Copper or cheated?

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

  1. oljackboy

    oljackboy Pianissimo User

    Feb 26, 2009
    Falls Church, Virginia
    I play a Taylor flugelhorn with a very thick copper bell. It is very heavy, and plays with an extremely dark, warm sound. I play a Schilke B5 Bb trumpet that also has a copper bell, albeit silver plated. It is not noticeably heavier than other Schilkes that I've played, but it does have a slightly darker sound, particularly when I play it softly. Both of these horns are intended by their makers to lean to the dark side, so to speak.
  2. glorybe

    glorybe Piano User

    Jul 29, 2009
    Most fishing lures are designed to catch buyers and not fish. Finishes on musical instruments are designed to sell horns more than anything else. Copper on the outside of a horn will do nothing at all and if one wants to buy a solid copper bell then the manufacturer should be thrilled as copper dents easily and they will get to sell you another horn soon enough. How about an all copper Sousaphone for a marching band? think it would last one month?
    I know there are other opinions out there. I hope not to offend with mine.
    Bachstul likes this.
  3. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Wa-HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!:-o I like this guy!!!

    I've been telling you people for ever the fish lure theory! Some lures are designed to catch fish. Some lures are designed to catch fishermen. I apply this to practice mutes.

    I would not imagine a copper bell sousa!:oops:

    I decided against a copper bell trumpet for the reason I want sparks from a trumpet.

    But to contrast a brass bell on a trumpet, you might as well go for the COPPER BELL flugelhorn,hey, like olJackboy with the Taylor, (no, really, I'm not in the least bit even slightly jealous, you brat)!

    I got a Kanstul 1525 and it was less than two weeks I christened it with a small dent. I can take it to Lawler and have it erased. More will give it character; but yes, brass rings "ding" when you knock it, copper welts a "dunk", and you will se it more than you will hear it. They don't produce these copper horns to make you learn you beat them and want another sooner, though.
    There are also a few bronze bell trumpets, right? How does that hold up?

    It's not, however a question of preservation, when it comes to your horn collection...

    Some musicians find a nostalgia to their persona, and preserve it.
    Others want the latest. And to keep them like new.... good luck.
    Some use them as a tool in their profession and realize how expendable they are, and like Doritoes, they'll ( The trumpet manufacturer,) make more!"

    Bottom line, all horns play; not all fish lures catch fish...... be careful.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  4. glorybe

    glorybe Piano User

    Jul 29, 2009
    All horns play but one question is how well. One thing that science can prove is that a smooth surface that is very hard reflects sound the best. And that is how horns work. They simply amplify the sounds that the lips create. Yes, I like the look of copper on the outside of a bell. But I don't think for one second that it has any effect on what the audience hears.
  5. oljackboy

    oljackboy Pianissimo User

    Feb 26, 2009
    Falls Church, Virginia
    With all respect, there are superb artisans who create the very finest brass instruments who would unanimously disagree. The material, the thickness of the material, and the coating or plating of the material that the bell is constucted of have a VERY pronounced effect on the sound of the instrument. You can prove this to yourself by visiting a shop that sells Schilke trumpets. Play the B1 and the B5. Use the same mouthpiece. It's very noticeable.
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Not to degrade the great volume of postings pertaining to the advantages or disadvantages of copper bells, my take on your original posting is that you 'got took'. For the maker/dealer to advertise a trumpet as being made with a copper bell, and for you to discover that it is not copper means that the maker or dealer is dishonest. This is a matter for the courts to decide.

    Now, because you, for reasons of your own, wanted a copper belled trumpet and didn't get what you ordered is simply very poor business. I currently own a York Master Model, a Conn Connstelation, and a Conn 12B cornet, all with copper bells. I am NOT impressed with any differences in tone, response, or any other superlative attributes that the subject makers have claimed for their products. I am NOT downgrading York or Conn about their top of the line model instruments. In the case of my copper belled instruments the makers involved were totally honest about the bells being made of copper. Whatever unusual advantages to be gained from these copper bells is, in my mind, subject to debate.

  7. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    I agree Lou,

    Without any test data, it's all subjective.

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is not true. Our lips get a standing wave going in the horn. The bell design lets that resonance in the horn "leak out". The horn is not a megaphone for our lip vibration. The standing wave is so strong, that we are limited to the partial series when playing a brass instrument! Science also proves that soft (annealed) bells can sound state of the art too. There are enough top designers that do NOT make hard bells (Monette for instance). There is a significant difference in sound of identically shaped bells made out of different materials and braced differently. Schilke did substantial research on this years ago.

    Glorybe, you posted this misinformation before. Please do your homework before making false claims. I gave you the sites for reference.
  9. trumpetman1989

    trumpetman1989 New Friend

    Oct 6, 2009
    Eugene, OR 97404
    If the bell was true copper, it would oxidize, turning it a greenish color.

    The Statue of Liberty is actually made of copper, but is so big that it's just too hard to polish it so it's been oxidized. Hope this helps.

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