If you’re into DCI, you’ll certainly know who Bill Bachman is. If you need me to explain that DCI stands for Drum Corps International, you probably won’t. Bill Bachman is a phenomenal drummer (and really, who in that field isn’t?), known for his tenor drum expertise as well as his excellent series of instructional books and DVDs, which will benefit any drummer who’s serious about improving his or her chops.
Bachman is also an impressive kit drummer, but he plays a somewhat unusual kit and wanted to put his hi-hat directly in front of his snare for easier access. He was aware of the numerous problems cited about conventional cable-operated remote hi-hats, mainly that they just feel sluggish, responding more slowly due to the friction and resistance of the steel cable as it moves within the curved plastic housing. In response, he has created his patent-pending Remote Speedy Hat to solve those problems. How does it work? It uses the cable without the housing. Clever, huh?
You may associate cable hi-hats with huge Bozzio-type drum sets. However, even if you only use a 4-piece kit, these hats offer valuable positioning advantages to a conventional hi-hat, especially if you also use a double bass pedal. A cable hat allows you to place your hi-hats much closer to your small tom than a straight stand does, or anywhere else for that matter. Of course, this design requires you to clamp the upper tube to another piece of hardware like a tom stand or rack. Since hardware varies, the clamp is not included, which keeps costs down and allows customers to buy exactly what they need.
Assembly is straightforward since you only need to connect the aluminum bracket and set the cable length. All adjustments simply require a drum key. It would take about a minute to set up once you understand how everything works. You can displace the hi-hat position by 8"–21" in 1" increments via holes in the aluminum bracket, which would suffice for most drummers, though custom lengths are available. The cable runs through swiveling CNC cable mounts across super strong Delrin pulleys, so it should last forever.
One potential limitation of this design compared to traditional cable hats is it requires you to have a straight path from your footboard to the bottom of the upper tube for the aluminum brackets that give the whole unit rigidity. Most won’t find this limiting at all, since this is designed to replace your primary hi-hat pedal.
However, since I often play open-handed, I initially attached mine to a rack, with the footboard to the right of my main bass drum pedal and the hi-hat cymbals positioned near my ride to be used as a remote hat. With this system I was able to tilt it toward me a bit even though it isn’t designed to tilt. If you’ve seen Thomas Lang and Benny Greb’s great DVDs, they place a straight hi-hat stand about where I placed my footboard, but that places their floor tom further away from their bass. With this unit, I was able to maintain my usual tight spacing.
I had a lot of fun with this pedal. And while the tension is adjustable for different weight cymbals, it felt good out of the box. It’s very smooth and responsive, allowing heel/toe splash and other fast hi-hat techniques and felt as good as a straight hi-hat. It’s also very lightweight (just 8lbs.!), yet is built to last. Since the cable has no housing, it’ll also pack up more easily in your trap case than typical cable hats with more rigid cables. How strong is the cable? It’ll take 480lbs. of pressure. So unless your weight exceeds that, it should last forever!
I love it! It’s smooth, fast, very lightweight, solidly made, and very affordably priced compared to other remote hats that don’t feel nearly as good. In fact, I’m giving it a reviewer’s highest accolade and buying it for my kit.