Top Hi-Hat Cymbal Should Be Slightly Larger Than Bottom !?

Brandtwi

Member
My hi-hat cymbals slowly cut away my wooded sticks until the shaft gets thinner & thinner & finally it's no good. This happens, I believe, because the bottom hi-hat cymbal sometimes sticks out further than the top cymbal and cuts away at the stick little by little as the stick hits it.

So why don't cymbal manufacturing companies make the top hi-hat cymbal slightly larger so that the bottom cymbal won't stick out? This would save me a lot of money in drum stick replacement. Am I the only one with this problem?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Adjust the screw on the bottom hat seat and rotate the tube if needed. You should be able to get the bottom hat tucked back under that way.

Think of it this way, if the bottom hat sticks out where you play it, its tucked under on the opposite side. Just play with the tube and screw until it's how you want it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
No matter how you slice it, a bronze cymbal will wear a hickory stick.

Below is all conjecture, but it makes sense to me :)

If the top cymbal sticks over the bottom edge, the downward force of the stick *could* cause cracks on the top cymbal because it's not as strong in that direction as the bottom cymbal. If the bottom cymbal sticks out, the bottom cymbal is upside down, and is usually heavier, in relation to the top cymbal. So the bottom cymbal is inherently stronger against a downstroke than the top cymbal is. I think. So wear the stick, which it will anyway, or possibly crack an oversized top cymbal, is all I'm seeing.

That may or may not be right.

You could buy a 15 top or a 13 bottom to give it a go.
 
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ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Below is all conjecture, but it makes sense to me :)

If the top cymbal sticks over the bottom edge, the downward force of the stick *could* cause cracks on the top cymbal because it's not as strong in that direction as the bottom cymbal. If the bottom cymbal sticks out, the bottom cymbal is upside down in relation to the top and is inherently stronger against a downstroke than the top cymbal is in that direction. So wear the stick or likely crack an oversized top cymbal, your pick.
Spot on. Ease up the angle on the tilter a bit, but don't overlap the top over the bottom.

Here's some conjecturing fer ya UL.
This is also why I think there are so many Paiste Sound Edge top hats cracked. The SE bottoms are very wavy and there is no support for the top hat, so most of the energy is directed at the point of impact on top being supported by nothing but a valley of ripples.
I found a pair of Black Label 2002 SE with a cracked top and they still sound fantastic btw.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
No matter how you slice it, a bronze cymbal will wear a hickory stick.

So... maybe don't "slice" it then?

(I'm guessing you were speaking idiomatically when you wrote that, but, either way, your word choice is too good to go unmentioned).


OP, try hitting the top of the hi-hats with the shoulder of your sticks rather than hitting the edge of the hi-hats with your sticks (which is what I'm assuming you're doing). Not only should this reduce the wear and tear on your sticks, I think you'll get a better sound this way and you'll probably reduce the amount of impact on the sticks (and maybe your hands, depending on how tightly you holds your sticks).
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
At least this issue is solvable with tilting the bottom hat away. I've been forced to play on L80s and no matter how you slice it, the holes are like sandpaper. Even nylon tips wear completely down in days...forget wood tips!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think Larry and Clutch have it nailed. Hi hats need the support of the top and bottom cymbal working together. Unsupported tops, whether because the bottom cymbal is smaller or the Sound Edge ripples, are more likely to bend or crack. You're putting an awful lot of force on literally the most vulnerable part of a cymbal, and they need every bit of protection they can get.

The only real way I know of to slow down the stick wear is to lower the hi hat so you play more on the flat surface of the top cymbal, and less on the edge.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
One of my HH pairs has a larger bottom and another a larger top. Not a stand issue. There was just a time when that was common. You could refine your technique, but if your music calls for aggressiveness I would just go with it and shrug off the sawdust.
Pete
 

opentune

Platinum Member
At the end of the day, sticks are consumable items in drumming.
This is all worse with stick to cymbal at a very high angle.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Like someone else mentioned, I deliberately tilt the bottom hat away from me so the top hat overlaps by a tiny amount. Gives a better ‘half open’ sound too. I also play 90% of my hihat notes on top of the top cymbal, only hitting the edge for accents.
A pair of sticks lasts me 40 or 50 long gigs.
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Been drumming for over 45 years and have always set my hi-hats where the seat adjustment tilts the bottom cymbal away from my sticking zone, thus preventing excessive chewing of the sticks, and in turn greatly reducing the likelihood of cracking the top and/or bottom cymbal.

  • First image (closed hats) reflects the bottom cymbal with a slightly extended lip compared to the top cymbal (remember, this is the non-sticking zone).
  • Second image (closed hats) reflects the matched position of both top and bottom cymbals (notice no exaggerated lip between top or bottom cymbals (sticking zone).
  • Last image (open hats) reflects the tolerance (account hi-hat seat adjustment) between my sticking zone compared to the opposite, non-sticking zone, that doesn't see playing.

Never damaged or cracked a cymbal yet, and no excessive chewing through sticks.


P1020743 (2).JPGP1020742 (2).JPGP1020738 (2).JPG
 
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timmdrum

Silver Member
Some of this was mentioned above, but I also solve this for myself in two ways:

1. I put the bottom cymbal tilter on my side of the stand tube, and tilt the bottom cymbal slightly away from me- the slope of the top cymbal's shoulder makes it so the hats as a pair aren't actually sloped away from me.

2. When I play the hats with the shoulder of the sticks, I adjust the hats' and my forearms' positions so that there isn't much of an angle between the cymbals and the sticks. I'm keeping the tips off the shoulders, but just barely. Having a steeper angle between them will be as much of a stick-chopper problem as the bottom cymbal "underbite".
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Stroker, Just looking at the crimps on your bottom cymbal, I have some 602's from 1969 and there are heaps of crimps on them..
Your 1969, 602's sound like a dream, PP! Beauty!

The crimps on my cymbals (in the picture) is quite deceiving. The distance between each crimp (drop and rise) is roughly 1". Being 17's, there's approx. 64 crimps in all.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Ah yes 17" I was looking mainly at the last pic. deceptive isn't it? yes the 69's are a rare find 15" , the lathe lines are really fine and close together..
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Do you play primarily with the shoulders of your sticks on your hi-hat? If so, and you do it deliberately, no problem. If so, but you do it unintentionally, using your tips a lot more will preserve your sticks considerably. I'm probably a bit uncharacteristic in that I play almost entirely with the tips of my sticks unless I'm crashing a cymbal. I've always found I've gotten better rebound that way. I'm not nitpicking your technique. Do whatever makes you comfortable. It's just something to consider.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Stroker, Just looking at the crimps on your bottom cymbal, I have some 602's from 1969 and there are heaps of crimps on them..
To the best of my knowledge, Paiste pioneered the crimped bottom (Sound Edge) in the 1960s. Bonham played Paiste 15" Sound Edge hats. Zildjian refers to them as Mastersound hats. I have Zildjian Mastersounds and love them. They give a stronger chick sound and never suffer from airlock.
 
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