|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2007)|
Founded in 1951 by Roland Meinl, they are noted for their fibreglass congas, and plywood gongs, which proved for many percussionists that such modern materials could be used in this musical application, and similar innovations.
Meinl and Paiste are the two main manufacturers of cymbals with a European sound, derived from Turkish as opposed to Chinese cymbal making tradition and seen by some as a subset of the Turkish sound family. The European sound has more consistency, focus and penetration, as opposed to the more blending and individual sounds of more traditional Turkish cymbals. The close relationship between the two makers' tone families is most obvious in their entry level cymbals over the years, where the two ranges have often been identical alloy for alloy and model for model, distinguished one from the other mainly by the logos, and all produced in Germany, where they are the two dominant cymbal manufacturers. Both makers strenuously deny ever sharing production facilities, however.
Meinl are unique among the four major mass-producers of cymbals, in that the alloy of their top of the line cymbals has normally been malleable bronze (B8, 8% tin) rather than bell bronze. Their professional bell bronze range, Byzance, is a relatively recent addition to their product lines. Other manufacturers have produced professional B8 lines, most notably the Paiste 2002 line, but always alongside more traditional alloys for their top lines. Meinl also make high-end cymbals from B12 bronze.
Current cymbal series:
- Mb20: Professional cymbals made specifically for louder music, made out of the B20 bronze alloy (80% copper, 20% tin, with traces of silver).
- Byzance: Professional cymbals which produce more traditional sounds, available in either Jazz, Traditional, Dark, Brilliant, Extra Dry models and their newly released Vintage series. They are made out of the B20 alloy and are hand hammered in Turkey.
- M Series: Professional cymbals made from the B20 alloy (80% Copper, and 20% Tin). Instead of being cast and hand hammered in Turkey like the Mb20 and Byzance series, the casting and computerized hammering is done in the Meinl factory in Germany.
- Soundcaster (Custom and Fusion): Professional cymbals made from a B12 bronze alloy (88% copper, 12% tin, with traces of silver). The Customs are very brilliant cymbals, with a glassy and warm tone, and the Fusion models are similar but with dual lathing.
- Mb10: One of the few manufacturers to use a 90% copper, 10% tin alloy for cymbals. They are said to have a cutting, yet warm sound.
- Mb8: Professional cymbals made from B8 bronze alloy (92% copper, 8% tin, with traces of silver). They are made with high-tech computerized hammering, and they have a bright cutting sound.
- Generation X: Meinl's line of innovative modern cymbals developed with such artists as Johnny Rabb, Benny Greb, and Thomas Lang.
- Classics: Intermediate-level cymbals made from the B8 bronze alloy.
- MCS: Intermediate/Pre-Professional cymbals made from B8 bronze alloy, available in a pre-pack cymbal set or single cymbals consisting of 14" Medium Hi-hat's, 16" Medium Crashes, 18" Ride/Crashes, and 20" Rides.
- HCS: Beginner/Entry-level cymbals made from a MS63 brass alloy. They are the least expensive cymbals by Meinl.
Meinl has begun releasing many signature rides, crashes, and hats. The current ones up for sale are the following:
- Benny Greb's 12"/14" Generation-X Trash Hat, 20" and 22" Byzance Vintage Sand Ride, 14" Byzance Vintage Sand Hat
- Thomas Lang's 13", and 14" Byzance Brilliant Fast Hat and his 16", 17" and 18" crashes in the gen-x series, along with the 8"-16" filter china's.
- Wolfgang Haffner's 20" and 22" Byzance Jazz Club Ride
- Flo Dauner's 16" Mb10 Fat Hat
- Rodney Holmes' 14" Byzance Dark Spectrum Hi-Hat, and 22" Byzance Dark Spectrum Ride
- Chris Adler's 24" Mb20 Pure Metal Ride
- Derek Roddy's 21" Byzance Brilliant Serpents Ride, 13" Byzance Brilliant Serpents Hihat
- Johnny Rabb's 12" Safari Hat, 16" Safari Crash, 18" Safari Ride
- Trevor Lawrence Jr.'s 22" Byzance Dark Stadium Ride
- Brann Dailor's 21" Mb8 Ghost Ride
- Mike Johnston's 21" Byzance Transition Ride
Notable artists include:
- Alex Rudinger - The Faceless, Ordinance
- Andrew Wetzel - Attack Attack!
- Benny Greb - 3erGezimmeR
- Ben Sesar - Brad Paisley
- Chris Vest - Framing Hanley
- Johnny Rabb - U.S.S.A.
- Chris Adler - Lamb Of God
- Tommy Clufetos - Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath
- Mike Terrana - Tarja Turunen, Masterplan
- Moe Carlson - Protest The Hero
- John Boecklin - DevilDriver
- Felix Lehrmann - The Flower Kings
- Thomas Lang
- Meytal Cohen - (2nd most subscribed YouTube drum covers channel)
- Georg Edlinger
- Nick D'Virgilio - Spock's Beard
- Daniel Svensson - In Flames
- Brann Dailor - Mastodon
- Thomas Noonan - 36 Crazyfists
- Trevor Lawrence Jr. - Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg
- Vik Jorma - The Bronx
- Chetan Ramlu
- Mike Justian - Unearth
- Kai Hahto - Wintersun
- Matt Halpern - Periphery
- Jake Davidson - Aiden
- Lee Davies - Independent
- Islam Taha - MetalloidZ
- Sean Mamo - EnTro-P
- Jean-Paul Gaster - Clutch
- Dave Douglas - Gypsy Parade, Relient K
- Richard Mazzotta - Mewithoutyou
- Bennii Obana - Overdrive and Tempestuous Jones; Sessionist
- Jon Wilkes - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
- Jaska Raatikainen - Children Of Bodom
- Aaron Gillespie
- Julian Külpmann
- Dirk Verbeuren - Soilwork, Scarve
- Nate Young - Anberlin
- Eron Bucciarelli - Hawthorne Heights
- Paul Koehler - Silverstein
- Brian Rosenworcel - Guster
- Jon Rice - Job for a Cowboy
- Derek Roddy - Serpents Rise
- Dave Mackintosh - Dragonforce
- Ethan Luck - Relient k
- Morten Loewe Soerensen - The Arcane Order, Submission
- Brian Rasmussen - Mnemic
- Daniel Williams - The Devil Wears Prada
- Mike Johnston - Educator
- Scott Hunter - Breaking Chains
- Jeffory Gilbert - Kutless
- Joel Leibensperger - Solo artist
- Chris Kamrada - There For Tomorrow
- David Keller - Independent
- Fredrik Andersson - Amon Amarth
- Tom Hane - In This Moment
- Luke Holland - The Word Alive
-  Current company description
- Home page for all products except cymbals
- Meinl Cymbals home page
- DRUM! Magazine's visit to the Meinl Factory
- Brief company history (Version May 06, 2006 from Internet Archive).
- list of artists and product lines from official website