Meinl History

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"Meinl company is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments based in Gutenstetten, Germany. The brand portfolio of Meinl comprises Meinl Cymbals, Meinl Percussion, Nino Percussion, Meinl Sonic Energy, Meinl Stick & Brush and Ortega Guitars."

Meinl’s founder, Roland Meinl, launched Meinl Cymbals in 1951 as a one-man operation in his basement.
He was a natural born entrepreneur with a passion for high quality musical instruments. Through focused development, he was able to reach steady growth and establish a family business with a core of loyal employees that are still the very heart of all Meinl operations and the basis for the company’s success.
Now in its third generation of family ownership, Meinl company is still putting the passion for music and instruments in the center of all business.

1951: Meinl Cymbals founded by Roland Meinl. Roland bought metal sheets, cut the cymbal shapes by hand, used a hand drill to drill the mount hole, and made cymbals from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m..

1959 Roland Meinl bought a two family house, where he and his family manufactured cymbals in the basement.

1963: Meinl started distribution of Star Drums from the Japanese company Hoshino Gakki.

1964: Expansion began. Until this year, Meinl's entire production was done by Roland Meinl, his mother, his sister and brother.

1970: Production moved to a new production facility to meet increased demand.
Meinl received the first shipment of Ibanez guitars from Hoshino Gakki.

1972: Reinhold Meinl started working at Meinl, launched an extensive rebuilding and expansion.

1974: Meinl's products began a partnership with Ambico to be their distributor in the U.S.A..
Meinl started selling the first Japanese TAMA Drums from Hoshino Gakki.

1977: Ingrid Meinl started at Meinl, took over accounting and HR.

1978: Meinl Percussion founded, started production in Thailand.

1980: Building of a new administration building and warehouse in Neustadt a. d. Aisch, Bavaria, Germany.

1982: Launched the Avanti cymbal line, which was a great success.
Meinl re-vamped their production quality; returned 30-40 thousand finished cymbals back to their metal supplier to be melted down, and returned in metal sheets, in order to adhere to their new quality standards; Meinl dealers in Germany were able to return old stock to receive new Meinl cymbals of the new higher production standards.

1984: Meinl invested in more modern machinery to be competitive in the cymbal market. The first Meinl-branded cymbal lines - Meinl Profile & Meinl Dragon - are launched the same year.

1987: The start of an exclusive distribution agreement with D'Addario & Co., Inc. for distributing Meinl cymbals in the U.S.A..

1994: Launch of the nylon string brand Ortega Guitars.

1998: Meinl‘s assortment of children’s percussion, NINO Percussion®, is launched.

2000: Meinl USA is founded in Miami,FL.

2001: Start of the Byzance production in Turkey

2002: Meinl USA moved to Nashville, TN.

2003: Meinl built a new cymbal production in Gutenstetten, Germany

2005: First Meinl Drum Festival

2007: Alexander Meinl started working at Meinl.
Construction of the fully-automated logistics centers in Gutenstetten (build time: 7 months)
Move of the Meinl company headquarter from Neustadt a. d. Aisch to Gutenstetten

2011: Expansion of the logistics center
60 year anniversary celebration - completion of a new exhibition hall next to the logistics centre
2012: Foundation of Meinl Polska, a sister-company of Meinl, and start of distribution in Central Europe
Meinl expanded the distribution territory to Hungary.

2013: Mona Meinl joined Meinl.

2014: Launch of Meinl Sonic Energy

2015: Start of distribution business in Czech Republic and Slovakia

2017: Launch of Meinl VivaRhythm®
Construction and move into the new Meinl administration building

2018: Launch of Meinl Stick & Brush, Meinl’s brand for drumsticks and brushes
First Meinl Percussion Festival
Foundation of Meinl UK and start of the direct distribution to dealers in the UK for Meinl Cymbals & Percussion and NINO Percussion from April of this year

2019: Meinl UK starts distribution of Ortega Guitars in the UK
Construction of a new Meinl Byzance cymbal production in Samsun, Turkey

Sources: "Inside Meinl" - Modern Drummer (Feb. 1985, pp. 22-25; 90-96)

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