16" Hi-Hats - I'm Sold

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
it is not a new idea by any means but I have been reading both on this site and in Modern Drummer quite a bit lately about using larger hats and last night at the rehearsal space that I rent I grabbed the 2 16' crash cymbals that are part of the setup on the house kit and set them up as hats; it sure works for me; the feel, the sound (fatter), translated in to a more relaxed, laconic style of playing; less was more. I jammed with my bandmates through a range of styles and it worked for all of them. It is such a simple thing however things tend to come to me later than sooner and this is a wonderful discovery for me and wanted to share.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
Larger socks are indeed the holy grail of timekeeping, at least, for myself.

I'm a big obsessive over hi-hats ever since I started mixing and matching. Sure, series hi-hats are fine, like your Zildjian K hats, or A's, or whatever. But why limit yourself to a series? If you want a unique sound, I think everyone should experiment with different hats. I finally arrived at my favorite socks 'thus far. A 16" Medium B8 crash (bottom) and a 16" Pro Series Thin crash (top) both made by Sabian. They're getting up there in age - the Pro series especially. I've used a few techniques to speed the aging process, but they've never been cleaned. They have a crisp but dry mellow sound. I've never played a better pair of hi-hats.

But I'm still experimenting. I've even went as far as taking two 20" inch rides, one thicker and one thinner, and using them as hi hats... Of course, they actually sounded awful I think. But even the thinner of two rides was pretty thick. If someone used thinner cymbals like Zildjian A sweet rides, or maybe even K's, I think it would work quite well. So the next time someone posts a topic about this, I might be using 20" inch hats instead of 16"

The feeling I get from larger hats is a more full sound. I don't think I'll ever go back to 14"s. Growing up I had a pair of really cheap 12" no name hats. So when I saw everybody else using 14" I kinda' always had that wanting for bigger hats. I played 14"s for about a year, and wanted something different.

Meinl make 15" hi-hats in their Byzance line, that sound AMAZING. But I think that's as small as I could go, and still be comfortable. For the most part, I'm pretty loyal to Sabian just because they manufacture more cymbals that sound to my liking. I think if I could afford to do it, I'd jump that ship and get a bunch of Byzance cymbals.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I use a pair of Zildjian A crashes medium bottom and medium thin top. I like them.

A lot of people seem to be getting into big hats.

Bo seems to be very happy with his 17" hats.

I like the feel, the slosh, the great hat splashes and crashes but the closed hat stick sound is the weakest part of the whole pairing.

One day, if I can find an inexpensive Zildjian A Rock crash, I'll pair it up with the medium up top and see if it gives a little better closed hat stick sound.
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
Larger socks are indeed the holy grail of timekeeping, at least, for myself.

I'm a big obsessive over hi-hats ever since I started mixing and matching. Sure, series hi-hats are fine, like your Zildjian K hats, or A's, or whatever. But why limit yourself to a series? If you want a unique sound, I think everyone should experiment with different hats. I finally arrived at my favorite socks 'thus far. A 16" Medium B8 crash (bottom) and a 16" Pro Series Thin crash (top) both made by Sabian. They're getting up there in age - the Pro series especially. I've used a few techniques to speed the aging process, but they've never been cleaned. They have a crisp but dry mellow sound. I've never played a better pair of hi-hats.

But I'm still experimenting. I've even went as far as taking two 20" inch rides, one thicker and one thinner, and using them as hi hats... Of course, they actually sounded awful I think. But even the thinner of two rides was pretty thick. If someone used thinner cymbals like Zildjian A sweet rides, or maybe even K's, I think it would work quite well. So the next time someone posts a topic about this, I might be using 20" inch hats instead of 16"

The feeling I get from larger hats is a more full sound. I don't think I'll ever go back to 14"s. Growing up I had a pair of really cheap 12" no name hats. So when I saw everybody else using 14" I kinda' always had that wanting for bigger hats. I played 14"s for about a year, and wanted something different.

Meinl make 15" hi-hats in their Byzance line, that sound AMAZING. But I think that's as small as I could go, and still be comfortable. For the most part, I'm pretty loyal to Sabian just because they manufacture more cymbals that sound to my liking. I think if I could afford to do it, I'd jump that ship and get a bunch of Byzance cymbals.
Funny you should mention the 16" Sabian B8 as I own one and have never used it once; seems like an opportune time to do so. I will keep the Pro Seies in mind as I look for a top cymbal. 20" eh? Why not; This has been a great time for experimentaion these last few years, anything goes.Thanks.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
Funny you should mention the 16" Sabian B8 as I own one and have never used it once; seems like an opportune time to do so. I will keep the Pro Seies in mind as I look for a top cymbal. 20" eh? Why not; This has been a great time for experimentaion these last few years, anything goes.Thanks.
You would have to find the pro series on eBay. They no longer make them. But someone told me the B8 Pro line is pretty much the offspring of the Pro series.. Maybe you could get a 16" B8 Pro medium, and a thin top crash. That might actually sound better.
I just wound up using a plain B8 the bottom because I'd had it forever, and never used it. It was coincedence that I liked the sound so much.

The two have aged so much together, they actually look like a pair of hi-hats. If I went now and bought a B8 Pro for a bottom, it would look weird. So I'll probably just keep them they way they are until I find a completely new pair of hats I like better... which I'm doubting will ever happen. The 15" Meinl Byzance custom shop hats are my dream socks though.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I've tried all sorts of mismatched combos.

14 A Mastersound bottom with a 13 K top - nice and easy to gently shoulder the bottom cymbal and get a great sizzle.

13 A Quickbeat bottom with a 14 A Mastersound top - meh

13 A Quickbeat bottom - 8" extra thin splash inverted (or 10" K splash) and a 13 K top - interesting and different yet it was more versatile than I thought.
 

brady

Platinum Member
What about a 16 on top and a 14 or 15 on the bottom? Anybody ever try a combo like this?
Max Roach used to do that. I believe it was actually a 15 on top of a 14. Check out some pictures online. Better yet, check out some recordings.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I've got 2 cracked 16" crashes as hats since I had to steal my hats from my home kit for my band kit. It's kinda nice to jump between regular hats and these. Only thing that let's them down is they don't get much volume when playing the pedal. They are softer in general but that's probably because they are crashes, not designed to have lots of stick definition.

I don't think they're better or worse, just different.
 
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