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

JimmyM

Gold 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:
It's something. I think either would do me fine if I got in the ballpark of the weight ranges being thrown out, but it does seem the A's/New Beats get the nod as THE middle of the road hi hats and I could swing $160.

Wish I thought these goofy Tyrko 15 NS12's would hold up for the long haul. So weren't what I was looking for, demos of Tyrkos on YT sound awful, but somehow or another, this is a really great set for darker tones. But I can already see damage that wasn't there when I got them, so I'm going to go mainstream.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known Member
Lifelong jazz guy here. Almost all the hi hats on the market are essentially New Beats in one key way: the lighter cymbal is almost always the top cymbal.

There is absolutely no reason you can't play jazz with New Beats. Depending on the type of jazz you may want something airier/mushier/trashier or whatever, but hell, if people can play jazz on those 13" K/Z hats, there's no reason a set of New Beats wouldn't work. I've played a bunch of jazz gigs with a newer (post 2013) set of 15" New Beats and they've sounded terrific. In fact, the recording of Solar on my SoundCloud page in my sig has those 15" New Beats.

For a set of small group jazz hats, you want something with a pretty clear but not overwhelming chick sound, something not too bright or thick, something with more of a "tah" stick sound than a "ping" stick sound, and, well, not much else. It's probably the least complicated part of a jazz musician's sound to get together.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
you may also want to consider sabian regular (the hollow logo) hi-hats. These are the early 80s precursors to sabian AA medium hats and have a direct lineage to the 1970s new beats which to my ears sound better than the heavier and clunkier 80 and 90s versions.

The additional benefit is that they tend to be even cheaper than the AA models. I often see them go for 90-100
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
you may also want to consider sabian regular (the hollow logo) hi-hats. These are the early 80s precursors to sabian AA medium hats and have a direct lineage to the 1970s new beats which to my ears sound better than the heavier and clunkier 80 and 90s versions.

The additional benefit is that they tend to be even cheaper than the AA models. I often see them go for 90-100
$90-100? You speak my language!
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
Lifelong jazz guy here. Almost all the hi hats on the market are essentially New Beats in one key way: the lighter cymbal is almost always the top cymbal.

There is absolutely no reason you can't play jazz with New Beats. Depending on the type of jazz you may want something airier/mushier/trashier or whatever, but hell, if people can play jazz on those 13" K/Z hats, there's no reason a set of New Beats wouldn't work. I've played a bunch of jazz gigs with a newer (post 2013) set of 15" New Beats and they've sounded terrific. In fact, the recording of Solar on my SoundCloud page in my sig has those 15" New Beats.

For a set of small group jazz hats, you want something with a pretty clear but not overwhelming chick sound, something not too bright or thick, something with more of a "tah" stick sound than a "ping" stick sound, and, well, not much else. It's probably the least complicated part of a jazz musician's sound to get together.
Wow man, you're freaking great! Never would have guessed your cymbals were 15"s on a blind test, but yeah, that's getting into the tones I like for sure.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
$90-100? You speak my language!

I have a few pairs of the pre-AA regular hi -hats, one of which I paid for only $50. Huge bang for your buck and a worthwhile investment. These hats will never steer you wrong, they cover all bases.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
I have a few pairs of the pre-AA regular hi -hats, one of which I paid for only $50. Huge bang for your buck and a worthwhile investment. These hats will never steer you wrong, they cover all bases.
I'll give you $50 next week for your least favorite pair, and I'll even pay shipping and tip you a buck for handling :D
 

jimb

Member
NB's sound brash when played solo in ur room...in a band/stage setting they cut beautifully with just the right amount of full rich tone.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
NB's sound brash when played solo in ur room...in a band/stage setting they cut beautifully with just the right amount of full rich tone.
Can't say they come off brash to me. I've always tended toward a more bright hat sound so easy on the clunk, please, but all my favorite hat sounds except Stewart Copeland in The Police have some element of clunk in them and 14"s are by far most popular, and I'm not about to go deep with cymbals at those prices.

So good call on the hats, everyone. Been going back and forth between listening to a small handful of New Beats and AA's, and I don't think I'm hearing anything I've heard yet that's turning me off of either as long as I stick to a lightish top and mediumish bottom. Sounds like a good amount of margin for error if I buy blind. Would rather not, but I've had enough of long drives unless I'm working. Sounds like I could use them pretty close to interchangeably with all but the bigtime engineers who make guitarists try every guitar and amp ever made before they find one they like. And then they go back to the original amp and use that :D
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
For an inexpensive way to get into B20 cymbals, check out the Sabian SR2 line. They’re recycled/re-lathed and sound great.

 
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Neal Pert

Well-known Member
Wow man, you're freaking great! Never would have guessed your cymbals were 15"s on a blind test, but yeah, that's getting into the tones I like for sure.
Thanks so much! "Aint All About You," "I Shall Be Released," and "Get Lifted" are also with the 15" As. "Cynic" is a set of Paiste 14" Masters Dark hats, "Future Crimes" is a set of 15" Big Beat 2002s, and Road Song is a set of 14" K Cons.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
For an inexpensive way to get into B20 cymbals, check out the Swabian SR2 line. They’re recycled/re-lathed and sound great.

Cymbal-Sabian SR2 21 Heavy Top.JPG

That's my ride. Have no idea what it was before, but an eagle eye on DFO narrowed it down to one of two HHX series, one being the Dave Weckl. Gets a little washy for rock, but the squiggly window clingy and a piece of tape on the bottom makes it sound regulation, and the bell's great. SR2's I wouldn't buy blind, but they're not out of contention just because they scraped a little metal off them and made them look cheap.
 

Iristone

Well-known Member
See also Paiste 2002. The most famous uses of these cymbals are in 15", but I don't see a reason why the 14" version wouldn't work.
Some marching cymbals also make nice sounding hi-hats (judging from online videos), and can be had for less than 'proper' hi-hat cymbals. IIRC they are called 'Field' by Zildjian, and 'Band' by Sabian.
 

GretschedHive

Silver Member
I've mentioned this before, but somehow, after years and years of playing, I'd never played on a pair of New Beats. I found a pair used for $50 and snapped them right up. Brought 'em home, set 'em up, started playing...and instantly thought, oh, right--that's what a hi-hat's supposed to sound like. It was the strangest thing. I'd somehow never played a pair before but obviously had heard New Beats on hundreds and hundreds of recordings and the sound was just embedded in my soul.

I have been considering a 15" sig dark energy mk I set. Different sound and such (and a whole lot more $$$)
So. Much. More. Money.

Not saying they're not worth it. It's just that I started getting intrigued by the Dark Energy line a while back and hokey smokes the prices. There doesn't even seem to be many offered used, and what is available is mighty steep. Again, not saying they're not worth it. Just yet another thing to investigate once my ship comes in. (Which, sadly, dropped off the radar some time ago, but I'm sure it's fine.)
 

pinstripe

Active Member
I've mentioned this before, but somehow, after years and years of playing, I'd never played on a pair of New Beats. I found a pair used for $50 and snapped them right up. Brought 'em home, set 'em up, started playing...and instantly thought, oh, right--that's what a hi-hat's supposed to sound like. It was the strangest thing. I'd somehow never played a pair before but obviously had heard New Beats on hundreds and hundreds of recordings and the sound was just embedded in my soul.
I had sort of a similar experience when I played my drum teacher's '60's era New Beats recently. Immediately they just sounded right and I knew my hats (Sabian PRO) had to go. I wound snagging a pair of old Sabians (probably AA Regulars but the logos are gone) on eBay for well under $100 that sound very similar to my teacher's New Beats.

BTW, I've found you get the best deals on cymbals on eBay by seeking out auction style listings rather than Buy It Nows.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Owned a pair of 14” AA regular hats and though they were quality sounding, were run of the mill to me.

However, I love my Sabian AA 13” fusion hats - going for $100-200 all day.

E799D2B0-C458-41AF-BDB4-3A3B147E117A.jpeg

They are a bit dark yet very loud and cutting due to top and bottom mass disparity.
(They are way louder than my more controlled 14” AAX fast hats (old flat hat style with flat bottom and 3 air vents), which are perfect for studio work, though I think discontinued.)
The fusion hats unlathed, raw, hand hammered bottom gives the hats a quicker decay, yet add complexity.

The 2 air vents on bottom give a crisp and articulate chick that the regular hats didn’t have.
 

JCRW

Junior Member
Agree with most of the others, either a pair of Sabian 14" AA Medium Hats (or Regular Hats) or Zildjian 14" New Beats will cover a large majority of music needs. I have also used Sabian 14" HH Medium Hats on a number of projects and while I did enjoy them I do prefer the extra bit of cut that the AA's provide.
 

JimmyM

Gold Member
Agree with most of the others, either a pair of Sabian 14" AA Medium Hats (or Regular Hats) or Zildjian 14" New Beats will cover a large majority of music needs. I have also used Sabian 14" HH Medium Hats on a number of projects and while I did enjoy them I do prefer the extra bit of cut that the AA's provide.
Good intel. Thx.
 
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