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

Whitten

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FWIW, I hardly ever see anyone (at any level) playing Meinl. The contrast would be in Europe, where I do see more of them in stores and more endorsers. Most amateur and lower level drummers I come across are playing Zildjian, Sabian or Paiste.
 

HDrays1

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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.
DW owns PDP which seems to be a good strategy, putting out plenty of affordable level kits while reserving the brand name for the higher end stuff. Plenty of other companies are now merging or at least operating under the same management or holding company probably because they realize the need to work and invest together considering the ever more competitive market; Zildjian and Vic Firth have merged, D'Addario also owning Evans, Puresound and Kickport, Gibson also owning Epiphone and Kramer, Fender owning Hamer, Paiste also used to even own or at least sell metal to Vader, an intermediate level cymbal brand overseas.
 

HDrays1

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The one thought I had reading this thread, was that Istanbul Agop was mentioned but not Istanbul Mehmet.
I have or have had terrific representatives of each Istanbul breed (Agop and Mehmet) and I would put them on at least an equal plane - different, yes, but competitive in quality, sound and feel.
Agreed, personally I prefer Mehmet way more than Agop, much more series on offer that cover a much wider spectrum of sounds but they definitely do not have as many higher profile artists endorsing them as Agop for some reason, or the other big four.
 

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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.
I think now that they've been introducing a ton of new crashes and rides rather than just pitching intermediate chinas I wouldn't be surprised, the question is though will they ever make an attempt to actually put out professional level lines and offer artist endorsements? That's still what would seal the deal for them.
 

HDrays1

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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
Meinl's presence and range of offerings is definitely surprising in how far they've come so quickly, considering they barely had a leg in the game just 20 years ago. Nowadays I see them in almost every store, chain and mom and pop, I go in and on just about every online retailer. Some of their earlier artists like Adler must've been a draw since they seem to have no problem signing more and more bigger names.
 

HDrays1

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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.
I think part of the reason Zildjian is still way up there, in spite of the steady rise in competition is because of their past success as well. Considering how long they've been in the game vs. all the newer companies there's a ton of professional used Z stuff floating around on the market on a regular basis a lot of which for really good prices. Maybe that doesn't necessarily translate back into profit for the company but in terms of people using them, probably quite a bit.
 

HDrays1

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FWIW, I hardly ever see anyone (at any level) playing Meinl. The contrast would be in Europe, where I do see more of them in stores and more endorsers. Most amateur and lower level drummers I come across are playing Zildjian, Sabian or Paiste.
Meinl has certainly gotten a leg up in the game within the past decade when they really started experimenting with new stuff, particularly their dryer series which really set them apart considering it took other big names a little while to catch on. However there definitely doesn't seem to be a huge market for used Meinls as much as Z, Sab or Pai. It's worth noting lower level drummers are more likely to buy used gear first and the other bigger three definitely have more floating around on the market.
 

JimmyM

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I have a Meinl bongo bag I use to tote my little Ampeg PF50T bass amp ;)

Their cymbals I know zip about, though. But I have to think they have become a fairly big player lately.
 

Steech

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FWIW, I hardly ever see anyone (at any level) playing Meinl. The contrast would be in Europe, where I do see more of them in stores and more endorsers. Most amateur and lower level drummers I come across are playing Zildjian, Sabian or Paiste.
Chris Coleman, Thomas Lang, Benny Greb, just to name a few…
 

Whitten

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Chris Coleman, Thomas Lang, Benny Greb, just to name a few…
I've seen Chris Coleman and Benny Greb. Compared to Zildjian, Paiste and Sabian professionals it's still low profile.
 

notINtheband

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Most amateur and lower level drummers I come across are playing Zildjian, Sabian or Paiste.
Hey,
I Resemble that remark!
786E2C93-F130-404D-A32D-21B7B4C7A06F.jpeg
 

Vicey

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Just in terms of visibility and expansion into different areas of the market, I'd say Istanbul Agop is making the biggest move toward joining the big three. The Turkish companies tend toward jazz applications, obviously enough, but the Xist line has brought Agop a lot more visibility in the pop and rock worlds. This is not a statement about quality: it doesn't make them better than Mehmet or Bosphorus or whatever, but I do think it's a sign of an ambition to wrest the number 4 position from Meinl.
 

John DeChristopher

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Just in terms of visibility and expansion into different areas of the market, I'd say Istanbul Agop is making the biggest move toward joining the big three. The Turkish companies tend toward jazz applications, obviously enough, but the Xist line has brought Agop a lot more visibility in the pop and rock worlds. This is not a statement about quality: it doesn't make them better than Mehmet or Bosphorus or whatever, but I do think it's a sign of an ambition to wrest the number 4 position from Meinl.
Good observation. But they’d be wresting the #4 position from Paiste, not Meinl. I know there are a lot of Paiste players here, but I’m fairly certain Meinl is #3 (possibly #2) and Paiste is #4 in global sales.
 

mtarrani

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Brand position won't make your individual cymbals sound any better or worse.
However, it will reasonably assure you that their products will continue to be available. Although not cymbals, we have a recent thread in the General topic area about how stranded some of us feel because a stick and brush manufacturer who spanned decades up and disappeared. And, lest we forget, there was once a company that produced iconic cymbals in the birthplace of western cymbal making that is still much discussed. I believe they were the the Zildjian family that was still in the old country :)
 

JimmyM

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However, it will reasonably assure you that their products will continue to be available. Although not cymbals, we have a recent thread in the General topic area about how stranded some of us feel because a stick and brush manufacturer who spanned decades up and disappeared. And, lest we forget, there was once a company that produced iconic cymbals in the birthplace of western cymbal making that is still much discussed. I believe they were the the Zildjian family that was still in the old country :)
A fair point, but any of these companies can turn on a dime and go away regardless of their standing today. Regal Tip was pretty huge, for example. I suppose current trends do help predict future trends, but they aren’t infallible.
 

mtarrani

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A fair point, but any of these companies can turn on a dime and go away regardless of their standing today. Regal Tip was pretty huge, for example. I suppose current trends do help predict future trends, but they aren’t infallible.
Oh, believe me, I know. I have been in technology for longer than many folks here have been alive. Things that were supposed to last forever went extinct with surprising regularity. Ever hear of DRI, Micropro, Software Arts/Visicorp or even DEC? They are evidence of what you said. But others in our niche have seemingly been around forever (decades and centuries), such as N&C, Gretsch, Ludwig, and, well, Zildjian.
 

44Ronin

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and yet, IBM (1911) has been around longer than A.Zildjian (1923)....what is your point?

Stanley still makes handplanes but they suck compared to the quality of the old ones.... (Hint hint)

I'd much prefer a Lie Nielsen or a Veritas even if Stanley still sells a tonne more of handplanes by numbers.
 

mtarrani

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and yet, IBM (1911) has been around longer than A.Zildjian (1923)....what is your point?

Stanley still makes handplanes but they suck compared to the quality of the old ones.... (Hint hint)

I'd much prefer a Lie Nielsen or a Veritas even if Stanley still sells a tonne more of handplanes by numbers.
You just made my counter-point to your assertion that, any of these companies can turn on a dime and go away regardless of their standing today. Thank you for that.
 


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