Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Meinl Byzance Cymbals

Over the past few years Meinl has endeavored to join the likes of UFIP, Istanbul, Bosphorus and Wuhan in competing for a piece of the emerging premium-cymbal market, as drummers demonstrate a willingness to pay top dollar for instruments with a handmade feel and individuality. As such, the new Byzance line represents a significant step in the right direction for Meinl-these cymbals do indeed possess a singular personality. However, by my criteria as a jazz drummer, they still have some ways to go.

Meinl asserts that its new Byzance cymbals begin not as discs cut from milled sheets of bronze but as individually poured castings of traditional B20 bronze that are then heated and rolled repeatedly to form a bronze disc (as is the case with instruments deriving from scions of the Turkish/Armenian Zildjian family tradition, Avedis Zildjian & Co. and Sabian). Be that as it may, the quality of the cold work (pressing, hammering, lathing) is every bit as vital to the finished product, and it’s there that Meinl has made significant progress, imparting a smoky, darkly expressive character to the Byzance more in keeping with the Italian UFIP and Tosco cymbals than K. derivatives such as Istanbul and Bosphorus.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published