shootout: Zildjian K Light 15" hats vs. Mehmet Dark Origin 15" hats

shnootre

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Well - here's a thing I've been meaning to do for a while.
I scored some Mehmet Dark Origin 15" hihats on one of those crazy Amazon blowout prices late last year - I think I paid $168 for the pair new.
I liked them fine - but then hanging on this forum, surfing the net, and generally obsessing about cymbals, I became convinced they weren't good enough and what I needed was a pair of Zildjian K 15" light hats. Maybe part of it was that the Mehmet hats were my only non-Zildjian cymbals? Not a great reason...
I tried the lights in two stores and loved em. And then I got a great deal for a pair on eBay - very good condition and I paid under $300.
In the end - I've been surprised more by how similar the hats are than how different. So much so, that I really don't think I can justify keeping both - and while my initial intention was to part w the Mehmets, I'm pretty sure I could get double their resale value for the Ks.

Anyway - I finally carved out some time to make a little shootout video. Bear in mind I'm no Keith Carlock, and I don't have the production muscle of say MyCymbals.Com. But I think this gives enough info to make the comparison. I have the hi hats a bit higher in the mix than I normally would, and I have the exact same setting and mic setup for each pair of hats (just a high pass filter to cut down on some of the proximity effect). Also - there is a horribly annoying jolt every time I hit my bass drum (that's iPhone X for you - less annoying on smaller screens - but listen w/ headphones)!

I'd really be eager to hear your opinions about the hats. My personal sense is that they ARE clearly different in some ways, but that they more or less fulfill the same function - and I could easily get by quite well with only one of these pairs (I also do have a pair of older Zildjian new beat 14"s). So I'm curious to know if you agree that they're not different enough to warrant keeping both, and then which pair you would keep if you had to choose. - I go back and forth between em in the vid, working through some different styles and functions.

 

Barden

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At the risk of hijacking your nice thread... we have very similar tastes in tuning. Your drums sound alot like mine. Are those sonor sq1?

You captured the hats well. I like them both. I would prefer the mehmets for their texture and complexity, but I would like them to have the lower register of the K's.
 

shnootre

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Ah...yes indeed - Sonor SQ1s, in the 12-14-20 configuration. Currently have Emperor Vintage Coated on the toms and an Aquarian texture coated on the snare (it's the matching snare, which I got during the free promotion last year). My "taste" in tuning has been constantly evolving though - I've probably had about 7 different sets of heads on these guys!

It is interesting - to me what the K lights at is actually an explosive quality on the high end. I hear the Mehmets as somehow "sandier" for lack of a better word. It is possible the Ks have a lower fundamental tone - but the thing that I find interesting in them is this kind of high pitched scream that comes out when you really get them going.

Very much appreciate your feedback!
 

Barden

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Ah...yes indeed - Sonor SQ1s, in the 12-14-20 configuration. Currently have Emperor Vintage Coated on the toms and an Aquarian texture coated on the snare (it's the matching snare, which I got during the free promotion last year). My "taste" in tuning has been constantly evolving though - I've probably had about 7 different sets of heads on these guys!

It is interesting - to me what the K lights at is actually an explosive quality on the high end. I hear the Mehmets as somehow "sandier" for lack of a better word. It is possible the Ks have a lower fundamental tone - but the thing that I find interesting in them is this kind of high pitched scream that comes out when you really get them going.

Very much appreciate your feedback!
That's funny. I have the same heads on my toms. Completely different drums, but same heads and they sound quite similar to my ears through your recording.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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It is interesting - to me what the K lights at is actually an explosive quality on the high end. I hear the Mehmets as somehow "sandier" for lack of a better word. It is possible the Ks have a lower fundamental tone - but the thing that I find interesting in them is this kind of high pitched scream that comes out when you really get them going.

Very much appreciate your feedback!
I think that's a pretty accurate description based on your video. I'm sure the bottom hat on those K Lights is bringing out the high end cut you mentioned. In your video I actually prefer the K Lights.
 

willythekid

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ok, given that it’s utube quality sound I would keep the zildjians. they seem to fit and blend with your overall drum sounds and the other cymbals better. Personally, I like the mehmets better (darker, softer) but that’s just for my own purposes those zildjians will work for everything.
 

shnootre

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After reading in another hihat thread, I experimented with using the K light bottom and the Mehmet top. I immediately loved the combo - got both that dark and sandy quality of the Mehmet with that explosive high partial from the K (thanks Sheik - it was your comment about the bottom K that gave me this idea). Of course, this complicates any decision...
 

Gunnellett

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After reading in another hihat thread, I experimented with using the K light bottom and the Mehmet top. I immediately loved the combo - got both that dark and sandy quality of the Mehmet with that explosive high partial from the K (thanks Sheik - it was your comment about the bottom K that gave me this idea). Of course, this complicates any decision...
How does the Mehmet bottom with the K top sound?
 

shnootre

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How does the Mehmet bottom with the K top sound?
I will try that - I was running out so didn't have time. But it's pretty interesting to suddenly have 4 different sounds available instead of 2 (and of course: duh on me).
 

chillybase

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You could also pair tops with tops, bottoms with bottoms. You could also flip flop all combos. Though I’m not sure how many combos you actually have.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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Man - that kit sounds fantastic! Every drum in the set just resonates with such sweetness and presence. Exceptionally nice.

As for the cymbals, there would be no question in my mind - the K Lights by a large margin beats the competition. The Mehmets in isolation are very, very nice sounding hi hats, but compared to the Ks, the Mehmets are just too reclusive by comparison.

GeeDeeEmm
 

shnootre

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Man - that kit sounds fantastic! Every drum in the set just resonates with such sweetness and presence. Exceptionally nice.

As for the cymbals, there would be no question in my mind - the K Lights by a large margin beats the competition. The Mehmets in isolation are very, very nice sounding hi hats, but compared to the Ks, the Mehmets are just too reclusive by comparison.

GeeDeeEmm
Well thanks GeeDeeEmm! And I appreciate your vote. Now I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and have been combining both tops, both bottoms, mixing and matching. Might have to make another shootout vid :)
 

shnootre

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Well, I went and did it. Here's a video in which I compare all 12 possible pairings between the four cymbals (one pair of K Light 15s, and one pair of Mehmet Dark origin 15s). This was pretty instructive to me - hope others find it so (and of course I'm curious to hear if you have a favorite pairing - this vid is shorter and more...say...scientific (I play the same thing each time!)
 

chillybase

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I like the Mehmet Dark bottom over K Light bottom - sounds dark and smokey to me
K light top over Mehmet top - sounds airy to me
Overall, K Lights in standard configuration.

Thanks for making the demo.
 

eigentone

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I dunno. I thought the differences were pretty clear. The K had more going on up top and the MDO had this midrange gargle I wasn't so fond of.

Both are usable but… the K Lights sounded best to my ears on my system.

Thanks for the comparison!
 

Old Drummer

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Nice demos (though the second one gets too complex for me). Based on the first, I like the Mehmets best. Either would work, and therefore I'd personally let cost decide, but the Mehmets also have the slight edge in my opinion from the standpoint of sound. I'd choose them and sell the Ks.

But, and maybe just me, I'd want to hear the chick sounds more. I prioritize the chick, I gather more than others do. You displayed that a little in the first demo, but were kind of loud on the ride while doing so. I'd personally play some lower volume stuff with the chick more prominent to firm up my opinion.

But I'm leaning toward the Mehmets.
 

shnootre

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Haha I know what you mean about the complexity of the 2nd vid. Out of the 12 combos there are maybe 4 or so distinct sounds, I think. I am particularly struck by how much I like combining the sets (and how oddly liberating it feels to put the bottom cymbal on top and not have the world explode). One sound I really like is the two tops combined - it’s super sandy and sloshy to my ear. In general I like the mixed sets more than than the matched right now, but that could just be novelty speaking.

And good point about the chick - I don’t really get a good demo of that here. I think the Mehmets definitely win in that particular category if we’re sticking with the matched pairs.
 

Gunnellett

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Nice work! I like the regular Mehmet set up and the Mehmet top over the K bottom the best. It also sounded to me the regular Mehmet set was lower in volume than the rest.

Do you happen to have a scale you could use to get the weights? That might add to the story.
 

shnootre

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Nice work! I like the regular Mehmet set up and the Mehmet top over the K bottom the best. It also sounded to me the regular Mehmet set was lower in volume than the rest.

Do you happen to have a scale you could use to get the weights? That might add to the story.
Yes indeed I have the weights!
Zildjian K Light 15" (top: 1130g; bottom: 1342g)
Istanbul Mehmet Dark Origin 15" (top: 1084g; bottom: 1347g)

The Mehmet top over the K bottom is also one of my favorites - I think that captures the best of both sets. Looking at the weights, it makes sense to me why the two tops combine to make such a dramatically different sound. (Not sure how totally useable it is, but it's distinctive!)
 

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