Another guy making a comeback, and choosing a new horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Angus, May 26, 2014.

  1. Angus

    Angus New Friend

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    May 20, 2014
    Howdy, Bit of a back story. I played trumpet for about 10 years during school. I hated school and had zero motivation to do any extra curricular activities so by the time I hit my senior years, I was pretty much never practising at home (and it showed) and ended up giving it away shortly after high school.

    10 or so years later and I've decided it's about time for me to pick it up again.

    Back in high school the last horn I owned was a Bach TR300, however I think I'd like to go for a bit of an upgrade.

    The trouble is I've been out for so long and really don't have anywhere to ask for advice (other than shops). I've done a bit of research and reading and think I've narrowed it down to one of these three.
    Either a B&S Challenger 3137 or Challenger 3137 2 or Schagerl JM1.

    What I was after was general opinions/experiences on each model, what is the difference between the two Challengers, and are there any other models I should look at around that range? I haven't tried the Challengers yet, but I had a bit of a blow on the Schagel at a local store over the weekend, for a guy that hasn't played in 10+ years I wasn't too shabby!

    Thanks in advance for the advice! Looking forward to learning from this forum and re-embarking on my musical journey once more.
     
  2. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

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    I had a B&S Challenger 3137- played it for about 5 years. They are well made but right from the offset I had problems with the valves always sticking (long past the running in period) and I felt that sound-wise it never gave anything back. I am not saying that they are bad horns, I was unlucky and got the one built on a Friday afternoon. If I'd wanted an equivalent and consistent horn I'd say go for a Yamaha 4335. They are great horns for the price and you can't get a dud one as their quality is second to none. It has been said here before (not by me) that there are only two makes of horns that within their own line you do not need to play individual models (unlike Bach's where each Strad is different) and that is Schilke and Yamaha. BTW. I would still say to you, play a Challenger 3137, they have a good reputation (Bach clones) and you may find one you really love - I believe I was unlucky on this occasion.
     
  3. Angus

    Angus New Friend

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    May 20, 2014
    Thanks for the advice. I'll give the store I found that stocked the B&S a call and will give it a whirl. Any idea on the difference between the 3137 Challenger and the II?
     
  4. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

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    The Challenger II is more expensive - almost twice the price so I'm guessing that is their version of the Bach Strad. The Challenger I had was described as an intermediate horn. BTW Phil Parkers in London stock them and like them very much, that shop has been supplying proffesional players for many years, so if they like them, they must be good.
     
  5. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

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    I might add that a common mantra on this forum is to play all the horns in your local shop ( don't take any notice of makes/price etc.) and just choose the one that you find plays - or allows you to play your best.
     
  6. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Most important question - what kind of proficiency did you have when you stopped, and have you any idea of what's left? And what kind of music do you want to play? And did you just decide to start again, or did you already test your remaining ability?

    If you haven't played much in the last few years, and don't own a trumpet now, I suggest that you try out playing first with a rental instrument - say, a Jupiter 606. Good middle-of-the-range instrument, sturdily built, won't be a mistake, and cheap to rent.

    And then, when you know more about how things are going to be, get yourself a teacher and discuss the horn question with him/her. Don't play around with expensive instruments yet which at the moment you won't be able to handle and which might turn out to be the wrong instrument for you. There is a thread on that topic somewhere, titled "Why you SHOULDN'T" by Dviglis. Look that up.
    Good luck, and keep us posted!
     
  7. Angus

    Angus New Friend

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    May 20, 2014
    When I stopped playing I had passed Trinity College level 6. I think in retrospect (this is going back 10 or so years, so I've had a lot of time to reflect), the reason why I lost motivation to play brass instruments was because in senior years, my music teacher had the idea of putting me on French horn which I had an apparent natural talent for. I also joined the local brass band and had to play cornet. Neither the French horn nor the cornet were instruments I particularly enjoyed playing, so naturally my parents thought it was the best thing I could be doing at the time, so I tried (and failed) to stick with it.

    I really want to step up from what I had before. I really don't want to buy a student horn and then outgrow it in ~6-12 months.

    In saying that though I will take a look at mid-range rentals.

    As for ability, the weekend was the first time I'd picked up an instrument in a long time (I won't say 10 years, but more than 5), I still have it, I surprised myself and the girl that was showing me instruments didn't believe me when I told her how long it'd been. I also have a near photographic memory and attention for detail. Once my embouchures redeveloped a bit, it won't take me long to pick up from where I left off (I have a pretty strong diaphragm and a good set of lungs from yoga and scuba diving).

    One thing I noticed on the weekend as well. It's hard to tell what the key factor is after so long, but on my old Bach TR300, I struggled to hit high C. On the Schagerls I tested on the weekend, I was able to hit it (and beyond) with a very clean sound no worries.
     
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    When I started back after 19years I decided to play a '67 Conn Director that was still in the closet... and I would not buy a trumpet until I practiced every day for two weeks.

    So, my advice is that the most important thing is getting the horn on your face... Not what horn it actually is. YOU are the instrument, not the trumpet.
     
  9. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

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    A good straightforward answer. Get playing! Worry about choices later when you are more informed about what it is you want, what music you want to play and how serious etc. you are.
     
  10. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    When I began my comeback, about a year and a half or so ago, I started out with the trumpet I had left all those years ago: a UMI King Silver Flair. It was comfortable and familiar, and after a small repair bill, it perfectly suited my needs, which were to regain the strength, tone, and endurance that had faded with time. Once I began to make solid gains (with lots of practice), I started poking around and trying different horns. I'd never had a nice, pro horn in high school it college, so it was almost a reward to myself to finally get one after rebuilding my skills and abilities.

    I think that you would be well served at this point by your TR-300! Get it fixed up and go to work! Set some goals for yourself, and use that pro horn upgrade as a motivational reward. Like many here have said, go out and try lots of trumpets if you can. For me, this meant buying lots of used horns, trying them, and then reselling those that did not fit well. When you do come across an instrument that just works for you, you'll know it.

    Just 2 cents from a fellow comeback player. There are many experienced and knowledgable folks on this forum; I have learned much, and so will you!

    Best wishes!

    Steve
     

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