Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trpguyy, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. trpguyy

    trpguyy Piano User

    Nov 26, 2003
    I have seen the following words to describe bores: "cylindrical," "conical," "tapered," "step," and maybe one other. I know what the first two mean, but what are the other two? And what effect does the shape of the bore have on the sound and response?
    One more thing- when we see the bore measurement ie: .464, what is the unit? Centimeters?

    I assume that these have already been addressed on other sites (and probably here too), but I figured it would be good to have the information all in one place, so myself and others can refer back to it.

  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    .464 is the measure of the internal diameter of the male end of the 2nd valve "slide" in inches. I'll let Leigh or Larry or Bruce or someone else comment on "step" since my understanding may be different from the "real" definition.

    Edit: Hey, I see Flip reading the forums. He'd be able to give us the "real deal" on the definitions. Flip?
  3. DrunkIQ

    DrunkIQ Pianissimo User

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    I will try to simplify this…

    First off Tootsall is correct. The trumpet bore is measured at the inside diameter of the second valve slide...

    Straight bore:
    The bore of trumpet is the same from the entry of the tuning slide to the valve exit leading into the bell. This is the only time that knowing a bore size is somewhat useful, but not very useful. Keep in mind that bell tapers, lead-pipes and mouthpieces can greatly change the blow and feel of a horn.

    The bore of the trumpet changes to a different bore size in set locations, this change in bore size continues for the run of that tubing (tube itself does not taper). Examples - the tuning slide is a .460 but the tube leading in to the third valve is a .468 – another one – the valve casing is set to be a .450 but the bows have been enlarged to a .460 – Keep in mind that the steps do not necessarily keep increasing ,they may actually decrease at certain points. This is why it is useless to know the bore measurement on the inside of the second valve slide is on these designs, one change to one tube on top of the items mentioned on the straight bore can change everything.

    This should mean that the tubes in the horn keep tapering to a larger size. If it was x-rayed and laid straight it should resemble a cone. I have never seen a horn actually do this and those said to be a conical-bores are most likely just a step bore design that keeps getting bigger throughout but if someone knows differently then I am sure that they will post some info.

    Hope that helps,


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    They are funny, relative terms.

    Conical. Straight. Step.

    No horn is truly straight or conical. It can be straight to the bell section and have a wide bell flare and someone will say it is more conical!

    I agree that it makes bore sizes kinda relative. A place to start when talking about horns. DrunkIQ gave a good description. Some people though, talk about the sound from a horn a being straight (more of an edge) or conical (mellow, more flugelhorn like). While the bore type does affect the sound, they are really relative terms.

    I have played "small bore" horns that were very open and "large bore" horns that were stuffy (even awful in one case). Match a leadpipe and a mouthpiece to a horn and even more factors come into play. For example, I heard a professional say that by playing on a wood mouthpiece that a trumpet almost sounded like a flugel. From a mouthpiece alone!

    Is it no wonder that players try new horns, sell old horns, try many mouthpieces, and experiment with leadpipes? Why after years of dominance by Holton, Bach, Getzen and Schilke (to name some mainstays) that Kanstul, Wild Thing, ZeuS, and Eclipse (to name a few, not meaning to leave any horn brand out) have come into the market? So many variables.

    A friend of mine played with Maynard for a few years. In HS he was terrific. We talked equipment a lot back then. Both being Maynard fans, we talked about Holton. I think, if memory serves me right, he played a Getzen when he went to college. What, not a Bach? Back in the days of lime green leisure suits that was nearly impossible to think of. I owned, "gasp" --- a Yamaha (a Japanese horn?). Back then I was way out of step (and Yamaha was fairly new at the game).

    I don't remember talking much about bore style or even size. In fact, maybe a little ahead of our time, we did talk some about leadpipes. I owned a very shallow Jet-tone (I sounded like doo-doo with it). But we did talk about the sound a horn or mouthpiece or leadpipe would produce and we played horns all the time. Our band director was an excellent trumpet player and he was always getting some new horn to "try" and let the better players try them too. We never asked the bore size or style. (He never did get a "SuperBone" and I always wanted to play one).

    A long story, I know. But it makes the point that bore size and shape are relative starting points.

  5. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly Piano User

    Oct 31, 2003
    the north philly ghetto
    who're you calling a bore?

Share This Page