How to (not?) buy a new "superhorn"

Discussion in 'Horns' started by pwillini, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI

    If you've followed any of musings here in the last several months, you've followed my quest to find a new "superhorn" to play in church and to expand my ministry. This is a bit of follow-up to what's been happening in my search.

    My horn search has centered around a sound I've wanted while playing in small church sanctuaries, 300-500 people. I've had a great time looking at WWBW at the Schilkes they carry, that was my first stop. My second was my friend, who owns 50+ horns, including, at the time, a NY Strad, a NY Mercury, Chicago, Burbank and LA Benges, pre-war Selmers, a Rudy Muck Citation, a Callet Bb Symphonique, etc. I've tried all his name horns and some more obscure ones. I found a sound I wanted to develop a bit more in the Chicago Benge. I tried Flip's Wild Thing that Tom Turner is touring around the country and fell in love! I want it, but continued my search as I saved the $$$$ I'd need to make this dream come true.

    I wanted a sound that was a bit darker than I could get with the silver horns I tried, though Flip's, in silver, has me excited. I am currently trying Felix's Stage 1 trumpet, from New York Trumpet Company. I wanted to play a ZeuS Olympus but didn't know where to find one. I talked to Alex and tried to find someone in SW Michigan who had one. I'm about to go nuts trying to find just the sound I want, going all over the place with my mouthpiece safari, trying all I have in all the horns I got my hands on.

    Finally I got a chance, this week to play an Olympus. I met Alex, who allowed me to play 3 differently finished Olympuses. Man, am I getting tired of hearing how this horn does this, that horn doesn't do that, etc. I just want to find the sound I want to play!

    :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: I've got it, my mind is made up :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:

    I'm going to buy a :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Get in touch with someone local who has an Eclipse, preferably the Medium Red and give that a shot. Plays like a Schilke, sounds much more rich and resonant.
  3. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    mmm, the Large Red, I love that horn. Shame I don't have 3 grand layin' around...
  4. eoliver

    eoliver Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    Have you tried the Galileo trumpets from Germany? I tried a couple at an ITG conference a couple of years ago, and was really impressed. Check out their website:

    I thought they were nice and dark. But to each his own.
  5. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

    Nov 17, 2003
    It's VERY difficult to try a bunch of horns AND a bunch of pieces...all at the same time! :? To say the least just one of those two items is a challenge! IMO...FWIW...settle on a mouthpiece (or two) that you feel comfortable with...that you think will allow you to; (1) do what you want and (2) achieve the sound that you're after...THEN go find the horn that will complete the equation! 8) I find that keeping this stuff as simple as possible yields more rewards & you get there MUCH faster. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your search!

  6. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Thanks Butch. As everyone gives me their 2 cents worth (which was one of the ideas behind this post) I can keep collecting to buy the horn!

    Actually, I have settled on 2 mouthpieces, I generally play a Warburton 5SV/4 or a gold Wick 3E. The WB helps brighten when I need it, the Wick is a good all around piece with some mellow at the end. These 2 were my basic test pieces but I had my full arsenal with me as I tried the horns. Most all of my trials lasted 7-15 days (fortunate was I!) I got to play around as I got used to the horn to try and develop my sound. It was fun, as I kept the horns in my restaurant to play early, before we open, or later in the afternoon as we slowed before dinner. Amazing how no matter what piece I played it always sounded better when I played in the afternoon. That afternoon practice is how I gauged what sound the combo produced.

    I have had a great time on this particular safari. Thank goodness I didn't have to buy the horns to try them all. I really appreciated Flip and Tom doing what they did, then Felix sent me his horn to do the same thing. My friend's extensive collection gave me access to some horns most of us will never see by themselves, much less have a chance to compare side by side. Thus, I've learned a great deal about what makes a QUALITY horn. It is that quality, not necessarily the cost of the horn that has dictated my search parameters. It is this quality that has led me to choose....................... :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

    :p :p :p
  7. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Peyton, it sounds like you need an all around Chameleon horn. Might I suggest a look at the old Conn Constellations? Easy to blow; tremendous power and projection; you can change the sound by changing the mouthpieces---the Connies can play very dark or they can be real bright paint peelers. Find one on e-bay, get the horn restored the way you want it to be and save a lot of money over the modern superhorns.
    Just a thought!
  8. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI

    I tried my friend's 1958 Conny, these are the ones that are supposed to have the Coprian bells and leadpipes. I hated it! Stuffy horn, no matter what mouthpiece I tried and couldn't get any consisitancy in the timbre. I've heard there are those who love these horns and those that hate them. I tried his with an open mind and left with a very sour taste, not to mention sound.

    But the Coprian bell did peak my interest and made me look at :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Are we supposed to guess :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

    The Coprian bells came on the Conn Directors. They could be stuffy. Actually, the Coprian bells on the Conn Director bones played very well. A Coprian bell -- hmmm.

    Out of the horns you mentioned, there is really only one that comes with a great looking copper bell (others can be ordered that way). Built by the same company that builds the Wild Thing. A nice dark horn, with a good response, limited bracing -- easily be a cameleon. A big bore horn with a big bell.

    That would be:

  10. eoliver

    eoliver Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    Is that a kanstul 1500 with a reverse leadpipe?

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