Every day I own this trumpet I have a growing appreciation for it. I have played on Bachs since I acquired my first one right before my 16th birthday - roughly 18 years - but from this point forward, while I will always appreciate a good Bach, I think that I'm going to be a Schilke Loyalist. This trumpet just pops when you blow it - from the very first note of the day to the last - and playing and practicing has become enjoyable again for the first time in a long time. The response and focus of this trumpet are both incredible - it's nearly effortless and the way that I believe it should be. I can't EVER remember playing a Bach that responded or focused like this B6 does. Maybe it's the copper bell, maybe it's the medium, step bore. At this point I don't care. I just love the even and instant response and focus that I have from the bottom of the horn to the top of my range. Sound. Here is another area that continually amazes me. Put in a smaller mouthpiece and give it the gas, and the sound just lights on fire. Put in a larger mouthpiece and lay back a bit, and the sound is rich and dark. But, whether you are playing rock band licks or the second movement of the Haydn, the sound just sparkles. As I have settled into this trumpet, I keep getting compliments from the guys and gals in the band about how much they like the sound, which means a lot considering that I have been in this band for the better part of 4 years. Intonation. Here is another area where I believe this trumpet really shines. In the years that I played my last Bach, I always was making some sort of adjustment in either my chops or slides to play certain things in tune. While I won't try to tell you that every note is locked in all the time on the Schilke, I will say that I use very little manipulation of chops to push or pull the pitch in, simply because I don't have to. About the only time I have to use a slide is on low Ds and C#s, although occasionally I will hit a first ledger A a little hard and have to pull it down just a tad - however, this was virtually an "every time" kind of thing with my Bach. I have been following the posts about the Stage 1 California and what they are describing about that trumpet in the posts, and I have to say that their desciptions seem to be very close to how I feel about my Schilke B6, although I do have to admit that I didn't instantly fall in love with my B6 like they seem to with the Stage 1. I had to get used to it and for the first couple of weeks, I actually contemplated selling it. I am SO glad that I gave the horn the benefit of the doubt for a few more weeks because at this point, I'm not going to look back. This trumpet has turned out to be everything I have wanted and more.