HiHat dilemma - suggestions?

deadletteroffice

Junior Member
I'm running through Zildjian hats. About a year ago I bought 14 Custom Darks. I do like that they are not particularly loud, I like the weight of them from a feel perspective, but the open sound is too murky for me. I bought a set of 14 K Lights and maybe it was just to big of a jump, but they felt too loose and thin. I returned them and exchanged for a set of regular 14 K's and they are close, but they feel a tiny bit lumbering to me. Not fast enough I guess. The top hat feels a tiny bit heavy. I'm curious if I'd feel the same way as I felt about the K Lights with the K Session hats, which appear to be very thin, but I'm curious about them. Other than that I'm kind of out of ideas within the Zildjian family. The rest of that set are Dark Thin crashes and a 22 thin Ride and a 20 K Ride. So whatever the answer, they need to blend with those.

Doing a bunch of listening online I'm considering trying Paiste Sig Medium Lights or Paiste Dark Crisp. I do wonder if I'd find the Dark Crisp too murky when open though like I do the Custom Darks.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I was in a similar boat with trying to find a set of gigging hats that I liked as much as my main hats I use on my studio kit. My studio hats are the original 14” K Custom Special Dry hats that came out in the early 2000s (not the more recent reissues), and they sound rich and full and fabulous! In comparison, every pair of hats I bought for my gigging set fell flat—including 15” K Lights (too sloppy), 14” K Lights (too thin), 14” K hats (too heavy), 14” Avedis hats (too high pitched), and 14” K Custom Hi Definition hats (too similar to my Special Dry hats, but just didn’t sound nearly as good).

Out of these, the 14” K hats and 14” K Light hats were my most recent purchases, so I thought I could lighten up the regular Ks by pairing the K top with the K Light bottom. And they sounded better! But that heavy K top was just too heavy for my jazz gigs, so I held onto the K Light top to use only for jazz (I sold off the really heavy regular K bottom).

But while these three cymbals worked, I still wasn’t in love with them. So I went to my local Guitar Center to try out some K Constantinople 14” hats, and I liked them, but they weren’t perfect and they were very expensive. But then I had a thought… what if I paired a K Con top with my K Light bottom? I tried a few different tops out, and then found the magic one that came in right at 1002 grams. That sounded FANTASTIC with my K Light bottom (which weighs 1193g), so I bought it and sold off my other two top cymbals.

They sound rich and full, with this incredible sizzle that none of my other hats have had. And they sound equally good for rock and jazz. So now I’m hi hat happy!!!
 
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deadletteroffice

Junior Member
I was in a similar boat with trying to find a set of gigging hats that I liked as much as my main hats I use on my studio kit. My studio hats are the original 14” K Custom Special Dry hats that came out in the early 2000s (not the more recent reissues), and they sound rich and full and fabulous! In comparison, every pair of hats I bought for my gigging set fell flat—including 15” K Lights (too sloppy), 14” K Lights (too thin), 14” K hats (too heavy), 14” Avedis hats (too high pitched), and 14” K Custom Hi Definition hats (too similar to my Special Dry hats, but just didn’t sound nearly as good).

Out of these, the 14” K hats and 14” K Light hats were my most recent purchases, so I thought I could lighten up the regular Ks by pairing the K top with the K Light bottom. And they sounded better! But that heavy K top was just too heavy for my jazz gigs, so I held onto the K Light top to use only for jazz (I sold off the really heavy regular K bottom).

But while these three cymbals worked, I still wasn’t in love with them. So I went to my local Guitar Center to try out some K Constantinople 14” hats, and I liked them, but they weren’t perfect and they were very expensive. But then I had a thought… what if I paired a K Con top with my K Light bottom? I tried a few different tops out, and then found the magic one that came in right at 1002 grams. That sounded FANTASTIC with my K Light bottom (which weighs 1193g), so I bought it and sold off my other two top cymbals.

They sound rich and full, with this incredible sizzle that none of my other hats have had. And they sound equally good for rock and jazz. So now I’m hi hat happy!!!

This is a really good suggestion. I'll try blending a few and see if I find something I like. Thanks!
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I was in a similar boat with trying to find a set of gigging hats that I liked as much as my main hats I use on my studio kit. My studio hats are the original 14” K Custom Special Dry hats that came out in the early 2000s (not the more recent reissues), and they sound rich and full and fabulous! In comparison, every pair of hats I bought for my gigging set fell flat—including 15” K Lights (too sloppy), 14” K Lights (too thin), 14” K hats (too heavy), 14” Avedis hats (too high pitched), and 14” K Custom Hi Definition hats (too similar to my Special Dry hats, but just didn’t sound nearly as good).

Out of these, the 14” K hats and 14” K Light hats were my most recent purchases, so I thought I could lighten up the regular Ks by pairing the K top with the K Light bottom. And they sounded better! But that heavy K top was just too heavy for my jazz gigs, so I held onto the K Light top to use only for jazz (I sold off the really heavy regular K bottom).

But while these three cymbals worked, I still wasn’t in love with them. So I went to my local Guitar Center to try out some K Constantinople 14” hats, and I liked them, but they weren’t perfect and they were very expensive. But then I had a thought… what if I paired a K Con top with my K Light bottom? I tried a few different tops out, and then found the magic one that came in right at 1002 grams. That sounded FANTASTIC with my K Light bottom (which weighs 1193g), so I bought it and sold off my other two top cymbals.

They sound rich and full, with this incredible sizzle that none of my other hats have had. And they sound equally good for rock and jazz. So now I’m hi hat happy!!!
(y)👆This is a great story and illustrates the fact that no two [quality] cymbals are alike and even expert factory pairing is subjective to the individual drummer. Kudos on your conquest of the hihat beast!
 

TK-421

Senior Member
(y)👆This is a great story and illustrates the fact that no two [quality] cymbals are alike and even expert factory pairing is subjective to the individual drummer. Kudos on your conquest of the hihat beast!
Thank you! It definitely felt like a conquest, as my search had been going on since 2018! And it just concluded literally two weeks ago when I bought the K Con top hi hat. And to top it off, the K and K Light top hi hat cymbals I no longer needed have already sold via Reverb, totaling what I paid for the (brand new) K Constantinople. So essentially it was a free upgrade, though I went from having two top hi hat cymbals to having one. But since the K Con works for everything, I'm totally fine with that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hi hats are a mix and match scenario for me. Very rarely do I play a matched set of hi hats. I used to use the bottoms as tops. Whatever sounds the best to me.

Soultone's "Vintage Old School 1964" are far and away my favorites. Even so, they are still mix and match. I have 4 pairs.

For me they are everything I ever wanted in a hat.

You have to find an "everything you ever wanted in a hi hat" for you.

Only you can take that journey. Sure, get advice here, but at the end of the day, you have to do your due diligence.

I like listening to soundfiles to narrow it down. I can tell immediately if I don't like something
 

deadletteroffice

Junior Member
Thank you! It definitely felt like a conquest, as my search had been going on since 2018! And it just concluded literally two weeks ago when I bought the K Con top hi hat. And to top it off, the K and K Light top hi hat cymbals I no longer needed have already sold via Reverb, totaling what I paid for the (brand new) K Constantinople. So essentially it was a free upgrade, though I went from having two top hi hat cymbals to having one. But since the K Con works for everything, I'm totally fine with that.

I stopped by GC today where I knew from past visits that they had 2 K Light TOPS and no bottoms that they had for awhile. I listened to each and one sounded off key, but the other rang beautifully, nice pitch. I asked for a price, he came back and said $125, it's on clearance! I nabbed it immediately, came home and threw it on over the regular K bottom and am in love. So much better. The regular K top I have weighs 1120 while the K light weighs 1005. They should offer this as a set. Kind of mind boggling that they do not as to me it sounds like what I hear in my head. I've read so many reviews of the regular K's where people express that they like them but wish the top was a little thinner, but that the K Light set is too washy. Light top, heavy bottom is my happy place as far as I can tell. Thanks again for your input @TK-421 - Turned out to be spot on.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I stopped by GC today where I knew from past visits that they had 2 K Light TOPS and no bottoms that they had for awhile. I listened to each and one sounded off key, but the other rang beautifully, nice pitch. I asked for a price, he came back and said $125, it's on clearance! I nabbed it immediately, came home and threw it on over the regular K bottom and am in love. So much better. The regular K top I have weighs 1120 while the K light weighs 1005. They should offer this as a set. Kind of mind boggling that they do not as to me it sounds like what I hear in my head. I've read so many reviews of the regular K's where people express that they like them but wish the top was a little thinner, but that the K Light set is too washy. Light top, heavy bottom is my happy place as far as I can tell. Thanks again for your input @TK-421 - Turned out to be spot on.
AWESOME, glad I could help!

My new K Con top weighs 1002g, so it's nearly identical in weight to your new K Light top. My old K Light top was noticeably lighter at 925g and was too washy sounding (except for jazz), but it sounds like yours should be sonically closer to my K Con since the weights are so close. And for that price, you simply can't beat it!

Do you happen to know what your K Bottom weighs? My K Light bottom comes in at 1193g, which pairs perfectly with the K Con top.
 

deadletteroffice

Junior Member
AWESOME, glad I could help!

My new K Con top weighs 1002g, so it's nearly identical in weight to your new K Light top. My old K Light top was noticeably lighter at 925g and was too washy sounding (except for jazz), but it sounds like yours should be sonically closer to my K Con since the weights are so close. And for that price, you simply can't beat it!

Do you happen to know what your K Bottom weighs? My K Light bottom comes in at 1193g, which pairs perfectly with the K Con top.

@TK-421 my K bottom weighs 1332.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
My suggestion would be to try a different brand altogether. While I am a Zildjian fan, I've never experienced another cymbal brand that varies so much from cymbal to cymbal. When I play a Sabian AAX cymbal, I know what I'm getting. Same goes for their HH, Paiste 3000, Heartbeat, Soultone, etc. Yes, there are variances in those brands, but I have a very good idea of what they sound like; however with Zildjian, it's a total mix bag. I've played some A Customs that stopped me in my tracks, and I've owned other A Customs that I couldn't get rid of fast enough.

You may find some Zildjian hats you like, and if you do, that's great! However if I were in your shoes, I'd take a look at other brands.
 
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