The most pro sounding "normal" 13" or 14" hi hats commonly available used for good prices

JimmyM

Well-known Member
Here's what I consider "normal"... not piercing, not too clunky but a little...just some decent brightness, a medium tone reponse instead of anything overhyped, and a generally class sound that works for anything. I also like it when the chink is a little less loud than the stick hit. And they must sound good when chinking, sloshing or airtight. I'm not real picky about exact tones as long as I'm in that ballpark.

I am so not up on what cymbal lines give the best bang for the buck for what I want, except I now know that Zildjian ZBT's suck, but I'm not looking for anything pricey, and if I'm going to go pick up a set of hats, I want to be reasonably sure I'll like them, and demo vids can be manipulated. Zildjian A's and Sabian AA's have some sets in there I might like, but I'll play any cymbals if the price is right and they're in that ballpark of tone and quality.

At one point, I wanted 12"s because the chink wasn't as loud, and I used to have a set of Zildjians that were good and cost around $150 new 20 years ago, but people are used to 13"s and 14" so I will join the fan club. Plus they're a lot easier to snag used locally. Can't remember what line the 12"s were.

Anyway, as usual, thx for the straight dope.
 

JimmyM

Well-known Member
By a country mile 1970's A Zildjian. Sometimes named 'New Beat', but I have a basic pair of 14" A's and they are perfect for all purpose recording and gigging.
OK...I thought New Beats were a different line, but that's good info. Thinking that was probably the direction I wanted to go. Thx Chris!

EDIT: Prices are reasonable, too.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
There were regular A hi-hats and also hats marked 'New Beat'. I'm saying both are pretty much accepted as usually good. My pair are 70's A's (not New Beats). They are affordable, so you can sell pairs on until you find the perfect pair.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
When I got back into drumming a couple years ago, that was the first thing I looked for, Vintage New Beats. I believe they are the "go to" set for so many types of music.

The words "new beats suck", just don't go together. There are plenty of other choices if you want to spend $300 plus. But, you can get new beats used for under $200, depending on where you look.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I have a few pairs of older New Beats - the heavier ones are a bit harsh, the lighter ones are perfect. So it varies.
Brand new New Beats are slightly on the light side these days, and sound perfect to me.
 

someguy01

Gold Member
I dig my New Beats, gets it done. That said, I have been considering a 15" sig dark energy mk I set. Different sound and such (and a whole lot more $$$)
 

Neal Pert

Active Member
One of the sleeper sets of hi hats on the market is the Sabian AA Regular hi hats. They're basically New Beats but can often be found even cheaper. The last couple times I've been asked to help someone pick out the cheapest good set of hi hats out there, they've ended up being AA Regulars for around $100-110.
 

JimmyM

Well-known Member
One of the sleeper sets of hi hats on the market is the Sabian AA Regular hi hats. They're basically New Beats but can often be found even cheaper. The last couple times I've been asked to help someone pick out the cheapest good set of hi hats out there, they've ended up being AA Regulars for around $100-110.
Always liked Sabians. Even my SR2 ride sounds pretty good. Was thinking that was probably the case, too.

So everyone thinks a light top and medium bottom is my sonic thang? Seems to be the popular choice.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Hard to look past New Beats for a used bargain as others have said. Sabian AAs are the same thing.

Paiste Rude hats are the same weight as New Beats too. I had a pair of these and they're remarkably versatile.

You might bag some Istanbul Traditionals which are a bit lighter
 

caddywumpus

Archnemesis of Larryace
One of the sleeper sets of hi hats on the market is the Sabian AA Regular hi hats. They're basically New Beats but can often be found even cheaper. The last couple times I've been asked to help someone pick out the cheapest good set of hi hats out there, they've ended up being AA Regulars for around $100-110.

Yes. This.

I find the Regular hats to be a bit “smoother” sounding than the New Beats, as they tend to be lighter, on average, with less-pronounced lathing. But, nothing compares to that perfectly-weighted pair of New Beats.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Another vote for either New Beats or Sabian Regular Hats. Both are a little less bargain basement price on the used market nowadays, but they're still a good investment. In general though, just about any pro-line hi hat with a medium thin top and a medium heavy bottom should get you a perfectly middle-of-the-road hi hat sound.
 

JimmyM

Well-known Member
OK...question...

I saw it suggested on DFO by a couple jazzers that New Beats were lousy for jazz. Considering they were Louie Bellson's idea, seems odd they'd say that. DFO has good info but it's a little uptight and high-falutin' at times. Is this one of them or are they right?
 
I saw it suggested on DFO by a couple jazzers that New Beats were lousy for jazz. Considering they were Louie Bellson's idea, seems odd they'd say that. DFO has good info but it's a little uptight and high-falutin' at times.
New Beats vary quite a bit and generally increased in weight from the 60s to the 90s: http://black.net.nz/avedis/new-beats.html
I guess that quite a few members of DFO have more experience with the 80s and 90s model, but that they would be pleased with the lighter cymbals.
(Just saw that @s1212z shared the same link already🤦‍♂️)
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
I like my 14 in Zildjian K Mastersound Hi-Hats but I agree you can’t go wrong with NBs.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
A great sounding pair pf New Beats can absolutely work, but Zildjian made quite a few clunkers as well when they were in their 'heavy cymbal phase' in the 80s and early 90s. Another option would be the standard K hats, which I used to own. To me, they sounded like a slightly darker (but still plenty bright enough) version of New Beats. They might fetch a little more money used, but you're also less likely to encounter a clunker pair.
 

JimmyM

Well-known Member
A great sounding pair pf New Beats can absolutely work, but Zildjian made quite a few clunkers as well when they were in their 'heavy cymbal phase' in the 80s and early 90s. Another option would be the standard K hats, which I used to own. To me, they sounded like a slightly darker (but still plenty bright enough) version of New Beats. They might fetch a little more money used, but you're also less likely to encounter a clunker pair.
I plan on going local if at all possible, but just in case, all this stuff folks like you are posting is a great help if I have to go into it blindly.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
About the Sabians.
I had a set of regular AA 14's, and while people always say they sound like New Beats - they didn't to me.
Something different with the bark and slosh .

That said - they did sound pretty good, but I like my New Beats better.
I've only had one set of the Sabians though, so that's not much of a sample for comparison. :unsure:
 
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