15" Hats - Why?

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I'm expecting the answer to be "why not?"

I've played 14" hats almost my entire drumming life. Except for way early on, when I had 13" hats.

Thought it might be fun to try something new. What do you guys like about 15" hats?
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
With many, there's a nice slushiness and a smoother sound - the extra inch adds enough real estate to make a nice difference. It's like going from a 22 to a 24" bass drum. It's only a 10% difference, but it's significant.

I have 29 pair of 15"s and I'd say most sound and feel great. Some of my favorites are Zildjian (late '70s) Constantinople, original Paiste 602, Dream Bliss, Masterwork. It's just a nice size. For whatever reason, as a Sabian artist for 22+ years, I don't have any 15" Sabian hats. :(

Bermuda
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
With many, there's a nice slushiness and a smoother sound - the extra inch adds enough real estate to make a nice difference. It's like going from a 22 to a 24" bass drum. It's only a 10% difference, but it's significant.

I have 29 pair of 15"s and I'd say most sound and feel great. Some of my favorites are Zildjian (late '70s) Constantinople, original Paiste 602, Dream Bliss, Masterwork. It's just a nice size. For whatever reason, as a Sabian artist for 22+ years, I don't have any 15" Sabian hats. :(

Bermuda
Thanks Bermuda for the reply! Wow, 29 pairs of 15's? I wonder, though, if you loose some pitch going to the 15's. I can relate about the brand thing. I've played nothing but Paiste 2002 crashes and rides for the past 27 years. However, I just COULD NOT get myself to like the 2002 sound edge hats. They sounded and played too harsh for my taste. So...I have my Paiste 2002 cymbals paired with 14" Zildjian New Beats. I keep intending to try some 2002 mediums, maybe, or heavies, just to have a matched set.
 

PineyplayParadiddles

Senior Member
If you can then you must try 15 inch Paiste Masters Dark hats. So buttery and smooth, they are the most musical hats I've played. 15 inch Giant Beats are actually rather versatile as well, they fit really nicely into quieter playing with the thin weight. Kerope 15's are astonishingly good as well.

If you can try out a few 15 inchers at a drum shop you may be very surprised at how different they can feel to each other. I just like a lower pitched, more mellow sound.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Bermuda for the reply! Wow, 29 pairs of 15's? I wonder, though, if you loose some pitch going to the 15's.
Not necessarily, the weight has more to do with pitch than size alone. So a heavier pair can sound pretty crisp.

But pitch being equal, the overall sound will be affected by the size. Imagine an 8x10" tom that sounds great, and then taking a 9x12" tom and tuning it to the same note. The pitch will be the same, but the sound is fuller on the 12". It is probably preferrable, too. Hence, why 15" hats sound and feel good. :)

Bermuda
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I'm a 15" New Beat guy too. Just love the sound. So much so I got rid of my 14s. But usually I use 17" hi hats. I use those for everything.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I like larger hats for the darker, warmer pitch. Whereas 13" and 14" hats cut, 15"s and 16"s blend and push the midranges a little more, and it makes everything a little more fuller.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I'm 53, I have been playing since I'm 9, and I never gave a thought to anything but 14" hats. Now I have to go listen to some 15's. See what you guys did? :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I still miss my mid 70's Paiste 2oo2 Sound Edge 15 inch hats.
Awesome! They could do anything. Jazz, Tight Playing, Funk, loose Rock, Blues, Hard Rock. You Name it, they could play it.
I know own 4 sets of hats to cover that space :)
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
15" Giant Beat hats were my first step on my big-ass hi hat pilgrimage. Shortly after getting those, a pair of 16" Twenty hats were next, followed by a couple of 17" Twenty crashes paired up, until most recently I've been using an 18" 2002 thin crash over an 18" Rude Wild Crush Ride.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I have 14" and 15" New Beats. Stewart Copeland and Neil Peart played 13"s back in the '80s, so that's what I had for several years, but eventually came to find them too ADHD for what I was looking for. Haven't used 13s in about 20 years and have no desire to go back.

The 14s are on my kit that I use with one band, and the 15s are on the kit I use in my other band, which belongs to the bass player and is pretty badass: early '80s Tama Superstar with a 24/13/16/18. He has good taste in drums :)

I love the heft and sizzle of the 15s, but I wish they were a little lighter, like the newer ones. These are 5 or 6 years old. My 14s are basically perfect. Just the right pitch, tight controllability, and with purdy teeth. The 15s are a little harder to boss around, so I prefer my 14s.

Pretty sure I could be swayed by the thinner and newer version of the 15s, though.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The warmth for me. I got hold of an odd pair for £80 5 years ago, old 70s rock top hat and 602 soundedge bottom. Got them just to experiment really, always swore by 13" K/Zs for everything but I always use 15". £80 well spent.

Still got the odd pair but upgraded to 15" K Light Hats, would like to get a new beat bottom or a quick beat bottom as well.

The 13" K/Zs are louder than my 15s.

My advice would be to do what I did, get a 2nd had set that way if you don't like them you haven't been hit too hard in the pocket.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
Not necessarily, the weight has more to do with pitch than size alone. So a heavier pair can sound pretty crisp.

But pitch being equal, the overall sound will be affected by the size. Imagine an 8x10" tom that sounds great, and then taking a 9x12" tom and tuning it to the same note. The pitch will be the same, but the sound is fuller on the 12". It is probably preferrable, too. Hence, why 15" hats sound and feel good. :)


Bermuda
The size definitely DOES affect the pitch though. My 18" 2002 Thin Crash/Rude Wild Crush Ride combo are lower pitched than my 17" Twenty Thin Crash hats even though the Crush Ride is a heavier cymbal than the Twenty Thin.

If you had 16" and 18" crashes, both the same thickness, the 18 would be lower pitched.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
My 16" New Beats give me an eargasm when I play them.
Ooh, I bet they do. My favorite set is a pair of 15" 70's New Beats. I can play anything with those. The weight gives me a good foot chick and more volume than I'll ever need while the size gives me a lower pitch that a comparable set of 14's. When ever anyone plays my hat's I am reminded of how loud they can get for players with less developed dynamics.

Tried a set of 16's made out of a Sabian HH and a 60's Zildjian but they just didn't have the same foot chick sound. I'm going to try a thicker bottom cymbal eventually.
 
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