Scouting for new hats.

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Fedora? Bowler? Ten Gallon? Sombrero? :p

All cool...but I need some new hi hats. Two years ago I was playing in a 2 pc. garage rock/pop band that was rather low-volume. At the time, I was using some 13" Jojo Fierce Hats, which were great for that particular music.

Then I started playing very loud rock music, so I sent the Jojos off into the eBay wilderness and picked up some AAX X-Celerators...which have served me well for 2 yrs.

Now I'm playing Afro-Funk and I'm finding that the one thing that's standing out and sounding terrible on the recordings...are the damn hi hats. Bright, piercing...absolutely grating on the greasy grooves I'm trying to lay down in this music.

Here they are, for reference:
http://sabian.com/EN/products/AAX_X-Celerator_Hats_14_21402XL.cfm

...attached is a clip of half of the band working out a groove on a new tune. Without all 9 (or more) people, you can actually hear me. Hah!

Anyhow, I'm looking for something in between, I guess. Something a bit more versatile. I love Sabian and all of my cymbals are Sabian, so I'm not looking at anything else. Maybe that's narrow...but I never found any Zildjian or Paiste hats that I really love, and I'm too anal-retentive to mix in some other obscure brand, especially when there are so many great Sabian hats to choose from. I'm looking mostly at the HHX line...definitely my favorite sound. I'm running a 21" HHX Groove Ride and a 17" Evolution crash, and love those to death. My other crash is a 19" Jojo Vault Fierce model.

Here's what I'm down to and really like the sound of, so far:

Fusion Hats
http://sabian.com/EN/products/HHX_Fusion_Hats_14_11450XN.cfm

HHX X-Celerators
http://sabian.com/EN/products/HHX_X-Celerator_Hats_14_11402XL.cfm

Legacy
http://sabian.com/EN/products/HHX_Legacy_Hats_14_11402XLN.cfm

It's a tough choice between the first two. The Legacy hats are great but I'm a little worried that such a thin top might not work so well in louder music. I like the feel of the AAX X-Celerators so I'm trying to stick with similar weights.

No local shops carry *any* of these hats and I'm comfortable buying them based on Sabian's sound clips. It has worked out well for me every time, so far.

Always interested in knowing what the good peeps at the DW forums think, so let me know what you think of these sounds!

Thanks all!
 

Attachments

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Nice playing BTW, & loving the snare sound! Anyhow, back on track. Out of your three choices, I think the Fusion hats suit best. Even though you're looking for something that sits in with your current music, you still need something that can be applied to a mix of styles. Ok, so you don't need something as bright as your current hats, but you still need a good stick sound, & a lot more character IMO.

I know these aren't on your radar, but just for curiosity, what do you think of these two sound clips?
http://www.amediacymbals.co.uk/products/euphrates-series/
http://www.amediacymbals.co.uk/products/galata-series/

Recordings aren't the best as they're done with a pair of lowly Samson mics, but you get the idea. I think the Euphrates hats would suit your stuff perfectly.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
I also have a Groove Ride - personally I'm thinking of going with Groove Hats, but since they're not on your list, I'd go for the HHX Fusion hats. I just don't like the ripple bottom - to metallic sounding to me.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Nice playing BTW, & loving the snare sound! Anyhow, back on track. Out of your three choices, I think the Fusion hats suit best. Even though you're looking for something that sits in with your current music, you still need something that can be applied to a mix of styles. Ok, so you don't need something as bright as your current hats, but you still need a good stick sound, & a lot more character IMO.

I know these aren't on your radar, but just for curiosity, what do you think of these two sound clips?
http://www.amediacymbals.co.uk/products/euphrates-series/
http://www.amediacymbals.co.uk/products/galata-series/

Recordings aren't the best as they're done with a pair of lowly Samson mics, but you get the idea. I think the Euphrates hats would suit your stuff perfectly.
Thanks! It's just some noodling...but it's the general idea. The snare is a 13x7" Pork Pie Brass Patina, which I love. Cheap, too!

Yeah, you pretty much nailed it. I need "cut" and "blend", with clear definition. I think I like the Fusion hats the best, too.

The Amedias are pretty nice! I like a lot of those sounds but honestly, not as much as the Sabian HHX line. There's just something about those HHX overtones that no other cymbal line has.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I also have a Groove Ride - personally I'm thinking of going with Groove Hats, but since they're not on your list, I'd go for the HHX Fusion hats. I just don't like the ripple bottom - to metallic sounding to me.
I tried the Groove Hats and aside from the name, they don't have the same character as the Groove Ride. They didn't go well together, either, to my ears. The Groove hats are manhole-cover heavy and obnoxiously loud. If they had a thinner top, they'd be excellent.

I couldn't imagine playing another ride, though...it's just perfect.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Already tried the AAX Studio Hats? I think they could be a good choice ,too!
Just checked 'em out. They sound nice but honestly, I don't like such a thin top. Medium is more of my taste. The problem with hats that are too thin, is that they get that wet, meaty chomp. This works well in jazz and other soft music, but it's not well defined enough for busier playing. This is why the Jojo Fierce hats lost my interest, after a while.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I just checked out all those clips and I agree about the AAX Xcellerators (having briefly owned a pair), but I'm not hearing a huge difference between those and the HHX version and the Fusion hats. They just seem too heavy a clunky to my ears. On the other hand, I agree with you about the Legacy's being a bit too light for what you're going for.

I went a little click-happy on the Sabian site and really liked the Evolutions. They're a med top/heavy bottom but have a certain smoothness and playability that some of the others didn't have. You've probably already checked them out (or even owned them before!), but they'd get my vote.

What bass drum are you using on that recording? It sounds pretty big. Also, the crash you're using on that clip is super scary. I'm guessing that to Fierce Crash? Amazing!
 

Cozy

Member
Go find a pair of Meinl Sand Hats, they are amazing and may be perfect for you. I have a pair and love them, and they are quite funky and unique in their own way, but you need to hear them yourself.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
The Amedias are pretty nice! I like a lot of those sounds but honestly, not as much as the Sabian HHX line. There's just something about those HHX overtones that no other cymbal line has.
Of course, each to his own. The reason I highlighted the Samson mic recording is that they don't capture the wonderful complexed overtones. I'm sure Sabian recording techniques are far more representitive. One of the main reasons I'm changing from HHX's to Amedia is the complexed tone palate. Good luck with your search. HHX's are the very best of Sabian IMO.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I just checked out all those clips and I agree about the AAX Xcellerators (having briefly owned a pair), but I'm not hearing a huge difference between those and the HHX version and the Fusion hats. They just seem too heavy a clunky to my ears. On the other hand, I agree with you about the Legacy's being a bit too light for what you're going for.

I went a little click-happy on the Sabian site and really liked the Evolutions. They're a med top/heavy bottom but have a certain smoothness and playability that some of the others didn't have. You've probably already checked them out (or even owned them before!), but they'd get my vote.

What bass drum are you using on that recording? It sounds pretty big. Also, the crash you're using on that clip is super scary. I'm guessing that to Fierce Crash? Amazing!
Yeah, the Evolutions are really nice, but I did like the Fusion and HHX-Celerators a little better. Not sure why...maybe because they have a little more bite? I almost included them in my OP. Maybe I'll throw them back in the consideration list. I want a tight sound that's just a bit darker and mellow than what I've got.

That's a 20x16" Gretsch Renown kick! It's amazing...the whole kit is, really. PS3 batter, Coated Amb. reso w/ a 5" hole, small pillow against the batter, only.

I think I used both crashes in that recording, which are a 17" HHX Evolution and 19" Fierce. I've had this same cymbal setup (save for the hats) for almost 3 yrs. I love 'em more, every year.

You might have heard the 19" Paragon Chinese in there, too. I took that out of my setup, a few days ago. Love it...but it's not worth lugging for as little as it gets used.

This is all recorded on a Zoom H2, too! There's a whole range of tones missing that it just doesn't pick up.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Of course, each to his own. The reason I highlighted the Samson mic recording is that they don't capture the wonderful complexed overtones. I'm sure Sabian recording techniques are far more representitive. One of the main reasons I'm changing from HHX's to Amedia is the complexed tone palate. Good luck with your search. HHX's are the very best of Sabian IMO.
That's too bad because you can tell they have a lot of potential that's being missed in the recordings. They really ought to re-record with higher quality.

The Sabian recordings are almost identical to the cymbals I've received.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
That's too bad about the Groove Hats. I tried a pair recently, and they weren't heavy at all! I compared them to HHX Fusion Hats, HH Regular and AAX Fusion - and they seemed the same or lighter than any of them... From what I've seen online, I think the weights vary a bit...
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
That's too bad about the Groove Hats. I tried a pair recently, and they weren't heavy at all! I compared them to HHX Fusion Hats, HH Regular and AAX Fusion - and they seemed the same or lighter than any of them... From what I've seen online, I think the weights vary a bit...
Ah ha...maybe the ones I tried weren't consistent...or yours...or both. The recordings on the Sabian site are nearly exactly like the ones I tried out, though.

Since feel is as important to me as sound, I didn't like the action on my hi-hat stand, due to the weight.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Ordered the 14" HHX Fusion Hats in the satin finish...should have 'em in a few days! Thanks again, Shane Fowlkes at Just Drums!
 

braincramp

Gold Member
Go find a pair of Meinl Sand Hats, they are amazing and may be perfect for you. I have a pair and love them, and they are quite funky and unique in their own way, but you need to hear them yourself.
I come so close to buying these sand hats but walked out of store with K hybrid mastersounds ...the sand hats didn't project quite enough for what Im playing but man they sounded so nice!!!!!!!
 
Top