Chicago Benge

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by jcmacman, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. jcmacman

    jcmacman Pianissimo User

    78
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    Dec 10, 2003
    SoCal
    Can anyone tell me about this horn?
    I play a LA CG Benge now, how do they compare?

    Thanks
    John
     
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Dec 14, 2003
    Pa
    well I play a chicago benge and I could probably answer any direct questions about the horn that you may have, however Ive never played an la benge so I can not compare the two. just for reference mine is a large bore in laquer.
     
  3. jcmacman

    jcmacman Pianissimo User

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    Dec 10, 2003
    SoCal
    musicalmason,
    Are all Chicago's large bore horns?
    What do you use yours for, Jazz, Lead, Legit?
    Is the sound dark or bright?
    How is the slotting?
    Would you consider this an "all around horn"?

    Thanks for the information.

    John
     
  4. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Dec 14, 2003
    Pa
    Im pretty sure they are not all large bore, the large bore is .468, the mlp .464 and ml .459, maybe somebody can correct that if its wrong but I dont think it is. I use mine for smooth jazz and the like, but it would work for legit or lead, I just have two other horns that work better for those catagories. the sound is probably about a 6 or a 7 with 10 being the brightest and 1 being darkest. I have heard that silver and raw chicagos are very bright but the laquer on mine seems to darken it because it isnt too bright, not even close to my callet, but brighter than my bach. the slotting is so so. it slots better than my callet which is very very loose, but not as good as my bach, with the exception of e above the staff, that the bach wont slot but the benge will. my valves also need to be replated on the benge, I imagine after I have that done the slotting will improve. I would definatly consider this to be a good all around horn. If I was forced to become a one horn man right now I would sell my bach and callet and use the money to fully refurbish my benge, because I feel the benge is the only one that would be effective in every situation, not the best, but effective.
     
  5. jcmacman

    jcmacman Pianissimo User

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    Dec 10, 2003
    SoCal
  6. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Pa
    Ive actually been watching that too. I can verify it is the real thing, not only because of the engraving but if you zoom in on the full trumpet shot you can see the two rings on the reciever. Its going to be interesting to see how high this one goes, the last chicago on ebay went for around 1500 and was in much much worse shape than this one. This one caught my eye when it was as 1.98 I knew it wouldnt stay there long, and I dont think its gonna stay in the triple digets for to much longer either. If you are very interested in this horn, I would email the seller and ask for pictures of the valves, I love my chicago but the valves desperatly need replated, stupid me I didnt chack the valves when I bought it, and I got to test mine. I still got a good deal though, these horns still play great with worn valves, it would probably be better if they were right though.
     
  7. Benge Loyalist

    Benge Loyalist New Friend

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    May 19, 2005
    Arkansas
    The most obvious difference between a Chicago Benge and all the rest happened when the valve port design was changed. The original port design required some deflections where two ports 'cross' in the valve. This is seen with the bump where the two ports lie next to each other.

    Sometime early in the Burbank era, the valve ports were moved farther apart. The effect on the player is that the valve's stroke is longer, i.e. it travels a greater distance between the up and down positions. Also, when looking at the valve ports, the bumps are much smaller, i.e. they deflect less into the port.

    Benge also began offering different lead pipes and bells. While I profess to know a lot about Benges, I do not know the specifics of the pipes. All I know is that the 4x and 5x differ only in the lead pipe.

    The 5x bell diameter is considerably smaller than the bell diameter of the 2c+. It is also smaller than my friend's Bach (bell designation unknown, but nothing special so it is likely a 25 or 37).

    I've never even held a Chicago, much less played one, so I'm not able to give you anything other than these dry statistics.
     
  8. busterbyron

    busterbyron New Friend

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    Jun 18, 2005
    Kansas City Area
    During the time the Benge was made in Chicago there were only two available models: medium large (.460), and large (.468). The other models did'nt come out until the Burbank era. The pocket trumpet came out in the Los Angles era.
     
  9. topo3man

    topo3man Pianissimo User

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    Jun 24, 2005
    Wilmington, DE
    I own a Chicago (3X; ML), Burbank (5X; ML), and LA Benge (5X; ML)as well as a Chicago C trumpet. The LA is one of the 300-400 horns actually made in LA (not Anaheim) and may be made from Burbank parts. It is tough to compare the Chicago with the others since the bell is different but you can notice a couple things right off the bat. The older Chicago horns, like older New York Bachs are lighter horns and play a little brighter (also a result of the 3X bell). The Chicago more closely resembles today's light weight bell horns and similarly is a very responsive horn. The Burbank and LA both play quite a bit like one another and a direct comaparison is easy since the bells are the same. Both are heavier horns than the Chicago and both are free blowing and darker than the Chicago (but that is characteristic of the 5 bell). The Chicago and Burbank got the once over by Dr. Valve and he replated and aligned the valves. This made a huge difference and both the Burbank and the Chicago center beautifully. I am going to send him the LA as well when I get out of debt and explain to my wife why Dr. Valve holds the note to my car. I think Benges are the most underated horns out there today. You can still pick up a vintage Benge for $1000 or less (particularly the LAs). A few horns were known for some funky notes (D and E in the staff in particular) but this generally can be remedied by a good tech like Dr. Valve. The horns are very responsive, great for big band (they can get loud!) and have that classic Benge sound. Here are a few pictures:

    Chicago Benge 20XX

    [​IMG]


    Burbank Benge 72XX

    [​IMG]


    LA Benge 85XX

    [​IMG]
     
  10. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

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    3,206
    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Beautiful horns! I'm an Olds nut but I love any well made instrument. Photos taken on pool table???
     

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