Are Peashooters a good proposition

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bflatman, May 14, 2017.

  1. Bflatman

    Bflatman Forte User

    Nov 27, 2008
    Manchester, England
    I have a peashooter, it is an uncertain make called "Comet". It has a 30's design tuning slide stop rod and markings for pulling to "A" and beautiful art deco engraving.

    I have read a fair bit about peashooters in an attempt to understand its history as an instrument and where it came from. All I can deduce so far is that it is a chinese copy of a chinese copy of a malaysian copy of a japanese copy of a yamaha copy of a USA designed instrument, and that is mostly supposition.

    This question is not about trying to understand this instrument however. I have read many opinions that peashooters were mostly just danceband cheap fodder that were built for looks and not much else. Seemingly many opinions are that peashooters are not to be taken seriously and are more Wall-hang and Lamp than Arban and Stampe if you get my drift.

    My particular instrument as a stencil of a stencil of a stencil of a stencil of a stencil should be shrill but it aint. I find on the contrary that this cheap highly questionable shrill TSO, turns out to be a beautiful player with rich tones and easy response. It should be a nightmare but instead it is a dream.

    I know that older instruments have issues blending but that is true of many conventional wraps. Have peashooters acquired an unjustified poor rep over the years.

    So, is it the opinion of the membership that peashooters should be avoided or embraced, and if opinions run contrary to experience in this, should peashooters regain their place as serious tools.
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I like peashooters, I have a few. However, I too thought that the peashooter sounded OK, my Conn Vocabell has a huge sound, a bright edge and really cuts. However, When I tried to play it with a lead mouthpiece, it just did not fit anywhere. I used a normal mouthpiece, and it was still a "Dork" - sticking out from the rest. So as much as I like them, for the history and the edge sound, they are not a daily player IMO.

    My opinion, is that everyone should have tried, played and enjoyed them. But I find they are very hard to fit into a real playing scenario, unless you have a full section of them. Just my opinion though, and not offended at all if others think they work.

    The last time I used one (the Vocabell) was for Herod's song in JC Superstar , where the '20s style Jazz solo was needed. It worked with some shakes in there as well. go to 2:50 to hear the solo. It could have been done on any other horn as well, but the cut/edge sound was good.

    I could live without them in my stable - but from a fun play - well I gotta have one!
  3. sj3209

    sj3209 Piano User

    Nov 22, 2006
    Amador County, Calif.
    I think the bell profile is more important for the sound than the bore.
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    It very much depends on the instrument. Some were designed for general use, and some were designed for recording using acoustic recording methods.

    This Buescher Model 240 "Custom Built" is very much a regular trumpet, it's just wrapped long. It's' also a medium bore, but there's nothing weird about that.


  5. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    Something in your stencil of a stencil theory doesn't seem quite right- no Asian countries, as far as I'm aware, have made any real peashooter type horns, and especially not Yamaha. Are you sure that's what it is? Or are you confusing small bore for other much more important peashooter factors. The characteristics were popular in the 30s and were well suited for what they were used for. Now, they're fun to play but unless it's a full section of them, they do not blend.
  6. Bflatman

    Bflatman Forte User

    Nov 27, 2008
    Manchester, England
    You could be right on the nail on this I have never been convinced that this is as widely and systematically copied in several iterations as has been suggested, simply because it plays as well as any other instrument I have played and the tone has been labelled beautiful by audiences. On the other hand I tend to play cheap rubbish so my opinions may be tainted.

    In this regard I simply bowed to other seemingly more knowledgeable opinions about the comet make. It was said to be built around 1950 for example but to my mind the design and art deco appearance dates it more 1920s than 1950s.

    As a strikingly attractive instrument I do believe that peashooters have great merit and are worthy collectables, we are getting some good opinions on these instruments already.
  7. Bflatman

    Bflatman Forte User

    Nov 27, 2008
    Manchester, England
    To be honest I am not sure about anything with this horn, the copy of a copy business was the opinion of a knowledgeable source but I too have never been convinced of that, you simply confirmed my suspicions that this was balony. The horn plays exceptionally well and unlike a dogs dinner of copies would be, bur theres little or no information on the comet make.

    There is a small anchor stamped into the middle valve of the valve block near the bottom is there any significance to this do you think.

    To me this horn alone has convinced me that peashooters have great merit I am very interested in members opinions on this and there are already some good opinions posted.
  8. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    I think peashooter are great! Especially when playing outside. They-or mine sound best with a deeper cup. Even with a 10 1/2c there's nothing shrill about it. I reall don't see anything different about them compared to other trumpets. Just another fad in design over the years
  9. N1684T

    N1684T Piano User

    Jun 28, 2016
    Anchor? Sounds like boland & Fuchs
  10. Bflatman

    Bflatman Forte User

    Nov 27, 2008
    Manchester, England
    N1684T you are correct.

    I had previously rejected boland and fuchs because I thought it would have been a large engraved anchor on the bell whereas this is a tiny anchor stamped on the valve casing it is maybe 2mm tall.

    But following your words I checked again and found they also stamped a tiny anchor on the second valve. Thanks for resolving this for me.

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