Hi-Hat flip

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Anyone ever use the bottom hat on top? And if so, what's the advantage of doing so?


Platinum Member
Different sound, usually. A lot (but not all) hi hats put the heavier, thicker cymbal on the bottom. In some instances, both cymbals might be the same weight. Also, bell shape might vary, in some instances, by quite a lot. I tend to play my hats the way the "factory" intended them to be played. I've probably inverted all my hat pairs, at some point. And none (after this experiment) has made me decide to play them that way (reversed) permanently.


Gold Member
usually 'dries' them up/out being the thicker is now on top
get a shorter brighter tick
no advantage and in time usually go back
but it's a possibility


Silver Member
My second pair of New Beats (1987) sounded great either way. I eventually preferred to use the heavier bottom on top for the diamond-sharp sticking sound. Oddly, I had a better chick response with the heavy top coming down on the lighter bottom. Go figure.


Platinum Member
Glad you guys have this thread. I’ve forgotten whether my Sabian AA regulars have the heavy cymbal on top or bottom ;). Who knows for sure?

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Pretty sure the heavy goes on the bottom.
Usually, yes. I might invert my new New Beats just to see what happens. At 15", who know if it'll make any difference at all.
Now my 13" Sabian AA's, the difference was night & day. So it seems the smaller the cymbal, the more it's noticeable.


Senior Member
I have a pair of 14" A. Zildjian Light Hi Hats from the 80's and the bottom cymbal is actually about 100 grams lighter than the top. I play them as labeled, so the heavier cymbal is on top. I have flipped them too. They sound good either way!

The original, 1st Generation Zildjian Z Series Dyno Beat Hi-Hats were meant to be reversible; they were not labeled top or bottom.

I believe that on Living Colour's first album (Vivid), Will Calhoun used two New Beat bottom cymbals as hats for that record.


Silver Member
I accidentally reversed my 14" New Beats a couple of times when i didn't look at the label and didn't noticed the difference in weight. Didn't notice it until playing for a few minutes that the pedal felt somewhat sluggish. Soundwise not a huge difference, but i got a louder and a bit lower sound.