Wojtek Deręgowski is one of the brightest and still rising drumming stars in Poland. He is a busy touring and session drummer, specializing mainly in hip-hop, pop, R&B and electronic music. Wojtek has played with many Polish acts, including Monika Lewczuk, Sorry Boys, Marcelina and Rosalie, and is currently touring with Ukrainian singer, actress and TV personality Tina Karol.
Wojtek studied at Berklee College of Music and is also an educator who successfully conducts online lessons, master classes and classes for all levels of drumming on his website https://www.wdrumlessons.com/. He is also very active on social media, including his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels, where he regularly posts drum videos and lessons.
Wojtek is endorsed by Vic Firth sticks, DW Drums, Remo, Roland, 64 Audio IEMs and, of course, Meinl Cymbals. Who better to test a whole lot of Meinl cymbals?
Meinl Pure Alloy Custom cymbal pack
We conducted the test in our new studio, i.e. in an acoustically adapted room. We used a DW Collector’s Maple 20″ x 18″, 16″ x 13″, 12″ x 9″, 10″ x 8″ drum kit and a DW Collector’s Vintage 14″ x 6.5″ Steel snare. The Meinl cymbal set at hand consists of: 14″ hats, an 18″ crash, and a 20″ ride.
2. Basic specification of the set:
- Manufacturer: Meinl
- Series: Pure Alloy Custom
- Cymbals included: 14″ hi hat, 18″ crash, 20″ ride
- Finish: Smoked Bronze / Brilliant
- Character: warm, soft attack, fast decay
- Weight: Medium Thin
3. Product and sound
We must admit that the Meinl Pure Alloy Custom cymbals look great – the Smoked Bronze finish with many traces of forging on the top makes quite an impression. In combination with the complete opposite, i.e. brilliant finish on the bottom, it produces a beautiful visual effect, which also affects the sound.
These cymbals are characterized by a very noble and warm sound, as well as soft attack that is pleasant to the ear, which makes them a very versatile tool that will work in most musical styles, from Rock and Pop through to Jazz, Fusion, R&B and Reggae. Perhaps metalheads and punks will miss a bit of explosiveness and volume when playing, but their sound engineers (whether in the studio or during the concert) will not complain. They are not as dry and sandy as one might think judging by the appearance, and this is most likely due to the combination with a shiny polish on the bottom side.
Compared to their cousins from the Pure Alloy series, you can risk saying that the Customs have shorter sustain, are not as cutting, and have even more warmth. It should also be noted that as a set, the cymbals present themselves in a balanced way and each of the elements complements the other two, without standing out in sound from the rest. If we were to pick on anything, we would say that they perhaps could be a wee bit louder.
Wojtek Deręgowski‘s impressions from playing the cymbal pack:
“Meinl Pure Alloy Customs are universal cymbals that, given their warm sound, will easily find their place in any mix and will fit into most musical styles. The ride, which also works great as a crash, means that no additional cymbals are needed in this set.”
18″ Pure Alloy Custom Crash
The warmth of this cymbal is remarkable. There isn’t an ounce of harsh high frequencies. The decay can be described as medium, even towards short, which means all those who love short sustain on their cymbals should be satisfied. The timbre is quite dark, however not excessively. This crash has a rich and complex sound – one that doesn’t cause your ears to ache.
Let’s give the floor to Wojtek: “In my approach to cymbal sound, I often stick tape to them to shorten the sustain. In this case, it is unnecessary, which is something that has really captivated me. I get a clear attack, and then the room is filled with a beautiful warm sound, which, despite its timbre, effectively cuts through the mix.”
14″ Pure Alloy Custom Hi hat
As it is in the case of the crash, this cymbal just cannot be hit hard enough to reach the level of dynamics, beyond which there is nothing but unpleasant whistle. It is as if it had a ‘whistle-o-mat’ biult in 😉 When closed, the hats produce a beautiful chick. When open, they are crispy in a very noble way. Also, add a lot of warmth to the description. And then some. These cymbals will not wear anybody’s ears out after a few hours of playing or listening to it…
Here’s what Wojtek has to say: “I will take this hi hat to any concert without hesitation, regardless of musical style. Versatile, distinct, short, yet nicely crunchy.”
20″ Pure Alloy Custom Ride
It is a medium-thin ride, which immediately implies it must be soft (both physically and in terms of sound). The body is characterized by nice, soft and warm stick definition, while crashing produces a beautiful “rustle of the forest”, so to speak. The bell is clearly audible, although it’s not particularly loud – rather well balanced against the body and the edge.
Over to Wojtek: “Although I am a fan of bigger and richer sounding rides, I can see many uses for this cymbal in my playing. It works great as a crash/ride, which is a great advantage for me.”
Here’s the score achieved by the Meinl Pure Alloy Custom cymbal pack:
TOTAL SCORE: 50
Disadvantages – None
Advantages – Great craftsmanship, excellent look, universal sound
The total score is: 5
We invite you to watch the test video in which you will hear and see a Meinl Pure Alloy Custom 14″, 18″, 20″ cymbal pack.