Meinl Cymbal Selection. Since launching as a Meinl Byzance Centre in the summer, we’ve experienced massive demand and interest in Meinl cymbals. It seems Scotland has been crying out for a shop to stock these cymbals as they continue to gain popularity all over the world.
After our previous trips to Meinl, we’ve written about the amazing hospitality and facilities we experienced courtesy of the Meinl family. This time was no exception: we were looked after to an insane degree and we’re incredibly grateful for that. Rather than tell you more about Meinl and their amazing HQ in this blog we thought we’d write about what goes in to selecting a stock of cymbals for the shop that we’re sure you guys will love…
One of the most important aspects of being a Meinl Byzance Centre is handpicking our stock. While we’ve never played a bad Meinl cymbal, we are constantly amazed at the variation between these hand-crafted cymbals. Picking the very best ones straight from Meinl’s factory is an incredible experience.
They have literally thousands of cymbals on hand at Meinl in huge racks. With some models you have dozens to choose from, but it never takes long to find something special.
We take our own sticks with us which no doubt makes us look like over-enthusiastic geeks but the tip shape makes a big difference to the sound of the cymbals and by using our own sticks we can tell how they sound in comparison to our existing stock and even the cymbals we own ourselves.
We also always make use of three or four cymbal stands when selecting cymbals so we don’t need to remember how the first or second cymbal sounded. Once we have a favourite cymbal from the first four, we leave that on the stand and compare it to another three and repeat this process until we have an obvious favourite (or two… or three!). Using a few stands also lets you pair different sized crashes together, or a ride with a pair of hats. Several customers have wanted to buy complete sets so it’s great to say that we knew two or three cymbals worked well together from the moment we heard them in the factory.
David and I have fairly similar, but not identical cymbal tastes – so on the first trip we wondered if there was going to be a selection of cymbals that only one of us liked. It really doesn’t seem to work like that though… There’s a great moment when three or four sets of ears all immediately identify a perfect cymbal from the racks. Usually this cymbal can’t be beaten, even when we keep taking more and more cymbals from the racks to compare it to. When you find that cymbal it goes straight in the stock and it usually leaves the shop pretty soon after arriving!
A few ranges of cymbals have already been really popular for us, like the Extra Dries/Duals and the Vintage Series. We’ve restocked heavily on these, searching for the qualities of the best examples we had in our first stock. Sometimes it can take a while to search the racks to find ones like those in first stock, but you know when you find them. This time round we found some stunning examples that will hopefully let anyone who missed out on the first handpicked stock pick out what they were looking for.
There are also a few new models that we’re sure are going to be hugely popular with you guys – like the 18” and 20” Traditional Extra Thin Hammered Crashes which manage to be beautiful and brutish at the same time. One of the highlights of the day was finding the 22” Big Apple Dark Ride – a new model with Meinl that totally re-evaluates your impression of how much stick definition you can get out of such a low, dark and washy cymbal. It also had a great bell and an insane crash!
And of course, there were the much sought after 15” Dual Hats. We selected a few pairs of these but with a few customers already expressing interest we’re sure they won’t hang around for long!
There was also a few cymbals that we were happy to select on behalf of customers (like the Sand Crash pictured below). This is really fun because we know our customers well and finding something to their taste is a great feeling. If you see us heading back to Meinl in the future and you want us to select you a cymbal – just drop us a message of what you’re looking for and we’re guaranteed to find you a beauty!
We have no doubt we’ll be back at Meinl before long and if they continue making cymbals as they are then we’ll be bringing the best and most unique handcrafted cymbals to Scotland. Keep an eye out for the cymbals arriving in stock!