Meinl is one of the biggest cymbal companies in the world today. It has been around for a long time now, creating high-quality products. Meinl HCS best cymbals come as the cheapest line from the manufacturer. They are also among the most popular cymbals on the market.
They come with good-quality features at the most affordable price. As far as brass cymbals are concerned, you cannot expect much. But somehow, Meinl has managed to change the tradition by creating quality products for the lower market.
If therefore, you are running low on budget, or you are a beginner seeking to enter the drumming world, you can never go wrong with these Meinl cymbals accessories.
But choosing the right cymbal can be quite tricky, especially for a beginner. There are so many types that it can become overwhelming for some people.
This is why I chose to review the Meinl HCS cymbal set.
How to choose the best beginner cymbals
Cymbals are a very crucial part of a complete drum set. Many beginner drum set manufacturers include a full set of cymbals with their products. But these are usually the poorest quality. You will need to replace them if you are searching for the best sounds.
Besides, it will not make sense that you have a good-sounding drum set while your cymbals are crappy. The only way to get the perfect sound is to change your cymbals.
And this where things can get trickier. With different products to choose from, especially online, you can find yourself buying an even worse cymbal set.
To help you out, I have listed a few ideas you should put in mind when buying.
Understand your cymbals
How much do you know about cymbals? This is the first step towards buying the right products. There are different types of cymbals made for a specific purpose. Generally, you will get four types of cymbals: Crash cymbals, ride, cymbals, hi-hats, and effects cymbals.
Crash cymbals are the most common, and they are used for keeping a steady rhythm. They defined by their sizes, ranging from 14 to 18-inches. Ride cymbals are bigger than the crashes, measuring between 20 and 22 inches. Anything in between the crash and the ride is a crash/ride cymbal.
Every drum set should have a hi-hat. Line the kick drum, they are played with the foot, closed or open, and are used to keep a steady rhythm.
Effects cymbals include chinas, sizzle, and crash cymbals. They are important for adding more effects to performance and making your music more interesting.
Now that you understand how cymbals differ, it should be easier to focus on what you need. It’s more advisable to buy cymbals individually than going for a complete package.
Cymbals are made from three main metal alloys, all of which are copper-based – Brass, B8 alloy, B10 alloy, and B20.
Brass is the cheapest metal and readily found. As such, cymbals made from brass are very cheap, mostly left for beginners and students. However, they offer a brighter sound and are more responsive. Hence, they are good for certain genres like rock.
B8 and B10 cymbals are found in the mid-priced cymbals. They have a better quality than brass cymbal, and they are stronger.
Higher-end cymbals are made from B20 metal alloy. They offer all the best features you can expect from the cymbal.
You will get cymbals made with the cheap method or with the expensive method. The cheap method involves cutting a cymbal from a large metal sheet.
These cymbals offer a more balanced sound from cymbal to cymbal, and they are brighter. However, they are not the best in quality.
More expensive cymbals are cast, made by melting metal alloys and cooling it a cast, before hammering into shape. They offer better tonal values and are more durable because of the hand-hammering.
Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack Review
Meinl HCS line of cymbals is not a new product on the market. Besides Meinl Byzance Cymbal, They’re one of Meinl’s products that have been around for quite some time and have proven very popular among beginners and students.
We all know that this group of drummers does not need expensive products. It has been bad enough; some manufacturers have taken this as an advantage to give them poor-quality products. Meinl comes with these affordable yet musical cymbals to help you. This is not a very new company on the market.
Although Meinl started making cymbals later than most of the big names like Zildjian and Paiste, they have grown to become one of the most reputable brands.
The HCS cymbals are beginner-level cymbals and some of the cheapest you will find out there. This is what makes them attractive to beginners.
The most important thing you should know about the HCS cymbals is that they are made from brass alloy, MS63. Even though brass is cheap and the cymbals are not very sturdy, Meinl uses this special composition to improve its features.
It is a material you will find on all entry-level cymbals from Meinl. They come at a reduced price because it is easier to work with and relatively affordable.
The cymbals are also cut from a sheet of brass metal, rather than casting, which makes them even cheaper. But they are well pressed into shape, lathed, and hammered on the top before being polished. This process of touching on the finer details makes these cymbals better than other entry-level brands.
Each cymbal is printed on top with the series initials ‘HCS’ using black ink. They also feature the popular Meinl logo. Another smaller logo is laser-etched into the upper surface, with the country of origin and the serial number.
The bottom cymbal on the hi-hats is thicker and, therefore, heavier than the top. This is a normal setup for most pairs of hi-hats.
The crash comes thinner, with a shallow taper. This ensures you get wider sound grooves, just like you would with the hi-hats, especially around the bow. But it’s finer on the bell.
I recently received a Meinl HCS Super Cymbal Pack for my review; I must admit they sound better than expected. At this price range, and considering the price, many drummers will not even think about buying the HCS cymbals.
However, they are designed for beginner-level use. Hence, it is obvious that they are not going to sound as good as higher-end products.
Nevertheless, with all aspects considered, the musical tonality of these cymbals I remarkable. They deliver a clean-sounding note, and they are incredibly responsive.
I played them at varying dynamics, and they give in a clean fight. This makes them suitable for a wide range of styles.
All the cymbals within the pack produced a full-bodied sound, as you can see in this video. Their note is pleasant, with a sweet stick definition.
I have played a lot of beginner cymbals, and very few sounds pleasant. Those that come with drum sets are even worse. I was expecting the HCS to sound irritating, too, without much music application.
But I was surprised that they sounded music – like real cymbals. For the price you pay, there is no better way to enjoy such cymbals.
I liked the 14-inch hi-hats more. They are crisp, clean, and well-defined. I could feel their ‘chick’ sound when closed tight, which rank well through the setup. Apart from this, they deliver an aggressive roar when you play them open.
Hi-hats are very important cymbals in a drum set. Many drummers will go to great lengths to find the perfect pair. And for those running low on budget, it will not be bad to get these HCS cymbals.
The ride does not disappoint either. It showcases a solid stick definition when played on the bow and a sweet bell ‘ping’ sound. You can also crash it, and it will still feel satisfying.,
Each cymbal features 63% copper, and hence, they are generally brass. They will not, therefore, give you the satisfaction of professional cast bronze cymbals.
There is no doubt this HCS pack from Meinl is a versatile pack of cymbals. The brass material should not be an issue for beginners.
The cymbals deliver full-bodied and bold sound, with a great amount of wash. Their medium-length decay does a great job too.
Each cymbal promises a clear sound without too many overtones. The hi-hat and the ride will work well for any music genre.
I found the cymbals to have a more bright and musical sound than many others I have used from the same price range. If you want to learn drums in different music styles, go for the HCS cymbals.
Playability is often the main concern of many drummers looking for cymbals. And luckily, this is not a big issue with the Meinl HCS.
They offer a clean stick definition and a musical tone. This makes them enjoyable to play, more than what you get from other cheap cymbals.
The Meinl HCS cymbal pack reviewed here is an affordable, good-sounding cymbal choice for a beginner. Get them to start your drumming career.
I cannot recommend them for professional drummers, though. But they are still suitable for practicing before a gig, so you don’t ruin your expensive cymbals.