14 vs 15 hi hats

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
369
Location
Atlanta, GA
I have sizes from 14 thru 17. I’ve used them all. 14s aren’t bad. I guess they all have their place. If I’m doing a bunch of funky barks, then 14s are usually in store. Otherwise, I tend to go larger.
 

Pounder

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
11,766
Reaction score
297
Location
Norman, OK
Mostly have played 14s over the years. I do have a very nice set of 50s thin hats in 15". I agree the smaller the size the quicker the response but, there are some exceptions, the main one being Paiste 2002 SE hats in 15" are capable of sounding very quick. and if you slam them harder they sound louder as well. Size really doesn't matter. the weight and build of the cymbal will garner differing sounds, so size becomes simply one component of it.
 

dangermoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
346
Reaction score
104
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
Started with 14s, briefly went to 13s, then back to 14s, then to 15s, then back to 14s and stayed here for 30 years. All New Beats. They all felt and sounded good but the 14s just seem to work the best for me ...
 

tripp2k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
174
Reaction score
23
Location
DFW
You guys have too much time on your hands.

Love,
A guy who owns 8 guitars, 2 basses, 3 keyboards and 1 drumset with perfectly normal 14" hats :help:
 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
614
Location
SE Connecticut
I can only speak to Zildjian A's since I've experimented with dozens of pairs. For decades my only choice were lighter vintage new beats. They work for everything. I then tried some 15" pairs of small stamp matched - thinner 50's as well as new beat weighted 60's to 70's. While they were all nice, they didn't give me anything over my early 70's new beat 14's. It wasn't until I tried a pair of trans stamp 15's that I really got that vintage vibe I was always coveting but couldn't quite find. Now I have 2 pairs of those - fairly closely matched weights at 800's/900's. None of my other hats quite do what they can do.

The era has something to do with this discussion. I don't see a lot of difference in 14's to 15's new beats (you can vary the weights up and down to achieve very similar sounds and response), that changes with more closely matched weights. In trying out 11, 12, and 13" Zildjian vintage A hats, the lighter ones struggle at times to keep up foot "chup" volume (<400 gm weight range). But even a pair of very early 13's (455/475) were loud enough to be useful. So there's a place for most of the different sizes. I was surprised that a pair of pre-trans stamp 13's (475/630) did pretty much everything my 50's small stamp (735/750 gm) 14's could do.
 

dustjacket

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
1,450
Reaction score
214
I played 14s for years. After playing 15s I dont think I'd go back. I'm contemplating picking up the 2oo2 Big Beat 16s.
The 16" Big Beats are pretty awesome. Play fast, not clunky. Kinda wish I kept mine.
 

nickrobotron

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
576
Reaction score
155
Location
Overland Park, KS
I like heavier 15's. They're loud but they sit well in the mix because of their darkness. My go-to hats are 15" 602 Modern Essentials. I've never liked a pair of hats more in all situations. They're fun to play when you're behind the kit, they record well, they cut on stage...

I have never liked 14's once I made the switch to 15's. Granted, I'm not a jazz guy with a crazy left foot...
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
369
Location
Atlanta, GA
I like heavier 15's. They're loud but they sit well in the mix because of their darkness. My go-to hats are 15" 602 Modern Essentials. I've never liked a pair of hats more in all situations. They're fun to play when you're behind the kit, they record well, they cut on stage...

I have never liked 14's once I made the switch to 15's. Granted, I'm not a jazz guy with a crazy left foot...
I find 15s are prefect for jazz too. I played 14s forever, but tend to prefer the bigger stuff most of the time.
 

mebeatee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
329
Reaction score
83
Location
Sechelt, B.C. Canada
There is no either/or....it's more like a bunch....which means or or or or....
I have or can concoct 8,10,12,13,14,15" hihat sets with many subsets....a tight sounding pair of 14's or a splooshy pair of 14's for instance... This of course leads to a pretty wide and extensive collection of hihats but that's ok with me!!!
However generally I go between the above mentioned sets of 14's and the same in 15's, again no either/or....the music guides what sounding and feeling hihats to use irregardless of size.
Or....you can use both...or another plus another...multi hi hat kits...yeah...
bt
 

CC Cirillo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
95
Reaction score
130
15s currently, for about a year, but all my playing time before that was with 14 inch New Beats. To be honest until I started reading this enabling yet noble forum 15 inch hats weren’t a thought.
I got some 15 K Lights and the slightly lower pitch is wonderful.
I do, however, want some older thin New Beats.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
369
Location
Atlanta, GA
I tried 18s and I didn’t like it. I like using different sizes though. I’ll go up to 17” at times, but typically 15 thru 17.
 

eigentone

Active Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
30
Reaction score
9
Location
Somerville, MA USA
I generally favor 15s but will use 14s for a quicker response. 15s can be a bit sloshy for some tracks, but I generally prefer their tonality.
 

mikeylicious78

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
163
Reaction score
4
Location
Japan
I had a pair of 15 Agop OM hats and ended up selling them for a pair of Bosphorus 20th anniv. 14s. I like the articulation that 14s give.
 

KarlHelmeste

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
53
Reaction score
6
Location
EE
I prefer 15” but lately I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with 14” Zildjian K Dry custom 14” hats.
 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,126
Reaction score
1,052
Location
South Jersey, USA
Do any of you use a larger size on top and smaller on bottom?
I have experimented with an old 16" A under an old 15" "marching" A. (The 15" is marked "medium band" so I assume it was part of a pair).

I could probably use it more than I have, but I have a lot of other combos in the competition.
 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
614
Location
SE Connecticut
I experimented with a pair of 18's and my foot couldn't handle them...lol. A 1900 gm Paiste Sound Formula top over a Zildjian Field Cymbal 2100 gm bottom. Those were literal monsters. Didn't sound too bad either. If Thor had hi hats those would be the ones he would use. And I've tried light Zildjian 10" and 11" inch hats as well from the 30's and 40's. So light they sound like a baby squirrel "barking." Tough to make those heard. But some of the big band guys made light 12's work. I have a pair of 1940's 13's at 450/475 which are about as light as I can go and still hear them.
 

MrYikes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
112
Reaction score
48
Location
Gnaw Bone, Indiana
My old 12s are 453/516 and have a great sound, though I do use some force on them. Sometimes I put a 13 on top to get a different tone. I'm getting some 15s for variety.
 


Top