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

Stroker

Platinum Member
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.
Appreciate hearing from you, CM!

Until Paradiddle Pete, made mention of his sound edge hats from the 60's, I was oblivious of the fact that sound edge design existed that far back. o_O

Would have been sometime around the mid to later part of the 70's, I came across a picture of a set of sound-edge hats and remember thinking, never would I buy a set of those, what ugly looking hats, and why in the dickens would they ruin a perfectly good set of hats by crimping the bottom cymbal edge.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Appreciate hearing from you, CM!

Until Paradiddle Pete, made mention of his sound edge hats from the 60's, I was oblivious of the fact that sound edge design existed that far back. o_O

Would have been sometime around the mid to later part of the 70's, I came across a picture of a set of sound-edge hats and remember thinking, never would I buy a set of those, what ugly looking hats, and why in the dickens would they ruin a perfectly good set of hats by crimping the bottom cymbal edge.
Yes, I was initially skeptical of my Zildjian Mastersound hats as well, but I can't imagine playing a smooth bottom hat anymore. The Mastersound design just adds a lot of versatility in my opinion. Also, eliminating the possibility of airlock is quite an advantage. The chick sound can be a bit aggressive at times, but proper touch always keep it in check.
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Yes, I was initially skeptical of my Zildjian Mastersound hats as well, but I can't imagine playing a smooth bottom hat anymore. The Mastersound design just adds a lot of versatility in my opinion. Also, eliminating the possibility of airlock is quite an advantage. The chick sound can be a bit aggressive at times, but proper touch always keep it in check.
You said it! I share the same sentiment you do, there's no way I'd ever consider going back to hats outside of sound edge design. Their performance (sound wise) is peerless.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
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.
Really interesting point. The only set of hats I ever cracked was my HHX Xcelerator hats. At the time I put it down to them being 15", but the wavy bottom cymbal could have also had a party to play.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Has anyone in the history of drumming ever experienced this airlock problem?
It's occurred in my experience on occasion, albeit rarely. It's never brought my playing to a halt. I've just felt slight resistance that's somewhat annoying. Zildjian's Mastersound and Paiste's Sound Edge designs quell the problem completely. They also enhance your chick sound.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
Have you ever tried to play the Funky Drummer beat? Anytime you’re doing really fast open/close stuff on the hats, it can happen.
Fair enough. Personally I never do open /close hi hat stuff past a certain tempo because it ends up sounding just like messy noise... Of course that could just be me :D
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Has anyone in the history of drumming ever experienced this airlock problem?
I thought I did. So I drilled holes in my bottom cymbal. Didn't fix a thing. I came to the conclusion that it's not airlock. If it was, the holes would have fixed it absolutely. I think that the "airlock" problem is actually a perfect alignment of the two cymbal edges, which for some reason decreases the volume. It feels spongy to me too when that happens.

Where the cymbals actually touch has to be imperfect. These are the conclusions I arrived at, so until a better explanation comes along, I'm sticking with that. It also explains why cymbal makers came up with the wavy edge. Which does fix it. Maybe at the expense of possible cracks.

I'd like hi hat machine makers to make it so the top and bottom cymbals cans stay loose if desired, but do not rotate. Tilt, yes, rotate, no. The rotation is problematic. It's the natural rotation that enables the "airlock" alignment problem.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I thought I did. So I drilled holes in my bottom cymbal. Didn't fix a thing. I came to the conclusion that it's not airlock. If it was, the holes would have fixed it absolutely. I think that the "airlock" problem is actually a perfect alignment of the two cymbal edges, which for some reason decreases the volume. It feels spongy to me too when that happens.

Where the cymbals actually touch has to be imperfect. These are the conclusions I arrived at, so until a better explanation comes along, I'm sticking with that. It also explains why cymbal makers came up with the wavy edge. Which does fix it. Maybe at the expense of possible cracks.

I'd like hi hat machine makers to make it so the top and bottom cymbals cans stay loose if desired, but do not rotate. Tilt, yes, rotate, no. The rotation is problematic. It's the natural rotation that enables the "airlock" alignment problem.
Yeah, I tried the hole-drilling too. Also had the same result. So I got a couple of Mastersound bottom hats. “Airlock” is no longer an issue, not even a little bit. And my chicks are much louder now.

Seriously, why aren’t wavy bottom hat edges the norm? Who needs a QUIETER hi-hat chick?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Yeah, I tried the hole-drilling too. Also had the same result. So I got a couple of Mastersound bottom hats. “Airlock” is no longer an issue, not even a little bit. And my chicks are much louder now.

Seriously, why aren’t wavy bottom hat edges the norm? Who needs a QUIETER hi-hat chick?
I love my Zildjian Mastersound hats and doubt I'll ever return to a smooth hi-hat bottom. Their crisp and decisive chick voice is a plus in my book. You can subdue it by executing proper touch, but when you want it to announce itself, it does so without timidity. I think it's the most versatile hi-hat design out there.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
I'd like hi hat machine makers to make it so the top and bottom cymbals cans stay loose if desired, but do not rotate. Tilt, yes, rotate, no. The rotation is problematic. It's the natural rotation that enables the "airlock" alignment problem.
Interesting points!
But why is the rotation such a problem? Is it something to do the rotation having almost like a screw-on effect, this locking the cymbals in place?
Tbh I always play with the top cymbal tilted and have never run into these issues, even with smooth bottom edges. So am just interested in other people's experiences.
✌
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Jumping in late, but the guys at Sounds like a Drum covered this nicely in one of their videos
. If I recall correctly, essentially the hats should be angled to prevent airlock— sound Edge hats also naturally avoid the problem,
 
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