How do you "consider" a horn you've never played?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by amzi, Jul 24, 2013.


    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    When you walk into the music store (or online), it starts talking to you. "Buy me, buy me. No not that one, ME."!!! :roll:
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I just remembered (duh) that I bought another horn without trying it... there was a 48B Vocabell hanging on the wall of the local music store, mislabeled "student trumpet", for $75. I snatched that thing off the wall in an instant and had it out of the store and paid for semi-immediately.

    I ended up trading it for a 12-B Coprion because I didn't like it... but in this case, playing it wouldn't have made any difference at all.

  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    You traded up in my opinion! :D
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    See, this is the great thing about being a regular member of TM.
    You get a pretty good idea what the trumpet community thinks about various horns.
    And you learn a lot about what to be careful about when being a horn off ebay.

    The knowledge I've gained here has allowed me to be very pleased with nearly all my ebay purchases.

    Out of the 20+ horns I've bought online I can only recall 2 cases where I was disappointed and it was because I didn't
    do what I know I should, that being never buy without at least seeing decent pictures - so the horns were in bad shape
    and the seller lied.

    I have never had a case where I bought a new or well preserved horn and was disappointed in how it played, because I just
    don't buy horns that others on TM have raised concerns about. For example, I have never bought a Strad because of the common
    view on TM that it is a crap shoot as to whether you get a good player or a dog.

    Another example is that folks in the know about Conn trumpets say their designs / quality peaked in the 50's.
    So when I wanted my 10A Victor tat was what I looked for on ebay. When I bought one in cherry shape and played it
    the opinions on TM were confirmed - that being it is a high quality, great playing horn with excellent valves.

    Not sure if this helps the OP, but it's how I've done.

  6. jimc

    jimc Mezzo Piano User

    May 21, 2009
    Spokane, WA USA
    When first coming back after a 10-year hiatus I bought a second horn, but only because it was an opportunity to rescue it and keep it in the family. I couldn't tell the difference between my Conn 17B Director and this Benge/Martin pro (by definition: it was Mic Gillette's axe for 3 years) horn, and I knew I surely didn't need or deserve a better horn at that time. Now, 20 years later, I can sure tell a difference, but (and here's the point) I'm not sure I could quantify why I like the Mange so much more. I think I'm stuck at the "I like" vs "not so much" stage of comparative evaluation, but that's perhaps good enough for me. I'm not really looking for anything better, I've got a lot of room to grow. I wouldn't mind spending some quality time with a Wild Thing, Flip let me play his a teensy bit recently, but it's really hard to justify something like that. Not yet, anyway.

    Every descriptive term I've heard can either be interpreted as good or bad, or has a reasonable synonym that could mean the opposite in terms of desirability. I suppose that's at the root of why we tend to find somebody we really like the sound of, and then play their equipment. We know that equipment is capable of what we want, we just don't know if it's the best choice for us.
  7. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Have you checked out Hornucopia in San Marcos CA? (1549 Laurel St). I have only been in once, but it was enough that I purchased sight unseen from them a Conn 36B and a Conn 80A. Both were in superb shape. Don't know, but I think they may have a few (or more) pro-level horns. Take BART to the international terminal of the airport and then a short cab ride....
  8. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    That story about a trumpet finding the player - absolutely true. I had the most amazing thing happen to me today. About ten years ago, when I was living in Dublin, I saw a Benge #7 in a shop window. Went in, tried it, loved it, asked the price. 3,000 Euros. Too damn expensive for me and the hooter. Came back three months later, noted down the serial number, asked the price. Still 3k Euros. Left the shop, came back another three months later. By this time, the shop owner had retired and had handed over the whole outfit to his son. Asked the price of the Benge - 3,500 Euros. Sorry?? "That's the price - take it or leave it." Left the hooter there. came back another four or five months later. No price change. That game continued until 2009, when I left Ireland to live in Austria. Did not spend another thought on the Benge #7 gathering cobwebs in Dublin.
    And today... well, I'm perforce staying near Munich, as my 84-year-old mum is down with dementia and has only very recently been confined in a mental hospital after an attempt at suicide. Got a phone call from a friend: "We need you for a gig." - "OK - when?" - "Tonight". Damn. All my hooters are in Vienna, about 300 miles away. Phoned Gerd Dowids - on holiday. Tried a few trumpet friends - on holiday. Phoned Franz Josef Traut, the instrument restorer: "Can you lend me a horn for tonight?" - "Sure - just pop along."
    I popped along, had to wait a few moments for him to come into the shop. On the counter - a Benge #7. Tried it out - wonderful. "What do you want for it?" - "Give me 200, and it's yours." - Paid, took the hooter home. Checked the serial number - seemed somewhat familiar. Turned the whole house upside down for a little sheet of notepaper with the serial # of the Dublin Benge 7. IDENTICAL. Got hysterics. Phoned Traut: "Where did you get the hooter?" - "Oh, that's a thing a friend of mine picked up in Dublin on holiday, at the bankruptcy sale of a music shop. He got it for fifty, but he doesn't really want it - he's a trombone player."

    And so now that Benge 7 is sitting where it was meant to be... right beside me. I've played it for almost three hours already, and it's wonderful... guess I won't sell that in a hurry!!!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Sorry to hear of you Mom's sickness - just sad!

    Moving on...what a great story! Congrats on that horn "landing in your lap"! Wow, just wow!

    That story reminds of a common one in the US - some guy retires and has an old car (not a classic, just old, say a 1977 Buick) that
    he's had since new and refuses to part with it at any price. The guy dies and the children end up selling a like new car that was pampered
    for years, but is nearly worthless, for $1000 if they are lucky.
  10. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 20, 2013
    Syracuse, NY
    Thought I'd throw in my two cents, since buying used, untested horns on my trumpet safari has turned me into somewhat of a horse trader. I try to do as much deep research as possible about a horn that I have set my sights on. I try to read as much as I can, from professional reviews and endorsements to end user reviews on sites like this one and that *other* trumpet forum. I know what I am looking for, and if my research shows a particular horn as a potential matchup, then I will try to track one down online using all the usual tools (Craigslist, eBay, etc...)

    So I buy, get a tracking number, and get all giddy, like its Christmas Eve or something, waiting for my new toy to arrive. And so it does... I creep around the bend of my street, peering at my front door from the driver's seat to hopefully catch a glimpse of the most beautiful site in the world that a trumpet freak can behold... A brown, rectangular box.

    From there, I can actually play it with different mouthpieces, see how I like it, and make a decision about keeping it. Like many of you, I don't live in a major city with access to big shops with large selections of pro trumpets. I have been fortunate enough to buy and try some really fantastic horns, and at least get my investment out of the ones that I decided to sell. I would have to make a trip to Boston or NYC to really have an opportunity to try a variety if new instruments.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013

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