Locking hihat nuts: I think I have figured it out!

drummerjohn333

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,904
Reaction score
367
Location
Michigan
Some may be embarrassed to write a post like this........but then how many readers of this forum already know this? I am likely certainly not alone about this topic.....hence my willingness to risk embarrassment.

I believe I have learned a very basic functionality - that might typically be taught in a beginner drum lesson........yet (only haven taken a dozen or so lessons when I was 14) - I have never been taught this. My guess is that there are many drummers on here with just as much experience -- that might not know this either.......if I am correct in my revelation.

See if you can relate to me here:

I have been drumming (on a drumset) for 38 years - much experienced -- recording/touring/etc.

We have all had the experience of the nut holding the top cymbal comes loose so you have to tighten the bottom nut on the clutch up again. For some reason, I have had HH clutches where this rarely happens, some where it happens all the time.

The current clutch on the kit at church seems to loosen after only 3-4 songs.....one of those higher maintenance clutches. Playing in church this morning, I noticed that the bottom nut could be starting to strip a bit - but was able to get through the service when I decided to (gracefully get it started) and then tighten that bottom nut all the way until it stops. It held and I had no problem.

I am driving home and wondering if I could just buy one of those clutches with the locking nut - I think Tama and / or DW makes those. Search for locking hihat nut on Ebay -- and you get nothing. Hummmm??? I remember trying to reverse the nuts.....2 locking halves on bottom and the one full nut on top.....but that one full nut on top has been scored so you can not run it up the threaded shaft, therefore it must be used only on the bottom. I have often thought about the idea of having the 2 locking halves on TOP and BOTTOM of the cymbal ----- when it hit me.

(and I believe I have figured it out)

STOP - don't read ahead yet --- just ask yourself - do you know the solution? When you buy a new clutch, have you ever wondered why the two locking halves are always on 'top' on the shaft - and the whole scored nut is on the bottom end of the shaft?

-------------------------
If you know the solution --- without any new parts -- then you already know this. If you are still in the dark - - perhaps you will learn something new today that you were supposed to learn when you were in middle school.
-------------------------

The SOLUTION / PROPER FUNCTION: (If I am correct)

The two halves are included -- because when you set your cymbal (to the desired tight/looseness) - you want it to stay. These are supposed to be on top -- because they are then easily accessed -- and these are supposed to be used for you to make the adjustment. Yes - adjustment - because some like their top cymbal tighter, some looser --- and in fact - some songs might call for a tighter cymbal - and some call for a looser cymbal which can then produce more wash.

The whole, scored, bottom nut -- is supposed to be used on the bottom -- and tighten up all the way until it stops -- so it will not come loose at all, and provide a solid bottom position and as a stop against the top nuts.

---------------------------------

If you agree - that I am correct in my conclusion and have learned this correctly.....let me know. (When did you learn this?)
If you have never heard of this and learned something today.....let me know.
If you think this is not correct .......let me know -- but then take us to school. I am always open to learning something new --- even if I am 38 years late to learn it!
 

Hop

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
3,085
Reaction score
1,724
Location
L.A., CA
I agree, and became aware of that feature back in about '79 when I purchased one of these, which I still use today.

Rogers Drop Clutch.png
 

varatrodder

Very well Known Member
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
1,443
Reaction score
1,917
I always take one of the top nuts and move it to the bottom to act as a lock nut against the larger bottom nut, and the cymbal will never come off the clutch during a gig. Also, since I now only have one nut on top, it makes it easier to adjust the floppiness of the cymbal on the fly.

Like this:

IMG_9633_zpsrzhjghmy.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,032
Reaction score
3,025
Location
SF Bay Area
Longest Jeopardy answer ever...

You are correct... mostly.

Before talking standard clutches, most quick release clutches have a locking nut on the bottom, so if you have one of those, slippage shouldn't be a problem. BUT, the position of the bottom nut against the felt is usually semi-variable when locked, or a thinner felt can be used to let it move more. Why would you want this?

Well, tightening the bottom nut and felt firmly will choke the bell of the bottom of the cymbal to some degree and change to overall sound. If the cymbal is allowed some wiggle room, it'll resonate better.

Still, having the nut locked in place where it can't fall off or loosen is the goal. Not all of them perform the same way.
 
Last edited:

frankmott

Humble (drum) shop-keeper
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
3,258
Reaction score
1,841
Location
N.E. Ohio
You are correct. The bottom should be tightened all the way "up" until it stops. This has no affect on the cymbal, as it is just sitting on top of the felt (which is in turn sitting on top of the "bottomed-out" bottom nut). The top two nuts are then adjusted up or down to control tightness of the cymbal on the clutch -- from completely floppy, to clamped tight. There are two of them so then can be locked together once you figure out where you want the lower (of the top two).
I don't remember when I figured that out, but it certainly took awhile. Even so, I've been playing 55 years, so it has been decades.
 
Last edited:

drumgadget

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
819
Location
Healdsburg, Corte Madera CA
Time to run out and buy yourself one of these:


You will never look back .......

M.
 

Gunnellett

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
1,423
Reaction score
926
Location
Washington
Time to run out and buy yourself one of these:


You will never look back .......

M.
Interesting it has a spring on top.
 

Tigerdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
736
Location
Ohio
You are correct sir! Nothing to be embarrassed about. It was at about 20 years in that I figured out you need to secure the butt end of snare wires first to avoid going mad. :)
Alas it was a few years too late? :)
 

peter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
232
Reaction score
214
You are correct. The bottom should be tightened all the way "up" until it stops. This has no affect on the cymbal, as it is just sitting on top of the felt (which is in turn sitting on top of the "bottomed-out" bottom nut). The top two nuts are then adjusted up or down to control tightness of the cymbal on the clutch -- from completely floppy, to clamped tight. There are two of them so then can be locked together once you figure out where you want the lower (of the top two).
I don't remember when I figured that out, but it certainly took awhile. Even so, I've been playing 55 years, so it has been decades.
Exactly - The two identical nuts that go on the top side of the cymbal are supposed to lock each other in-place, after you move down the bottom of these two to set the desired cymbal tightness (a procedure that only needs to be done once).

Here's the procedure when first setting up a typical clutch:
1) Thread both of the top-side nuts ALL the way up on the threaded shaft of the clutch.
2) On goes the top-side felt washer, the top cymbal, bottom-side felt washer, and then the proper bottom-side (under cymbal) nut, which is threaded ALL the way up as far as it goes on the shaft, until it stops (and locks).
3) Thread the lower of the two top-side nuts/washer down against the cymbal to set desired tightness.
4) Thread the upper of the two top-side nuts down against the matching lower nut, and twist them together so that they "lock" each other in-place.

After doing this, you just throw the felts and cymbal on the clutch, followed by the bottom-side nut under the cymbal, which again gets tightened all the way (and square-headed bolt locked with drum key, if applicable).

Drives me nuts (pun intended!) when I go to rehearsal studios or to use someone else's kit, and the bottom of the two top nuts is under the cymbal... and the proper bottom nut is nowhere to be found!

I may be a bit of an outlier here, but this was always fairly obvious to me since shortly after I started playing.
 
Last edited:

peter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
232
Reaction score
214
BTW, if you care about your top cymbal, this should never be too tight - there should always be a little natural play/wiggle in the top cymbal.

Also, it's a good practice to apply 3-4 winds of electrical tape around the part of the metal clutch shaft that contacts the inside of the top hi-hat cymbal's post-hole.

Every other cymbal on your kit - including the bottom hi-hat - gets post-hole protection... Why shouldn't your hi-hat top? After all, it probably gets more action than any other cymbal.
 
Last edited:

jptrickster

DFO Star
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
12,130
Reaction score
7,513
Location
Fairfield County
I have a Rogers USA quick release very similar to the Gibralter above. I prefer metal parts over plastic. One of the best clutch innovations ever. Anyone 'member the Zip clutch lol
rografhhc.jpg
 

peter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
232
Reaction score
214
I always take one of the top nuts and move it to the bottom to act as a lock nut against the larger bottom nut, and the cymbal will never come off the clutch during a gig. Also, since I now only have one nut on top, it makes it easier to adjust the floppiness of the cymbal on the fly.

Like this:

View attachment 530695
While there's no right or wrong here and player's can do whatever they like... What's shown here is not the design intention of how the three nuts/felts keep the top cymbal on the clutch, and maintain desired top cymbal tightness.
 

varatrodder

Very well Known Member
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
1,443
Reaction score
1,917
While there's no right or wrong here and player's can do whatever they like... What's shown here is not the design intention of how the three nuts/felts keep the top cymbal on the clutch, and maintain desired top cymbal tightness.
I know. But after having that bottom nut drop off a few times during a gig - despite being cranked down all the way - I made the change and have never had that problem again. Plus, I like that I can adjust the top cymbal floppiness quicker between songs.
 

Gunnellett

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
1,423
Reaction score
926
Location
Washington
I know. But after having that bottom nut drop off a few times during a gig - despite being cranked down all the way - I made the change and have never had that problem again. Plus, I like that I can adjust the top cymbal floppiness quicker between songs.

You have to go with what works for you.
 

rsq911

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
1,593
Reaction score
588
This is a great topic! I have a bunch of Ludwig and Tama Titan ones, plus a new Gibraltar locking/quick release one, and the infamous Sonor Signature one.

I have had the Tama main hollow tube loosen on a gig once, absolutely crazy! Blue Loctite and done!

I agree about locking the bottom all the way up, and use the top for "sloppy" adjustment. Having dual discs on top helps. But if one of those could be a nylon locknut on top of the adjustment nut, win-win!

The Sonor Signature one does not loosen at all, it is impossible because of the hex hole top and bottom. So once you place it on, you are done. They should still make that.
 

Ptrick

DFO Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,558
Reaction score
2,780
Location
USA
Time to run out and buy yourself one of these:


You will never look back .......

M.
I came here to type just this. Game changer. Been using them on every kit for over 20 years.
 

drumgadget

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
819
Location
Healdsburg, Corte Madera CA
Interesting it has a spring on top.


Yes, it does ...........

Serves two purposes: first, it allows a very fine adjustment of downward pressure on the top cymbal so you can set it up loose or tight, whatever you prefer. And, it will repeat this setting as long as you don't change the top cymbal (thickness around the center hole is important). Second, the spring pressure can be overcome by pushing up on the cymbal to allow removal of the quick-release "nut" when tearing down, allowing the setting to be undisturbed.

This unique feature is what distinguishes the Remo design from the others ........... although I once picked up a "copycat" version (I think it was branded "Taye") that functions identically. Patent infringement? I don't know ........ I still have it somewhere ........

Mike
 


Top