Sweet Spot is a Canadian company owned and operated by machinist and drummer Rob Michl, who began lathing his own stainless-steel hi-hat clutches after growing frustrated with the unreliability and stagnant designs of what was commercially available. Michl started by fabricating two clutches for his personal use, but soon other drummers began asking him to make more. That’s when Sweet Spot Clutches and Accessories was born. In addition to the original Fuzion clutches, the company also offers a handful of accessories, including a slick adapter that allows you to mount a splash or small stacker to the top of the clutch, as well as a compact hi-hat tambourine. Let’s check them out.
Michl’s benchmark products, Fuzion Castle and Screw clutches, are machined to precise specifications from solid stainless steel. As a result, they are a bit heftier than your off-the-shelf clutch, but they’re also impeccably made. The wing nuts, thumbscrews, and locknuts thread into the main body of the clutch with zero friction. They also have a super-tight grip, so none of the parts will slip or loosen while you play.
The upper portion of the Fuzion clutch is strictly ornamental and is available in the shape of a castle, a conical screw, or a cross, and they come in anodized red, blue, black, or stainless-steel finishes. The top piece is also removable, so you can interchange it with another design or replace it with the Splash Adapter or Hi-Hat Tambourine. Fuzion clutches are available with a traditional thumbscrew or a hexagonally shaped bolt. (A wrench is included with the hex-head option for those who want to be able to apply extra torque.) The aluminum lock nuts are knurled and have an extra-wide locking surface to ensure that they never work themselves loose. List prices for Fuzion clutches range from $33.75 to $38.
Fuzion Clutch Splash Adapter
This lightweight, 4.25″ machined–aluminum rod has interior threads on the bottom that marry perfectly with the threads on the top of the Fuzion clutch. Exterior threads on the uppermost point let you attach the topper to hold whatever you’re mounting in place. A flat, 1″-wide platform is machined about an inch from the top, and this is where the cymbal—or whatever instrument you’re mounting on the adapter—sits. As with the clutch, the Splash Adapter is precisely machined, so the threading fits smoothly and snuggly onto the Fuzion clutch. Once tightened down, the adapter won’t become loose, even during rigorous use. You have about 3″ of separation between the top hi-hat and whatever you’re mounting on the adapter; this gives you enough clearance to play either instrument without obstruction and without disrupting the action of the hi-hat stand. I can imagine a lot of creative uses for the Fuzion Clutch Splash Adapter, such as mounting mini hi-hats or stacks of small effects cymbals over standard or oversized hi-hats. List price is $12.
Fuzion Hi-Hat Tambourine
A slight departure from the all-machined metal accessories in Sweet Spot Clutches’ catalog, the hi-hat tambourine features six pairs of standard steel jingles hanging from a piece of thin, flexible plastic, which is bolted to a black-finished metal tube that has a tension rod threaded into the side so it can affix the tambourine to a hi-hat pull rod. The metal tube is also threaded on the inside, so it can be mounted onto the Fuzion clutch or the Splash Adapter for configuration flexibility.
Although the composite elements help keep the hi-hat tambourine as lightweight as possible, it does add a bit of heft. I didn’t need to adjust my hi-hat spring to keep the pedal’s action quick, but you might need to tighten it down a bit. Once installed, the hi-hat tambourine added a nice layer of tight and quick jingle to the foot chick that wasn’t too bright or overwhelming. The jingles also didn’t rattle excessively. To my ears, it sounded closer to the more integrated jingle sounds you get when playing the hi-hats with a small handheld tambourine laying directly on top, rather that the brighter and more cutting sound of other hi-hat-mounted tambourines. List price is $32.