14 vs 15 hi hats

Toast Tee

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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.
12's can sound great. Stewart Copeland used 12's during the Police hay days, and imo, he has one of, if not the greatest hi hat sound of all time. What 12's did you use?
I'll use 14 Heavy Sigs, or 15 2002's for gigs. There was a few year period when I used nothing but New Beats. I never tried anything larger, nor have a strong enough desire to try.
It's fun talking gear, but it's the players that make em sound good, or not so much.
 

MrYikes

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These Zildjians came with my first set, an early 50s Slingerland. I got the two 12s, a 13 and a 22 with that set. I remember that I had to pay $17 a week to the store, but I only made $14 working as a jerk at the drug store. I started early working for tips to make up the difference.
I have always liked the sound of my little hh cymbals and they were heard whenever they were supposed to be heard.
 

Toast Tee

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These Zildjians came with my first set, an early 50s Slingerland. I got the two 12s, a 13 and a 22 with that set. I remember that I had to pay $17 a week to the store, but I only made $14 working as a jerk at the drug store. I started early working for tips to make up the difference.
I have always liked the sound of my little hh cymbals and they were heard whenever they were supposed to be heard.
That's when Drug stores made milkshakes?
I was born in the Bronx, and remember hearing similar stories, but w/out the hi hats.
Whatever happened with the kit?
So 12 hats, 13 crash, and 22 ride. Interesting.
 

Topsy Turvy

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15" hats are about all I use now. I just picked up a set of 16" hats, that I am excited to try. I like bigger hats because of how they sit in the mix.
 

MrYikes

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That's when Drug stores made milkshakes?
I was born in the Bronx, and remember hearing similar stories, but w/out the hi hats.
Whatever happened with the kit?
So 12 hats, 13 crash, and 22 ride. Interesting.
I traded the Slingerland kit for my Rogers kit and of course have added some other cymbals.
 

Blueprint

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Stewart Copeland used 12" hats during the Police? I did not know that.

I have a pair of 14" small stamps on my practice kit and gig a pair of 15" small stamps. I love the deeper, sloshier feel and sound of the 15s. When I rehearse or practice after a few gigs, the 14s never feel like they offer enough. But I like em. They're fine.
 

Toast Tee

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15" hats are about all I use now. I just picked up a set of 16" hats, that I am excited to try. I like bigger hats because of how they sit in the

What
Stewart Copeland used 12" hats during the Police? I did not know that.

I have a pair of 14" small stamps on my practice kit and gig a pair of 15" small stamps. I love the deeper, sloshier feel and sound of the 15s. When I rehearse or practice after a few gigs, the 14s never feel like they offer enough. But I like em. They're fine.
Yeah, he would switch between 12, and 13's. His touch on the hats has been my favorite of any drummer I've ever heard imo too. I love my Paiste 15 SE hats. I've found they have the perfect volume, especially if you don't want to mic your hats. The "Chick" on it, is like having a metranome on my left.
I'm thinking about throwing a pair of 18 pre serial 602's for hats now.
 

Blueprint

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Yeah, he would switch between 12, and 13's. His touch on the hats has been my favorite of any drummer I've ever heard imo too. I love my Paiste 15 SE hats. I've found they have the perfect volume, especially if you don't want to mic your hats. The "Chick" on it, is like having a metranome on my left.
I'm thinking about throwing a pair of 18 pre serial 602's for hats now.
I'm a big Copeland fan. I don't doubt what you saw at all--just surprised that detail slipped by me these many decades. I love his HH playing, too!
 

Toast Tee

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I'm a big Copeland fan. I don't doubt what you saw at all--just surprised that detail slipped by me these many decades. I love his HH playing, too!
It got by me too for years. I found out in 2006, or so. I did a Police tribute for a few years, right before they reunited. That was a really nice gig
This is a family forum, so I couldn't use my description of the way he played his hats.
If ya Wiki Copland's gear, they post what he used.
In their 1st vid, he didn't have a cymbal deal yet, so he took off the logo, and wrote Copland on em. Pretty brilliant
 

lrod1707

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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.
As soon as I bought 15" Mehmet x-cast hats, I put the 14's away and have yet to use them again. Yes the 14's are quicker but the chick on the 15's is amazing + they have a deeper tone. I hate selling cymbals as well. The day you sell them is the day you get the itch to use them again. I keep mostly everything I have even if it's stored away (but most of what I have is on the kit)
 

aparker2005

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I just made a pair of 15" hats that I think I like better than the 15" K Sweets I had.

I took a 15" K dark thin crash and put an older 15" new beat bottom with it. Surprisingly a lot of stick definition and big slosh. I absolutely love it.

14s are still my favorite for all around though.
 

CC Cirillo

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I’ll have to say that after moving back to 14’s for the last week while shedding a bit and enjoying them, I’m going to use my 15 K Lights at my upcoming gig this week.

One reason is I’ve grown so accustomed to them with my Appalachian cowgirl headbanger originals band that they are part of the roster now.

Early on, I realized my New Beats were somewhat competing in the mix with this group, I sought the bigger K Lights. They’ve been at rehearsals and gigs and recorded on our demo. Once when I used some 14” backline hats at a rental studio our singer commented how she like my “other” hats better.

Wow. Some band members listen! She had grown accustomed to that sound and sensed the shift. That’s important to me. ...That and the fact that if I brought out the 14s at this time I’d be talking an occasional swing and miss the edge.

My problem now? I want some 15” New Beats. My problem after I get those? I’ll want some 16” K Lights.
 

VinSparkle

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I have 12”-16” sets. Don’t think I have a favorite size. Just depends on the situation and the mood I’m in.

I have noticed though that no one but like Lars played large hats—16s—back in the day. Over time, tastes/practices have changed and large hats have become more popular. Would say though that just because 14s have been recorded more than any other size (can’t prove this, but seems reasonable and also appears to be backed up by @zenstat ) that they are the benchmark from which all other sizes are compared and ultimately judged.

I seem to recall someone on DFO talking about a 20” pair once. Maybe we’ll all get there some day...


...maybe not.
 
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Old Drummer

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I played 15" pre-New Beat A's for my entire drumming career and honestly never thought about them. Once I learned that New Beats had different weights for the top and bottom, I marveled. Why? I had no idea what my hats weighed or therefore which might be the top and which the bottom. I assume now that each weighed about the same because I set them up randomly and never noticed any difference. Mostly, they were just my hats and I was comfortable with them. I played rock, country, a little jazz, a lot of lounge music. If my hats lacked, I never noticed. In retrospect, they probably were on the sloshy side, but that's OK and I could get a chick out of them too. My only doubt arose after hearing a set of 14" Bosphorus hats in a store with a super chick sound. However, by then I was mostly out of the business and not about to part with the money to buy the Bosphorus hats. In fact, shortly thereafter I sold off everything, including my trusty hats.

Fast forward to a year or so ago when golden years' neurosis kicked in and I decided to buy some drums. Well, I needed hats too. What to buy? I chose a set of 14" New Beats (936/1158) almost as old as my 15" hats, though this time I decided to go with the standard 14" size and different weights of top and bottom. Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?

I swear, I can't tell a dime's worth of different between the sound of my 14" New Beats and my old 15" hats. There probably is a difference and the years' gap just makes it unnoticeable to me, but I swear they're the same blasted hats. They're still sloshy but capable of an adequate chick. The main difference I note, or think I note, is in the foot action. It's similar, but I may still be more used to the 15" hats.

In the meantime, I picked up a pair of 13" Agop Sultans and have been playing 14" Dirils in a jam session. I only bought the Agops because the price was low and I figured I could flip them, which I did, but I actually liked those hats. I had to work to get some slosh out of them, but it was possible. Meanwhile, the chick was really articulate. As for the Dirils, well, they're OK, but I wouldn't buy them. They're a little too sprightly for me, though I can play them.

My conclusion (for myself) is that while size likely matters, I doubt it's the most important factor. Hats of the same size vary tremendously, and hats of different sizes can be darn near identical. My further conclusion (again, for myself) is that any decent pair of hats is probably fine. Maybe if you're recording or something and want an exact hat sound you need hats that deliver that sound, but for 99.9% of playing the hats really don't matter. Related is that you get used to the hats you have and learn how to get the sound you want out of them, more or less. I got used to my 15" A non-New Beats and didn't really have a complaint.

To the OP, though, I suppose I'd say go with 14" instead of 15". The 14" will do whatever the 15" will do, and probably be cheaper. Though if you run across 15" hats you like, don't let size dissuade you. Personally I'm a lot more open to 13" hats than I was, given my good experience with a pair. As for 12" and 16" I have no experience or opinion.
 

Black Label

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I prefer 15" hats merely because of the lower pitch, the nice slosh and the larger play area. I own various different 15" sets but at the moment my favourite lower volume set is a set of 15" Super Zyn 5 star hats (they blow my 60's light Zildjians out of the water) and for live settings, I love my 15" Paiste Twenty Custom Metal hats - crisp, darkish open with a massive sizzle. I prefer 15" hats all the way.
 


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