What is the Closest Modern Hi Hat to the Zildjian As from the 50s/60s?

Discussion in 'Cymbal Talk' started by Chunkaway, May 19, 2011.

  1. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    I have a pair of Zildjian hi hats from the 50s that are awesome. They are very thin, dark yet warm and not very trashy sounding. They do a very nice job of blending in with the music instead of cutting through it or going over it. They are not all that loud, which I really like.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for modern hi hats that sound similar to the hi hats I'm describing?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    I think the Bosphorus Traditional and Antique series "Dark Hats" have a very similar vibe. They are much thinner than today's Zildjians.

    For example, I have a pair of 14" 90's K's for sale here on the forum. The weights on those cymbals are around 1250g top and 1450g bottom. My 14" Bosphorus Dark Hats are something like 900g over 1120g. It makes a huge difference.

    One thing that will be hard to replicate is that a lot of older hi hats were matched in weight. By this I mean that both cymbals were generally very close in weight. The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that the bottom cymbal is always heavier. A lot of 50's and 60's 14" Zildjian hats I have seen have been in the +/- 850 gram weight for each cymbal. Might be tough to find a pair approaching that weight but they are out there.

    However I don't think you will find anything even close to this from Zildjian, Sabian, or Paiste. You're probably going to have to look at Bosphorus, the Istanbuls, Dream, etc.

    JS
     
  3. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    Hmm... my Zildjians from the 50s weigh in around 780 over 820- very close in weight. I have a pair of Stanton Moore hi hats that are 900 over 1100, but I'm looking for something darker, lighter, etc...

    The Traditionals seem a bit too heavy- at least the ones I have run across for sale. The Antiques are interesting to me, I like their dryness/airyness. Hmm..any other ideas?

    Titus- the lightest modern hats I have seen are in the low 700s. Bummer.
     
  4. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    I have sold a couple pairs of 13" Traditional Darks that were dead ringers for a 50's Philly Joe type of sound. I guess there is a lot of variability. The 14's that I play remind me very much of the sound I think you're looking for but the extra weight makes them so much more versatile. Weight-wise, the Antiques are going to be very similar to corresponding Traditionals (i.e. Antique Darks will be same approximate weight as Trad Darks).

    The New Orleans series tended to run a little thinner, so that might be a possibility, but they're not made anymore so you're going to have to try to find them on eBay or elsewhere used. And there is always the Master series, but the Master Hats are only partially lathed so you will have to judge for yourself if they produce the sound you're after.

    JS
     
  5. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    The Armand series is supposed to be modeled after 60's Zildjians so they might be close, but I have no experience with them so couldn't say for sure. The A. Zildjian & Cie Vintage series were supposed to be modeled off 40's/50's Zildjians and those hi hats (14") are pretty nice, very thin and light. I do have a pair of those and they are probably my favorite "modern" pair of HH cymbals. Of course Zildjian discontinued that series a couple years back.

    I have three pairs of 15" A. Zildjians from the 50's and they all sound wonderful. I'd think there would be something modern that would be similar...but since I have my vintage ones, and they were all cheaper than new cymbals anyway (while sounding better to my ear), that's what I usually use.
     
  6. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    The CIEs are exactly why I posted this thread. I tried some this weekend and I really liked them. They were very close to what I'm looking for, but maybe just a tad too heavy. If that is as close as I can get, I'm not doing too badly.
     
  7. Buhkatski

    Buhkatski Very well Known Member

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    I tried those Armand Hats and they were VERY reminiscent of my 60s zildjians...if you can find them they may be the answer, Light with some bite to them but not a lot....They were to light for me for general use but If I were into that sound I would have grabbed them, I also tried the Constantinoples those were pretty light and very very dark!
     
  8. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    Generally I agree with you. I played a set of CIEs this past weekend that were VERY light- possibly a prototype, they looked a little different than the usual CIEs- and they had a nice low pitch. They had another set of CIEs that did not have the sound I'm going for, and they were, of course, much heavier.

    Your description is right on the money for what I'm looking for though. There has got to be a modern version of this hi hat somewhere out there. Please!
     
  9. mlvbs

    mlvbs DFO Master

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    Just curious, why are you looking for a modern version of 50's hats if you already have "the real thing"?

    -Bill
     
  10. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    My A.Zildjian & Cie Hi-Hats weigh in at 830 grams for the top and 1112 grams for the bottom. This is in the same ballpark as one pair of my transition stamp 15" hats (950g and 1030g). The 15s are larger, obviously, but roughly the same weight range so they are probably a bit thinner overall.

    I didn't mean to imply that the "& Cies" necessarily sound exactly like vintage cymbals, just that they are a lot closer than many other modern offerings.

    And, of course, these are cast cymbals so they are all unique to a degree...one pair of the same model may be magic and another just so-so.
     
  11. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    Good question. There are actually a couple of reasons. First off, my vintage hats are starting to show some wear- the hole, lots of nicks, chips, etc... from gigging. I'd like to have these hats be used for recording/studio stuff, just to reduce wear and tear. Secondly, I'd like something that I don't mind thrashing around a bit, if needed. Sometimes I have to share gear and it drives me crazy to see someone bashing on my 60 year old hi hats.
     
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  12. mountainhick

    mountainhick DFO Veteran

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    Werd
     
  13. Ludwig Von Buzztoven

    Ludwig Von Buzztoven DFO Veteran

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    Chunk,

    I recently bought a set of K Light Hi Hats. I bought them for jazz, but when I got them home and really started to mess around with them, I found that are extremely versatile. I was using a set of Armand HH's for '60's rock stuff, but the K Lights were way, way better; I ended up selling the Armands shortly afterwards.

    I don't have the weights for my K Lights, but if you're interested, PM me and I'll weigh them for you.

    Buzz
     
  14. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    Buzz- wow that is really interesting. I actually started this quest with a pair of 14" Zildjian K Light hats! I really liked them, but I wanted less volume, so I went the vintage route. I'd love to know how much yours weigh compared to mine.
     
  15. Chunkaway

    Chunkaway DFO Master

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    There are a pair of Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary hats on ebay that weigh in at less than 600 grams for each cymbal. Now that is light! Of course they are about $500. Sigh...
     
  16. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    If you had access to a place with enough inventory you could start matching up 14 and/or 15" thin crashes and perhaps find a pair that worked to your liking as hi-hats. Guys used to do that back in the day at big stores like Franks Drum Shop and that might account for some of the lighter vintage pairings we find today. Probably not too many stores with that kind of stock on hand anymore...unless maybe you could get into the Zildjian or Sabian factory "vaults".
     
  17. Ludwig Von Buzztoven

    Ludwig Von Buzztoven DFO Veteran

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    My K Lights are 981 Top / 1266 Bottom.

    Buzz
     
  18. lossforgain

    lossforgain Team DFO Staff Member Moderator

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    :shock: "Light?"
     
  19. Ludwig Von Buzztoven

    Ludwig Von Buzztoven DFO Veteran

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    The scale does not lie!

    Yeah, I was surprised too, but that's what they weigh.

    Buzz
     
  20. Pounder

    Pounder DFO Master

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    THey're making them heavier nowadays. I played a pair of Agop Traditionals that sounded great, much like the older Avedis. I'd try out some Signatures, too, because they are lighter in weight. A possible cheaper option (although I've only heard some 15s) would be Dream Bliss cymbals.

    I don't put too much emphasis on weight. You can have 2 identical weight hihats, one sounds clangy and the other more smooth and smoky. If you just go by weight you'll probably ignore a set that very well could sound much more alike to your old ones than another new pair that simply weighs the same.

    Also.. I wonder if you have had a chance to listen to your thin hats on a recording. It seems like sometimes the thinner hats (and rides) can get lost in the mix easily if the music is amplified or loud.
     

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