Istanbul Signature Mel Lewis 14″ Hi-Hat Cymbals


Warm, full-bodied, soft, washy and buttery…(but don’t try and spread ’em on your toast)


Istanbul Signature Mel Lewis 14″ Hi-Hat Cymbals

Istanbul have lovingly recreated a handful of ‘tribute’ cymbals in memory of their first endorser, Mel Lewis and we are pleased to be offering their wonderful Mel Lewis 14” Hi-Hat cymbals as part of the Agop Signature Series. With their warm, full-bodied sound and soft, washy overtones, some have described them as sounding “buttery” (but we don’t recommend spreading them on your Pop Tarts).

‘Buttery’ or otherwise, just listen to the spread of tasty sound created from within the private chambers of Race Mansion…

YouTube video

Always insisting on using Turkish cymbals, Mel Lewis switched to Istanbul, becoming their first endorser and continuing to play Istanbul cymbals up until his death in 1990. The Mel Lewis 14” Hi-Hats are based on a pair originally created for his live work, accurately reproduced today thanks to the help of the Lewis family who allowed Istanbul access to his original cymbals to make a template.

Here are the same Hi-Hats in action with a larger set of Istanbul cymbals…

YouTube video

Istanbul Cymbals have strived to replicate every detail of the cymbals loaned to them for the manufacturing process and the exemplary work undertaken by their cymbal-smiths makes sure Mel’s legacy lives on by giving new players access to the same sounds he loved during an illustrious career in Jazz and Big Band music. As the late (and obviously great) Buddy Rich said of Mel:

Mel Lewis doesn’t sound like anybody else. He sounds like himself.

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