Everything Hi Hats

Bought a pair of 14" Zildjian Rock hats new when I was a teenager in the 80s. They replaced the incredibly horrible starter hats I had and so I loved them...or thought I did. After a while I realized they were heavier than I needed or wanted but they were expensive so I just kept 'em.
When I got back into drumming a few years back, I picked up a pair of 14" Meinl MB10s for $50 and...absolutely hated them.
Then I stumbled across a guy selling his 14" New Beats from for $50...along with a 16" medium thin crash and an 18" crash-ride, all Zildjian from the 80s. Naturally, I jumped on the deal.
Got home, set the New Beats up on the hi-hat stand, started playing...and the second I did, I thought, yes. Yes. This is the hi-hat sound I've always wanted, probably because it's the one I'd heard on so many thousands of records.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've got a few hi-hats .... all Sabian
18" AA Sick Hats (my newest addition and man I'm lovin' them)
??? 18" hi hats Harry? Holy cow. I thought Bo was nuts. Aren't they heavy enough to mess with the hi hat spring return action? I mean you obviously like them. I never even thought to dare to go that big with a hat. I need to get out more.

I NEVER owned anything other than a 14" hi hat. That sounds nuts when I proofread it. I still have my first great set of hi hat cymbals that I bought with my first credit card (that I maxed out at a music store, Zaphs in Center City Phila. 1 rainy spring day in 1977). I worked at a bank in Center City Phila. PNB lol. They gave me a credit card, idiots. I was 18.5 then lol. 14" New Beats, brand new, which I still have 42 years later? Holy crap. I got Rototoms, an SM 58 mic, and I forget what else that day.

I had some crap hi hats that came with my first set of drums I got for Christmas in 1968...MIJ gold sparkle Stewarts.... that I blocked from my memory. I have no memory of any cymbals with that kit. Until my next kit, brand new 1976 Ludwig "Hollywood" in bowling ball blue that I got from profits from the sale of illegal items to my friends in HS. The next year I got a credit card and therefore better hi hat cymbals. I had gotten a great 20" Zildjian medium ride and an 18" Zildjian crash from Benny Cintioli in Phila. from my beaten father for Christmas 1971, which I was absolutely ecstatic about. I picked them out, and my parents hid them until Christmas. But I would steal them and conceal and walk them to a nearby apartment complex laundry room to play them. Then I would return them after playing them. Ha ha ha. I was SO hooked on great sounding cymbals, I would kill for them.

I am so done buying drums, but cymbals...I will rarely indulge. Maybe a set of 15" hats, they would be next I guess.. Or do I dare consider 16's?

Playing-wise, I love the effect it creates when the snare hand randomly hits the closed hi hat on one of the 16th note subdivisions (other than the backbeat) during a beat. The hi hat adds so much complexity while totally staying out of the way of everything. Fills that won't work on toms...like one thought of during a vocal...can work on the hi hat. I friggin love the access it has. It goes anywhere, where IMO, toms don't, can't. Toms are very heavy. Hi hats are light, like fragrance on a warm spring breeze. They go anywhere. I love the hi hat.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
??? 18" hi hats Harry? Holy cow. I thought Bo was nuts. Aren't they heavy enough to mess with the hi hat spring return action? I mean you obviously like them. I never even thought to dare to go that big with a hat. I need to get out more.
They're actually pretty light. The "top" probably has half the weight cut out of it, with all the holes. And they're thinner than some of my other hats. Sabian makes some thick hats.

I was watching some Virgil Donati video's when these came up, and I said "I gotta get me some of that!!!"

 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have both 13" and 14" Zildjian New Beats, but the pride and joy I've been using for the last three years at least, has been two Zildjian 17" A Thin Crashes paired as hi-hats. For me, this is the ultimate. Amazing crunch and slosh, and the standard hi-hat patterns you would normally play don't cut through like a knife like they do with smaller proper hi-hats. I like to blend, and I went this direction because I was noticing most guys who bash their hi-hats, don't realize that the hi hat sound is totally cutting through the music and can be annoying at best, and disruptive at worse.

You do lose a bit of the foot "chick" sound when playing jazz, but that's the only trade-off. If I have to play in a Buddy Rich type big band, then I'll go to the 14s because in that context everything needs to naturally cut through anyway. But for rock band stuff, 17" is great. It makes a nice extra crash too - so much so that lately I'll just use those hi-hats, and my 22" K Light Ride, which also crashes well.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
The hi-hat is my favorite part of a drum kit. As a kid I always loved bright and prominent hi-hat sounds on recordings. If the hi-hat was buried in the mix, or very low pitched or trashy, I would be very disappointed. I'm still that way today. I never did get on board with the trend to larger and lower pitched hats.

When I got my very first pair of hi-hats as a lad, they were Krut cymbals. Very thin and mushy sounding. Hated them! They were beginner cymbals anyway. Now I hear all these drummers talking about how much they love their low pitched and extremely mushy hi-hat sound! And that's ok! For them!

This brings me to my disappointment with Paiste. Sure, there are 13" hats for 2002 Sound Edges and Dark Crisps, but that's about it.
What about 602's, Paiste!? You need to bring back the 13" 602 Heavy, Medium And Sound Edge! Chances are they won't. Just not enough interest in those sounds anymore I guess. :cry:
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
They're actually pretty light. The "top" probably has half the weight cut out of it, with all the holes. And they're thinner than some of my other hats. Sabian makes some thick hats.

I was watching some Virgil Donati video's when these came up, and I said "I gotta get me some of that!!!"

Harry I could see my stick totally getting caught in those holes. Any comments? They do sound surprisingly crisp for 18's. I like the sound but I think the holes would hamstring me.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Harry I could see my stick totally getting caught in those holes. Any comments? They do sound surprisingly crisp for 18's. I like the sound but I think the holes would hamstring me.
I've been playing on 'em for 4 days now. Haven't had my stick get caught in a hole, yet. And I haven't changed my playing at all, so no worries here.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
The way I see it, hi-hats tell the story, and the ride embellishes it. I have a set of Sabian 14" Regular hi-hats that I bought in my 20s and haven't had a reason to change.

Playing heel down, I naturally want to put the hi hat machine a little further away because it's less angle on my calf.
A tilting hi-hat stand will bring the hi-hats closer.
 
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V-Four

Senior Member
Not much productive to add ...except the obvious picture worth 1000 words..
14" New Beats..
I imagine that even if I get the itch to try other flavors, these will always be "home".

ZNB.jpg

T.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Not much productive to add ...except the obvious picture worth 1000 words..
14" New Beats..
I imagine that even if I get the itch to try other flavors, these will always be "home"
I think, when they were first issued they became the standard by which all other hat cymbals are compared to or rated against. Something about its sound both live and recorded made it the gold standard.

When cymbals are marketing and they indicate it has a "bright" sound, or "dull", "clear", etc., it implies a standard (i.e., "brighter than what other"). That "other", for hats, has been the 14" New Beats before the sisters split into Zildjian and Sabian.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I once emailed Gary Mallaber years ago and I asked him what hi-hat he was using on all those hits with Steve Miller and Eddie Money.
His response was something like "15" Zildjian New Beats. What else is there?!" 🙃
 
Whenever I sit down at another drum set, I move the hi hat stand closer to the tom - it feels more comfortable to me because the sticks don't get in the way of each other and because I don't like to rotate my spine a lot while moving between the ride and the hats.

My favorite hats used to be a mixed set of vintage Zildjian 15" cymbals: a light top and a heavy 'Marching Band' bottom. These sound great all around.
I also have a set of very old and bruised cymbals: 14" Zanki top, 14" Zildjian K bottom. Very dry and rather quiet - I like these a lot for small acoustic settings.
My new favorites: 15" Cymbal & Gong Holy Grails. Fantastic cymbals in every aspect:
87868
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I once emailed Gary Mallaber years ago and I asked him what hi-hat he was using on all those hits with Steve Miller and Eddie Money.
His response was something like "15" Zildjian New Beats. What else is there?!" 🙃
Mr. Fly Like An Eagle himself, nice! Kenny Aronoff uses 15" New Beats regularly as well.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Most of the time I'll use Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary 15" hi-hats. They're my all around favorite and cover so many bases.

For brighter hats I'll use Istanbul Agop Lenny White Signature Epoch 14" hats.

For darker I've got an extra thin set of 16" Istanbul Agop Turk hats.
 
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