I should just busk outside of malls. Anyways, here's an ebay search for 14" Mastersounds (excluding the ZHTs). You might want to just pick up a top cymbal (those have more effect on the timbre of the hats than the bottom in my experience), or see about somehow selling the Paragons after getting Mastersounds. Good luck!

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
So, would you say that a bottom alone makes a signficant difference? For example, have you heard your A Crash on a regular hat bottom, then switched to the Mastersound bottom and noticed a significant difference ?
Ah, I can answer this too, having K Mastersounds, HHX Evolutions, and a 14" Zildjian New Alloy crash in my possession that I commonly mix 'n' match for hats. When I switch between the HHX bottom and the Mastersound bottom with the same top cymbal, I notice that the Mastersound (the Ks being a heavier cymbal & sharper sound than the evolutions) adds some sharpness to the sound but that also happens when I use the Mastersound top with the HHX bottom. When doing anything with only the foot, I noticed almost no difference between the two bottoms and I'm sure that whatever difference I noticed was because of the cymbal's sound, not the ridges. (the Evolutions are unridged). So, the Mastersound bottom's ridges doesn't have much of an effect to my ears, but the different sound does have an effect.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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In any case, all you need is a top cymbal that opens up. Bottom cymbals matter too, and contribute a lot, but if the the top won't open up, then you'll only hear the cymbal edges rattling together without much cymbal body or tone.
That's exactly the problem with the Paragons.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Haha, I wonder how to register as a nonprofit group? Maybe I should just busk outside of malls. Anyways, here's an ebay search for 14" Mastersounds (excluding the ZHTs). You might want to just pick up a top cymbal (those have more effect on the timbre of the hats than the bottom in my experience), or see about somehow selling the Paragons after getting Mastersounds. Good luck!
Can't sell the Paragons because they belong to the church. I'm looking for something for mysel, which I would use at the church, along with all my other vintage Zildjians.

Quote:
Ah, I can answer this too, having K Mastersounds, HHX Evolutions, and a 14" Zildjian New Alloy crash in my possession that I commonly mix 'n' match for hats. When I switch between the HHX bottom and the Mastersound bottom with the same top cymbal, I notice that the Mastersound (the Ks being a heavier cymbal & sharper sound than the evolutions) adds some sharpness to the sound but that also happens when I use the Mastersound top with the HHX bottom. When doing anything with only the foot, I noticed almost no difference between the two bottoms and I'm sure that whatever difference I noticed was because of the cymbal's sound, not the ridges. (the Evolutions are unridged). So, the Mastersound bottom's ridges doesn't have much of an effect to my ears, but the different sound does have an effect.
I have a vintage heavy bottom (if I was a female I would not say that), so, I should probably skip a Mastersound bottom and save the money, for now, until I hear what that combo is like. From what I can tell on the Zildjian site, the Mastersound Bottom's vented design was aimed trying to enhance hat foot-closes, which is not what I am after.

Trying an A Thin Crash as a top resulted in great fan capabilities and a crisp tone, but the cut with stick-on-closed hat-is something to be desired. I also like bright and crisp in hats, because that cuts vey nicely. Mastersounds are SO pricey, even for just a top. I wonder if a straight A Custom 14" Crash would perform. Since they are thicker than Thin Crashes, my guess is that they would cut well with a stick-on-closed-hat, but I am wary that they may not fan well.

Or, I can just pony up and buy the Mastersound top since it is, after all, designed to be a hi-hat. Let me know when you've raised enough funds for me, and I'll buy one. :-)
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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I wonder if a straight A Custom 14" Crash would perform. Since they are thicker than Thin Crashes, my guess is that they would cut well with a stick-on-closed-hat, but I am wary that they may not fan well.
Actually, A Custom crashes are thin (AC Projection & AC Rezo = medium-thin; AC Medium = medium), so one would probably be very close to the Thin you already tried. Maybe a medium-thin (either A or A Custom Projection / Rezo) would get you the articulation you want.

Also, Zildjian bases their pricing on size and series so a 14" A Custom Crash is the same price as a 14" AC Mastersound Top ($185). A Customs are priced slightly higher than the regular A series (Avedis). A 14" A Thin Crash and a 14" A Mastersound Top (or bottom) are each $170. However, tops and bottoms can be found individually on eBay pretty easily for a lot cheaper.

Probably also worth noting that when you talk about Mastersounds, you need to specify which series because the thicknesses aren't the same. A series Mastersounds (basically just New Beats with a rippled bottom) are a medium / heavy pairing, whereas the A Custom Mastersounds (same as the regular A Custom Hi-Hats with rippled bottom) are medium-thin / medium.

There are also K Mastersounds (medium / heavy) and go for $220 each cymbal.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

Is the A Mastersound top really the same as the New Beat? The Mastersound hat pair I played yesterday was an A series, so if a New Beat is different, I would not be happy.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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Is the A Mastersound top really the same as the New Beat? The Mastersound hat pair I played yesterday was an A series, so if a New Beat is different, I would not be happy.
New Beats are A Series only - happily, there are no K or A Custom New Beats to confuse the issue.

Best I've been able to tell, yes, they're the same; both medium weight hi-hat tops from the A Series falling within the same weight range tolerances. That much I'm sure of, but I suppose it's conceivable that Mastersound tops might have a slightly different thickness profile from bell to edge of bow, though I seriously doubt it as that would require the lathe operator to give different consideration toward two otherwise identical cymbals. Only reason I can think of for why they might be different is a top that's thicker at the edges might be better paired with a Mastersound bottom for durability considerations. But again, I'd be really surprised if Zildjian went to the trouble since hats are pretty tough to break (crashes on the other hand ... ).

I used to use an A Mastersound top over a New Beat bottom (for many years) and they were definitely in the same ball park as every other New Beat pair I've owned and played on.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

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I used to use an A Mastersound top over a New Beat bottom (for many years) and they were definitely in the same ball park as every other New Beat pair I've owned and played on.
Yeah, when you have two cymbals in the same finish, same size, near-same weight, and same creation techniques, they'll sound pretty similar. Really, OP, you'd likely be good with most medium-thin to medium 14" cymbals in a traditional finish. I'm sure there are plenty of 14" crash lovers peddling some on eBay right now.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I have a UFIP Medium top now that I have been using literally since I got it new in 1970. I've always liked it better than any other hi-hat I have ever played, until yesterday when I made the mistake of sitting down and toying with a cheap kit at Guitar Center while awaiting my turn to line up my vintage crashes and try to find another crash that was a good fit for them. That cheap kit happened to have some Mastersounds set up, so I whacked them to kill time. Then I found myself checking them out for real, and then liking them. The worst part of this experience is that I never found a crash that fit my vintage sound scheme, and now I'm looking at dropping MORE cash on a hi-hat top I really don't need! :-)

So I'm thinking that not all medium tops are created equal. The Zildjian site says that the Mastersound A top's Blend is "attack". The New Beat and A Custom Mastersound both say "General". It sounds to me like the A Mastersound is designed to cut more. I'm not so sure that's just a word change to make people think it's different, do you guys?
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

I'd question the New Beat top in that classification- they're classic sounding hats to be sure and used a lot in many genres but they do have a prominent attack to them. I'd wager Zildjian says they're "general" just to avoid people seeing "attack" and being worried about it.

BTW, it just occurred to me that I have a friend who owns the 14" A Mastersounds and loves 'em but they (along with most zildjian hi-hats) have always sounded a little too sharp to me, so I'd put the NBs and the Mastersounds in the same category, especially since for a while now Zildjian's been making the A line a bit heavier (more contact ping) than they used to and the New Beats are part of that as well. It's not like they're David and Goliath, they're going to sound very similar no matter what.

Oh, and plus, UFiP is a special bird- their cymbals are cast using a process that (as far as I know) no other manufacturer close to their size uses so a traditional cymbal like the A series (and most zildjians) and a UFiP of any kind will have very different characteristics.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Thick vs. Thin Hi-Hat Top

The new lighter weight Zildjian A's are due in the stores soon. The New Beat Hi-Hats will have a lighter top cymbal, as well as a different profile. Other A's will be changed - 20" and 22" Medium Rides will also have a different profile and lighter weight. This is more in line with the Zildjian's from the 60's and 70's.
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