Review: Meinl Classic Custom Dual Complete Cymbal Set

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Review: Meinl Classic Custom Dual Complete Cymbal Set

meinl cymbal review
Words by Dylan Foti

Electric Factory | RRP $1,549

For those new to the drum world whether it’s in the physical, playing sense, or in the not so physical, recording acoustic drum kits sense, one of the steepest and most blatant learning curves of all is when you start to come to terms with the logistics of the drumset, and the justified expense of good quality drum equipment.

Probably more so than any other instrument, the drum kit bears with it a particularly unique set of design considerations, often at odds with each other and completely independent of those found in practically all other instrument types.

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For one, with drums, our baseline intention is to religiously beat this beautifully crafted instrument with a stick until the stick (or the replaceable component, or the drummer themselves) inevitably break, at which point we replace said component and keep on hitting. It really is a life of abuse on the road and thus there is a certain level of investment required just to weather the rigours of continuous daily playing.

The second reason is purely sonic. Drums (or all membranophones for that matter) are one of, if not the most acoustically sensitive of all instruments, with the tiniest differences in tuning, bearing edge, or beater having a massive impact on overall sound, especially under the close eye of recording. It’s universally understood that in the studio with eight to ten microphones draped around the kit, unpleasant resonances sound even worse, ratty hardware rattles even harder and cheap, shitty cymbals cymbals sound, well… Cheap and shitty.

This is where Meinl comes in with its versatile usage for those who are budget conscious.

Meinl’s founder Ronald Meinl first started producing cymbals in his basement in 1951. He grew up an entrepreneur and always had a fine ear for high quality sounding instruments. Now having reached the third generation of family ownership and being a staple in the game, Meinl continues to make great sounding cymbals for all unique players. Meinl cymbals are coated with a thin layer of lacquer that is only 6-8 micrometers thick and are made in Germany with 100 per cent renewable energy, great for the environment for those who are more environmentally conscious.

The Meinl Classic Custom, dual complete cymbal set comes with a 14’’ Dual hi hat, 16’’ Dual crash and a 20’’ Dual ride. The look of these cymbals have a cool, slick pattern that goes around the centre and you are definitely going to stand out playing them at a gig or in your studio session, they have a dark and powerful warmth to them. With reliability and durability in mind, they have a B12 bronze alloy for added warmth which is 88 per cent copper and 12 per cent tin. This adds that bit of flexibility to take charge in a track whether recorded or live, while also complementing the rest of the ensemble, a truly versatile set.  While they are only a medium weight, they definitely pack a punch when you need them to.

First let’s talk about the Dual hi hats. These have a great washy, smooth, and dark sound to them and also feel amazing to play. In terms of size, 14’’ hi hats are the perfect size for all types of drummers whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or an expert. These hi hats don’t ring out too long when you hit them and would perfectly match the desired sound in all types of music that range from metal to R&B, with the hammered hats giving a dark but powerful feel to your playing. They have such a tight feel towards your playing and transitioning from an open to closed hi hat never sounded so trashy…but in a good way!

Next up is the 16’’ Dual crash. This cymbal could cut through quite about anything (just don’t keep Jo Jones and Charlie Parker in the same room!). When you really lay into this cymbal, the tone is great and unique. Playing it soft also gives you a nice washy sound which can sound great in any circumstance. The response to the attack of this cymbal is loud, bold, and gives a dark punch without being so glossy or overwhelming. Meinl has come up with a cymbal that is super versatile to all types of playing techniques and genres of music.

Last but not least is the 20’’ Dual ride. The bell on this is brilliant in appearance, but more importantly in tone so it is sure to cut through any sound in the room. Crashing on this ride sounds and feels amazing as it lets off a huge, dark, and explosive sound. The ring on this is perfect and gives off a great washy feel as the hammered element to it definitely makes a difference. Playing the ride gives you the ability to take control as there’s such a great intensity when playing. The dual ride gives a very clean crisp tone and is great for crashing on.

The Meinl classic custom dual pack is great for all types of drummers that are looking to get into drumming or even drummers that have more experience in drumming. These cymbals look very elegant and sophisticated but when hit, they let off a dark, warm, and powerful sound. Lathed and highly polished edges soften the feel and create a flash of clean, high frequencies to round out the sound.

These cymbals can fit very well into your kit with just one cymbal or even using the whole dual classic custom range. Meinl have provided a pack of cymbals that come in great sizes for a really great price range so you will definitely stand out with these unique cymbals whether it be in your band or just jamming in your living room.

For more information, head to Meinl’s website. For local enquiries, reach out to Electric Factory.