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Hi hat bottoms..we don't talk much about them

dtk

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I recently obtained a 14" SE Paiste Sig. bottom hat. I think its my 2nd (I'm not a Paiste guy but they make everyone else's tops sound better IMO).

So it got me thinking...what are the qualities of a good bottom hat? I had some Scimitar bottoms that were heavy and student B8 but they sounded actually really good...I think I had a Kashian 2000 that looked nice and seemed pretty good w/the right tops too.
 

Squirrel Man

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Currently using quick beat bottom with a new beat top.

haven't gotten around to trying both tops together but I will.
 

Tommy D

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I prefer a heavier bottom cymbal, ala "new beat" design theory. I find a light top with a medium/heavy bottom works well in almost any scenario. A light bottom hat stinks, in my experience. No definition, no volume, overall lackluster performance. I do not like sound-edge/master-sound style bottom cymbals. Way too harsh/brash of a sound, IMO. I do like the bottom cymbals to have holes in them so they never can air-lock with the top hat, but you dont find that as an option on many of the pairs that are currently available. I do have a bottom hi-hat cymbal with rivets installed in it. I dont notice any appreciable sound difference with the rivets in. So that feels a bit like a gimmick to me.
 

TPC

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I usually use mix-n-match hats. I have two tops that I use most - 15" 60's A New Beat top (950 g) or a pre-serial 602 top (about 900 g). I have several 15" bottom hats that get used - 60's New Beat bottom (1450 g), a light 60's A, or a 1960-ish Zildjian A BAND cymbal (1150 g). The BAND cymbal gets used a lot more than the others. Why?

Pitch and projection. It's heavily patina'd and is quite dark and mellow sounding but with a very low pitch for its weight. This keeps the pair from getting to bright or clangy but there is just enough heft to add a bit of projection.
 

varatrodder

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I definitely go for a heavy bottom. I have two 14" bottoms, both around 1100g. I have two 15" bottoms, both around 1400g.

I've tried lighter bottoms, but they just sound so dull and dead. No chick. They just go "tunk".
 

premierplayer

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1st choice, A MS bottom / K top
2nd choice, Z bottom / K top
3rd choice, A MS bottom / A MS top (these are the same as New Beat tops)
4th choice, A MS top as BOTTOM / K top (matched kinda' thang)
all 14" cymbals

I haven't gotten past my 1st choice in years, that's what I play.
If I were to add a set of hats to my covey, would be a 13" K MS set
 

1988fxlr

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I like a big bottom as well. The only time I like a medium or thinnish bottom is when using a heavy on top, like flipped new beats. I’ve got Z custom, quick beat and sound edge bottoms; but my favorites are old new beats, a couple heavy old Zilcos and an Amir power bottom.
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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I've always liked one weight heavier on the bottom than on the top. Back in the day, hi-hat cymbals were sold only in pairs. No one would even think of ordering separates.
 

Tama CW

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On 14's I just don't like bottoms heavier than 1200 gm and tops heavier than about 850 gm. Too much harshness for me.
I have some somewhat matched weight pairs of 50's A's that cut well above their weight, suggesting to me that profile, bell, hammering play a role in the foot 'cut.'

Rivets can aid in the cut too. I have a pair of 15 paper thin & "floppy" orphans (pre trans and trans stamp 730/760) that each has 3 large "fat headed" rivets in them. Someone put those in decades ago.
Bought the first one as a splash/slosh crash.....and it was superb in that role. Then ran into a 2nd one like it.....and tried them as hats. A wonderful match of old A slosh and trash....yet they cut like 900-1000 gm .
I tried them against several pairs of 15 trans stamps and small stamps in the 800's to 900's.....and the riveted ones cut better. You get a bit of sloshy "breaking glass" sound when you push them together. I had
a pair of trans stamp 15's at 1000/1030 gm and to me a bit too harsh. The 700's with rivets were about as loud and just as cutting. They're unique in tone with those rivets.

You don't have to have a much heavier bottom. My favorite pair of 14's are trans stamp A's at 713/765 gm. However they were made..... they also cut well above their weight - like 800's.
Hammering can do that....much the way K's can cut better than A's of same weight. Those are the only thin pair of 50's hats I've owned that cut well above their weight....must be the hammering and profile.
Oddly, the cut similarly to my K Istanbul 14's at 750/925. It's not always just the bottom weight.
 
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PAS

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Mixing and matching can lead to pleasant surprises. I took a vintage Paiste 602 bottom and put on top of a Zildjian S Mastersound bottom (14"). It's a really sweet combination of vintage "chick" when closed and modern shimmer that's not overbearing when opened up.
 
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Aeromedic

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I recently obtained a 14" SE Paiste Sig. bottom hat. I think its my 2nd (I'm not a Paiste guy but they make everyone else's tops sound better IMO).

So it got me thinking...what are the qualities of a good bottom hat? I had some Scimitar bottoms that were heavy and student B8 but they sounded actually really good...I think I had a Kashian 2000 that looked nice and seemed pretty good w/the right tops too.
I’ve been using a set of Zildjian New Beat Hi hats since they were introduced. In my view, the heavier bottom gives that rich “schick” sound that seems to penetrate, particularly in quieter venues. Hooked on these for life…
 

larold

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I greatly prefer matched-weight hats, so for me a good bottom is a top that's just a little heavier than the cymbal on top. Right now, the best combo I have is a Paiste 602 top sitting under an Istanbul Mehmet Legend top. There's about a 30 gram difference between them.
 

Aeromedic

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That’s intriguing. I’ve never used mismatched brands to get what I was looking for. Something for consideration for the future.
 

Lamontsdad

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That’s intriguing. I’ve never used mismatched brands to get what I was looking for. Something for consideration for the future.
Paiste 602 bottom and an A. Zildjian top was pretty well a not-so-secret pairing back in the day.
 

Rivot

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I have Paiste 2002 14 heavy top and bottom i was wondering what difference would a sound edge bottom sound like? Does any one have that setup?.
 

CC Cirillo

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I believe the New Beat ratio of charisma is 2:3 (top: bottom).

Perhaps @zenstat can chime in here as I recall him authoring some information.

Whatever the math is, the concept of heavier bottom works for me. I have from time to time played around with equal weights (on the thinner side). Success to a point, as long as at lower volume, but seems to cave sonically when things get hotter.

I have flipped and put bottoms on top for more articulation.
Both of the same weight/ heavy on top pairings I’ve done for recording to some success for certain songs in the “Hey, let’s try something different!” category.
But this is just me dinking around. Most of the time it’s that heavy bottom on the bottom.
 
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