Carol Brass / Harrelson Valve Blocks

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    OK, so since I'm probably the only customer in the world that owns both
    a CarolBrass horn (658) and 2 Harrelson Bravura's, I happened to discover something quite interesting.

    The standard valve block (non-upgrade) used by Harrelson is identical to
    the valve block used on my Carol Brass 658.

    I noticed it this morning that from the outside my CB658 and my Bravura C trumpet looked identical in the valve block. I took out the valves and was amazed to see that the pistons are identical down to the font and location used to indicate the valve number.

    I swapped the piston between the two horns and they are perfect matches.

    Apparently the parent company, Hoxon Gakki, has been supplying Harrelson with valve blocks since early 2009.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  2. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    lots of custom makers are using these valve blocks (because they are really great valve blocks) For my money I think I'd rather buy a $12-1400 horn vs a 4K horn using the same basic "heart" of a horn.

  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Precisely. The valve block is the foundation of the horn.
  4. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    so...further to that, how are you liking the CB? What's the weight, I'm guessing much lighter than the Harrelson?
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I'm loving it.

    I don't have a precision scale to determine how much lighter the CB is than a Bravura,
    but its very noticeable when you pick it up.

    The CB is much closer in weight to a "normal" horn than it is to a Bravura.
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Hey Trent - I want one of those $12 horns!
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Ivan, You may have to spend some bench time on the $12 one:lol::roll::oops:
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I played a couple of horns at the NTC last weekend that were in the $4K range, and in all seriousness, they didn't play any better than the Carols I played.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think that the differences can not always be expressed in "slot" or "blow". Quite often I discover the differences when I am in a hall and the whole room just starts ringing. Then I switch to something different and that "ring" is just not there anymore.

    I think like with most things in life, you can get the first 80% for 20% of the price, the last 20% costs 80% more. That last 20% is also so "unique" that it may not be complementary to what you are trying to do. I think it is a BIG mistake to think that a +5K horn will be able to cover everything that you do. I believe the more expensive, the more specialized.

    To me it is a moot point to compare. Those comparisons show IF the player really was in tune with the manufacturer, if the manufacturer was really in tune with them and what kind of playing jobs are there to take advantage of the technology. It IS possible to grow out of specialized.

    Reducing the comparison to valve blocks or price is pretty cheesy in my opinion. That would be like judging Picasso on the brand of paint or canvas.

    Let's just enjoy the stuff for what it is: Mainstream or Specialized. No one needs to apologize or defend.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Good point.

    Don't assume that a really expensive custom horn will be great at everything.

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