NAMM 2019: Meinl unveils ‘sonically rich’ Turkish-made Byzance Foundry Reserve cymbals

NAMM 2019 (opens in new tab): Following years of intensive R&D, Meinl has unveiled the newest addition to its Byzance series. The new Byzance Foundry Reserve series is created at Meinl’s Byzance cymbal factory in Turkey.

Foundry Reserves hark back to a time when cymbals were handmade. Meinl says: “These cymbals showcase the stunning sonically rich works of art that Meinl’s cymbalsmiths create with layers of tonality and nuance; however, that is only half of the beauty, as they are also visually striking from the one-of-a-kind hand hammered marks.”

Each cymbal is hammered for an extended period of time to work a more complex voice into the metal – they look fantastic, too. A fully lathed top and bottom helps produce a clear, dry stick-attack note which sits over a foundation of lower undertones. 

The Foundry Reserve range is limited to just seven cymbals: 14” and 15” hi-hats feature a thin top over a medium-thin bottom. Stick response is warm and fat, with a tasty sizzle when the hats are opened; the only crash in the group is an 18”. It’s designed to be dark and explosive with a swift decay. It would also work nicely as a light ride.

In the ride department you’ll find 20” and 21” standard models, plus 20” and 21” Light models. The standard rides are characterised by dry stick attack with a complex character, boosted by the intensive hammering and fully lathed surface. The medium-thin weight means they can be opened up for crashing too. Light rides are thinner, producing clear stick definition when ridden, and everything from a light wash to a musical explosion when crashed.

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.