basic restoration to make playable

Discussion in 'Horns' started by johnagrandy, May 20, 2005.

  1. johnagrandy

    johnagrandy New Friend

    2
    0
    May 20, 2005
    Berkeley, California
    I am not a trumpet player but hope to become one.

    I bought a trumpet from a friend of a friend.

    Here is the info engraved on the bell:
    Stradivarius
    Model 37
    Vincent Bach
    Elkhart, Ind
    USA

    Here is the info engraved on the middle valve: ML 146528

    It is silver, rather tarnished, especially on the outsie of the bell.

    The bell seems like it might be slightly deformed, but it's hard to tell with all the tarnish.

    There are a couple of rather small dents on the pipe leading to the bell, about halfway back. There are some light scratches just a little ways back from the bell.

    The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd valve slides come out, but they are a sticky, especially the first.

    The tuning slide will not budge. I don't want to apply my full strength for fear of damaging something.

    The valves move nicely - not effortlessly, but not at all sticky.

    The bottom valve caps do unscrew.

    The water key works.

    There are 3 mouthpieces, all Vincent Bach. Two or them are labeled "1 1/2 C". The other is labeled "3".

    What should I have done to this horn? What should be done so that the tuning slide is slideable?

    Should I buy another mouthpiece?

    I am only interested in playing jazz.
     
  2. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    You're right not to force the tuning slide; too easy to bend or break stuff doing this. My recommendation is to take it to a local repairer and ask them to just get it all working. Also ask them to explain to you how to clean it!

    Tarnished silver plate and a few small dents as you described won't make a significant difference to the way it plays, so for the time being I'd just get a silver polishing cloth from a jeweller's (or from a music shop) and give it a good rubbing. Not too much, just enough to get it back to 'mostly silver'. Later on, you can make the decision to take the dents out and get it refinished, but this won't be cheap.

    As for the mouthpiece, they are all likely to be pretty reasonable mouthpieces, but may not actually fit your face properly. I'd strongly suggest you get some lessons (for all sorts of reasons!) and take your teacher's advice on the mouthpiece. I've played for 8 years and had several different mouthpieces. Different ones have been suitable at different times, but it's a real minefield. It wou;dn't be fair to recommend one to you without knowing you and your playing. That's what a teacher's for. Having said that, starting out on a Bach 3C is unlikely to cause any problems. The 1 1/2 C may be a little big.

    Rich.
     
  3. johnagrandy

    johnagrandy New Friend

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    May 20, 2005
    Berkeley, California
    Hi Rich. Do you know where I should take it. I'm in the SF Bay Area California. Thanks.
     
  4. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Sorry, I don't know any repairers near you, mostly because I'm in the UK. I've only ever been to California once, and that was to go snowboarding at Tahoe (very nice!). Try local music shops that stock lots of brass (particularly if they stock pro-level stuff), they may have an in-house repairer, at the very least they should be able to recommend one. It's not exactly complicated work though, so most repairers should have no problem.

    If you want the whole thing overhauled, I'd consider posting the trumpet to someone good to do the work. In the UK that's Eclipse / First Class Brass (I can recommend them based on personal experience) or Will Spencer (by reputation). In the US, names like Rich Ita, Charlie Melk, Wayne Tanabe, Kanstul keep cropping up. I think Kanstul is based in California. Do a search on their names. I'm sure other people can suggest more alternatives.

    Rich.
     
  5. BigBadWolf

    BigBadWolf Piano User

    302
    0
    Nov 30, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you ever make the drive down to the LA area, you could try Robb Stewart. But, just to have the horn cleaned and slides unstuck, ask the trumpet players in your area. I'm sure the Bay Area has a few good techs in it.
     
  6. mcombo

    mcombo New Friend

    3
    0
    Nov 20, 2003
    Bach Repair in Bay Area...

    I've heard wonderful things about Best Music in Oakland. Here's the web site:

    http://www.bestmusicco.com/
     
  7. KJaeger

    KJaeger Pianissimo User

    Age:
    48
    101
    0
    Oct 27, 2004
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I highly recommend Best Instrument Repair in Oakland on 14th Street, across from the Federal Building - very fair prices and extremely knowledgable (Dick Akright who runs the place used to build Doc Severinsen's horns)...

    http://www.parduba.com/best.html

    (btw, Best Repair and Best Music are not affiliated in any way are they? The addresses are different - Best Repair is affiliated with A&G Music and Union Music...)
     

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