Converting a Bb to a C trumpet

Discussion in 'Horns' started by trumpet blower88, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Has anyone here ever converted a Bb trumpet into a C trumpet befor? I've heard of some people have done it just by cutting off a certain length of the lead pipe and tuneing slide and thats all.
    I have this old York I got at an antique store for $40 bucks. The mouth piece is stuck in the the mouthpiece reciver, and the reciver is being held on by just the brace from the bell. Theres also a huge crack in the lead pipe. I was thinking I could just get the whole lead pipe replaced with a C trumpet lead pipe, then only have to make the one cut down at the bottem. (of course, I wont do this, the guy in the shop will)
    So does that sound like it will work? Would I need to make any adjustments to the valve slides and bell, or is that really all that needs to be done?
    Once thats all done I just have a few dings and a bent bell to bend back and I think I might have a fairly decent C trumpet. What are your guys opinions on that?

  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Yes, several of us have C trumpets that started out as Olds Bb trumpets.

    All the slides and part of the bell tail are shorted to achieve the correct pitches. It is a very labor intensive process, so starting with a decent Bb is a good idea.
  3. Don Herman

    Don Herman New Friend

    Jun 18, 2005
    Monument, CO, USA
    The smaller the horn, the more finicky the lengths which must be adjusted. All slides, and potentially the bell, will need to be shortened slightly to get it in tune. The Bb bell will emphasize the wrong resonance series, but that probably won't matter. Once you get the leadpipe and slides cut to size, you might have a horn worth experimenting on...

    Doing it probably isn't all that hard, but doing it well may be...

    My 0.000001 cents - Don
  4. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Welcome Don, to this website!

    It's good to see you posting over here.

    Warmest regards,

  5. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Ok... Thats a litle bit more than what I was thinking, so thats probably not going to happen for a while then, I was hopeing I could do this with just around two hundred bucks, but seems like it might be just a tad bit more than that if I want to do it all the right way, plus I don't think this York would be worth all the trouble, it's kind of a pice of crap. I wanted to try it out on my crappiest horn, that way if I screw something up it not really to much of a loss, but it seems like thats not really the right way to go.
    Oh well, it was kinda cool to think about for a litle while, now I can spend the money I was planning on useing for something else... *thinks to himself* you know, I've had my eye on one of those Asymetric Mouthpieces...
  6. Don Herman

    Don Herman New Friend

    Jun 18, 2005
    Monument, CO, USA
    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the note! Doubt I'll "hang" here much, but we'll see what happens in my copious spare time... :-P Gotta' keep up with Manny, don'tcha' know! :) My account is still in flux a bit at TH since you-know-what, so I figured I'd look over here. Plus, somebody said to post a note in the WT place about mutes, so I did!

    trumpet blower88 -- It might be fun as a (time consuming) hobby, but having somebody "piddle" for you is probably not economical. Lots of great manufacturers work really hard to make decent C horns -- the smaller it is, the harder it is!

    I'll refrain from any asymmetric comments -- only one experience with them... Give Nick D a call and he can fill you in on them, though!

    See ya' - Don
  7. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    You can keep the full length Bb lead pipe if you make it reversed.
    I have a Bach C trumpet with a Bb lead pipe on it.....

    [that feels like a confession worthy of a self help group. I have fallen, I have partaken of Bach when I said Iwould never touch another drop].
  8. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    A person who can do this for you is Jason Harrelson. He also could answer some questions for you about how to do it. This is my Harrelson 750 which started life as a Bb but is now a C. It is the most amazing horn I have ever played!

  9. Vince

    Vince New Friend

    Feb 22, 2009
    Newmarket, ON, Canada
    Hi all. I would also be interested in converting a B flat horn to a C.

    What specifically do I have to do to achieve this? I have a couple of old horns that I would be more then willing to sacrifice in my attempts at this.

    I'm handy enough that I could do the work myself but need to know the specifics before proceeding. Does anyone know where I can get this info?

    do all the valve slides have to be reduced in length as well as the main tuning slide?

    I'd also be interested in converting a standard trumpet to a pocket trumpet.

    Any ideas.
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    You need to shorten the slides, the bell and the leadpipe, just like the above posters said (4 years ago)

    There is a lot more work required to rebuilt a trumpet other than cutting the slides to the new lengths. Soldering and proper slide and overall horn alignment are things that aren't easily done without proper training.

    As far as a pocket trumpet goes, I have never heard of anyone doing that. I can't think of way to make this possible because of how the main tuning slide and leadpipe connect to the 3rd valve knuckle. If you look at pocket trumpets, the leadpipe curves around on itself and then back to the 3rd knuckle like a cornet. It would be cheaper and more time effective just to buy a pocket trumpet.

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