Copper or cheated?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Copper means NOTHING by itself acoustically speaking. We need to know if the copper is annealed or tempered, where it is braced is significant, the thickness of the material also is a big factor.

    It looks cool is the major purchasing decision. Then we talk our brains into believing what the eyes see.

    I am not saying that copper is no good. I am saying that the trumpet is a system made up of many pieces that ultimately influence the sound. Isolating one factor is meaningless.

    If your copper turned silver when the laquer came off, then it is not copper. It is probably nickle silver.

    Josef Rudall was the oldest maker in the UK. They started as Rudall Rose Carte and Co in about 1780. It became Rudall Carte in 1872. The company was bought by Boosey and Hawkes during WWII.
  2. RAK

    RAK Piano User

    Jul 23, 2009
    Kettle Falls, Washington
    Does anyone make Horns of other metals other than brass and copper?
  3. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Nickel silver and sterling silver.
  4. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    This boils down to the following issues:
    (1) If the bell is not copper (which is does not seem to be) what is it?
    (2) If it were nickel-silver, it would not show 'splotches' of silver unless you did not entirely remove whatever was on top (enamel or paint or colored lacquer or ?). Try polishing it more. If more silver is revealed, then it could be nickel-silver. If so, it might be a very nice horn as this alloy was used on a few high-end horns (such as the Olds Studio models). But, then why would someone try to cover it up?
    (3) If it is not nickel-sliver then it is either nickel-plated or silver-plated and the 'splotches' are where the plating has remained while other areas have worn - or peeled - off which would explain why someone painted over it. If it is plated (now only partly), then the underlying metal could be either brass or copper but again, copper is not likely because anyone who goes to the effort to make a copper bell is going to promote that fact by making the copper very visible - not plate over it.

    So, based on the 'likelihood assumption' premise, it is most probably a common brass instrument that was plated and has lost much of the plating which then someone painted over with a copper-colored paint or lacquer.

    That leaves you with a choice. (1) Request a refund from the seller based on misrepresentation. I have done this with a few trumpets that were not as represented and in every case, the seller was willing to make an adjustment based on what I felt the true value of the trumpet was. But, if the seller is an SOB, then file a claim with ebay. Be sure to send the seller a detailed description of the problems so that you can send a copy to ebay to support your claim. - OR - (2) Accept the trumpet for what it is and try to make it a decent player. You may be able to remove the remainder of the plating and then polish the remaining brass but whether that effort is worth it depends on such things as how good the valves are (valve jobs are very expensive) and how good it sounds and whether you even like to play it.

    So, some additional detective work is in order for you.

    P.S. I went to ebay to see if I could see the listing and perhaps detect some clues. I searched the completed listings and did not find a trumpet. However, I found 6 Rudall Carte flutes. They went from $2000 to $6000. So, obviously Rudall Carte did not make junk. Maybe this is a valuable horn after all and is worth sending for complete restoration/refinishing. Hopefully it is!
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  5. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Pictures would help a lot at this point...
  6. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks to all. There is no doubt in my mind now that it is not a true copper bell. There's too much nickel/silver showing where the lacquer is off. It probably would look great with all the lacquer taken off. The valves are fast and appealing, but I don't care for the sound. So I'm going to contact the seller for a refund. I paid $215.00 for it, and would be willing to discount it for anyone interested in buying it.

  7. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    Sound decreases over distance according to the inverse square law (light and other wave forms also decrease at the same rate). According to this law, if a copper belled trumpet can be heard over a distance 4 times greater than a brass trumpet, it's as loud as 16 brass trumpets playing in unison! Get out your earplugs.
  8. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    You won't get one for the instrument now that you've destroyed the lacquer, so you might want to sue for false advertising, you might get more then then $215 dollars that way!
  9. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    I would think copper would put out LESS sound than brass. Copper is softer, yes? I would think that would me that it would take more energy to vibrate it as much as a harder metal way more....way more than anyone is going to play with on a regular I wrong?

  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Maybe it doesn't vibrate as much - meaning more energy is in the sound coming out the front.


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