Everything Hi Hats


Senior Member
When I returned to drumming a few years back, I started with Meinel MCS 14”. The first thing I noticed was that cheap cymbals were a lot better than 30 years ago.

Then I went to A customs for awhile, but remembered how much I liked the old Zildjian 15’s my old school had. ( by the way, “I’m never going back to my old school”)

That led me to a set of K light 16”, which were great. For awhile.

I changed all my cymbals over to 2002 Big Beats, including 15” hats. Didn’t take me long to decide I prefer bigger. So I paired my 18” 2002 with an old Sabian that I cut down. Shortly I replaced the Sabian with a PST7 18” heavy crash which was actually better.

After a bit I decided that I wanted my 18” 2002 back as a crash; I bought 2 PST7 16” crashes, heavy and thin. I was underwhelmed by the chic sound, so I cut 4 1” holes in the bottom heavy one, ah la “quick beat and strangely enough, these are the best hats I’ve had yet.
The sound very good - precise and cutting- for $206 and a little labor.

Someday I’ll probably buy a set of 17” sound edge 2002’s which seem more fitting with my Big Beats and Classic Maples.

However I’ve been putting a few bucks each into my Harley Davidson, and firearm hobbies, and with my daughters wedding coming next fall I’m in no hurry to upgrade hihats that sound really good to me.

Last edited:


Pioneer Member
Hi Guys. It's been a while since I've posted. Missed you all.

Larry, great thread topic. I have a love/hate thing going with my hi-hat experience. Sometimes they are like comfort food for most of the music we play and other times, they are the most satanic impossible frustrating (can't get what I think I want) cymbals on my kit.

I've been playing 14" A MasterSounds regularly for about 15 years. I have a set of Paiste 15" Bonzos that I only play in an un-mic'd group I jam with from time to time. I like them but they sound a bit brash to me these days. Maybe I've been spoiled with the mic on the hats thing.

I have a 13" K top with an A Quickbeat bottom that has been my more subtle and tasty hats. They don't cut as well in louder music when almost closed so unless the songs are all funky and hi-hat busy, I sort of just go back to the A MasterSounds.

After all these years, I finally picked up a 13" Z Dyno bottom to go with my K top and have the coveted K/Z hats. I do get it. They sound great. They are on my practice kit at home right now and I love the way they sound mic'd and un-mic'd. The weights of each just work together well.

Other drummers have critiqued my playing; saying that I'm too light on the hats when I play. Maybe so, but most of the music I've been playing lately just doesn't need that heavy "shoulder of the stick" treatment to get a sloshy or sizzly sound.

I have noticed that some shitty B8 entry level hats still can sound good. Maybe more so than other cymbal sounds on a kit, the hi-hats can be truly challenging to play well.

My vote is for either MasterSounds or New Beats (or any other brand config with similar weights and profiles). They work for a lot of music.

[Reluctant Confession} - The 10" Zildjian Mini-hats I bought about 5 years ago, and just had to have, are in a bag in the closet and don't get played.


"Uncle Larry"
Philippe! Long time no see! Wow, hopefully, you're back for a while. From where?

I'd rather hear someone light on the hats and ride and heavy on the snare and bass anyday....generally speaking.

I have a hard time tolerating heavy hi hat and ride volume coupled with weak kick and snare.

I had some Sabian XS20 hi hats that I really liked.