Meinl HCS Review

Meinl HCS Review

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The Meinl HCS cymbals are some of the most popular budget cymbals on the market. They are a great cost-effective option as far as brass cymbals are concerned, and are more than adequate for any beginner drum set.

Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack

Key Features

  • Affordable brass cymbals
  • Made in Germany
  • 14" HCS hi-hats
  • 16" HCS crash
  • 20" HCS ride
  • 10" HCS splash


The Meinl HCS line of cymbals has been around for a little while now. They have proven themselves to be immensely popular amongst students and beginner drummers looking to equip themselves with affordable but musical cymbals.

Meinl is a relative newcomer to the market, and the German company has evolved to become one of the world’s top cymbal manufacturers.

In this Meinl HCS review I’m going to be taking a look at the Meinl HCS Cymbal Set that features a pair of 14” hi hat cymbals, a 16” crash cymbal, a 20” ride cymbal and a 10” splash cymbal.

The HCS line of cymbals is Meinl’s entry-level offering to the market. These are cymbals that are designed to offer the best possible sounds at a budget price.

For the money, you can’t expect all that much. Professional quality cymbals are expensive. These Meinl HCS cymbals are significantly more affordable. That’s what makes them attractive for beginners however. Let’s dive right in to the review!

Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack Ratings



Build Quality









Bearing in mind the price tag of these cymbals, it’s necessary to have relatively low expectations of the sounds of these cymbals. These are designed to be beginner level cymbals. They are not going to sound amazing.

But with all things considered, I am pleasantly surprised by the musical tones expressed by these cymbals for their price point!

These Meinl HCS cymbals produce clean sounding notes and they are also responsive. They respond well when being played at varying dynamics and that makes them great for exploring different styles of music.

Across the board, all of the cymbals included in this Meinl HCS cymbal pack produce full-bodies sounds. They leave a pleasant note and have a good stick definition.

Most beginner cymbals are pretty terrible. You can expect most budget priced cymbals to sound incredibly irritating and offer no real musical application.

These Meinl HCS cymbals actually do sound like real cymbals. And for the price paid for them – that is a genuine compliment.

Out of the lot, my favourite cymbals are the 14” hi hats. These hi hat cymbals are crisp, clean and defined. They offer a good ‘chick’ sound when closed tight with the foot. They also have an aggressive roar when played open.

The ride cymbal is also pretty impressive, with a solid stick definition when played on the bow and a really nice bell ‘ping’ sound. It doesn’t perform too badly when crashed either.

Build Quality

The cymbals in this Meinl HCS review are constructed from a brass alloy that has a 63% percentage of copper. This brass formula is common in entry-level cymbal manufacturing. It offers a strong tone and it’s cheap to manufacture.

Premium cymbals are crafted from a bronze alloy, which leads to a sonically richer tone. Professional bronze cymbals are formed from a molten cast of metal, and forming the cymbal is an expensive and laborious process. This makes pro level cymbals far more expensive than beginner cymbals.

Entry-level cymbals on the other hand, such as these Meinl HCS cymbals, are formed from sheet brass which is pressed into shape and then machine lathed and hammered to achieve its desired sound.

These Meinl HCS cymbals are sturdy, durable and dependable. The brass alloy is strong and I experienced no issues with the build quality overall in this Meinl HCS review.


This Meinl HCS cymbal pack is definitely versatile by nature. This brass selection of cymbals will enable beginners to explore the world of drumming with ease!

These cymbals have full-bodied and bold sounds with a good amount of wash and a medium length of decay. These cymbals deliver clear sounds without unwanted overtones or buzzing.

The hi hat cymbals and the ride cymbal sit well in a range of musical styles, but the crash cymbal is a little ‘pokey’. It doesn’t offer as smooth sounds as the others in the Meinl HCS cymbal pack. The splash cymbal has a fast response and cuts through well!

I found that the cymbals offer bright and musical sounds that excel for rock music, pop music, funk, blues, R&B and many more styles of modern music. These Meinl HCS cymbals are ideal for beginners learning to drum to different types of songs.


With a clean stick definition and a musical tone, these cymbals are enjoyable to play compared to the plethora of cheap cymbals out there on the market.

This Meinl HCS cymbal pack provides beginners with all the essential cymbals needed to get started right away. These cymbals produce a range of articulate and clean sounds that fit right in with a range of musical styles.

Personally I wish the 16” crash cymbal offered a more refined sound overall, it does have some dissonant harmonics. But given the price tag, I suppose I can’t have too many complaints in this Meinl HCS review.

Those new to drumming will have a blast playing these Meinl HCS cymbals. To be honest, they are as good as you can get from a set of cheap cymbals.

The sounds are not professional quality by any means; you would have to spend far more than the cost of this entire set for a single B20 bronze cymbal. But these can certainly take a beating, and deliver consistent sounds that will fit right into most styles of music.


The value for money the Meinl HCS cymbals offer is magnificent. It’s the reason why these are some of the best budget cymbals around. They are cheap cymbals – there is no doubt about it.

These cymbals are dynamic, clean sounding, durable and responsive. Most importantly they are affordable!


This affordable Meinl HCS cymbal pack is a great choice for those looking to start off their drumming journey the right way. They lend themselves well to a range of musical styles.

The Meinl HCS cymbals are nice sounding cymbals for the money. They are offered at a budget price point considering their quality, and these are without a doubt some of the best for beginners.

Just remember from reading this Meinl HCS review you are not going to be blown away by the sounds. They are not top-tier cymbals by any means. They are marketed as entry-level cymbals, to help beginners find their feet.

One thing to note is that if you do fall in love with drumming, these cymbals will require upgrading fairly quickly to an intermediate or professional level cymbal pack.

What Comes In The Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack Box?

  • HCS 14” Hi hats
  • HCS 16” Crash cymbal
  • HCS 20” Ride cymbal
  • HCS 10” Splash cymbal

Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack At A Glance


  • Excellent quality beginner cymbals
  • Musical and responsive sounds
  • Budget price tag
  • Durable and robust construction


  • Will require upgrading rather quickly
  • Cheap sounding compared to bronze cymbals
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