Eclipse owners, I would appreciate your advice.

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Still Trying, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    As most of you may know by now, I am the very fortunate winner of the Eclipse trumpet contest. Since, in all likelihood, this will be the only Eclipse I will ever own and the only trumpet I ever play for the rest of my life, I want to be as certain as possible that I order a horn with the playing characteristics and sound, which suite my needs and style of playing. My soliciting advice from any Eclipse owner, who is willing to help me, is in no way meant to be disrespectful to the people whose advice I have already received. It's just my nature to research something to death, before I make a decision. Besides, now that I have essentially been given the keys to the candy store, shopping for just the right flavor is intoxicating fun. So please bare with me.

    I prefer the sound of a vintage Bach Strad to a Martin Committee. To me the Committee is just a little too dark. I prefer the sound of a vintage Bach Strad to a Doc Severinson Getzen. The Getzen is too bright for my tastes. So I guess you could say I prefer a tone that is right in the middle of the dark to bright spectrum.

    I prefer a larger sound to a more focused one. I also prefer a horn that projects without being over powering. The best horn I have ever played up to now is a Callet Jazz, but I would be afraid to try to play one in a small church for example. From the brief experience I had with one, it just doesn't seem like a very subtile horn.

    I need a horn that is equally at home in a dance band or in a symphony. I play in something called a traditional jazz band, but that's really a misnomer. Because we play mostly orchestrations that date from the 30's all the way through the 40's and 50's. When I was a kid, we would have called it a dance band. It's a totally different kind of music than Rich Willey and Trent Austin play. The jazz solos are more like what Clyde Hurley would have played in Glenn Miller's Band than what Rich and Trent play. (OK, so I'm OLD. It's still fun, and it's what I do). I split the lead and jazz books with the other trumpet player in this group.

    I also play lead in our local community band. This group plays traditional concert band music and "pops" orchestral stuff usually. Every once in a while it branches out some. Last year I got to play lead in the pit band taken from this group for a production of Man of LaMancha. But the point is, I need a horn that sounds as good playing legit music as dance music. And it needs to be able to blend with a section of Bachs, since that's mostly what the school kids in the band play. I am playing a French Besson Classic right now, but the sound is too focused (small) for my tastes in this group. I would like to get a bigger concert sound.

    I also play solos in church from time to time. And I would like a trumpet that can get a very sweet, lyrical sound for that.

    I play a GR G66*** mouthpiece mostly for nearly everything. Since my sound on the Besson is a little smaller than I like for solos in concert band, I fall back on a Mount Vernon Bach 1 1/2 C frequently in the community band. I have learned to adjust tone quality by changing mouthpieces, but I do still play the 66*** about 90 % of the time.

    Now, all you Eclipse owners, please chime in here and offer your opinion based on the playing experiences you have had with your respective instruments. You can PM me also, if you don't want to post your advice here. The content of any private messages will be kept confidential, if you so desire. I do not wish to spark a debate of any kind. I am merely trying to develop a data bank for making a decision about a horn choice.

    Thanks to all ahead of time. I really appreciate your input.
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Wooah! You are Community band and playing on a 66*** too? Awesome. Talk to Noel; he and I chatted a bit in the last day or so about the bells and he's asked me to send him an email with "details" so that he can make a recommendation (since he wrote the "Bell Options" on the Eclipse site, he should know...right?). Also talk to Bruce Lee; he's played quite a few of them too... probably most of the ones that go through his pizza-stained fingers. He is also very familiar with what is appropriate for the sound of a C-B as well as smaller ensembles AND he's played most (if not all) of the "competition".

    If you give those two guys your playing history, horn experiences, likes and dislikes I'm sure they can get you going in the right direction. Like you, this will probably be my personal "horn to end all horns".... but then, I said that to my wife about the Schilke too! :D Only difference is I have to pay 1/2 of the freight. Oh well, you only go around once so might as well enjoy it, right?
  3. Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Rochester, NY

    Although we´ve spoken on the phone about this, I´ll share my thoughts with everyone.

    The Medium Red is the bell which would best match your needs, in my opinion. The bell which you "describe" is the Large Red. Since I happen to know the horns (Olds Recording and French Besson Classic), and mouthpiece which you currently play, I would say that the Large Red would be "too much" horn for you, in terms of the energy that it takes to play it. The Medium Red would be just right, from that standpoint.

    Now... I'll throw a monkey-wrench into the works, and tell you that while the G66*** works well for you on the French Besson, it may very well need to change, in order to match the feel that you prefer, in terms of providing the proper "balance" for you. Reasoning, below:

    GR Tech: The match between the player, horn, and mouthpiece is very important. To set up the standing wave in the trumpet these must work as a system. The incorrect match can cause the player to manipulate to make a poor match work. The problems from over manipulation will usually show up in poor tone, poor accuracy, poor intonation, and poor efficiency.

    GR's 3 Rules of Brass Playing

    1. The lips must be supple and free to vibrate without unnatural impingement or manipulation, cushion is required.

    2. You need a constant supply of uninterrupted airflow that is supported. The air column must be free from impingement and manipulation.

    3. There must be a match between the player, horn, and mouthpiece. If one changes the others must be able to accommodate the change or be changed as well.

    Conclusion: Medium Red sounds like the best choice, Jesse!

    Best always,

    PS - Ed, the "pizza fingers" were Noel's, on Paul Nelson's White Lightning. Noel had played a gig at Pizza Express(?), and although he claims to use a fork to dine, we also know that he's just a trumpet player, and there just wasn't enough time between sets to wash up... thus, the pizza stains on the White Lightning. Fortunately, I was able to clean the horn up, prior to delivering it to Paul. (That's MY story, and I'm stickin' to it! 8) )
  4. Skip

    Skip Piano User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Hey Still Trying,

    I had a similar delimma, being 5,000 miles from my friendly Eclipse dealer. I would surely recommend running all your questions & concerns by Bruce Lee, Noel, and Leigh. All are obviously very knowledgeable and helpful.

    I have a chart that I put together, that Bruce was kind enough to fill out for me, that helped me in making a decission. You might find it helpful in your quest for answers. Just E-mail me and I will forward it to you.

    I have a LR, but if I ever get another (please,please), at this time, I would choose either a MY or MR. I believe that Noel's ultimate pick for the "Bach sound"/orchestra version is the MY, if I'm not mistaken (if I am, Noel, I appologize). Best of luck.


    [email protected]
  5. Skip

    Skip Piano User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Hey Bruce,

    You beat me to the "submit" button - Ha!

  6. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    KC MO
    First off, many congrats to all the winners of the Contest! What a tremendous response and wonderful ideas these contests turn out. Thanks again for the excellent read!

    I also suggest the Medium Red. For the player who's looking for a sound in between a Committee and older Bach I think that's definitely the way to go. My Large Red keeps amazing me how dark and powerful it is (I played Pulcinella on it yesterday in the Orchestra and absolutely filled the hall) but I'm a pretty strong player... I can muscle it around but not all players will be able to.

    I also agree with Bruce that whoever gets an Eclipse will also probably have to SLIGHTLY adjust the mouthpiece. I was playing a GR 3HC* on my L red and it lacked direction. When I consulted Bruce again we went to a 3M. HOLY SMOKES! I don't switch pieces anymore. I can play from low f# to double d and still have the amazing variety of tonal colors the Big Bell allows me to have.

    Either way you go, when you get your Eclipse you'll be totally amazed by it. Feel free to email me offlist with any questions that you might have... I also suggest going to my Verizon site (it's listed on another Eclipse post here) to hear some of the brief low-fi clips I have of my L red.

    Perhaps I can run up to Bruce's and record some on all of the line he carries... ;) ;)



    PS: tootsall.... BUY the eclipse, you'll be getting a better deal than me ;) and you'll never regret it.
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Trent, Leigh just phoned me from the shop where he was about to leave for Bamberg. I'm going to go with the 1/2 price Eclipse offer....BUT, I"m also getting my Eterna cornet redone (which I'll pay for) the SAME TIME and with IDENTICAL FINISH. Custom finger buttons, same finger rings and hooks, beadblast or brush with bright highlights, gold plate. "The Twins", a presentation set of horns that'll knock your socks off. Should be shipping the Eterna over in late March. Get them plated in the same tank at the same time with the same solution. As close as you can possibly get. Returned in one of Leigh's twin Trumpet/flugel bags (which he assures me will hold the taller valve block of the Eterna cornet).

    Pictures WILL be available when the work is done.
  8. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    After Bruce Lee's post, it's really looking bad for Noel "I eat pizza with a fork" Langley. I suspect it's harder to clean up pizza on a brushed finish horn. Now I'm beginning to worry.
  9. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    Hi ST (Jesse),

    I guess we will never get to the bottom of the "Great Pizza Mystery". I have long since cleaned the horn and all remaining DNA is gone. Bruce...and Noel are "off the hook". Or should I say..."off the fork"???

    You are getting stellar advice on building your new horn. The "very free blow" and sound will "knock your socks off". All the best.
  10. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Hey guys, I am really very insulted! First off I am not so uncouth as to eat pizza with a fork - and I'm talking about real Roman pizza here, not some deep pan Chicago invention. The dough should be so thin and crispy that you can roll it up and strictly speaking it should only have a topping of tomato and mozarella.
    At least when I do eat with a fork I dont hold it upside down and in the wrong hand!
    Finally I hereby swear that each time I so much as laid a finger on Paul's White lightning I was wearing a fresh pair of pristine white cotton gloves - house rules at the Eclipse factory which is as clean and antiseptic as an operating theatre. ;)

    Anyway - back on topic. My advice for Gabriel's trumpet is Medium Red - will be sensational in the silver finish, read my comments on the Eclipse site and I think it all adds up.

    All the best. Noel.

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