Franken-hats

alparrott

Platinum Member
Hello, Drummerworld. My name is Al, and I'm a cymbalholic. (Hi, Al.)

Apparently my "signature thing" in drumming is creating these unholy Frankenstein hi-hat pairs. Take two cymbals and jam them together. If they're from the same line, cool; if not, way cooler.

My journey began twenty years ago when I picked up my first "real" pair of hi-hats. Except they weren't. All the hi-hats I heard were bright and cutting. Here was a pair of secondhand hats that sounded a bit warmer, a bit darker, and more like what I liked. Turns out they were two Zildjian 14" Z-MAC cymbals - which meant they were like two New Beat tops. Still have them.

I needed an X-hat and wanted smaller hats. So I ended up pairing one of those $40 Radiant XL 12" splashes with a Paiste 400 12" splash. Sounded like I was playing on stacked sawblades. So much fun.

Then I started getting into larger hats. Cue the 16" Project 391 crash on top of the 16" A Custom projection crash.

Got gifted an old 14" AA extra-thin crash with a fleabite in it. Paired it with one of those old Z-MAC cymbals. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better.

So do you have a Frankenhat in your collection? Is it a party trick you throw out occasionally, or your main pair of hats?
 
Last edited:

Mongrel

Silver Member
14" Zildjian K dark thin crash under a 14" Zildjian A Custom crash or vice-versa.

Great for low volume brush and rod gigs...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
All my hi hats are mix and match. When I get a new set, I usually pair each cymbal with every other HH cymbal I have, to find just the right blend that trips my trap.

Typically, I like 2 bottom hats as my set. Bottom cymbals are heavier, therefore higher pitched. I really go for a high pitch in hi hats. 14" is my favorite size, 13's are too toyish and 15's are too much for me. I don't think I ever played hats the way they were intended to be used. At the very least I would flip them over, using the bottom cymbal as the top. A great hi hat sound could be the hardest thing to get right.

I have too many top cymbals now. I just got my first pair of Amedia hats at the drum show, Galata series. (partly unlathed, very pretty cymbals) They stay on my studio kit, outing a mixed pair of Soultones that were there. The Amedias...really crisp articulate cymbals. The bottom and top cymbals sound like they were octave paired. For now, I am keeping the pair together, except with the bottom on the top. But they do sound teasingly good with one of my Soultone bottoms as the bottom cymbal too.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I have paired up a 16" Sabian HH medium thin crash with a 16" AA Raw Bell crash. I also have a 15" Sabian HH thin crash I paired up with a 15" SR2 heavy bottom hat with rivets. Both are fairly quiet and mellow combinations.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I have three sets of hats and I tried mixing and matching them in a few different configurations. It just didn't impress me as much as I thought it would. I like my old New Beats how they are.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
These are all my main hats dependingnon which line up I'm using at the time:

17" Twenty Thin Crash over either a 17" Twenty Full Crash or 16" Twenty Med-Light Hi Hat Bottom

18" 2002 Thin Crash Over 18" Rude Wild Crush Ride
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Do K/Zs class as the ultimate franken hats?

I have my 15" A Rock/602 SE which according to ebay used to belong to Mick Tucker from the Sweet. Heavy sound egdes.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
My giggin' hats were a 16" HH Medium crash under a 16" AA Stage crash. They sounded great! I like big hats because you can get an additional crash sound that you can sizzle out if needed. These days they live at the church I play at, the thinner cymbals are sound nice at the lower volume that gig calls for.

I am also looking to assemble a set of 16" heavy hats to approximate New Beats. I am thinking of matching a Z custom and a Heavy crash.

I'd also love to try a 17" pair of Franken-hats like Bo uses.
 

MJD

Silver Member
I rather like AS hats. That is, an A New Beat top over an S mastersound bottom.
Or those Sabian hats that they came out with for cymbal vote awhile back. I think it was an XS20 top over a B8 accelerator bottom. Mike Portnoy did a demo vid of them at the time.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My giggin' hats were a 16" HH Medium crash under a 16" AA Stage crash. They sounded great! I like big hats because you can get an additional crash sound that you can sizzle out if needed. These days they live at the church I play at, the thinner cymbals are sound nice at the lower volume that gig calls for.

I am also looking to assemble a set of 16" heavy hats to approximate New Beats. I am thinking of matching a Z custom and a Heavy crash.

I'd also love to try a 17" pair of Franken-hats like Bo uses.
I'd use maybe a medium or medium-thin over a heavy or rock crash to get a New Beat type sound.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I have one set of used mis-matched hats that I bought that way for a good price. The mis-match is not a big stretch however; Sabian AA Regular Hats top with an AAX Stage Hats bottom. They sound great together. It's not something that I have done on purpose in the past though. My other two sets are matched pairs. But now that you mention it I may mix 'em up to see.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I put together a set of 14" A/Z Hats for myself.

It's a new (2015) A Custom Hi Hat Top paired with a 1980's Z Series Dyno Beat bottom.
Z Series NOT Z Custom. It has the star shaped hammer marks as oppose to the Hexagonal shipped ones they changed it to in the 90's and still use today.

I would use the use the A Custom on top for heavy rock gigs. And use the Z on top for electronic music, or in the studio with industrial and heavy bands.

They are up for sale if anyone wants them.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
I made a pair of 14" hats that have a 70's A thin top over an EXTRA heavy Meinl Sand Hat bottom. Has such a great open sound, and has a great amount of cut. If I want more clarity (which I tend to lean towards when I play live) I flip the cymbals around so I'm playing the bottom, which gives it a really strong stick sound and pretty much the same open sound. Just louder. Lol.

Next project will definitely be something 16"

-Jonathan
 

paravil

Senior Member
16" Sabian AA Thin Crash and a Wuhan New Traditional crash, flip-flopped. Bought the Wuhan as a cheap experiment and it ended up sounding great. I get a little more volume and "sizzle" with the Sabian on top, and more of a delicate sound with the Wuhan on top.
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
I'd use maybe a medium or medium-thin over a heavy or rock crash to get a New Beat type sound.
I use a 16" A Medium Crash on top, and a 16" A Rock Crash on the bottom, and they sound like a super-sized version of my vintage 14" New Beats. They have an even broader dynamic range than the New Beats because of the larger size, and they are buttery-smooth, and have gotten me through jazz, rock, and heavy metal gigs without issue.

I also like to use the 14" New Beat top with the bottom from my 14" K Con Heavy Prototype hi-hats.
 
Top