14 vs 15 hi hats

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,132
Reaction score
352
Location
Atlanta, GA
What do you guys prefer? I’ve generally moved towards 15 hats and even larger. Still have some 14 pairs that I just can’t see selling.
 

jptrickster

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
9,128
Reaction score
1,981
Location
Fairfield County
I like both but lean towards 14’s for overall use, the feel is a tad bit quicker than the 15 and maybe a touch more precise. 15’s are downright sexy though!
 

Redbeard77

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
1,064
Reaction score
170
Location
Louisiana
I've been playing 15s for years, but when I do play 14s it's not a big difference in feel. The 14s may be slightly more articulate, but I think the lower pitch of the 15s blends in the mix better.
 

Mcjnic

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
834
It really depends on the sounds.
I've got sets of 14s that hit the sounds I'm looking for perfectly.
I've got sets of 15s that do the same.
Heck, the Paiste PSTX Swiss hats only sound right to my ears in the 16 size for one setup and the 10 size for the other. I'm running the 16s quite effectively in that setup. The 10s are a hoot with that quick snap setup.
I don't believe I have a generalized preference.
I'm definitely in the "whatever is needed for the job" group.
 

dtk

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
8,281
Reaction score
302
Location
Needham MA...
when I started coming to this forum I thought...why on earth would anyone need 15" hats. No I own a few and a set of 16s.

I play a lot of closed hat and like when doing two handed stuff on the hats for them to be in two different areas for different tones...15s are great for that. 14s are like a great commuter vehicle...15s are a little more luxurious...13s more like sports cars. I'm having trouble finding a reason to keep my 13s
 

dustjacket

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
1,402
Reaction score
190
15" all the way. That is the standard now for me personally.
 

the_dude

Possibly DFO's Worst Drummer
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
180
Location
Renton WA
For main hats 13,14,15 whatever.
I'm easy.
It's all about the sound for me.
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,897
Reaction score
875
Location
Portland, OR
I love both. Maybe it’s just the specific ones I have, but I do feel like the 14s are quicker. I am into low pitched hats though, so obviously increasing diameter can do that. So my bag right now, for the one band I’m in, is lower pitched 14s. But at home I prefer paper thin 15s.
 

fun2drum

Team DFO
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
6,354
Reaction score
249
Location
Western North Carolina
I like 14's best for everything I care to play. I sold the 15's I had for a couple of years. They weren't horrible at all, but actually sounded good - they didn't feel as good to me as my 14's though. Maybe it's in my mind. I don't care for 13's at all.
 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
991
Location
South Jersey, USA
My first hats were 15" New Beats. Played them from 1977 to 1999 (not continuosly but...).

1999 I bought a set of Quick Beats because...welll....
*everybody* plays 14" right?

First thing I noticed was I had to keep my eyes on the 14s because from so many years playing 15s I was missing the edge at times. Sometimes even dropping the stick because of the miss. But they were quicker and crispier. Tried and still have 13" K\Zs, plus 14" new New Beats.

Latest experiment has been using 16" IAK dark crash over a very old 16" A. Almost perfect size and profile match and a very cool sound.

Put me in the camp of using whatever works!

Sometimes it is plain old boredom that necessitates change. If so-I'm covered!
 

Burps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
161
Reaction score
59
Location
New England - USA
I have never put a stick on a 15” pair in my life. I have always preferred brighter and quicker hats. I subscribed to the idea to use smaller and thinner hats (13 and 14s) since I play mostly on the light side and lower volume side. I always equated bigger with louder and just kept away from 15s for that reason, though that isn’t always necessarily true.
 

James Walker

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,044
Reaction score
102
14 most of the time, occasionally 13" for steel band gigs (soca and calypso grooves), or 15" for acoustic jazz (pre-serial 602).

I've never gotten the appeal of playing 16" hi-hats myself, although I've heard other drummers use them to good effect.
 

gbow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
394
Reaction score
137
Location
Michigan
I have an use all of them. Two pairs of 14's that are good, one pair of 15 zildjians from the 70s that are my go to, and a pair of heavy K 13s that have the best "chic" sound of any hihat I own.

As someone else said, it's all about the sound for me. I've seen a set of 15 k custom special dry on here for sale that I try to ignore :) But maybe I need to send the guy a note..

gabo
 

foxy_shazamtastic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
76
Reaction score
31
Location
Seattle
One problem I have with 15s, depending on the pair/situation, is the foot chick can be too low pitched to cut through. But when using the hi-hats as an alternate ride surface I prefer the pitch and spread of 15s.
 

jtpaistegeist

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
672
Reaction score
223
It took me several pairs of 15's before I found ones that were responsive enough, and with a solid foot chick, all the while not being overly heavy. Went through K's, Bos Turks, New Beats, and finally got the Paiste ME's and they are the sound/feel I was after. IMO they have a great balance overall, and sound amazing recorded.
 

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,152
Reaction score
970
Location
Auckland New Zealand
A quick overview based on pairs recorded in my database.

Based on 455 hat pairs (A Zildjians) the shares of diameter go

11 0.4% (n=2)
12 3.5% (n=16)
13 7% (n=32)
14 55.2% (n=251)
15 31% (n=141)
16 2.9% (n=13)

so over half are 14", one third 15", and 7% 13" with smaller numbers of larger and smaller sizes. A majority of the 11" and 12" diameter hats are from the old days (1930s and early 1940s).

Based on 692 hat pairs (Paiste 602 and Sound Creation) the shares of diameter go

11 0.7% (n=5)
12 0.9% (n=6)
13 5.6% (n=39)
14 70.5% (n=488 )
15 21.2% (n=147)
16 1% (n=7)

so the pattern is similar with 14" even more dominant.
 


Top