More adjustable hi hat clutch.


Silver Member
Then the Drop Tight Coady Clutch is for you. Here are some things I found:

Right "out of the box", you can get a tight hi-hat, without any mods or tweaks whatsoever, if you like your hi-hat open in the range you indicated. The Drop Tight version comes with a special spring that is well-calibrated. BillDidIt did a darned good job finding just the right spring to push the top hat down, and its compression rate is just right to simulate a closed hat remarkably well.

If you like your top hat to be able to travel upwarrds more than what you indicated, you can make a bushing out of a plastic cymbal sleeve. I cut 3/16" off of a Gibraltar cymbal sleeve and placed it onto the hi-hat push-rod atop the DT's spring.

Something to note is that if you run your hi-hat spring loose, like I do (at the lowest setting), you'll notice that the Coady Clutch adds a tad bit more weight. I have a circa 1980 Tama hi-hat stand, and bumped it up two settings to step 3 of 5, and it's perfect. If you normally have your hi-hat spring tight, you will likely NOT notice the additional weight at all.

The Drop Tight version comes with 6 magnets, opposed to 3 magnets in the standard version, to compensate for the compression rate of the spring that the DT comes with. According to engineers at BillDidIt, they put forth quite some effort to match the magnet strength with the spring.

As you know from my pics, I like the automatic dropping of the clutch when I step off my hi-hat pedal, so I disassembled the clutch and experimented with removal of several magnets to make the clutch more sensitive when it contacts my version of the Trip Arm. I found that removing one magnet does the trick, removing any more of them makes it too weak. With that said, the magnets are unbelievably strong for their size. In fact, it's quite a chore to separate two magnets from each other if you stick them to each other! Really quite cool that these little guys are SO strong.

When I use the 3/16" bushing to increase the gap between the hats when open, all 6 magnets are needed.

FWIW, by removing the spring, the DT becomes a standard Coady Clutch, so getting the DT is the way to go. You have more options than the standard clutch.

As far as reliability is concerned, I got mine over the holidays, and I've gigged it twice and rehearsed with it 4 times. I've also played with it on my own a lot. It has not failed once, and I really can't see how it can, short of something breaking. You'll likely break a cymbal before you can get the top hat to fall prematurely, and even then the magnets will still hold; they are THAT strong. I'm happy with my purchase. Incidentally, unless something's changed in the 3 weeks since I bought mine, you have to buy the DT version directly from BillDidIt.

If you get one, I'd be curious to know what your findings are.


What is the maximum 'open' height the clutch can be set at while still being able to activate the DT function? I have my hihat around an inch open at rest.


Silver Member
I'm not sure what you mean by "at rest", but this is not an easy question to answer, because of several variables. You'll see what I mean when you read further.

If I have my foot completely off the pedal, in the stock DT configuration I can get a 1/2" gap between my hats. With that said, note that I also used to set my hi-hat to close to 1" max travel. But, interestingly, after a few days of playing with the new clutch, and comparing to playing without it, I've become more conscious of the action of how my hi-hat opens and closes under "normal" playing conditions, and discovered that I really don't open my hi-hat all the way to the max 1", even when I use my foot to "ride" the hats open and closed, or simply to keep meter. In fact, I don't know of anyone who allows their hit-hat to open in such a manner where it bangs open to its set travel limit, you know what I mean?

Something else I've discovered is that I THOUGHT I was running a tightly closed hat when I put my foot down on the pedal, but have noticed that when actually playing, I actually reduce the pressure on the pedal slightly more than when I'm stepping down on it when sitting there "testing". So, I've found that I actually had to loosen the DT's spring pressure to more closely match the tight sound of my hats when I'm really playing, and that gave me slightly more gap, too.

But, like I said, I made a 3/16" bushing that gives me slightly more opening because of my initial concern. Once in place I found that the "bushing" actually gives me more additional gap than I need, almost like it's too much, if you can imagine that. The spring in the DT clutch is quite strong, too, and I noticed that even that little 3/16" adds to the compression rate of the spring, almost like the spring becomes "pre-loaded". This is because I found that don't need, or use, all of that 3/16". Since the DT's spring rate is quite high, that extra compression makes it so I have to step down a bit harder to re-engage the clutch when I come back to the pedal. But, the act of moving my foot from the double-kick slave pedal back to the hi-hat gives me enough momentum that it hasn't been an issue.

I have two rehearsals tonight and tomorrow night, for two gigs this weekend for two different bands. I am going to run tonight without the bushing to see what happens. If I do decide that I want a hair more gap, which I might not, now that I know exactly how much my hats really are opening under typical playing conditions, I will probably shave down that "bushing" to 5/32" or even 1/8" instead and try that at tomorrow's rehearsal.
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