Got my trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SFPat, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Until you can tell the difference playing it, I wouldn't think the price difference is justified. As long as a beginner has something that is half way playable, then that is what is important. You just don't want a horn to hold someone back. As a person gets better, they begin to notice the sublties of the horn. My own son started on my old 1962 Olds Super trumpet -a pro horn. However, because it was lacquer worn, when he played the shiny "junk" of the other kids, he thought theirs was better.

    Again, the price is justified -at least to me -only if the player can really note the difference. That usually happens only when students perform at the upper intermediate playing level. Also, while equipment may help one extend ones abilities -a real pro can pick up about anything and make it sing.
     
  2. dpa10

    dpa10 New Friend

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    Thanks Steve,

    I guess I should ask what it is that those that can hear it do hear, then.
     
  3. SFPat

    SFPat Pianissimo User

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    The bundy I got is more than adequate for my son, and even for me as I start my comeback. The valves and slides move freely, it slots well and the tone is good. I've enjoyed playing it. When, and if, he requires a better horn, then I'll get him one, but only after he has demonstrated the desire to stay with the trumpet (say two years from now when he is first chair in his high school band). I rented an oboe for my daughter when she started playing a few years ago (wanted to do something beyond piano). She is now a freshman in college on an oboe scholarship. Time to get her a better instrument (I wish I could find a good used one reasonably priced).
     
  4. Bruin

    Bruin Pianissimo User

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    SFPat, I agree with MFfan (Dave) - great choice! I owned a '67 Ambassador that was a wonderful player.

    DPA10, there are certainly some fantastic playing entry level horns out there today, including the ones listed in my signature and in the Getzen line; and some say in the Yamaha line as well (2335).

    Different strokes for different folks. Some recreational players, even those who don't have any plans to play live gigs, still enjoy their experience of owning a beautifully crafted pro horn, and I think that's great. Do/can they all appreciate the differences between them and a fine entry level horn? Maybe, maybe not. But, that apparently doesn't matter to some. Life's short, man. Ya gotta have fun whenever and however you can, and I'm glad that my chi-chi pro trumpet owning brethren are having a good time doing what they're doing. :-)

    And, I'd have to say "yes" to your last question. Although my Kanstul 700 is an outstanding playing horn, when I took it down to the Kanstul showroom and compared it to their 1600, 1537, and "X" models, I could feel and hear the difference -- I sounded and played better on them than on my 700. Whether this differential commands an additional $1G remains an individual decision.

    Herb
     
  5. dpa10

    dpa10 New Friend

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    Sep 15, 2009
    Thanks for your answer, Herb.
    It sounds like it is a subtle distinction in the sound, similiar to a high-end guitar and a good playing but inexpensive guitar.

    So of course a very good player would appreciate the subtleties and pass it on the his/her audience.

    I'm guessing Wynton Marsalis or James Morrison would still sound awesome on an inferior horn to what they normally play.

    It does sound like a lot of it is just the cachet of playing a certain brand.

    I know people with $3,000 guitars that gig with their $500 models.
    I appreciate your honest and direct observations.
    Thanks.

    My limitation is certainly not my horn. :-(
     
  6. Bruin

    Bruin Pianissimo User

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    Hey, DPA10, you're welcome and as proof that great players can sound awesome on the most modest of horns, Freddie Hubbard, Don Cherry, Mike Vax, Lee Morgan, and likely other pros all played Olds Ambassadors at some point in their careers. You know, the same horn that SFPat just bought for $72? And, I've been told that the trumpet player touring in Ricky Martin's band chooses to play a Kanstul 700, like the one I own.

    Funny story: I once recorded a song using my kids' $199 Casio keyboard and its built-in programs, and uploaded it to mp3.com (when it was still free) just for fun. That song was placed in a Miramax movie and an episode of a Lifetime weekly series, and I am still earning royalties from it. So, "gear" standing in the way of ones success is hard to believe these days. And, believe me that my horns in no way stand in the way of my success, but my chops do! :-)
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I know that we all like the myth of awesome for cheap, but it just ain't true. Decent for cheap yes. There are many aspects of a pro horn that you will only notice when you have decent chops and rooms where it makes a difference. The difference is not "subtle"

    A student horn made 30 or 40 years ago, is just an old student horn. Its first advantage is that it is cheap. The second if reasonably well taken care of, is that it is well built. If the previous owner did not oil every day that they played, you have serious valve wear to deal with.
     
  8. Bruin

    Bruin Pianissimo User

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    Hi, rowuk. I know you really know your stuff as I've enjoyed reading your many insightful posts in the past, including this one. But, allow me to pose a question here: I've always believed that the point of owning a particular horn (or any instrument for that matter) is to sound awesome (or as near as we can come to that level). But, this doesn't always necessitate that the horn itself be of superior or "awesome" quality or build, but that the interaction between that player and the horn produces an awesome result, right? I mean, even getting a PVA (precision valve alignment) should enhance the horn's playability, but yet some folks prefer the pre-alignment qualities of their horn and have the technician return it to its pre-alignment specs. So, "better" is not always so, at least to some.

    I've also read here and elsewhere of some players owning entry level horns as well as chi-chi pro horns, yet they prefer playing the former at gigs. The player-horn interaction/relationship can be so individualized that it's not surprising that some prefer one horn over another, despite the latter's reported "superiority."

    Am I totally off here, rowuk, that the peculiarities or characteristics of some "decent" horns can be preferred by some players, over superior horns that perhaps don't have those same characteristics for that particular player? I guess what I'm trying to ask here, in short, is does the definition of "awesome" or "decent" depend on each player to some extent?
     
  9. operagost

    operagost Forte User

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    I can say with great certainty that the most important difference between junk and good trumpets today is the valve action. There are others, but it doesn't take a professional musician to hear when valves are sticking. As far as electric guitars, the $300 ones have noisier pickups, the switches and knobs are less durable, and sometimes the quality of the necks and bridges are inferior.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Bruin,
    throughout the years I have played and owned MANY horns. I often have my students play a lesson on which ever one I happen to have with me that day. This gives me a scope to hear what a pro horn in the hands of a student does compared to their own instruments (that they are more familiar with).

    Almost never does my horn sound better in the hands of someone who doesn't put a fair amount of practice time in. That holds true for the Bach, Monette, Selmer, Heckel rotary or any of my other instruments.

    When I play their horns during those lessons, I can check the reverse situation. In no cases did I not sigh for relief when I had my horns again.

    The question is why? A pro horn responds much differently, I feel it talks back to me in ways that give me more clues about what my audience is getting. My horns are more predictable and consistent when playing at different dynamic levels. When I play a crescendo, they get louder instead of suddenly breaking up and distorting. The sound has a vibrance at piano that those inexpensive horns do not have.

    Student horns can give students with moderate practice habits their personal best sound and playing. Those that spend more time earning things reap the benefits of a more dynamic and responsive instrument. I consider moving to a pro horn too early to not be of benefit to the student. I always talk to the parents of my young students to resist the urge to do something "special" for the kids without talking to me first.

    Just like the suspension and clutch on a true sports car are much "stiffer" for performance reasons, the playing qualities of a pro horn only really come alive when the front end has done their homework!

    A true comparison needs the right chops and a good room to really highlight the differences. I would even bet that many "lazy" players could sound better by downgrading their hardware and changing to a "standard" mouthpiece.
     

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