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

NAMM 2019: 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.”

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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.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage buyer's guides on the site 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 16 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with brands including Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal. In my spare time you'll either find me up a mountain on my bike, or in the ocean on my surfboard.