Bach Strad poor purchase

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Chief X, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Thanks Greg - actually it was 2 Strads - a ML 37, and a L 25, the first I played for about 11 years, and the second I played for about 9. They were my primary horns and don't get me wrong - I did a lot of decent playing on each of them, but in hindsight, having been on a Schilke as my main trumpet since around 2006 or so, I worked a lot harder on those horns than I had to, both from a performance capability perspective, and in the practice room. I never had valve problems with either one of them though, and the L 25 is actually a decent trumpet. I hand-picked that out of about 20-25 horns at Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD, so it's solid for classical work, but it worked me to death in the Latin band and in the wedding band. It's a nice trumpet for classical playing though - I ended up giving it to my niece when she got into HS and my sister was looking to upgrade her, and it worked well for her.

    I should probably apologize for what comes off as an anti-Bach rant - it isn't that I think they are terrible, but they just aren't IMO THE go-to upgrade pro-level trumpet anymore. Not priced where they are and not amidst so many other makes and models that are potentially better instruments. There may have been a time when the Strad was the king of the hill - when I was in HS in the late 1980s it was definitely the default professional model trumpet to be had, although by that point Yamaha was definitely putting a dent in that market.

    I also have the additional perspective of having played a number of truly bad Bach Strads too. They were so inconsistent for so long I can't tell you how many times I heard something along the lines of, "buy a Bach, but make sure you play it first to make sure you get a decent one." Conversely, with Schilke, having played some of the modesl that I know work for me, (B1, S32, B6) I could order one unseen and unplayed and know that I was going to get a great horn, no question.

    To the OP, good luck with whatever happens next in this situation - I hope Musicians Friend will make things right or that you can somehow get the horn you deserve for what you paid.
  2. Chief X

    Chief X New Friend

    Mar 25, 2012
    Here's a quick update and a big thanks to all for the suggestions and especially Vulgano Brother. For approximately one week, I worked the valves while plunked in front of the tv at night. Worked 'em wet, worked 'em dry, cleaned, oiled, wiped dry etc. It's obvious to me that they simply were not broken in yet and the tolerances were very snug. End result, the trumpet is off of CL now, I didn't have to go to a music store for repairs and the valves work exceptionally well. This my friends is why I am a total believer in forums and belong to many. I'm not an expert on anything really, and your advice was priceless to me. No more days of wanting to throw that snazzy new horn out the window. Again, many thanks! Happy playing!
  3. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Good for you, Chief!;-):oops:
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Congratulations!! Break in required often these days with tighter tolerances from more refined manufacturing processes. Now take a break and get back to your wife to show her some uninterrupted appreciation for her support!!!
  5. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    CHIEF: We always like to hear how these things work out. RE: tolerances of new horns, for everybody who has one, (I just bought a new Getzen) after a few days, some folks say daily at first, with the valves up remove bottom caps and check for a thin ring of oily, powder metal shavings from the cylinder/casing during the break in period. Of course remove it. I was quite surprised to see it and for those of us who don't play brand new horns it's probably something that we can easily overlook. Just a thought. AND it is wonderful to read TRICKG's post, so much wisdom written clearly about today's state of the art of pro class horns. Well said TRICKG!
  6. jengstrom

    jengstrom Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Congratulation, Chief X, for solving a problem we all agree you shouldn't have had to solve. I hope your Bach is now a world class horn.

    I both agree and disagree with trickg's post here. I still think Bachs are THE go-to horn for classical playing. While I agree that Yamaha makes a nice horn, and they certainly have infiltrated the orchestral market and many universities (here in Rochester, almost anybody who has had anything at all to do with Eastman plays Yammie), I think Bach still has the best sound. And maybe it's because I've played mostly Bach for the last 35+ years, but I've yet to play a Yamaha that I like.

    However, with commercial music (I'm lumping big band, pits, jazz combos, some church music and anything else not classical here), there are lots of really good choices. Schilke is first class. Kanstul, Getzen, and others are very good options for various playing charactaristics and sounds. Even some Bachs apply (I use a 72* for everything Bb, just varying mouthpiece cups and backbores).

    I agree with trickg that others may be better at consistency. But a good Bach is really nice. Enjoy.

  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    As a drummer, there is a lot of talk on the drumming forums about sound, and with drums, there are many more factors that determine sound than with a high brass instrument like the trumpet. This brand of cymbal, that brand of cymbal, this cymbal alloy, that cymbal alloy, drum make, drum model, shell material, shell finish, coated heads vs clear heads, single-ply vs two-ply heads, stick weight, stick material, wood tip vs nylon tip, head tuning practices, goes on and on and on ad nauseum to the point of ridiculousness. Eventually there comes a point where I'll toss out the challenge as to whether or not someone could truly tell if they were blindfolded. Could they? Can they tell what brand of drums were used by listening? Can they tell what woods are used? Can they tell if it's a solid shell snare as opposed to a plywood shell? Can they even tell if it's a wood or metal snare? Can they truly tell what brand of cymbals are being used by listening if they can't see the logos?

    So, moving that forward to the subject of the supposed "Bach sound," does it really sound better, and do you really think you could tell blindfolded if it was a Bach Strad, a Schilke S32, a comparable Yamaha, a Conn V1, a Kanstul, or any other brand of quality horn? And let's not forget the impact the player has on the sound equation. Let me illustrate that point a little bit. It's drum related, but I think it's just as relevant to the discussion.

    I once went to a drum clinic where the clinician talked about sound concepts - drummers are particularly prone to trying to copy a famous drummer's sounds and licks - and that we should all start to get comfortable with our own personal sounds and style. To illustrate the point, he called for 5 volunteers out of the crowd and had them play a basic rock groove - 8ths on the hats, kick on 1 & 3, snare on 2 & 4. (Think "Back in Black" by AC/DC) These guys used his drums, and they all played on the same set of sticks. ALL of them sounded markedly different because regardless of equipment, each had a different approach to the kit. To further illustrate the point, he sent back 3 of the volunteers and kept the two guys who were the most different.

    Now, bringing that full circle back to trumpets and what to, or as the case may be, not to buy, I'm still going to recommend a horn that gets the job done without working as hard as you have to work with a Bach to get the job done because my belief is that at the end of the day, your sound is your sound, and it's not necessarily tied to a particular brand or model of horn.
  8. Fluegel-Boy

    Fluegel-Boy Pianissimo User

    Feb 19, 2013
    Glad there was a "happy ending " to all of this. Now you can thoroughly enjoy owning and playing a classic -still one of the best horns you can get.
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I think I sound different on the various trumpets I've acquired but both my wife and my sound recorder don't seem to think I sound that different at all. However I do notice that when I play a real song or piece which needs to sound a certain way (e.g. "Prince of Denmark's March" or "Nature Boy" or "Also Sprach Zarathustra") I play it pretty much exactly the same irrespective of horn (though perhaps with greater or lesser feeling of effort).

  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Thanks for pointing out the spelling error - that's really what I hoped to most convey with that post. ;-)

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