Flugel reviews

Discussion in 'Horns' started by music matters, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    Well I have now tried a variety of flugels out and thought I would share my findings with you all. I am looking to buy a flugel in the near future but be aware thet the following reviews are based from my perspectives, and I have never played flugels before and am an amateur community trumpet player. I would be glad to hear others opinions whether you agree or disagree with my impressions which are of course completely personal! - but I hope you find them interesting.

    All were conducted with a Warbuton 4FL mouthpiece.

    1. Yamaha 631GS. Felt very comfortable to hold. I have small hands and the 3rd valve trigger was easy to work. I liked the sound without it being 'special'. I used to play a Yamaha 6335HS2 and it seemed to have that same 'dullness' that that trumpet has. Hard to describe. Almost good but boring. The tuning however seemed terrible, maybe it was just a bad one and others tune well, I don't know.

    2. Next up was the Conn Vintage 1. My suspicions about the Yamaha having bad intonation was correct. This was vastly superior and had very good intonation and the sound had more character. It was too cumbersome for me to hold however and I couldn't work the 3rd trigger at all so ergonomically for me a no no.

    3. Then tried a B and S - not sure which model to be honest. Seemed fine but not that comfortable to hold and didn't seem special enough yet. So far I had liked the Yamaha the most but had my reservations.

    4. The 6310Z Bobby Shew was a revelation for me. It played much more in tune than the 631GS and the blow was wonderful and it felt great in my hands - it felt alive like my Schilke B1 does. I then compared this to the others side by side and I think I had the best sound on this for me and it was the most fun to play. It seemed a little brighter than the 631GS but it had overtones as well and had a lot more character to the sound. It was very sweet and smooth and responsive.

    5. The bach Strad was next up. This played very nicely, seemed to play in tune and had a nice tone.

    6. The next day I went to the Eclipse factory in Dunstable (I will post later in a separate thread my experiences of the factory and all the trumpets I tried for those that are interested - I will just say for now that Leigh is a thoroughly decent and kind chap and I had a great 3-4 hours there!)
    All of his flugels played fantastically in tune - the intonation really does seem to be as spot on as it can possibly be. The valves are the best I have ever played (equally as good as the Taylor Chicago I have tried which was my previous best - the Eclipse are equal) The way the Eclipse Flugels centre each note is remarkable and I compared this to my Schilke B1 which I have to say I think is excellent at this as well but I have to say the Eclipse FLUGEL was slightly better. All his flugels have a traditional fluffy sound I think which is very nice but different to the Bobby Shew which I had liked the previous day. The Yellow was the brightest, but it was not bright, the red had a warmer core and was my personal favourite. The copper was very fluffy at the bottom and it played differently as you went through the registers. I have noticed this with copper bells before on other makes too that they don't play evenly in terms of tone throughout the registers like brass bells do.

    7. I was also lucky that a friend lent me his Kanstul Signature for a week. This had a much broader sound like a trombone. It was smooth and had good intonation as well.

    So my Flugel testing has probably drawn to a close and for me it is decision time (and I haven't made my mind up yet!) but it has been a lot of fun, which is exactly what it should be.

    Please feel free to add your comments and experiences and ask any questions.

    Best regards.
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE

    Sounds like the Shew or Eclipse!! Heck what a decsion.

    Have fun and see you September.


  3. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    While your out there tryin' flugels, ya ought to try the Zues Garnerius flugel. Mine is a copper bell, works great for me. Just a thought. Have fun.

  4. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I think you should try out the Getzen Eterna and then compare it amoung those you have tried. The Getzen has done me well over the years.
  5. trptbenge

    trptbenge Pianissimo User

    Jan 15, 2004
    What was the price difference between the Shew and the Eclipse? I played a Shew model last week and I was really surprised how well it played. A great sound and feel to it. I love the Conn's sound but it was not as near as comfortable as the Shew model.

  6. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    In the UK the retail prices for the Eclipse Flugel is £2000 and the Shew model is c.£1060.
  7. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Have you ever tried a Calicchio flugel?

    If you have the money, I'd bet that the Eclipse is WELL worth it. In my personal experience I'd go with the Eclipse. If you really didn't like it, I'd bet it would sell fast and then you could buy the Yamaha and have money left over for a new case and mpcs and other accessories with some $$ left over....
    Anyway, post back and let us know what you get and how it plays once you get to actually play it live!
  8. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    No I have never tried that model and I didn't get a chance to play the Kanstul CC or Getzen. I won't now be able to try any others out but I have played some great flugels and I know that whatever I pick I will be happy so whilst its a hard decision its a nice one to be have to make!
  9. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse. It blew me away at ITG.

    Calicchio? I didn't think their flugel was ready yet. When I spoke to them at ITG they were talking about later this year, if I recall correctly.

  10. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    Well Dave I have just ordered a new Eclipse Flugel! I have gone for the Savannah finish and have decided to go for traditional water keys, no pinkie ring on the bell as I don't use it (I think it will look cool without it too) and Leigh is adapting the 3rd trigger for me as I have smaller than average hands. Its the red bell - I am very excited and will let you all know how I get on once it has arrived and I have played it a bit. I am going to use the GR3FD mouthpiece which I hope will be a good match. I think Leigh is going to put some pics on his website once he has made it as I believe its the first Flugel he has done in Savannah. If Patrick reads this thanks for your pics of your Savannah trumpet and you are right - I only saw a bell finished in Savannah but in real life they are sooo gorgeous. Camelbrass - get ready for some flugel duets!!

    Best regards

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