Choosing an Eclipse for me.

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Bruce Lee, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Bruce Lee

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    Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Thread started on: 10/27/2003 at 21:06:28 »

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    O.K. I finally got a chance to play some of the Eclipse horns. At the Mobile Trumpet-fest, I played Bruce's (then collection) Equinox, Medium-Classic, Medium, and Large-Red.

    1. Enjoyed the intimacy of the Equinox.
    2. The L-R had nice mid's and low's. Soft (not quiet) high's.
    3. Classic was dangerously bright when I pushed it in the upper register.
    4. Medium responded well and sounded nice throughout the range.

    Curious about heavier bells, copper horns, savannah finish, etc...

    I play mostly big band lead (www.bigbandofpraise.com). Also, I enjoy church solos and brass ensembles.

    Have played/owned many of the big name "super-horns". Looking for a long term trumpet.

    Would like input from those who play/own/make Eclipse horns.

    Mikester
     
  2. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #1 on: 10/27/2003 at 22:00:05 »

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    Hi Mikester,

    Well...after having played my Eclipse since about May I can say this:

    You can't overblow it. It can take all the air you can give it. I got so used to it that my Getzen now seems stuffy by comparison. My Getzen was dropped off at Melk's (on my way home from work) to get checked over, and then it is going to get "tuned in" with a better mouthpiece. Once you get an Eclipse, get the "air going", and hear that "sound"...well...there is no turning back!

    White Lightning didn't like Al Cass valve oil. It broke down too easily and gummed up. I am now using Getzen, with success, until the Blue Juice that I have ordered arrives.

    The bell on my horn has a very slow taper, meaing that it should be very bright, but it isn't. The double coating of lacquer really darkens it up and makes it sound "very rich and silky". So, spend time picking Leigh's brain so you get exactly the sound you want.

    Excellent equipment will "always" allow you to perform easier (better). I can honestly say that this amateur is doing things he never did before.

    And last, but not least: it is the most in-tune horn I have ever played.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me anything. I'll answer it if I can.

    Be well.



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    PAUL NELSON
    Eclipse White Lightning
    Getzen Eterna 900 Classic
    Monette B4LD
     
  3. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #2 on: 10/27/2003 at 22:23:31 »

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    From your post, it sounds like you liked the medium the best.
    As HoP said, ask Leigh which horn would come closest to what you want.
     
  4. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #3 on: 10/27/2003 at 22:52:54 »

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    Paul....I highly recommend Binak "PRO". All of the problems I used to have with Al Cass are solved. I've been using it in my Schilke (which brand as you probably are aware is also famous for "tight tolerance" valves) for a year. The pistons are as clean as a whistle and it has NEVER started to "sluggish up" on me during a concert.

    Just clean, wipe & swab and then reoil (2 drops per piston) once a week. The bottle I have been using is down so that there is only about 85 - 90% left AFTER A YEAR! I'm going to be able to will the rest of the bottle to my son when I die! The second bottle I use in the cornet and the flugel but they spend more time "in the cases" so that bottle is barely below "FULL".

    Sorry for the slight "off topic". I return you now to your previously scheduled program.


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    Schilke B1/GR66***
    Eterna 800 L/Sparx 4
    Jupiter 846L/Jupiter 7
    http://www.lcbs.ca
     
  5. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #4 on: 10/28/2003 at 08:50:02 »

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    If you play mostly lead the Classic bell is for you! Man I can bore through walls with that projection! Perhaps a heavier bell would balance off the extreme projection if you're worried about it being too bright (funny statement, can it ever be TOO bright?)

    I picked the L Red because I'm a really strong player coming of insanely big equipment (Monette 993 and Edwards Gen 2 lbore and 5 1/4 inch bell) The Large Red also fits my style a lot better and allows me to play the horn in any setting with ease and flexibility. When I play lead or salsa music on it I just pop in my Marcinkiewicz Shew and the thing just screams. That's what I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE about this horn, it's so incredibly versatile while still maintaining it's dark core.

    Finish? I love that new lacquer, it's very alluring. You also can't go wrong with the brushed brass look, everyone flips out at my horn's finish. For acidic hands go for the brushed Gold. It's also manage free.

    Feel free to email me or PM me with any particulars.

    I'm so happy I've chosen to play Eclipse horns. It's a perfect match for me.


    Best,

    Trent


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    -Trent Austin
    Eclipse Instrument Performing Artist
    www.eclipsetrumpets.com
     
  6. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #5 on: 10/28/2003 at 10:30:32 »

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    Ive got a medium, and its just gorgeous, its the one on the front page of the eclipse website. It plays beautifully, I just cant get over it sometimes... it MAKES me practice more... anyway, it sounds like you need a medium, or you need to try a medium heavy yellow. That horn plays like a dream. All the versatility of the medium with a thicker sound, more mass to it.
    -J
    Ps... the brightest horn I've ever owned is a 37 heavybell bach, for what its worth.


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    Medium bell Eclipse Scratch Gold
    37H Bach in Gold plate
    3c
     
  7. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #6 on: 10/28/2003 at 19:59:57 »

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    Hi Mikester. I have played every Eclipse that has left the factory and in my humble opinion, you will be hard pressed to find any horn to beat them. All the various Eclipse versions have their own characters but the one thing they all share is that they are SO easy to play.

    I have found that the superior intonation, slotting and eveness of tone has led to increased stamina, control, range and confidence. All of this has left me with more energy to devote to playing musically and with expression - rather than wasting that energy on fighting the horn. I love playing the horn - I feel and sound more relaxed AND everybody else has noticed this too!

    I have been playing my own medium yellow Eclipse in scratched gold plate since February and it seems from your comments that this is the horn you were most drawn to.
    I would have no hesitation in recommending this horn to you - except for the fact that I have never heard you play.

    It is a very personal matter choosing a new horn. Obviously we all have a totally unique sound - we won't sound the same on the same instrument. What we are all looking for in a horn however is the same. We want to find the horn that makes it easiest to realise the sound we imagine in our head when we are actually playing. All horns will colour or affect that sound in some way - we just have to remember that it is us, not the horn, which has a voice.

    Having said all that, and bearing in mind the questions you have on the characteristics of the various weights, materials and finishes available, I can share with you the way I percieved the effect of the different options on my own sound. (I am concentrating on the medium belled options here).

    I believe that the medium you have played was in silver plate, so taking that as a starting point I think you would find the following.

    Medium yellow in gold - great lead horn, brighter sound, faster response, more free blowing, very agile,well centered and focused at all dynamic levels.

    Medium yellow in laquer - darker sound, similar response, slightly more resistance, great classical horn.

    Heavy medium yellow - brilliant sound, more stable, greater depth to the sound, greater projection - very powerful, less flexibility - more stable slots. (brightest in gold then silver and darkest in laquer). Good for strong player - excellent symphonic sound or fat lead horn.

    Medium red - much warmer, richer sound, same response - similar blow (again becoming progressively darker and less free blowing as thicker finishes are applied). Fantastic all round horn like the medium yellow - very versatile. (Imagine the tone of the large red but with the focus and projection of the medium yellow)

    Medium heavy red - much warmer, richer sound. slightly slower response - more resistance, more depth to the sound, very powerful projection, similar slotting and flexibility, great range of colours - equally bright to to very dark sound (again affected by the choice of finish. Great jazz soloist horn or symphonic section playing or for powerful warm lead trumpet. (Also happens to be my second Eclipse!)

    There you have it - the point is they are all awesome horns - I hope I have been of some help.
    Noel.
     
  8. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #7 on: 10/28/2003 at 20:10:46 »

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    Noel... I have a question for you. Others, chime in. If I wanted to purchase an Eclipse that had the rich core of a Bach but that played with the "light, quick and open" feel of a Schilke B1, what "makeup" would I be most likely to select?

    Not that I'm looking. Nope. Un huh. Don't dare. No way. Ix Nay.


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    Schilke B1/GR66***
    Eterna 800 L/Sparx 4
    Jupiter 846L/Jupiter 7
    http://www.lcbs.ca
     
  9. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #8 on: 10/28/2003 at 20:13:46 »

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    Thanks everyone for your responses!
    You have been quite helpful.

    The description of the different "medium" bells it great!

    Thanks again.

    I know there are more of you Eclipse folks out there. Anyone else wish to contribute?

    Mikester
    www.bigbandofpraise.com
     
  10. Bruce Lee

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    Re: Choosing an Eclipse for me
    « Reply #9 on: 10/29/2003 at 05:51:09 »

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    Hi Tootsall. When I was at college several of my peers had a Bach conversion done on their Shilkes. In other words they put a Bach 37 or 25 bell on to a Shilke bodt - either as a tunable bell or fixed bell conversion. Maybe they were after the same playing characteristics you are looking for.
    As far as recommending an Eclipse package to you, I have to say that my comments will only be my personal feelings about the horns. If you are in the least bit curious then you really need to try them out for yourself - I am certain that you will be shocked at how well they play!
    All of the Eclipse trumpets have a very light and free blowing feel with a fast response and a solid, stable core to the sound - as you have requested. In my experience with Shilkes, which is limited (although I did have a blow on Jon Faddis's horn during a lesson with him - he made it sound a lot better than I did BTW), I find that the sound spreads out too much for my personal taste. With the Eclipse find that - no matter how hard you work it - the sound does not break up, disperse or lose shape. All the energy you put into the horn seems to project forward and transfer to the listener. This is true more so for the medium bell rather than the larger bells which generally have a larger sound and will take more air - I find that they also have larger slots, you can bend and shape the notes more.
    As I don't know your playing I will have to take my best guess as to what you might like. I am thinking that either the large red or the medium red bell might give you the balance of sound and agility that you are looking for - depending on how you play.
    However I usually recommend, when people come to try out the horns, that they start with a medium yellow in laquer or silver. This horn was the first Eclipse, the closest in shape and weight to the 'industry standard' and all the other options are variations on this theme. In this way the player can get a feel for the way the instruments respond, slot and project.
    Needless to say, IMHO, any of the Eclipse trumpets would have something to offer you but as to whether you personally would find them an improvement over your current horns - you will have to find out for yourself.
    All the best. Noel.
     

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