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What would be, for lack of a better term, the "big fifth" of cymbal companies?

HDrays1

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So it's known that Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste and Meinl are the "big four" of cymbal companies in terms of age, size of the artist roster, innovation and sales but with all the companies that have been sprouting up in recent years what would be the company you'd add to that category if we were to round up the big four to a solid round five? I can think of two - in terms of age, UFIP. Been making cymbals since 1931 which is before Sabian and Meinl even started and and before even really Paiste got a strong leg in the game with more modern cymbals. In terms of overall popularity and innovation, Istanbul Agop. Especially since the people who started the company cut their teeth making the first few variations of the Zildjian K line and have kept the idea of "Turkish made" cymbals alive. They've also introduced a ton of new ideas and concepts over the past few years and have had no trouble expanding their roster and quite a few artists who used to endorse one of the "big four" have moved over to them over the years more so than any other newer brand.
 

mtarrani

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Istanbul Agop have a large roster of high profile professionals. Way more then Meinl I would guess.
I would put Agop fourth after Z, Sabian and Paiste.
They may have more high profile professional users and endorsers, but the key test is revenue. How does Agop stack up against Meinl in that metric?
 

markkarj

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They may have more high profile professional users and endorsers, but the key test is revenue. How does Agop stack up against Meinl in that metric?
Will we ever truly know the revenue side? These are not publicly-traded companies, so I'd presume they don't have to share at all.

Now I did see revenue projections for Zildjian and Sabian years ago. But I'd question the need to so unless it's for bragging rights.

I do wonder about the future of family-owned cymbal companies... if or how long they remain that way. Or does a company like DW simply hold a dozen different brands including eventually cymbal companies.
 

JDA

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Meinl. I've seen two in 30 years. Must be Regional.
I think if speaking globally look out for the B boys they're everywhere; for such a small place
 

John DeChristopher

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They may have more high profile professional users and endorsers, but the key test is revenue. How does Agop stack up against Meinl in that metric?
Exactly. Sales/Revenue is the only metric that matters at the end of the day. Artist rosters are subjective, and speaking as someone who worked in Artist Relations for almost 30 years, endorsers (even high profile ones) don't have the same direct influence on sales they once did.

The big four are more likely in the order of: Zildjian, Sabian, Meinl and Paiste. And I've heard some speculate that Meinl is #2. I don't know - I've been out of that game for a long time. But you have to look at this globally, not just the US which is about 50% of total sales, so don't get hung up on what you see happening at your local GC or US drum shop. That's just a snapshot.

Bear in mind artist endorsers are relative. Some of Zildjian's endorsers don't influence drummers that buy Meinl cymbals, and some of Meinl's endorsers don't influence Zildjian's customers, and so on...

25 years ago I would've put UFIP as a solid #4 and Meinl as #5, behind Zildjian, Sabian and Paiste. Now I don't know who the #5 selling brand is. But I'm certain there's still quite a bit of daylight between the #4 (Paiste) and #5 company, whoever that is. Maybe one of the Istanbul brothers...
 

mtarrani

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Will we ever truly know the revenue side? These are not publicly-traded companies, so I'd presume they don't have to share at all.

Now I did see revenue projections for Zildjian and Sabian years ago. But I'd question the need to so unless it's for bragging rights.

I do wonder about the future of family-owned cymbal companies... if or how long they remain that way. Or does a company like DW simply hold a dozen different brands including eventually cymbal companies.
Consider this: Meinl has a diversified line of cymbals, including entry and budget level ones. The latter two are where all of the major cymbal companies make a lot of their money. Agop caters to the cream of the cream of top professionals. A niche market. Plus, Meinl sells a wider variety of gear (sticks, stick bags, etc.) that Agop does not. Those may not be cymbals, per se, but they do contribute to revenue, and Meinl is considered a cymbal company. We may not know the revenue, but we can sure make some reasonable estimates based on the revenue metric alone.
 

mkelley

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I always heard that Zildjian has/had 75% of the market and the remaining companies were fighting over the remaining 25%. Again, like what has been pointed out, sales numbers aren’t shared but I wonder how close that is especially in the new age of globalization with emerging markets like Asia.
 

Dan K

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I currently play K's (except for an AMAZING 16 crash people keep trying to buy from me) and have two sets of Sabian (HH and AA) but I would really like to to switch to Paiste Masters and Signature Classics. I love my cymbals but am ready for a change.

Dan
 

YabaMTV

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So it's known that Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste and Meinl are the "big four" of cymbal companies in terms of age, size of the artist roster, innovation and sales but with all the companies that have been sprouting up in recent years what would be the company you'd add to that category if we were to round up the big four to a solid round five? I can think of two - in terms of age, UFIP. Been making cymbals since 1931 which is before Sabian and Meinl even started and and before even really Paiste got a strong leg in the game with more modern cymbals. In terms of overall popularity and innovation, Istanbul Agop. Especially since the people who started the company cut their teeth making the first few variations of the Zildjian K line and have kept the idea of "Turkish made" cymbals alive. They've also introduced a ton of new ideas and concepts over the past few years and have had no trouble expanding their roster and quite a few artists who used to endorse one of the "big four" have moved over to them over the years more so than any other newer
UFIP but you already said that.
 

1988fxlr

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Talking globally, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the various wuhan based operations would be outselling all of the turkish companies. From an American perspective it is a bit surprising that Meinl has so much market share.
 

mtarrani

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Talking globally, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the various wuhan based operations would be outselling all of the turkish companies. From an American perspective it is a bit surprising that Meinl has so much market share.
You may be on to something regarding Wuhan vs Turkish companies. I suppose it depends on who is purchasing from the Wuhan region and slapping their own logo in it.

For me, the market share that Meinl has is not surprising. They have an ubiquitous presence here in the US (not sure about the other American markets - Canada & other N. American countries and the entire S. American markets.) Their brand is pervasive here, though, even the mom and pop/ brick & mortar shops carry some of their products, and the usual suspects like Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, Sam Ash, etc. carry their stuff too. Whoever does their product development (they seem to offer a lot of stuff including world percussion) is clever. Their marketing is even better.
 

1988fxlr

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You may be on to something regarding Wuhan vs Turkish companies. I suppose it depends on who is purchasing from the Wuhan region and slapping their own logo in it.

For me, the market share that Meinl has is not surprising. They have an ubiquitous presence here in the US (not sure about the other American markets - Canada & other N. American countries and the entire S. American markets.) Their brand is pervasive here, though, even the mom and pop/ brick & mortar shops carry some of their products, and the usual suspects like Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, Sam Ash, etc. carry their stuff too. Whoever does their product development (they seem to offer a lot of stuff including world percussion) is clever. Their marketing is even better.
I haven’t spent much time in music stores in 18 years and stopped subscribing to Modern Drummer about the same time. Back then the only endorser on my radar playing Meinl was Chris Adler with Lamb of God and they didn’t have much presence in the brick and mortar shops I spent time in
 

2oo2

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In terms of historical significance/impact: Zildjian, Paiste, Sabian, Istanbul (Agop/Mehmet take your pick) and Ufip. I’m aware Meinl has come with some cool products, but apart from the Byzance series there’s not much to talk about.
 

scheme

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What I‘ve found regarding market share is a little older reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/drums/comments/64mejb
Baseline would be in my interpretation:
Zildjian 65%
Sabian 17%
Paiste 9%
Meinl(?) 5%
All turkish brands combined: 4%

I‘d have never thought that Zildjian dominates that big, even estimated roughly.
 

varatrodder

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Talking globally, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the various wuhan based operations would be outselling all of the turkish companies. From an American perspective it is a bit surprising that Meinl has so much market share.
That’s what I was going to say. Think of all the Chinese cymbals sold as low priced and starter cymbals sold on eBay and Amazon; plus Wuhan, Stagg, Agazarian, Dream, etc. They probably outsell the Turkish companies.
 

mtarrani

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That’s what I was going to say. Think of all the Chinese cymbals sold as low priced and starter cymbals sold on eBay and Amazon; plus Wuhan, Stagg, Agazarian, Dream, etc. They probably outsell the Turkish companies.
But it is the cymbal company, not the supplier of finished material on which the cymbal company puts its logo, that will determine which 'cymbal' company has the #5 spot, right? Wuhan is a region, just like Turkey. I am inclined to believe that the #5 company is European.
 

1988fxlr

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That’s what I was going to say. Think of all the Chinese cymbals sold as low priced and starter cymbals sold on eBay and Amazon; plus Wuhan, Stagg, Agazarian, Dream, etc. They probably outsell the Turkish companies.
And I’m guessing the home market for traditional chinese cymbals has got to be pretty sizeable given the population
 


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