Flugelhorn Advice

Discussion in 'Horns' started by ScreaminRaider, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. ScreaminRaider

    ScreaminRaider Piano User

    Apr 22, 2004
    San Antonio, Tx
    I am buying a flugel in januray, but I haven't yet decided on one. Right now I am leaning towards the Kanstuls. What does everybody think? What would everybody suggest? I am looking for something that is perfect for that small club atmosphere, but can survive in a big band setting also. Thanks

  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    JW, the Kanstuls are wonderful horns. I actually prefer the Custom Class because its tone is not near so dark as the 1525. The 1525 inhabits the dark end of the flugelhorn tone spectrum. I prefer the lighter end of the spectrum

    The Yamaha 631 and 731s are great "middle of the road" flugels. The Yamaha Shew, Vintage One and the new small bore Getzen occupy the light end of the spectrum.

    The V1 has a very interesting and unique tone. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's the combination of a small .413" bore with a really large bell. You need to try the V1 before you make a decision.

    My favorite is the Eclipse yellow-brass flugel, but that's considerably more expensive than all the horns we're discussing here.

  3. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    love my lawler.
  4. Kanstul-Krazy

    Kanstul-Krazy New Friend

    Apr 18, 2004
    York, PA

    You're gonna have to play the different Kanstul models. So far, I've been able to try the Chicago with a copper bell, Custom Class with a copper bell, Custom Class with the standard brass bell, and the Signature 1525 with the copper bell. ALL have a different sound to them and only playing them for yourself is going to help you in making your mind up.

    I personally own a Custom Class Flugel with a copper bell and silver plated. This set up enables me to play various kinds of music and cover nearly all the bases within an acceptable tolerance. Another words, this axe plays well enough to get along with the different types of music and groups I play with.

    I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, "what is my may intent on playing this horn for?". I know you mentioned bigband in your original post. For that gig, I'd say either the Custom Class with an optional added on copper or the Signature as made with its copper bell. REMEMBER, Kanstul can put whatever bell material you want on thier horns.

    If you're looking for something that's a little more easy to tote around from gig to gig, maybe doing jazz stuff, then the Chicago might be your axe. Again, to darken it, add a copper bell.

    As far as the Signature goes, it's got a DARK sound. It's even a bit darker than my Custom Class with a copper bell. It does a real nice job on the Bigband gig. My boss (PC King of PiCK Music) owns and plays one of these, she swears by them.

    Bottom line, you gotta play them in order to find out what you're after.

    Wish you all the luck!
  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    I love my Wild Thing. It's the only fluglehorn that has bested the '72 Couesnon that I bought new while in an Army band . . . and I've played a ton of fluglehorns through the years!

    People look at their flugelhorns two ways:

    1. I'm just gonna use it as a "doubling" instrument so I don't need a good one.

    or . . .

    2. When I'm playing a gig my reputation is judged on every horn so each one I perform on must be great.

    I fall in the latter category. I don't want any horn on my rack that's gonna let me down or hold me back in any way.

    The WT has that classic Couesnon sound but with the accuracy of a Wild Thing on each and every note. The horn slots accurately past double C, each note feels like it's "step" is identical in height and width and the blow from the petals through the stratoshpere is seamless and extremely even. The intonation is stunning for a fluglehorn too . . . it is absolutely perfect.

    A lot of time was spent before Flip finally put his on the market. He'd already designed one of the flugles made by the company that made his about 17 years ago. That one was based on the Queenie. His new flugle though is based on the original F. Besson flugle!

    Lots of experimentation was done on bracing designs and placement, bell flares, etc. to make sure the WT flugle was NOT tubby, yet buttery rich. Most flugles end up either being bright . . . or they get tubby on the bottom. After several years of rumors that it would be debuted shortly, the WT fluglehorn finally came out about two years ago . . . and only after Flip FINALLY was completely satisfied.

    It's quite a horn!


    Tom Turner
  6. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    The Kanstul Signature is a lovely flugel. A friend lent me his for a week and I liked it very much. It has a very smooth buttery feel to it but it is also very broad sounding as well as dark (some describe this as a little tromboney but it has loads of character). The intonation was OK and the valves are OK, but IMO not the best.

    I went for the Eclipse red eventually which for me was head and shoulders above any of the others I tried and I like it every bit as much as Tom likes his Wild Thing (I didn't manage to test one of those or the Kanstul CC). I did try the Conn Vintage 1, B and S, Bach Strad, Yamaha Bobby Shew and Yamaha 731, Kanstul Signature and Eclipse with the 3 bell configurations - red, yellow and copper and had a great time. I posted a review of my findings on this site so you can do a search for it if you want.

    You must try a few out as they really all do have very different characters and it's different strokes for different folks!...but if you like a big broad dark flugel sound the Signature could be just what you are looking for.

    Hope this helps,

  7. old geezer

    old geezer Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    If you are looking for a less expensive horn please try the B&S flugal. my wife and I went on a quest about a month ago and tried many horns (Blessings,Jupiter,Bach,Yamaha,ect.),we even wasted a day and traveled to wwbw in S. Bend. the last several times we have gone there we were very disapointed at their lack of knowledge and lack of stock. we went to our local Sam Ash store and tried every thing they had. The cheap Jean Baptiste was terrible but their top of the line J.B. was the best flugal we had tried. it had a rich flugal sound and was the most in tune flugal we had tried . we even bargained with them and got a discount on the horn. when we got it home I noticed it came with a B&S mouthpiece and cleaning cloth. we had taken our own mouthpiece to try the horns so I didn't know what mouthpiece came with it. we did not try the V-1 or Kanstul line because wwbw could not find any in there store room so I can't comment on them,but I will tell you the horn we bought was about 1/2 the cost of those horns. I reall don't care to buy a horn just for the name,it has to fit me and my playing needs. as I said give the top of the line Jean Baptiste a chance (it won't cost a penney to try. old geezer Dave :cool:
  8. blutch

    blutch Pianissimo User

    Dec 25, 2004
    Oklahoma City

    What do y'all think is the best flugal for more legit applications? I often have to play very precise flugal parts in quintet and large brass ensemble settings. The 25 year old Yamaha is ok, but wondering if there is a better choice for that specific application.

  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    How about a newer Yamaha? I have heard great things about the Conn Vintage One Flugel!

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