Meinl Byzance Vintage C2 21" Ride: A Review

nmosko

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Hey! Over the past couple of days I've spent a lot of time with my new C2 ride. Here are my thoughts:

First off, this cymbal looks awesome. I know that looks aren't really important when it comes to cymbals, but this one is incredibly unique.

As for the sound, the definition is truly incredible. I've used small barrel tips (Jeff Porcaro Signature sticks), acorn tips (Vic Firth Shogun 5A), Large barrel tips (Travis Barker sigs), Ahead sticks (which sound entirely different on cymbals than any other stick), Oval tips (Pro-Mark Neil Peart sigs) and Taj Mahal tips (Vic Firth 1A). Not a single one of these sticks causes a significant loss in definition on this cymbal. Not even the Ahead sticks.

As far as the decay goes, I think the videos are misleading. This cymbal has a decay that is longer than what you hear in the videos, but its not much different. It definitley dies out quicker than my 22" S ride and my 21" A rock ride, but it is not as short as you would think.

The pitch is really low and incredibly dark. Between the low pitch and the decay it is not harsh at all, yet it still cuts through a mix. The wash is very, very controlled and the big thing this cymbal is know for is the definition. It definitley hit a home run there. You can be incredibly dynamic on this ride and no matter what you do it will not get out of control on you. The mix of the low pitch and definition is incredible to me. To me, Meinl achieved the goal of making Chris Coleman an extremely versaitile ride.

The bell is LOUD. This caught me by total surprise. I was expecting, this being a raw hammered bell, for it to be earthy and low, which it is until you choke up a bit. This bell has a bigger, louder and rounder sound than the bell on the A series rock ride. I'm not kidding. The bell on this cymbal has a massive sound. It's extremely piercing and would definitley cut through anything you need it to. However, it is also very responsive when being used in more intricate and delicate patterns.

Overall, I think this one is a hit. I really really enjoy it, and Since i've really got that metal vibrating and moving the sound has really losened up and it plays incredibly smooth. It's very heavy, again, heavier than I expected. It's incredibly easy to get a lot of stick response from the weight of this thing and the dryness and so those intricate patterns really come through. The volume is great on it, but definitley louded than anticipated. So if you do get one of these you are not making a bad move, just be prepared for it to be a little louder with a little bit more sustain than the videos from Meinl or Memphis Drum Shop. I don't have the capability to record a good sound sample, but I think that the video on Meinl's site does a good job accurately capturing the bell and pitch, but it does not capture the longer decay.

Anyhow, Hope this help someone out there trying to make a decision on a new cymbal! I will hopefully post a review of a set of Meinl 15" vintage pure hi hats in a few days.
 

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