Franken-hats

Frederick_J

Junior Member
My main hi-hats for the past 20 years were a 14" Istanbul K top over a Quick Beat bottom. It was my attempt at a K/Z type of pairing, as those were all the rage at the time. Quirky as it was, it worked for everything I needed it to do. Plus, the slosh was amazing!
 

Peedy

Senior Member
My current go-to set are 15s. Top is an early 1960s 875 gram jazz type hat while the bottom is a mid 1980s 1400 gram New Beat. They just sound amazing.

Got a couple of real sets but most of my hats are late 50s to early 60s when Zildjian basically instructed their customers to mix and match to their taste.

Pete
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My church put some new cymbals on the drumset and so of course I had to try Franken-hatting them.

16" Sabian AAX V-crash over my 16" A Custom Projection crash. Nice.

I oughta try my 20" rides as franken-hats... and my 18" crash over my 18" ozone...
 

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paravil

Senior Member
I recently picked up a 16" Sabian AA Apollo hi hat top from Reverb. Pairing with my AA Thin Crash, it's the perfect compliment to my regular Wuhan/AA Thin pairing. I've used the thin crash with an AA medium on bottom in the past, and that felt both too heavy and clangy. The Apollo being basically raw on one side, and roughly the same weight as the thin crash (crash is lighter by a few grams), makes the pair nice and mellow while still being louder than the Wuhan/AA Thin pairing, and more suited for straight-up rock. Also...the Wuhan on top of the Apollo is quiet and dirty, which I'm sure I'll find an application for.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I've played the same set of 14" AAX Stage hats since 2003 - I've never felt a need to change them or mess with them because they sound great and have been very versatile.

I guess I'm the odd guy out?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I've played the same set of 14" AAX Stage hats since 2003 - I've never felt a need to change them or mess with them because they sound great and have been very versatile.

I guess I'm the odd guy out?
Nah, lots of folks play stock hat pairs. There's a pair of 14" Regular hats at church I like pretty well. Most of the folks I know play a matched set. But as this thread shows, there's a lively undercurrent of hi-hat experimentation going on. Maybe you'll stumble across a third 14" cymbal someday and join our ranks!
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
My church put some new cymbals on the drumset and so of course I had to try Franken-hatting them.

16" Sabian AAX V-crash over my 16" A Custom Projection crash. Nice.

I oughta try my 20" rides as franken-hats... and my 18" crash over my 18" ozone...
I actually once tried a Franken-hat with my 20" K Ride over a 20" A Custom Projection Ride, and also my 22" vintage Avedis Medium-Thin Ride over my 22" K Constantinople Heavy Prototype. They were both quite loud and sloppy-sounding, but I honestly preferred the 22" pair over the other one.

Having said that, aside from my vintage 15" New Beats, my favorite hi-hat pair is a 16" A Medium Crash over a 16" A Rock Crash. I can use them for anything from jazz to metal.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Maybe the age of Franken-hats is coming to a close... I just traded my 13" K/Zs for a set of 14" A Mastersounds. Although I'm already dreaming of mixing and matching my other three 14" cymbals with this set...
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I tried this recently. A 1960s' Zildjian 16 thin crash (950 g) over Paiste Twenty 16 crash (1150 g). They are wonderful.
Really digging 16 hats.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I tried this recently. A 1960s' Zildjian 16 thin crash (950 g) over Paiste Twenty 16 crash (1150 g). They are wonderful.
Really digging 16 hats.

I tried that too, with a 16" Zildjian A Fast Crash and a 16" K Custom Dark crash.
They sounded good using either as a top, but I prefer to keep 'normal' 14" matched hi hats set up with my kits.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Maybe the age of Franken-hats is coming to a close... I just traded my 13" K/Zs for a set of 14" A Mastersounds. Although I'm already dreaming of mixing and matching my other three 14" cymbals with this set...
So the new hats are here, A Custom rather than A Mastersounds, but I'm not complaining, as to my ears they sound quite good. I ran them through the paces last week on four (!) rather different gigs.

Today, however, I got around to mixing and matching the five 14" cymbals in my quiver to see what I was going to get. To review:
- 14" Sabian AA Extra-thin crash
- 14" Zildjian A Z-MAC x 2 (one with a small crack and slightly lighter than the other)
- 14" A Custom Mastersound top
- 14" A Custom Mastersound bottom

The Sabian extra-thin was a known quantity with the Z-MACs. I use this combo to get a nice, light, dark jazz hat sound. The extra-thin top lowers the note and the projection a lot.

When I put the Sabian on top of the A Custom top, I got much the same sound. A little bit of A-B comparison led me to believe that the A Custom top was somewhere in between the two Z-MAC cymbals in weight, but it's so close as to be hard to tell, and I should probably get a scale at some point.

The Z-MAC cymbals on top of the A Custom top were similar to what they sounded like paired up. After a week of playing the Mastersounds, I could hear the difference in the "chick" sound - a bit of "woof" as the air squeezes out. It had never bothered me before, but now it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.

The Sabian on top of the wavy Mastersound bottom was a very interesting sound. The extra-thin top took the volume way down, and the note low. The chick sound was good and crisp without being obnoxiously loud. I might slide that bottom hat in there on a somewhat louder jazz gig in the future.

The Z-MACs sounded great on top of the Mastersound bottom; I actually liked the somewhat darker, trashier sound even a little better than the original, although the underlying tones of the cymbals clashed a little bit with the bottom.

I ended up with the original Mastersound pairing, but I know I'm going to be tinkering with this quintet of cymbals again sometime soon. Maybe on a gig this coming month...

EDIT: ...hey, there's a pair of Sabian AA Regular hats at church! I oughta go nuts on Sunday morning!
 
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wildbill

Platinum Member
....
I oughta try my 20" rides as franken-hats... and my 18" crash over my 18" ozone...

I tried it with a pair of 24" Sabian APX's. Heavy dogs. They took forever for them to open even with the hi hat spring maxed.
Didn't sound too good to me either. But it's one of those things that - 'hey, why not'. LOL

Edit: got to clarify - the 24" APX is fantastic as a ride. I really like it a lot. When used as hi hats - forget it - ha ha.

The rides in the pic are 20"- left side and 22" - right side.
13" snare, 12" MT and 14" FT.
.
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
It's fun messing around with everything you've got. You never know what will click and sound just right.

I tried it with a pair of 24" Sabian APX's. Heavy dogs. They took forever for them to open even with the hi hat spring maxed.
Didn't sound too good to me either. But it's one of those things that - 'hey, why not'. LOL

The rides in the pic are 20"- left side and 22" - right side.
13" snare, 12" MT and 14" FT.
.
Crazy! I'm sure it was a bit overpowering. I sold one of my rides, so my 20" Super Hats are off the table for now. Still looking forward to my 18" hats at some point... and there's an 18" V-crash at church too...

I think I have a problem.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
18's would be way too big for me, no matter good they sounded.
They take up too much space and move the bell too far away.
Even trying 16's felt that way to me, after being used to 13's and 14's.
Still.....it'd probably be fun to try them.
 

Prawny

Senior Member
This thread is dangerous. I've got no spare decent cymbals, but I was thinking about sticking the family planet Zs on an x-hat.

Now I'm thinking about picking up a cheap 18" crash and sticking it on top of the planet z crash ride that was part of the set. Wouldn't need micing so much live either...
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
I'm interested in stepping up to a pair of 15in hat's. But with a 14in Snare underneath 16 or 17in hat's just seems out of place "no matter what they sounded like" as stated by Wildbill.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
Thanks guys! Never even considered 'franken-hats' until now.
This weekends gig are gonna be interesting.........
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I took the K/Zs out on Saturday for the first time in years, forgot how nice they are.

I've got used to 15s I forgotten how quick 13" K/Zs are, you can really get your Copeland on.
 

The Edge

Senior Member
I'm using a Paiste Dark Energy top and a Sig Medium bottom.
Top is described as med thin and the Sig bottom as medium heavy. Nice combo. Really digging it so far.
 
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