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

zenstat

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Somebody invoke me re: New Beats? :)


The years and ink have been fined up a bit since then (by one or two years) and the years of use in the factory for the 60s and 70s stamps have shifted by half a decade, but the song remain the same.

Wow! Some of you put a lot of thought into this. I wonder if the average listener or dancer could hear the difference.

From my perspective we don't do it for them. We do it for our own enjoyment. When we enjoy playing, the average listener or dancer enjoys the music more.

Love what you play, play what you love.
 

bpaluzzi

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Wow! Some of you put a lot of thought into this. I wonder if the average listener or dancer could hear the difference.
I mean, that's the case for 99% of equipment decisions we make, right? :)
 

trashman

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I'm super-picky about hi-hats, but I went many years being sort've mostly happy-ish with pairs that were matched by the companies who made them. As my tastes became more refined and focused, I found myself unsatisfied with vast majority of 'factory matched' pairs.
It was revelatory to discover for myself that the likelihood in finding a 'perfect' set of hi-hats (for my liking) increased exponentially once I let go of the acceptance that model, line, or even brand matching was necessary.
Anyway, part of this process was finding how much the bottom cymbal influences not only feel/response (which includes 'chick' vs 'chup', airlock, etc.) but also tone/pitch. The thing is this, though; because individual cymbals can be so complex, it makes it challenging to predict precisely what characteristics (beyond weight) are going to get a pair closer to a sound/feel I'm aiming for.
After lots of experimentation, I've found that I can most count on the various Paiste Sound Creation Dark Medium Tops and Bottoms I have to elevate the excellence of virtually any top cymbal. If I need more crispiness and projection, I'll use one of the Bottoms as a bottom, and if I want a little more subtlety, the Tops work incredibly well as bottom cymbals. Neither seem to allow for airlock issues, and they contribute beautiful and interesting tonal attributes to the pairings.
 

TCurtis

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I have been searching for a suitable permanent bottom for a 15” new beat. An antique, very heavy Zildjian orchestra cymbal I’ve had forever doesn’t work well at all. I have a pair of Dream/ Bliss 15” hats, and they are pleasing but sloshy until I put the New Beat over the Bliss bottom. I have 14” quicks and even an old ZBT sounds great over the bottom. In continuing my search for a 15” bottom, Paiste is on my radar, or anything with quick beat holes, I’ve even seen Saluda make them, although I haven’t tried to buy just a bottom, or any Saluda.
 

2oo2

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Wow! Some of you put a lot of thought into this. I wonder if the average listener or dancer could hear the difference.
The audience might be completely illiterate about cymbals but they certainly will notice the difference, of course they’ll interpret it as “magic” but that’s what a certain combination of top/bottom will translate to if chosen carefully. For me a thin top with a heavy, dry bottom gives that crisp, rich sound that makes people want to dance.
 

hsosdrum

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Wow! Some of you put a lot of thought into this. I wonder if the average listener or dancer could hear the difference.
I'm not the least bit concerned what others can or can not hear regarding how my instrument sounds, nor am I concerned about whether another drummer might or might not like how it plays. I only care about how it sounds to me, and about how it plays when I play it.

Back in 1984 when I bought my first (and only) all-new set of cymbals, the drum shop had four different pairs of brand-new 14" New Beats. They let me try all the different NB top cymbals with all the different NB bottoms until I found a pairing that delivered the sound that I heard in my head. I happily used those hi-hat cymbals for the next 37 years.

Then I got a wild hair up my patootie that I wanted a set of 15" hats, tried a set of 15" K Sweet Hats and fell in love with them. They get better and better every time I play them, so I gave my 14" NB's to my sister. (She loves them!)

It's not about how our instruments affect the listener, it's about how they affect the player. Play what inspires you.
 

Steech

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I have been searching for a suitable permanent bottom for a 15” new beat. An antique, very heavy Zildjian orchestra cymbal I’ve had forever doesn’t work well at all. I have a pair of Dream/ Bliss 15” hats, and they are pleasing but sloshy until I put the New Beat over the Bliss bottom. I have 14” quicks and even an old ZBT sounds great over the bottom. In continuing my search for a 15” bottom, Paiste is on my radar, or anything with quick beat holes, I’ve even seen Saluda make them, although I haven’t tried to buy just a bottom, or any Saluda.
Try a 15” quick beat bottom if you can find one.
 

ThomasL

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I'm super-picky about hi-hats, but I went many years being sort've mostly happy-ish with pairs that were matched by the companies who made them. As my tastes became more refined and focused, I found myself unsatisfied with vast majority of 'factory matched' pairs.
It was revelatory to discover for myself that the likelihood in finding a 'perfect' set of hi-hats (for my liking) increased exponentially once I let go of the acceptance that model, line, or even brand matching was necessary.
Anyway, part of this process was finding how much the bottom cymbal influences not only feel/response (which includes 'chick' vs 'chup', airlock, etc.) but also tone/pitch. The thing is this, though; because individual cymbals can be so complex, it makes it challenging to predict precisely what characteristics (beyond weight) are going to get a pair closer to a sound/feel I'm aiming for.
After lots of experimentation, I've found that I can most count on the various Paiste Sound Creation Dark Medium Tops and Bottoms I have to elevate the excellence of virtually any top cymbal. If I need more crispiness and projection, I'll use one of the Bottoms as a bottom, and if I want a little more subtlety, the Tops work incredibly well as bottom cymbals. Neither seem to allow for airlock issues, and they contribute beautiful and interesting tonal attributes to the pairings.
Excellent taste, Sir Trash! My hi-hats are most thin, ranging between 760g over 840g and 820g over 950g (the thinnest pair are the stiffest and crispest, but that's another story). Years ago I tried a bunch of early New Beat bottoms and other old A around 1000+ g as alternative bottoms, but they all made the foot splash sound clangy. Then I found an orphan Sound Creation Dark Heavy Top at 1136g. It's a great bottom cymbal that improves the chick sound without being clangy like the A's. Sometimes I use one of my thin bottoms on top of the SC DH top and it works great. The only limitation is the diameter; the SC is a bit undersized and I don't like my top to be much larger than the bottom.

Regarding what the audience notices: My point has always been that the difference between a great cymbal and an ok one is mostly about making you inspired, secondly about making the rest of the band comfortable, and only then about the difference that the audience might or might not hear.
 

jptrickster

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Paiste 602 bottom and an A. Zildjian top was pretty well a not-so-secret pairing back in the day.
Cut down 18 602 on bottom New Beat top for me.
The choices and sounds are infinite as the winter nights are long.........I really like Spizz and old K hats as well (just depends what day of the year and particular mood swing)
 

Dzdrum

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I just found a 14” A Zildjian heavy bottom at an estate sale for $20. It weigh in at 1358 grams. I have used it underneath with another 14” New Beat top (926 grams) and a 14” Paiste 2002 top (971 grams). It sound good with both tops. Definitely louder than both standard bottoms that weigh in at 1133 and 1028 for the Paiste. I will be on the hunt for an orphan A Zildjian top!
 

ranbunctious

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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.
Somehow ended up with a 14" Zildjian Amir. Got a good deal on a top Zildjian A cymbal and paired them together. The Amir is extremely heavy and was a perfect match. Provides much better support for the top and sizzles much longer than most bottoms.
 

debotcher

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I have a pair of Paiste Big beats that are pretty thin & just ordered a 2002 15 sound edge bottom. The plan is to use the Big Beat bottom over the SE. We'll see how that works out.
 

larold

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Wow! Some of you put a lot of thought into this. I wonder if the average listener or dancer could hear the difference.
Maybe not, but after a gig last year, a friend in the audience who's a musician and a huge Bealtes fan told me he really liked my sloshy hat sound. I told him I used two tops to get a Ringo-y sound.
 

drumgrrrl

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zenstat’s philosophy makes a lot of sense to me. Over the years, in am attempt to sound like Ringo and to match my vintage Ludwig’s, I have acquired a few sets of Ziljian hi hats ranging from the 50s through the 80s. Most are on the light side, with a slightly heavier bottom. Lately I have been reaching for my hollow logos, which cut through better when I am playing live.
Last weekend my band opened for another band and I played on the other drummer’s kit. He had Zildjian mastersounds. Wow, they were brash and loud in just the right way. I enjoyed the loud sizzle along with his bronze Pearl snare drum. I felt somewhat badass and thought the snare and hi hat sounds helped me play better. I have no idea what it sounded like to the audience or if they or the band noticed anything. But I didn’t care, I just enjoyed the experience.
That said, I have some hearing loss and am pretty sure I am starting to gravitate to “loud” and “brash” sounds for that reason.
Cheers to all!
 

BennyK

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I'm hooked on sound edge-type bottoms . My favourite is the Sabian equivelant .
 
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lossforgain

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I just found a 14” A Zildjian heavy bottom at an estate sale for $20. It weigh in at 1358 grams. I have used it underneath with another 14” New Beat top (926 grams) and a 14” Paiste 2002 top (971 grams). It sound good with both tops. Definitely louder than both standard bottoms that weigh in at 1133 and 1028 for the Paiste. I will be on the hunt for an orphan A Zildjian top!
I took note here of that gram weight -- I have a cymbal with that exact same weight I use as a bottom hat, but it's a 15" old A. Just thought it was a funny coincidence.
More and more, I turn to my old As for hi hats. I have 2 pairs of 14s and 2.5 pairs of 15s, and wouldn't mind finding others to mix and match. That's what I did with the 15s -- at least 2 of the 3 cymbals came from members here as orphans and I love swapping out for different sounds.
 


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