Advice on odd pairings for hi-hats

timmdrum

Silver Member
I have a couple of cymbals that I don't use:

1. 16" Sabian AA medium crash in brilliant finish that I haven't used in years because it has a couple of small, maybe 1/8" long cracks on the edge, both pointing directly toward the center and about an inch & 1/4 apart, that probably would've turned into one of those "cookie bite" cracks. The cymbal sounds great but I believe the cracks formed because its weight is slightly unbalanced, so the same heavier half was always facing me. I replaced it with a 16" A Zildjian medium and retired it.

2. a single 14" A Zildjian Field marching band crash. Weight-wise, it feels a bit like an average bottom hi-hat cymbal (about the same as my New Beat bottom), but I'm no expert in this.

It seems a shame that neither of these cymbals have met a drumstick, mallet, or twin cymbal in nearly 2 decades. So, I'm thinking of getting another 16 of some sort to pair as a top with the Sabian (so maybe the cracks won't get worse?)- not necessarily a loose top hi-hat cymbal, although I'm open to it, but maybe a thin or medium thin crash (so as to be heavier than the medium I have) would be more readily available used. For the 14" Field cymbal, a true hi-hat top to match, because maybe used 14" crashes aren't as readily available...? What do you think would pair nicely with what I have? Or, maybe I should just Craigslist/eBay/Drummerworld Classified :))) 'em both, or trade them in to Saluda or Dream and get something else made, or a discount on a new cymbal?

I welcome your thoughts and advice. :)
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think you're on the right track for wanting some orphan cymbals to pair them up with.

Finding a 16" used cymbal shouldn't be too hard, since that's such a common size. I might not go too thin on top, but I find thinner hi hats sound "woofy" to me, and I prefer a more precise chick.

14" can both be easy and tricky, depending on what you're looking for. You're right that there aren't as many 14" crash options, but an awful lot of hi hat cymbals are bottoms, since most people crack the top. But since they're plentiful and often fairly cheap, you may want to get another bottom hi hat cymbal and see what that comes of it.

I have a few pairs of orphans that I mix and match around, and it can be fun seeing what combos give you the sound you're looking for.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
14" can both be easy and tricky, depending on what you're looking for. You're right that there aren't as many 14" crash options, but an awful lot of hi hat cymbals are bottoms, since most people crack the top. But since they're plentiful and often fairly cheap, you may want to get another bottom hi hat cymbal and see what that comes of it.
I'd want a 14 top to go with the field cymbal; it feels too thick to use as a top, so I'm gonna use it as the bottom. My sorta-local drum shop (2112 in Raleigh, NC) usually has a few orphaned top & bottom HH cymbals. I was just wondering what would be a good/unique pairing for each of these; for the 14s, I don't wanna get too close to "normal" Quick Beats or New Beats. I have one each of those already. :)
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
2112 is great, I'm overdue for a visit myself. :)

All of my mix and match hats have a bottom hat over a bottom hat, but however I pair them up I still use the lighter of the two as the top. I wouldn't rule out finding a bottom that is still lighter than the marching cymbal. Both of the bottoms I use for tops are Paiste; a 404 that is almost paper thin (just barely over 700 grams..and it's a bottom!) and a 2002 heavy hi hat bottom that weighs less than a New Beat top.

Finding Paiste's (for cheap) can be a little harder but if you're looking to avoid cloning hats you already have both the tone and the weight of Paiste cymbals should help steer you away from sounding too much like what you already have.
 

roncadillac

Member
Seriously, try a China on the bottom and a splash or crash on the top. The cool part is they don't have to match up perfectly, the top cymbal can be an inch or two smaller as the lip of the china will be flat and having the 'underbite' won't feel weird like regular cymbals when the bottom is larger.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Just make sure you don’t get discouraged. Even vintage HHs that were sold one at a time are hit or miss. I’ve got a c1955 vintage Zildjian that sounded horrible with everything I paired it with for three years. 725g Jazz HH, what could be wrong. It just needed a certain type of cymbal to be magic like it is now.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Seriously, try a China on the bottom and a splash or crash on the top. The cool part is they don't have to match up perfectly, the top cymbal can be an inch or two smaller as the lip of the china will be flat and having the 'underbite' won't feel weird like regular cymbals when the bottom is larger.
I'm generally open to experimentation with alternate sounds, but I think I'd still like these two future pairings to be usable as primary hats because, as yet, I don't need/want to have a 2nd set of hats on the kit, so I don't wanna get too kooky with them.
 

roncadillac

Member
I'm generally open to experimentation with alternate sounds, but I think I'd still like these two future pairings to be usable as primary hats because, as yet, I don't need/want to have a 2nd set of hats on the kit, so I don't wanna get too kooky with them.
Ohh, I see. Full disclosure: I didn't read every detail of the OP and may have missed that. I did use that combo as primary hats BUT in one single very specific group where everything we did was a little out of the ordinary for the sake of being 'wierd' (we attached a contact mic to an industrial spring running into a delay unit and would play it like a drum for example, I've got a short vid of that somewhere).
 
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