Are We Too Wrapped Up In Equipment?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Maybe some people are too wrapped up in their equipment, but if it makes them happy, that's no bad thing. The only thing I find saddening is when someone spends their life chasing equipment and never really finds anything that makes them happy.

    I do believe in the 'magic horn' or 'magic mouthpiece' theories to an extent. Everyone is different, both physically and in terms of their playing goals, so I do think we need to have an intelligent approach to equipment. We need to be clear about what we're looking for and honest about which equipment gets us closest. We also need to realise that we'll never find the perfect equipment, but we can get close enough that the equipment is working with us rather than against us. Unless of course you just plain enjoy buying and playing lots of different equipment, in which case go for it!

    I don't think a new horn gives you more ability or talent, but it can help you better music out of the ability and talent you've already got. And it might even encourage more practice!

    My Getzen was great when I got it, but I grew out of it. My Strad was a decent trumpet, and I could have stopped there and it wouldn't have held me back. My Eclipse suits me better than the Bach in every way, and now that I've ordered a mouthpiece that matches both me and the trumpet, I can't think of a single way in which it'll be holding me back. I now have absolutely no excuses except lack of practice...

    Having said all that, if I had the money I'd really enjoy buying a bunch more horns, I'd get...
    Eclipse Red Flugel, Cornet and Piccolo and C.
    D/Eb - maybe Schilke.
    I'd also really like an Eclipse Copper Bb in lacquer, not because I'd play it much, but because they're beautiful. Maybe glue it to a stand and use it as a lamp. I could even have a switch built into the valves. 1st for on, 3rd for off.
    But like I said, all that would just be purely for fun (apart from the Flugel).

  2. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    I think many many people ARE way too wrapped up in equipment. Myself included. For example, I recently started playing on a Bach 3c that's been bent to allow me to play at a more normal angle. I left this mouthpiece at home for a BQ gig the other day and I had to play a "feature" piece on a regular 7c.... It didn't feel great, but it sounded pretty damn good, and I felt really stupid for complaining to my bandmates about it before the song. I now own 5 trumpets and I have decided to sell all but one... the only question is WHICH ONE?
    1 Bach 37H Gold
    1 Eclipse ML Gold (second Eclipse sold)
    1 1954 Blessing Artist *mint*
    1 old Bach student trumpet
    1 60's era Bach 72 Lightweight
    What do YOU guys think I should do... I play most of everything on the Bach 37Heavybell...
  3. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Oh, and I am constantly looking for motorcycle parts too, so it may not be JUST a trumpet thing....
    Maybe it's my personality..
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Having sat next to you for quite some time before you went back to the states I know the two finalists in your decision. The Bach 37 is definitely one of the good ones and the Eclipse is just smokin'. It would be scary to see how you played the Eclipse if you played it all the time Jarrett. I know you favor the Bach for big band but give the Eclipse more of a chance to shine. If you don't like it, I say keep the Bach and sell me the Eclipse. :D I need another one before I go back to the states.

    Hope all is well with you and Lisa. Drop me a PM with your contact info and we'll talk. I'm at BNCOC phase 1 so I have tons of free time to talk.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    You're right, you don't need that Eclipse - I'll take the clunker off your hands cheap! ;-) ;-) ;-)
  6. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    I would answer your initial question in two ways.

    In general, I would say yes, without question.

    At the same time, I would agree with those who suggest that having the best equipment, and being able to take advantage of that equipment, may be an advantage in competitive situations. But, it seems that I am referring to professional applications.

    I will always believe that the player makes most of the difference. But, it may be possible that a highly skilled pro may find that certain equipment makes a difference in giving the competitive edge needed.

    For the person who is able to tell the differences and those differences are important to their success as professionals, then it becomes worthwhile to be very demanding about equipment.

    On the other hand, I think that your initial observation about throwing money at problems or thinking that spending money will eliminate the need for hard work and dedication is very accurate. It is a societal malaise. In that kind of situation, then I stand by my original YES.

    It depends on the situation. I think that most professional horns will outplay many of the players that are using them. And, it is interesting to note that many top professionals somehow manage to "get by" with professional quality, yet pretty basic, equipment.
  7. Mr. Semman

    Mr. Semman Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2005
    West Brookfield, MA
    I have to admit that this is a very interesting thread. But, I will be brief.

    Do I drool over the beautiful horns their proud owners display on this forum? You bet I do! I won't deny that I am envious of those owners. However, I also envy those trumpet players who perform oh so much better than me. For that reason, I spend my money on a good teacher, and practice whenever I can. I also want to get the best out of my horn. When my abilities surpass those of the horn, then I will invest in a new horn/ mpc, etc. But then, I have a better chance in growing more hair than I do reaching those goals.

    Take care,

  8. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Dear Patrick

    I couldnt agree more with your statement...

    ''But where do we draw the line? I’m of the belief that no trumpet or mouthpiece is going to make you a better player – YOU are the musician, the "craftsman" so to speak - trumpets and mouthpieces are only the tools of the trade''

    Patrick I am the proud owner of a Martin Committee T3467 and have two mouthpieces. A holton Heim for tight high regester work and a Bach 1c for a deep dark rich sound. This is all the equipment I want or need.

    We are DEFINATLY TO wraped up in equipment. I am not however anylonger because of what happened to me recently. Read On.

    My Martin Committee had to go to the shop earlier this year and I had to play a series of gigs without it. All I had to play was an old Yamaha student horn I had from 15 years ago. I put in my Bach 1c and hoped for the best.

    Well I got a lot of compliments on my great playing and tone on those gigs because I believe musician ship is number one. When people asked me what horn I was playing I told them, and they had a hard time believing it. Just goes to show you, its the player and mouthpiece, not the horn.

    Before this incident, I wanted a Monette but am gonna stick exclusivly with my shiny Martin Committee and keep the $10,000 in my pocket. Your horns are great, but sorry Dave...they are a collosal waste of money.

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
  9. JJMDestino

    JJMDestino New Friend

    Sep 7, 2005
    I think sometime that we can get caught up in the perfect equipment search. Here is the thing though; if you can find an axe or a mouthpiece that frees up the music making process than by all means go for it regardless of the price, that is, if you can afford it. That is the reason that $4000 did not seem expensive for my Destino, it made musical making easier because I am not having to worry about trying to acheive the sound I hear in my imagination on other equipment. I mean, that is all that really matters in the end is the music. It affords myself the oppurtunity to sound like I want to sound with the least amount of effort.

    I don't want to be contrary but they may be a waste of money to you but they maybe worth every penny to someone who really loves to play his horns. Like I said before, it it makes it easier to achieve the sound you ear in your head the name on the horn, nor the price(if you have the money) should not be deturrent.

    Also, a guided search somtimes can be the most helpful of them all. When I was just feed up with my altered 1.5C I contacted Brian Scriver with GR from a recomendation from a past teacher. Boy was that one of the better desicions I made when it came down to mouthpieces. He directed me to try a few models he believed would a great match and it has really made my life easier. The new horn plus new mouthpiece really opened up some helped open some doors in my playing and a llowed me to push past a little funk I was in even though I was spending consistant quality time in a practice room.

    Somtimes tweaking your equipment can be helpful if you have your head on straight in the begining. Also, take a knowledgeable friend with you the next time you try out equipment. You may be suprised at what they hear.


  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I love reading and talking "trumpet geek". I'll also admit, if I HAD the money, I would have already tried cryo freezing, PVA, new leadpipes, tune slides, modifications by the big name guys....

    But alas, I am a poor farmer boy, going to a *VERY* expensive college, commuting, blah blah. :cry:

    I will agree that equipment is relative to the player. Anyone can play well on a Bach Strad with a 5C, but some people feel more comfortable on a Monette B1 and Prana. Some people feel most comfortable on Strad 43s, or Xeno RGS's (They are really good horns, truthfully), or Kanstul WB's. Some people find that the improvement they perceive with the custom horns are worth the price extra they pay. I personally will spend the $3500+ for the Eclipse when I get the chance (2008 or 2009 :lol::lol: ). For now, though, I can deal with my 94 Strad without complaining (Too much, haha!).


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