I've recently bought a Bach Strad, 180ML-37. It's serial number 547xxx, and it plays well; maybe not the best Strad out there but certainly no grunter. I've been curious for a while about what it is that makes some good and some bad, so I decided to have a look inside it. I took it to work on Friday and used one of our fibrescopes to have a really good look, up the lead pipe, into the slides, into the tuning slide, into the valve cluster etc. What I found wasn't pretty, in fact it was surprisingly shoddy. I wouldn't have got away with that kind of workmanship in the first few weeks of my apprenticeship, let alone whilst being paid to do it as a proper job!... > Big solder over-runs in the joints, particularly in the tuning slide > A big burr on the inside of the spit valve hole > Joints that don't line up properly > Steps in the tubes at the joints > Surface cracks on the inside of tubes on the bends > Valves that don't line up with the tubes properly Makes me wonder what a trumpet that plays badly looks like on the inside.... Rich.