Custom Phaeton Review #4, Sublmbadfish...a.k.a. Steve

Discussion in 'Horns' started by sublmbadfish, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. sublmbadfish

    sublmbadfish Pianissimo User

    75
    1
    Jul 9, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Ok so now that I finally have time again I will write my review…again (this time in word.)

    My first impressions of this horn were great. The look of this trumpet is very, very cool. The brushed silver is absolutely beautiful especially being the first one I have ever seen in person. The recessed finger caps are a good style feature also along with the large finger buttons. The polished silver parts offer a nice contrast to the brushed finish. I also love the rings, from the pictures I didn’t think that I would like them because I thought they looked like just solid pieces of metal but on closer inspection they have a cool “wave-like†design (one of the others may be able to explain that better, but that’s the best visual I could come up with.)

    Now to the playing of this horn,
    I thought at first that this horn was very difficult to play because it is much tighter than my F. Besson MEHA but after playing it a few days that went away and I am now more accustomed to it. The slotting on this horn is many times better than my Besson and it is really a different experience playing this horn and not having to hold pitches so tightly with my lips. The intonation is also very good, not perfect but again better than my Besson. To answer trickg’s question the notes can bend but the sound dies very quickly when you do and it gets airy, my besson can keep relative good tone in a bend a little longer. The horn responds very well but not quite at the level that my Besson does but still is a responsive horn. The blow is very even throughout from low C to high C and is great in the upper register. The slotting makes playing easier because I push a valve and the note is just there, no playing around with it.

    The sound on this horn is great for certain situations like a jazz combo or playing lower parts in a big band but I feel that sound is not quite brilliant enough and a little reserved for high power, cutting lead playing. I do love the sound though and me and my teacher both agree that it has a very pleasant sound to listen to. The sound is also more focused than I like, I would like it to ring out more when I put some air into it. We were playing the Arutunian in my lesson today I felt that I could be more passionate with my horn and play in more of a Russian style sound and be brighter when I needed it. The horn has a good feedback and sounds the same from both places (I had my teacher explain the sound to me and our feelings of it matched.)

    Everyone who I have let play this horn has asked where they can get more info on the horn and has liked it. I feel that it is a very very nice horn and if I had the money to keep a few Bb’s I would definitely try and pick one up but it just doesn’t have the right classical sound that I need and I need a very flexible horn to play in all my groups.

    It anyone has more questions please ask…I also have lots of pictures from many angles if someone could teach me to post them.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    311
    1
    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Thanks for the review!


    Quite a bit of what you said seems to be the case when I tried it. One interesting thing though, you thought it didn't cut enough for lead, and I thought it didn't project enough for lead! I have to agree with you on most of the areas you mentioned: you have to get used to playing it, and the sound seems too niche for my tastes. It's unique, and probably would be great for going into a microphone, but it's probably not the greatest horn to use in an acoustic setting (not the worst either though).


    One more thing, how do you feel about the mechanics? I think the valves still had some breaking in to do, but they and the slides worked consistently and evenly unlike my factory bach, which travels lightning fast but hangs up once in awhile.
     
  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    I dunno...

    You might try using a bigger mouthpiece for legit stuff. I find that really helps a lot, personally. It may or may not work, but who knows till you give it a go, eh?

    I had an intersting conversation with John Cveonovich, a local trumpet teacher and old friend. He and the late Johnny Howell had a bunch of trumpets they got and were trying them out in Howell's old man's barber shop after hours. Afer a couple of hours of one blindfold test after another, Howell told Cveonovich, who passed it along to me many years later when I was going though lots of horns, that no matter what horn they played, once they got the feel of it they ended up sounding the same way on ALL of them; like themselves (they way they heard tumpet). I found to be food for thought.

    Also, mouthpiece backbores can make a difference. Granted the cup and diameter are like shoe sizes, but the throat and backbore are an integral part of how the acoustics of the horn works. You might try some different backbores and see what happens.

    I think the valves did need more breaking in. I've got the same ones right now, and it took a few days for me to get them right. Now that they're finished, I find them to be extrmely quick, but I live tight valves.

    Have you done any blindfold tests? By that I mean have your teacher sit with his/her back to you and play one horn after another (the same piece, of course) and challenge them to pick out what horn you are playing. That can be quite imformative. Heck you may have already done that and I just didn't get that from the post. If that's the case, sorry!

    It will be intersting to see how this all plays out! Keep at it! Have fun, in the process.

    Peace.

    Nick
     
  4. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    One of the worst things someone can do while trying a new horn, in my opinion, is play the horn like the trumpet they currently own! Its why a lot of people I know who play Bachs or other "mainstream" horns thumb their noses at every other axe!

    Hell, if you play an India Bessons your entire career, I'm sure you will look down on other horns if you just play them expecting a feel and tone similar to your India horn (God have mercy on your lost soul). "They don't feel as good as the horn I own already." I guarantee every one of your guys out there have heard that.

    I also guarantee if you play any other horn exactly like the other horn, you will not be happy with the results. After playing a Phaeton on Blackburn leadpipe, my Bach seems slippery. After playing a horn with a rounded slide, the square slide seems stuffy. After playing a square slide, a round slide seems too open, and you overblow. After playing a heavyweight horn, a lightweight seems too flitty, with a sound not centered. After playing a lightweight a hevay horn seems ponderous, like moving an elephant.

    You wouldn't drive a van like a sports car, nor would you drive an 18-wheeler like a go-cart. They're BUILT differently, and are expected to be HANDLED differently.

    A Bach will not play like a Getzen. A Blackburn will not play like an Eclipse. If they were supposed to all be the same, why the hell would you spend more than 400 dollars on an instrument? :D

    Rant over.

    Van
     
  5. sublmbadfish

    sublmbadfish Pianissimo User

    75
    1
    Jul 9, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Mike...i really like the valves and though they werent the fastest things around they worked fine for the playing i do...slides were gritty but may just need to be broken in a little more.

    Nick...I already play an 80 C laskey (1C bach) mouthpiece so unless i don't think that my mouthpiece was too small nor do i really feel that i need to change my mouthpiece to suit a horn (rather just get one that works with the piece i know and love) I have thought about opening it up a little though in the backbore and throat but who knows. I didn't do any blindfold tests yet but if i get some in I will post.

    Van...I dont know how to answer the if i'm playing it like my old horn comment, i really dont think about playing...i just do it. Other than intonation stuff i dont really do much to accomodate playing MY horn. But i could be doing stuff i dont know about :dontknow:
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,992
    3,881
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Great review Steve. Van, nice observation. Speaking of that situation in your first paragraph, I recently found out about that firsthand. I had played on a Bach as my main trumpet since I got my first one, just before my 16th birthday. As many might remember, I have posted recently about a Schilke B6 that I picked up on a good deal. I thought I always wanted a Schilke, the B6 specifically, and the price and timing were right so I jumped on it. After about a week of owning that trumept, I thought I had wasted a good chunk of money on a horn that I didn't like. The biggest problem I think is that I was trying to play it like a my LB Bach, and it just didn't respond well to being played like that. However, I liked the sound (and so did everone else in the party band) so I decided to hang on to it and continue to try to adapt to it.

    This trumpet can't be played like a Bach - it is lighter, smaller in bore, has a different material for the bell, (copper) has a different size and shape of bell...heck, the whole trumpet is just designed differently. Now that I am accustomed to it, I LOVE it. I imagine that the Phaeton is going to be much the same.

    Again, nice review, Steve. I'm looking forward to the day that it shows up on my doorstep.
     
  7. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Cool, Steve!

    Hey, Steve!

    The Laskey 80C is a good moputhpiece for legit, no doubt. Thaks for the heads up.

    OK, I'm obsessing about the blindfold thing! Sorry! If you get to it, cool!

    I'll shut up!

    ;-)

    Well, at least for a couple of hours...

    Nick
     
  8. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Hey Steve!

    Heres what I do to get accustomed to the horn. It works for me, normally.

    ------------------------------------------

    1: Slow, slow long tones. Focus on every note ringing. Also focus on every note feeling the same, from middle G to low Gb to high G.

    2: Arban. First studies. Art of Phrasing too. Focus on every note being like the long tone. Legato, connected, rung out.

    This should take about 30 minutes. After that,

    3: REST for 30 minutes.

    4: Restart with a brief overview of the long tones you played earlier. Be sure that you still ring and connect.

    5: Arban, just a few out of Art of Phrasing.

    6: Clarke and slurs.

    This should take anywhere between 30-45 minutes. After that,

    7: REST for 30 minutes

    8: Play a few notes, still ringing

    9: Play some prepared pieces or exerpts or solos. Play until you're tired, rest, and repeat.

    -----------------------------------

    Haha, I do so love making lists! :lol:

    Chromatics also allow you to get a feel for the horn's blow, IMHO. Low Gb to high G. Over and over, back and forth, until it all feels "good." If you ghost any notes, you have to start over.

    Van
     
  9. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    311
    1
    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    Van,

    In regards to your post if it was addressed in part to me, I need to make something clear in case it wasn't (hey, it's possible!).


    When I demoed the horn, I pretty much played it nonstop. With me, playing a tighter horn completely throws my entire methodology when it comes to playing trumpet, so the shift for me isn't as easy as it is for others. I'm a guy who lives and dies on how I manipulate the air within myself, and having a horn that restricts that manipulation just isn't my rig. Again, that doesn't make it universally the worst horn in the world, but if the shoe won't break in (i.e. myself), it ain't no good. I probably could have broken into it after a few months, but it just isn't worth my time given that I'm already a sufficient player on my current horn, maybe not a contender for the heavyweight crown, but sufficient.




    Also though, one more thought about the horn. If I were primarily a chamber orchestra player, there's a darned good chance that I'd love this horn.
     
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Re: I dunno...

    I KNEW he was one of us!
     

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