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Discussion in 'Horns' started by Cotton, Mar 12, 2007.
Whats the story on recent models? They seem to be selling at pretty reasonable prices.
Are you looking for a beginner horn? In my opinion, they do not compare to the 22B of the 60's (also a beginner model) and we won't even think of comparing them to the much earlier 22B's which were pro models.
Talk says the old ones are the gems Cotton. There's some Conn Folk here and at TH.
I'm not in the know,
Not being educated on equipment yet, I was wondering why the huge difference in the selling prices on ebay. I'm reading and learning from the knowledge the folks here have. I'll probably have lots of newbie questions.
PM connloyalist. She knows bunches amongst those who know bunches.
I'm really not "looking" for anything. Just trying to figure whats hot and whats not. Saw the huge difference in selling prices on what appears to the untrained eye to be the same model and wondered. Why? Anyhow, since I'm really not "looking" for anything, and being a recent comebacker I'll highjack my own thread and ask... What would you be looking at if you were looking for a horn to relearn on that can hang until the next level of a comeback and won"t break the bank or land me in divorce court.
As to the variance in prices, note that the 22B has had several incarnations. The ones back in the 20's through 50's were great horns. The new ones are still fine, but they are student horns for beginners. Not the same animal. Think of the Shelby Cobra Mustangs of the 60's and the Ford Cobra Mustangs of today. Same analysis...not the same animal.
As to what's hot...etc...it all depends on what you want to play. I would definitely look for a horn on ebay that you used to play. If you played a Bach 300, there's your target, and there are lots of them out there. If you played a Conn Constellation, ditto. The prices will reflect the number of items floating around that are in good shape.
I will tell you what I did, and what I would do again if I had the chance, because they are the same thing. I looked for a decent used horn on ebay from a well-known maker of horns (Conn, Bach, Martin, Olds, Getzen, Holton, etc...). In my case it was a Conn (I had played Conn back in the days), and the seller thought it was from the 60's, and he stated that everything worked well, AND he offered no q asked refund if I was not happy. He was an instrument dealer, and had 100% rating on e-bay. I only paid 300 for it, and I was very happy with it as it accompanied me on my comeback trail. When I felt like I had earned it (i.e., practiced enough and had a reason for a different horn), I got one. But start off slowly, then go break the bank if the chops warrant it.
Well said Bilbo. I too am a comebacker and bought a couple horns on ebay. I think buying a horn there requires a certain finesse and since I have recently bought 5 trumpets in 2 months, I will be happy to share a few thoughts of my own. I have bought and sold many things on ebay over the years so general tips I can give but I won't bore you with them unless you ask. As for buying horns there, I have a couple things I look for and a couple I avoid. Avoid people who obviously know nothing about trumpets. All you can possibly know about that horn is how many dents are on it. Someone that knows nothing about trumpets cannot answer the question that you want answered, for example "how are the valves?", whatever they say is useless and claiming no knowledge lets them off the hook completely. Avoid sellers with less than 99% feedback rating, my general rule of thumb is I look long and hard at a seller with any negatives if their total is under 150, and if they have over 1000 feedbacks, I expect a certain amount of negatives, but I investigate the negatives and the buyers who left them. Of course this depends on the amount I am willing to bid also. I bought a fantastic 1947 Holton Collegiate for 49 bucks from a lady that had no clue what it was and said she bought it at a yard sale. It is silver and it looked like it was painted black in the pics, but under that tarnish was a flawless silver solid horn with perfect valves and not one stuck slide. I bought it to let the daughter use for football games but I have to find another because this one did not turn out to be a beater. It depends on how much you want to gamble too. Know that you can buy a very good horn for around 250 bucks and keep that auction fever at bay. I have not bought one yet but I am looking at every old King Super 20 that comes along. The collectors have driven the prices up on King Liberties and those drop dead gorgeous Super SilverSonic jobs, they always go much higher. But the Super 20 is a solid good quality pro horn that is often overlooked. Another overlooked great pro level player is the Holton Revelation from the 20' and 30's. I got one and it is incredible. 250 bucks will get you one if you keep at it. Learn to recognize the old Conn 22b on sight. They are NOT rare like some sellers will advertise, that was Conn's longest production run horn, not the modern version, I mean the ones produced 1922 through 1955. They are plentiful and a good one can be had for 250 bucks. I bought one that someone replaced the rotted leadpipe with a hunk of trombone slide, it works but intonation is sometimes a bit off. But with good valves and a good silver finish, I have no problem having a real leadpipe installed one of these days. If I knew it wasn't a real leadpipe, I would not have bid the 250. I also bought my wife a pretty horn, she does not play but it is an old York, silver with lots of flowery gold in the engraving and inside the bell. It is in pristine condition and in fact I do not believe it was ever played. I bought it from a collector and believe it or not, it is one of the best playing horns I have ever picked up. So every couple days I have to be extra nice to my wife so I can play her horn. I have an old Olds Ambassador cornet that I can't bear to part with even though it has serious damage and two valves will not move. I get it out just to warm up and do lip slurs because I love the tone of it. Well, one of the best student model horns is the Ambassador, built like a tank and they have a great sound. The only problem is everyone seems to know it so the prices are artificially inflated most of the time on ebay. Olds made a gazillion of them and they are everywhere. I finally bought one at a decent price (under 100 bucks) but I was bidding on as many as 10 at a time. As many as there are on any given day, you should be able to get one under 100 bucks but there is always some newbie coming along bidding his heart out.
If you do a little research and pick 2 or 3 solid horns to look for, then go after them, always think in terms of what if you have to spend a little more to get the horn into shape. In my case, I figure a good pro level horn new would run 2000 bucks and up, and I don't have that kind of money at one time. So if I get a horn of that caliber with 500 bucks or less total investment, then I feel I have done well. If I score a good old pro model horn for 250 bucks, I have room to have the valves rebuilt if needed (250) or a new leadpipe (150), maybe some dent removal here and there. I also haven't yet got a lquered horn. They have all been silver plated. The Ambassador should be here this week is already stripped to raw brass. I don't know how I am going to like that but I am going to give it a go.
Oh, as far as dents, as long as they are not in the bow of the bell tube or the middle of the tuning slide, most are relatively easy and inexpensive to get worked out.
These are just some of my thoughts and experiences, others may, no most assuredly will, disagree with me and maybe add more for you to ponder. It just depends on how much you want to spend and how hard you want to work at it.
Good luck and let me know how you make out ok?
The modern 22B you see on eBay with angled braces is an entirely different instrument than the vintage 22B New York Symphony or Victor. This new 22B Director is very much a student model (and not much of that; I tried one once). It simply has the same model number, otherwise there is no relation whatsoever.
The 22B New York Symphony (1922-1954; straight braces) was a top notch instrument played by many professionals. It was the Bach Strad of its day, with the understanding that pre-war (WW2), school kids played cheaper models (in the Conn sphere, Pan Americans mostly). The 22B Victor (1955-early 1970's; also straight braces) is essentially identical to the 22B New York Symphony, except for the styling.
The "real" Elkhart-Conn 22B is being rediscovered at the moment, I feel and hence the price for which they go on eBay is going up. The UMI-Conn 22B Director would be worth more if sold for scrap metal (I am being too blunt/rude?).
The knowledge here is great and I'm learning a lot. I'm very aware of how ebay works. In my absense from trumpet playing I have played guitar for forty years and have bought and sold many Martin and other highend guitars. Your education and experience with trumpets is very much appreciated. Thanks.