Hi-Hats for Soul, Funk, and hip-hop (boom bap) [with occasional alt-rock thrown in]

wolfereeno

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The memphis drum shop samples are highly useful for checking out stuff remotely. I use it all the time.

I like to have options so I can switch top/bottom around and mix and match. Orphan HH cymbals are easy to find and fairly inexpensive. So I mix and match out of a small collection I've built up over the years. But basically it's light top, heavy bottom, like new beats. So an old pair of new beats is a good place to start. You can then find used singles of diff weights or type to mix and match.

For gigs of the genre you mention, I like slightly higher pitch hh's. I have a pair of Paiste Sig 13"s I usually grab for quieter funky gigs where there's minimal amplification. I love those and am amazed how I keep coming back to them.

What I've moved away from is darker sounding jazzy hats as I find them less versatile and cutting. But that's just me. I like dark cymbals but high HH's.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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you forgot the most important consideration.

Something Affordable.
Important to who? OP said they have some cash to spend, affordability not an issue, etc. And besides -

I started (and ended) with affordable-Vintage A hats in 13 or 14”. With the right weights, they’re perfect. $150-$200 is pretty affordable for a PAIR of hats. Plus, you don’t like em you sell em for $150-$200! I have a 60’s set and a 70’s set, I wouldn’t sell them for twice that. Crisp, smoky, sizzly and buttery. Yes please. Local sales like CL are a better bargain for old As, there’s always some floating around.

13.25” hybrids on Reverb for $250-$300

13” K for $200 on Reverb! $200! 800/1000, nice pair

The Agops are $200 new if weird is your thing. (Carter plays them all the time if that matters to you)

I pay more attention to the purchase price vs. resale price - if you can sell gear for what you paid, you’re using them for free, no risk I’ve explained this in greater detail to my wife, I’m not actually ‘spending’ money!
 

Tilter

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So I am slowly cycling through hi-hats. I have owned 15" Dream Bliss (early run), 15" New Beats (redesigned), and now 14" Avedis (recent). I felt the Dream Bliss hats got me there the most but sometimes sounded mushy. The 15" New Beats sound just a tad harsh. My new-to-me 14" Avedis hats seem mushy and not much sizzle.

I also use a Tama Classic hi-hat stand. This doesn't seem to take heavier cymbals very well without being a bit sluggish.

Does anyone have recommendations for hi-hats that would most fit the genre but still be able to grab some rock music here and there?

I was about to grab some 13" K hi-hats from a forum member but then I found the 14" for a fair price. I may have made a mistake. :)
I keep thinking K. Lights or Istanbul OMs. Sometimes mixing two tops together yields nice results.

If you heard something in a 15 that you liked but it filled too much sonic space, dropping to a 14 of that model would do nicely I'd think.

With regard to your Hi Hat stand: I found the same issue with my DW 6500, so I contacted them and I was able to send it in for a swap to a heavier spring. I don't know if Tama would accommodate that, but it might be worth a try.
 

Ox Han

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15" agop 30th anniversary - This would be my first choice for your listed genres, but they aren't bright which is why I think they are the perfect fit for how I interpret those genres. If you're looking for something more bright/modern, see below.

14" k custom dark hats - they are truly good at everything. They are brighter than agops, but not too bright and heavy like new beats and more affordable than agops
 

bpaluzzi

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15" agop 30th anniversary - This would be my first choice for your listed genres, but they aren't bright which is why I think they are the perfect fit for how I interpret those genres. If you're looking for something more bright/modern, see below.
I have the 12" 30th Anniversaries, and they're my absolute 100% goto for these genres. Absolutely love them, although as thin 12" cymbals, they don't project terribly well without a mic.
 

Seb77

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It's really a question of how bright/dark, loud/soft you want to go. Thirty years ago most everyone's first choice would have been 13" K/Z hats, these days people recommend Agop 30th hats, which I consider almost too thin for getting a decent chick with small group jazz. Meinl Sand hats, Keropes come to mind as well (edit: heavier bottoms though).
It's a matter of style, but I'd say also consider stage volume if you're not mic'ed. I have a pair of 70s 14" New Beats I could use for anything, 1000 over almost 1500g. Or a pair of IAK 13" Ks, with a bottom almost as heavy as a Z dyno that would be my pick for tighter sounds in soul/funk. A sort of middle ground between these and the ultra-thin pairs mentioned would be something like older/thinner NBs, I also use Agop Trad. mediums, or Dream Bliss, often mixing these for softer or louder sounds., sometimes two tops.
 
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Ox Han

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That’s why I mentioned 15” for the 30th Ann. The 14 are too thin and paper like, but the 15 brings a sparkle and chick but still maintains that buttery thin sound. Not going work for everyone though.
YMMV
 

chillybase

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I definitely have to work on my technique. I totally switched my kit around because my left foot (I am a lefty) wasn't responding on the kick anymore. Sort of like what happened to Homer Steinweiss. I haven't checked it out by the doctor yet. I'm not sure if it is Achilles tendon related or something else. My dad who is in his late 70s just recently got diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. So I hope my left foot isn't an early sign of what's to come for me.

I am not a great drummer by any stretch.

There is a bit of play money with the hats since I am selling some things off. I don't want to go overboard with it though. :)
 

Ox Han

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I definitely have to work on my technique. I totally switched my kit around because my left foot (I am a lefty) wasn't responding on the kick anymore. Sort of like what happened to Homer Steinweiss. I haven't checked it out by the doctor yet. I'm not sure if it is Achilles tendon related or something else. My dad who is in his late 70s just recently got diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. So I hope my left foot isn't an early sign of what's to come for me.

I am not a great drummer by any stretch.

There is a bit of play money with the hats since I am selling some things off. I don't want to go overboard with it though. :)
Fingers crossed for you. See a doc if you can. I hear exercise and movement can potentially slow down Parkinson’s.

All you really need are a kick, a snare, a hi hat and a crash/ride
 

unregisteredalien

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It's really a question of how bright/dark, loud/soft you want to go. Thirty years ago most everyone's first choice would have been 13" K/Z hats, these days people recommend Agop 30th hats, which I consider almost too thin for getting a decent chick with small group jazz. Meinl Sand hats, Keropes come to mind as well (edit: heavier bottoms though).
It's a matter of style, but I'd say also consider stage volume if you're not mic'ed. I have a pair of 70s 14" New Beats I could use for anything, 1000 over almost 1500g. Or a pair of IAK 13" Ks, with a bottom almost as heavy as a Z dyno that would be my pick for tighter sounds in soul/funk. A sort of middle ground between these and the ultra-thin pairs mentioned would be something like older/thinner NBs, I also use Agop Trad. mediums, or Dream Bliss, often mixing these for softer or louder sounds., sometimes two tops.
I was going to mention 13" K/Z. I've seen a couple of pairs for sale lately and was briefly tempted. Not for me in the end as I mostly do rock, but could be good for OP.
 

D. B. Cooper

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because as drummers we figure these things Best on our own;
That's a fact, Build your knowledge base by your own self-exploration.
Just how I think it is.
Joe. Come on man.
You figured out that you only like old K's "on your own"? It had nothing to do with the fact that other drummers (pros) played them? You never talked about cymbals with other drummers?
 
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Topsy Turvy

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Because I'm giving good advice. Don't ask- go out there- and figure it out- on your own.
Gear is such a personal thing it's best decided on personally.

I won't argue with you there.

Okay, I do agree that he should probably play some hats if possible. However, not everyone has an opportunity to go play new gear - especially during a pandemic. So, maybe, just maybe, you could ratchet things back a notch or two instead of trying to teach someone a lesson. If you don't have any suggestions for him, why not just move on? Why the need to "teach him" that his method is wrong? (Especially when you don't know the situation?)
 

D. B. Cooper

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You could even just find a light weight Zildjian A from any era and pair it with a bottom that you already have.
I think light weight is the key. They speak so much more quickly at lower volumes. And that helped me identify some problems with my technique when I was starting to play. The heavier hats I learned on made me really bash my hats to get the sound I was after.
Once I switched to lighter hats, it allowed me to be able to explore more.
What are the weights of your Avedis?
 

chillybase

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You could even just find a light weight Zildjian A from any era and pair it with a bottom that you already have.
I think light weight is the key. They speak so much more quickly at lower volumes. And that helped me identify some problems with my technique when I was starting to play. The heavier hats I learned on made me really bash my hats to get the sound I was after.
Once I switched to lighter hats, it allowed me to be able to explore more.
What are the weights of your Avedis?
My Avedis hats are 856/1146g. I tried a few different sticks on them but they just didn't speak to me. I tried a heavy Dave Grohl signature stick, Promark 5A Forward Balance, and a Vic Firth 5A nylon tip. My kit started out with everything high up like Dave Grohl but overtime everything lowered and it is now more set up like a jazz/fusion kit, albeit without those skills. :)
 

Tornado

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I see some others already mentioned the old 13" K/Zs. I'd dig mine back out.
 

flippantminister

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My Avedis hats are 856/1146g.
My Avedis are very similar weight to yours. I definitely felt like they took some time to learn to play well, I got them and immediately took them out on tour(foolish!). I hated them the first few days, then started to figure them out and ended up liking them pretty well. I also have a set of 50s As, both in the mid 700s, that were a challenge for me to learn(but rewarding!). I feel that a slightly heavier pair of hats is easier to play "out of the box." That said, i think your 13" K hat idea is a good one- versatile and could suit your various styles well. However, the weight variance in those is wide in my experience. Some Ks are heavy clankers, but if you get a more medium weight set you'll do well. I also back the Agop Dry Dark path- I've been very intrigued by those. Not as versatile but seem like they would work very well in the low-medium volume ranges. If you've got the cash, buy a couple of very different pairs to compare & contrast. You can sell off the losers. Or, like many have suggested, mix & match. You'd at least learn more about your weight preferences.
 

Nubs

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I’ll recommend the 13” Istanbul Agop Xist brilliant hats. They have an excellent classic hi hat sound and are extremely responsive. They play great open or closed and are just superb all around.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I own the 15” 30th Anniversary Istanbul Agop hats, and I would say those are not a good choice. They don’t have enough crisp bark for funk and soul. I mean, if you are playing old Motown then they would work.

I’d recommend something with more bite to it. Ash Soan uses vintage Zildjians from the 60s/70s and those things sound about perfect.
 

Ox Han

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I own the 15” 30th Anniversary Istanbul Agop hats, and I would say those are not a good choice. They don’t have enough crisp bark for funk and soul. I mean, if you are playing old Motown then they would work.

I’d recommend something with more bite to it. Ash Soan uses vintage Zildjians from the 60s/70s and those things sound about perfect.
I use them too. There are lots of options, but they most definitely fit soul and funk. I think the examples below (copyrighted and used with permission) show that.


 

halldorl

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Meinl 14” Byzance thin hats fit the OP’s description. Play and feel like a great pair of 60’s - 70’s A’s. Fast and articulate and very versatile.

 
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