How Easy a Horn Resonates like a tuning Fork???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lovevixen555, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    Ok so I have 4 trumpets that I decided to test today.

    Eastman 301 Student Trumpet Made in China for Eastman. It is a rental my son started off playing flute but wanted to play trumpet. We did not have time to find him one online before band started this year so we are renting until the end of December.While the build quality and fit and finish appear to be as good as any American made trumpet I suspect the materials. First it is easy to play I am preety sure I could get a cow to hit a perfect G and C in a matter of minutes on it. It does not project very well though. It has great compression. THe valves are OK but it is brand new as well so what do you expect. When you strike the bell it sound dead and does not resonate more of a thumb and then nothing after that.So while it is a nice piece to look at with it's laq. brass and nickle and silver I suspect the brass is either low grade or thicker then tank armour. Oh Marshall's Music has the nerve to list this trumpet's purchase price at $925.LOL Oh I wanted to mention that after a month or two of use the valves look like my 1968 Reynolds Medalist valves in terms of wear. The Eastman Monel valves must be super thin.

    The next trumpet is a $50 Holton 602 from the 1970's to 1980'sthat I bought off Ebay. It is built like a tank and the build quality and fit and finish are top notch even though it is not fancy or anything. The valves where so filthy when I got it that their was a 1/4 of sludge on the bottom cap's. I had to scrub the valves with copper rifle bore cleaner and lighter fluid. It took 2 hours of scrubing to get that trumpet clean.In spite of this the valves still look like new and function great!! In fact they function better then the new eastman and feel better as well. The compression is identical to the new Eastman. It play's better thent he Eastman in terms of intonation,slotting and timber. When you strike the bell you get some resonateing but still nothing to write home to mom about.

    The next trumpet is a 1968 Reynolds Medalist made in Abiliene Texas. It too is built like a tank with heavy braceing and tubeing is Olds Ambasador thick like with Nickle Silver tuneing slide sections etc.....The tubeing on this model definately is more conical then the first two models.The trumpet's bell has a much more gradual flair then the first two models as well. This is my practice and beat around trumpet. If I am going to take a trumpet camping this is the one I take for myself etc....... When you strike the bell it is like you are strikeing a a cymball. You get a repeatable tone that resonates for a while and is very crisp and brite. I am sure that this resonateing feature combined with the increased amount of conical tubeing and much higher grade of materials is why this trumpet sounds so great for Jazz. It is darker and more mellow then most trumpets but not so extreme as to be confused for a Cornet. It has great projection. It slot's well etc.......

    I am getting a new to me blessing light weight artist model in Bb. I will test it and see how it does in terms of the resonateing versus, intonation,slotting,dark or bright, etc........ My theory is that the more like a tunning fork the bell of a trumpet is the more versitil it will be in being able to reproduce dark or bright timber's and the better it's projection for any give amount of air flow. If this holds true then strikeing the bell of a trumpet when out shopping for a new one might well give you an idea of what it will sound like before you even place it up to your lips.

    If this has already been covered then I appoligise. I am just now thinking of things that I never really gave any thought to when I was a younger man. This would though explain why ultra thin shaved down bell's seem to project better and sound brighter.... I think that over all the lighter you can make the trumpet outside of the lead pipe and valve caseing the more responsive it will be to what your lips are doing. So if you are trying to sound dark it will sound darker and if you are trying to sound bright it will sound brighter. So now the race to make the tubeing thinner and thinner. I am also woundering why with mandrel tube bending and shapeing machinery that is all CNC why we have not taken a close look at the conical versus cylindrical tubeing idea a bit more. Instead of haveing a fixed ratio of conical to cylindrical we should be looking at continiously conical tubeing. So what you would have would be continious progression for the entire 1.5 meters of tubeing that makes up a trumpet. In this way you would have less transitional air distrubances. Since the air colum is the heart of the sound and the tubeing is their to serve the air colum's needs why not take the trumpet into this era of technology. It could only improve the sound of the trumpet. Yamaha has already proven that machines can make a great trumpet and all the best things are usualy CNC manufactured from race engines to target rifles....

    I have some idea's for improveing mouth pieces as well but they will not work with the current way they are manufactured since I am not useing a round hole through the shank. The shank can be round but what I want to do is use a "D" shaped thraot that is tapered the flat of the "D" would face down. The rest of the mouth piece would stay the same initialy while I worked out a few other idea's. This would give you more velocity to your air colum for the same amount of effort and volume as a round tapered throat. Ihave all kinds of little idea's like this to improve many instruments. THe problem is that most intruments and their part's are still made with 1800's technology. Really their has not been anything new happen to the trumpet in over a 100 year's. What do we have, reversed lead pipe, remove some braceing, add some braceing, different size leadpipe, changeable bell's nothing really has changed but their is a lot of techology and science that was not around 100 year's ago.
  2. BrassOnLine

    BrassOnLine Piano User

    Nov 22, 2007
    Metal standards are quite different from one country to other.
    I.E.: European standard for brass is Copper 70%, Zinc 30%
    In the USA Brass is Copper 69,5%, Zinc 29,5% and Tin 1%
    Who knows which is the Chinese standard...
    For those that never had worked on brass: as much lead or tin in the composition of brass, as much easy to work with.
    By the other side, as much lead or tin in the brass, as dead is the sound when "click" on the bell.
    At the TrumpetGearHead (Jim Donaldson's web) You would be able to find a good resource on better and worst trumpets, used and new. Very good guide, easy to understand.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    A ringing bell is NOT a sign of quality. It is merely a design parameter that can be massaged to give a specific end product.
    If valves are properly oiled, then it does not matter how thick the monel is. When monel valves are properly fitted at the factory, they are honed and have lots of microgrooves to lower the contact area between valve and casing. The valves and casing have to be bone dry before oiling as oil floats on water and thus cannot bond to the metal. If not properly oiled, the microgrooves get worn off (monel is soft) and the valves get shiny. So to turn the situation around, proper oiling keeps the microgrooves longer. Valve wear is ALWAYS a sign of maintenance not manufacturing!

    It is unfair to compare the action of new and used valves. Worn valves have more play and therefore less contact surface. They should be "faster" at the cost of less compression.

    I am sorry to inform you that a ringing bell actually projects less into the room. The reasoning is easy: any energy that can escape through the bell does not end up at the audiences ears. The more the bell rings, the LESS projection. The player thinks that everything is hot because they hear themselves better (the ringing off of the bell).

    There are studies on the effects of conical to cylindrical tubing. The trumpet and trombone are a cylindrical instruments by nature. Horns are conical. You lose brilliance and projection when too conical. The sound also develops completely differently. Any trumpet player that has a rotary valved horn realizes this very quickly. The rotary has a higher proportion of cylindrical tubing and for many things a more favorable sonic stamp.

    I would be interested in the mathematics of a D shaped throat. Velocity is based on a change in cross section, not the shape. Velocity in the mouthpiece is of no great interest anyway. Sound production is not DC like a garden hose with everything moving in one direction. It is an AC event meaning that the sound wave is set up in the horn and moves back and forth.

    As far as nothing happening in the last 100 years, this is simply not true. Sure we are still using brass tubing and bending it into a more or less fixed shape. Current techniques allow for a much more uniform spread of the metal when bending it. With proper care, a high degree of uniformity is possible (Yamaha is #1 in consistency here). The tolerances in slides and valves are tighter than ever before.

    The biggest problem for development of new instruments is the player. There are only a couple of horns that you can own if you want a symphonic job. Very little experimentation is permitted. For the NY Phil, a Bach or Yamaha C was SPECIFIED.

    If you are interested in innovation, take a look at the Monette site. Dave takes liberties that few others are willing to risk. The differences are technical in nature and that leads in most of his products, to a non-standard sound. He is not taking the trumpet world by storm, but probably paving the way for gradual change everywhere else. His newest creation is something between a flugelhorn and an old F-trumpet. Yamaha also challenges the status quo with the Xeno series. Definitely not "standard".

    I see no current technology of use that is not being used in the manufacture of trumpets. We have everything from handmade by artisans to stamped in an automobile factory with everything in between.

    I have a rotary valved horn that was built in 1938. It plays fantastically and has everything it takes to play first trumpet in a modern symphony orchestra. Just maybe the concept is mature and the necessary differences are only a matter of taste and not technology. I am not sure that a revolutionary breakthrough is even possible, unless our sound concept changes dramatically.
    Stile442 likes this.
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Where are you located in Michigan?

    perhaps I could help....

  5. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    The resonance of the bell when struck is as much a function of the temper of the metal as the alloy. Bach's don't ring much because they are annealed (heat treated) to be dead soft. Same for Monettes and yellow brass and bronze bell Schilke's. The theory is that the energy stays in the standing wave instead of being dissipated vibrating the metal. Ditto for heavy braces and thicker walls.

    If I were you I would go with the Holton.
  6. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    I've played several of the "Eastman Winds" horns. I'm not sure if these are the same horns, but they played quite nicely. The C version played quite well, far better than some of the Bach's that I've played. These horns are essentially Bach copies, I was told, and they certainly looked to be. Chinese horns are really starting to come around. They're certainly not all good, but a few very select companies have been producing horns that are competitive to other brands, as many were produced under the guidance of other professionals. A good horn all around is a classic Olds Ambassador, if your son is in need of something durable and reliable.
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    The Holton, Reynolds are very good horns. The Blessing would be my second choice. the Eastman? I would try to find a good player to try it out. every horn I've played from China, India or Pakistan would make nice lamps. I'm been very concerned for a long time that these horns are out there and unsuspecting parents are buying them for their children. I played one last week at a middle school where I did a clinic. As soon as I pushed a valve down, the horn became very stuffy with a very poor tone. Unless a company like Yamaha is controlling production I would stay away from these horns. yamaha has their student horns made in China but they control the quality control.

    As for how a trumpet and mpc are made. there are reasons they are made the way they are. it's called acoustic physics. A wheel is round for a reason!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  8. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    Yeah, I was gonna say that my Strad sounds like you're flicking an empty pop can when you flick it.:-P
    And it's a great horn.

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