Anyone ever try 18" hats?

Tama CW

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I tried both a super heavy pair of hand cymbals (1900-2200 gm) and a pair of crash cymbals (1400-1650 gm). They both were a chore to move up and down. While they sounded huge it didn't make much sense to me. Doug Clifford played some 18's at times with CCR....supposedly because John couldn't hear the hats when they were lighter/smaller. You can see those here in their 1970 Royal Albert Hall concert.

 

foxy_shazamtastic

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Yes! I had a pair that worked quite well, 18” k con over an old a ride. With the right tension on the hi hat stand they were not a chore to move. Making an 18” pair of hi-hats really requires the right pair of cymbals, many pairs I tried to make just sounded sloppy and awful and felt awful to play. This pair was magic for some reason.
 

nickrobotron

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I am currently playing 17" hats most of the time these days. Dark Energy Crash over Rude Crash/Ride. They sound fantastic however you use them. They don't cut as well with loud electric music and they are a little sluggish with foot action, but the sound under the microphone is incredible and they are so much fun to play. I have two pairs of 15's that I use live, but I have a hard time taking the 17's off the stand at home. There are so many sounds you can get out of them. I've even left them fully open for light riding on the top hat. Can't do that with small hats! Don't get me started on the slosh. And although they are sluggish with articulate foot action, the chick is a beautiful sound. Having said all of that, 18's are out of the question for me. I feel like I'm pushing my limits with the 17's.
 

k_50

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I used to play an 18" K Custom dark crash over an A medium. That combo sounded great, and I don't remember them being sluggish to play.



 

JimmySticks

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I used to play an 18" K Custom dark crash over an A medium. That combo sounded great, and I don't remember them being sluggish to play.



You were probably much younger then :-D

There is a point of diminishing returns on anything taken to far. 14s and 15s have been the standard for many years for a reason, they sound good and they're light enough to move them and be articulate. They are just the right size. On the other end you can get 10" hi hats, but I can't imagine them being good for to much.
 

dogmanaut

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Slippery slope, my friend. Once you give in to 18’s, you’ll be asking about 19’s, and then a month later it’ll be 20’s, then 21’s, etc. Next thing you know, you’ll be drilling mounting holes in a pair of gongs while family and friends try to stage an intervention. Is it really worth it??
 

k_50

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You were probably much younger then :-D

There is a point of diminishing returns on anything taken to far. 14s and 15s have been the standard for many years for a reason, they sound good and they're light enough to move them and be articulate. They are just the right size. On the other end you can get 10" hi hats, but I can't imagine them being good for to much.
'Twas 10 years ago. But I'm still younger than most geezers on here ;)
I have been 16" hats for a few years now, and wouldn't hesitate to go 18" if I could make a pair that sounded as good as the one in my previous post.
 

Tama CW

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I've tried all zildjian sizes from 10's to 18's. And you'd be surprised what those light 10, 11, 12 hats will do in a light ensemble or your own light playing/recording. Yeah, their foot "chup" is pretty faint, the major draw back. I have a couple sets of very light vintage 13's and like them a lot. To me, it's very clear with each 1" change in diameter that the hats get a bit more sluggish. Very obvious from 14 to 15 to 16 and higher. It's all a trade off. Some of the early big band and jazz bands used 10's to 12's. They got the job done.
 

Jawshoeuh

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c'mon, who among us hasn't tried to put two full size rides on the hi-hat stand?!

never had much luck with 18" or larger, but had a 17" zildjian A medium-thin over 17" A medium that was a pretty buttery combination. after a few years of gigging them my little single braced yamaha hi-hat stand didn't have quite the same spring in its step though, lol.

played some 15s and 16s over the years that were nice, but never owned a pair myself. same with 12s and 13s, cool in the right context, but 14" is the sweet spot for a reason I think.

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16 - MZapDgT.jpg

(I promise I changed those heads out right after this, lol)
 

TheMattJones88

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I ran 17's for a little bit. It was 60's Zildjians, right around the same weight. They sounded awesome, I wish I kept them.
 

Monday317

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Personal history:

1st pair were 14” K/Zs, c.2002 vintage, kind of meh. Exchanged for 13”: smokin’!

2nd pair were 15” New Beats c.1964 vintage. Nice classic sound.

After a few years with these, I didn’t feel like my sound was my own. Hard to explain, but many will understand. So I sold everything, built my own Keller shell kit and now play Bosphorus Masters series.

3rd pair are 16” Masters—you definitely know it’s me on the throne. Fine, Turkish work with a ‘30s-‘40s great, dark, sloshy sound that can easily be adjusted for any genre. You can almost smell the cigarettes, bourbon, and lipstick playing them... Love ‘em forever!
 


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