Those of our viewers who regularly follow our channel will notice that when we were at this year’s Meinl Drum Festival, our editor-in-chief, Viking, announced that we were going to test new products from the factory in Gutenstetten (video report: HERE).
One of those new products is the…
Meinl Practice HCS Cymbal Pack
We conducted the test in our new studio, i.e. in an acoustically adapted room. The sound was recorded using a pair of Bayerdynamic TG I53 stereo microphones and a RME ufx+ sound card with its preamps. We also used a Tama True Touch Training Kit.
2. Basic specs:
- Manufacturer: Meinl
- Series: Practice HCS
- Material: MS63 brass
- Cymbals included: 14″ hats, 16″ crash, 20″ ride
- Finish: Unique hole pattern in traditional finish
- Character: Exceptionally quiet, ideal for practice, authentic sound and feel under the stick
- Timbre: Bright w/ mid-range elements
- Sustain: Short
- Pitch: High-Mid
- Weight: Thin
- SKU: P-HCS141620
3. Product and sound
Meinl is probably one of the last cymbal companies to add this type of instruments to its product range. We have witnessed fierce competition in this market segment for many years and, in our opinion, the German manufacturer has lagged behind a bit in this respect. During the pandemic, low-volume products (pads, electronic drums and low-volume practice cymbals) were selling like hot cakes. Of course, on the other hand, the demand for instruments and accessories for practicing at home and/or playing quietly is very high and it is good for Meinl that they are trying to expand their offer also in this direction.
The cymbal pack being tested here comprises a pair of 14″ hats, a 16″ crash and a 20″ ride. The basic question we asked ourselves while testing this set was: Do these instruments differ in any way from those already available on the market? The answer is ambiguous. There is no difference in application. After all, the use of these cymbals is obvious. They are intended for silent practice and are meant to give the impression of playing regular cymbals. This function is 100 percent fulfilled. Do the cymbals sound good? Yes, and indeed they can give the impression of “normal cymbals”, especially as far as feel and stick rebound are concerned. Particularly noteworthy is the ride cymbal, which has all the sonic advantages of professional cymbals of this type. We have a ping, we have a bell sound, wash and the cymbal is crashable. The crash and hi-hat also do their job very well. We (editor’s note: Beatit DrumSchool) use such cymbals to teach small children, who are very often “afraid” of the loudness and explosiveness of traditional drum kit instruments. Such low-volume instruments are perfect for workshops or shows organized by our school. When it comes to the use of these silent cymbals for “professional” playing, we are not alone in saying that this is not their purpose. The sound could be satisfactory, but unfortunately depriving this instrument of dynamics has its consequences when recording the sound with microphones and preamps, and thus the place of the drums in the mix.
It should also be emphasized that the cymbals look very nice. be it a drum kit or, in our case, the Tama True Touch Training Kit.
Finally, we have to deal with the price. It does not differ much from the competition’s offer. One could even say it is more or less the same level.
Here’s the score achieved by the Meinl Practice HCS cymbal pack:
TOTAL SCORE: 50
Disadvantages – None
Advantages – Great craftsmanship, excellent look, the ride cymbal fully sonically versatile
The total score is: 5
Enjoy our test video, in which you will hear and see a Meinl Practice HCS cymbal pack!