Chicago Benge

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by camelbrass, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Strange set up on that third slide

    :?
     
  3. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Hi,

    Yeh thought that too but it sort of fits...If I remember rightly the early Bessons had the ring underneath and I'm guessing that because Eldon was making these on a custom order basis (what are we talking..early 40s) then guys would be coming from the Bessons and would be ordering them that way. Just my thoughts maybe one of the experts can clear it up.

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  4. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    The "Real McCoy!"

    Yes, the third valve pinky ring IS correct on this early Benge trumpet!

    Like Vincent Bach a decade before him, Eldon Benge (then playing with the Chicago Symphony) also played the F. Besson before starting to improve on it.

    Eldon's "copy" was more authentically faithful to the original and Bach's, as the second valve slide went FORWARD on the Benge just like on the F. Besson AND the finger hook was below the third valve slide like the Besson too!

    Back then the "hot" trumpet was the F. Besson but the Besson's were notorious for extreme variances in workmanship, consistency and quality. Especially, Bessons were notorious about having poor valve compression. Those suckers could leak like a sieve.

    HOWEVER . . . folks expected other players to play Bessons in the orchestras, even with their inconsistencies. Great players would find the best Besson specimen they could . . . and wish for a horn that played as well as it sounded! (Sound similar to a situation today?!!!)

    Vincent Bach and Eldon Benge simply went into business to fill the void that Besson allowed them to fill . . . to build a "Besson" like it COULD and SHOULD have been made. As I mentioned above, the Benge looked more "politically correct" in a section of F. Bessons! Additionally, the Benge Bb and C trumpets were wonderful, wonderful trumpets.

    WHAT IF . . .

    Bach sold out to Selmer in 1961, then stayed on as a strong consultant to Selmer, demanding that Selmer maintain his reputation until he died in 1979.

    Eldon Benge though died in 1960, leaving the family business to the family. Unlike Bach did from 1924-1961, Eldon refused to expand much and only made a couple or three horns a week to the absolute highest standards he could personally do.

    Eventually King/UMI bought the family out BUT . . .

    WHAT IF Eldon had lived longer and also guided his company into a merger relationship with a financially strong major firm . . . and also been allowed to have a firm hand for the next 15 years or so to make sure that quality stayed high at the larger company?

    Who knows? Maybe Benge would be the standard today. I know I've always loved the vintage Benge trumpets. That one on e-bay will surely bring thousands more than the sub-2K bid currently on the horn. If surely love to have the one on e-bay.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner
     
  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    BTW Trevor,

    Your Kanstul Chicago is a clone from an original, truly "as new" condition Chicago Benge trumpet.

    The story goes that a school janitor was told, I believe by a band director, that the then new (Chicago-made) Benge trumpets would be very valuable, true collectors items one day.

    In his later years, either Kanstul heard of the horn or the janitor contacted Kanstul. Either way . . . I understand that Kanstul came into possession of this absolutely new, never played upon Chicago Benge . . . and they chose to replicate THAT horn over the later Benge models that were surely made from newer toolings after the original Chicago tools wore out.

    Maybe Jack Kanstul can validate this "urban legend" and fill in the details with more accuracy than I on this matter of the new "Chicago" models.

    BTW, I find the new Kanstul Chicago models to play and sound like the "real" Benges. They are nice horns.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner

    PS: In keeping with the popular new "fashion" and ease of building cases to fit 'em, the new Chicagos have the top-mounted finger ring on the third valve.

    However, the Callet Jazz horns reverted back to the original Besson concept that inverted the third valve slide (long tube on the BOTTOM not top) that allows for the ring on the bottom. This also requires that the lower tube receiving the tuning slide (and entering the third valve port) be braced to the top 3rd valve tube rather than the current bottom tube. This seems to make that horn slot better. Maybe the original F. Besson trumpets (and original Chicago Benges) were onto something!
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

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    Oct 21, 2003
    :shock:

    Folks... That is why we have Mr. Turner moderating the Vintage trumpet / Cornet forum! Damn.

    Thanks Tom! Great Post!

    TM
     
  7. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Hi,

    Great reply Tom..wow there's some background for you. I've heard the story about the Kanstul Chicago and to be honest that's one of the reasons I bought it and am very pleased I did. People don't seem to have latched onto them, but if you want a trumpet which has that vintage feel (except without the leaky valves and stuck slides) and is made 'like they used to' (or even better) then this has to be way up the list. Because of the consistency you don't have to try 20 horns to get a keeper either. That's the problem with trying to be a horn player outside the US. If you guys want a good Burbank Benge, say, then you can search for a year play 7 or 8 and choose the best one. The rest of us are lucky to see 1 or maybe 2 and who knows what condition it will be in.

    I'd still love to have this Chicago Benge though.

    Regards


    Trevor
     
  8. Satch

    Satch New Friend

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    Nov 10, 2003
    I wonder when the third valve pinky ring was turned around? I play a Chicago Benge and mine has the ring on the usual side of the 3rd valve slide.
     
  9. JACKKANSTUL

    JACKKANSTUL Pianissimo User

    URBAN LEGENDS being what they are, just that-LEGENDS, all I can say is WOW!!! Let's just say my father got hold of a 1947(Eldon use to stamp the date on the bell back then seeings how everything he made was one of a kind) Chicago Benge that had, are you ready for this, NEVER BEEN PLAYED!!! :shock: :p 8) This is a fortunate thing for the brass playing community because my father know's what to do with a tapered tube and how to make it RESONATE. So now if you want a VINTAGE Chicago Benge you don't have to go looking in old attics hoping to find one that's still playable. All you have to do is give me a call, as I have them in stock, and you can have a "free trial run" with one.

    To The Vintage Benge's-May they rest in peace now that we have the Kanstul Chicago's

    Jack Kanstul
     
  10. Satch

    Satch New Friend

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    Nov 10, 2003
    My "Vintage Benge" isn't resting, in peace or otherwise. :)
     

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