FrankenFLUGEL

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Heavens2kadonka, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Alright, I need a flugelhorn for next year. I don't have a lot of money for something shiny and new.

    I have found with frankenhorn trumpets, you can get an EXCELLENT horn for a really good price, normally less than a great used horn or around the same price.

    Here is the question for you gentlemen: Does it sound possible to get a great-sounding frankenflugel for less than or around $500?

    Van
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    7,029
    3,959
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    No. Not unless you find something used that is dirt cheap, although I highly recommend it if you can. (reference: thread asking about getting a C trumpet for college - given the choice between getting a fluglehorn and a C trumpet, knowing what I know now I would get the flugel every time.)

    You might be able to find a used Yamaha or Getzen that is beat up for fairly cheap, and then take it to a repair shop and throw a couple hundred bucks at it. It won't be pretty, but it will play well and have some charachter! :cool:
     
  3. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    1,527
    644
    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I think there's less frankenhorning that can be done with a flugelhorn. The tunable leadpipes are more horn-specific -- specifically, the outer diameter has to match the inner diameter of the receiver tube. About the only front-end change you can make would be to switch the type of mouthpiece receiver, and I doubt converting a Jupiter flugel to a French receiver (or from the French receiver, in case that's what it come with stock) would dramatically upgrade the horn. The wrap of the bells is also less standardized than trumpet bells. Bottom-sprung versus top-sprung valves change the bell wrap fairly dramatically. Add to this that flugel bores vary much more than trumpet bores, and I think you'll find a lot less part-interchangeability than with trumpets.

    For 500 bucks, I'd recommend looking for a solid, but ugly horn. Try to maximize the quality you can get by minimizing the aesthetics. Try every flugel you can get your hands on that's within your price range. Don't overlook Getzens (even from the dark era before the Getzen family bought the company back -- you never know when an unmotivated worker might have messed up and accidentally made a good horn), student Yamahas, even Holtons and DEGs. With flugelhorns, you really never know what will float your boat until you start trying them.

    The one mod I would recommend would be to get a third-valve tuning device, if you end up with a flugel not so equipped. Yamaha sells a trigger kit that works with most vertical-slide flugels, from what I've observed.
     
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    3,724
    758
    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    You 'need' a flugel or 'want' one?

    As an experimenter myself, if I wanted a flugel sound, but wanted it cheap I think I'd get an Olds Ambassador Cornet and modify it. You could add a custom heavyweight leadpipe, heavy caps and larger bore tuning slide, use a heavyweight mouthpiece and you would have a cheap, very warm sounding horn.

    Finding the parts to build an actual flugel seems much harder and costly.

    my 2c

    Greg
     
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I was figuring it would be much harder to get specialty axes for cheap.

    I could care less if the horn looks all that great, as long as it can PLAY!

    I don't necessarily NEED one, of course. Having one for jazz band would be nice though. I was also wanting to do Mahler's Posthorn with Flugel. Would sound great for a recital piece, no?

    Van
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    7,029
    3,959
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    This is a fantastic piece of advice. Don't overlook the DEG's either. I know a guy who had one, and while it isn't the best flugel that I have played, it was not by far the worst - it was pretty solid.

    Be ready to try any operating used flugel in $300 - $500 range (hopefully closer to $300) and give it to a good tech to work over. Chances are, if you can get a 3rd slide tuning conversion installed, you will have something decent if the right guy does some hand tweaking.
     
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Okay, as I have been thinking more and more about this, I have a small, maybe slightly out-there idea.

    Who here has any experience with the OLDER, European rotary Flugels/posthorns? Are these horn worth acquiring and getting back in playing shape, or are they glorified lamps?

    Playing a vintage rotary for a recital would be VERY cool.

    ...Of course, I am probably just looking at this notion through rose colored glasses. :D

    Van
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    7,029
    3,959
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I borrowed a rotary flugel from a guy for a gig once (the "request" was to play Ave Maria on flugel) and I ended up leaving it in the case and playing the tune on Bb trumpet instead. This was for a friend's wedding and I explained to him that while I could make it happen on the flugel, it wasn't going to be a stellar performance and that it would probably sound better on trumpet anyway, to which he agreed.

    Needless to say, I didn't think much of rotary flugel, although I can't even tell you the make or model.

    Of course, my buddy is now divorced and it's probably all my fault! :shock:
     
  9. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    One of my band mates recently bought a Winston flugel for 75 bucks used. He can make that horn sound really good. The sound is more like a trombone, though. Maybe I will look into the cheaper, less-renowned horn makers.

    I'm still holding out for a good opinion on rotary euro fluges. SOMEONE'S gotta have a decent opinion on them....? :lol:

    Van
     
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    3,418
    375
    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    Jimmy Owens has played an Alexander rotary flugel for many years, and so has Claudio Roditi.
    Wilmer
     

Share This Page