I Don't Like Mt. Vernons!

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Groovyhorn, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. Groovyhorn

    Groovyhorn New Friend

    Nov 10, 2003

    This week I have an appointment with someone who is selling his Mount Vernon (1960). He's asking $ 3000,= for this totally overhauled instrument. Although I don't want to pay this price, I'm very curious how it plays. I have the pictures and it looks as a new one.
    Can you tell me the differences (for you) in response, tone, intonation etc. What are the things that you don't like.
    I've read that the modern Bachs are just the same as the older ones, except the bell. When the factory was moved to Elkhart they changed the manufacturing process of the bell. That should be the main reason for that particulary Mount Vernon sound.
  2. Zachary Music

    Zachary Music New Friend

    Nov 10, 2003
    I know what you mean trptmaster. I hate them too. :mrgreen:

    Groovyhorn, before you spend $3000 get in touch with any of the ZeuS dealers and give a ZeuS G a test ride. Better fasten your seatbelts. She is a wild one.
    For $3000 you can pick up a matched set of a ZeuS Bb and C or a Bb and Flugelhorn.

    Or, wait for the SuperZeuS to arrive shortly. Stay tuned right here for the announcements.

  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Groovy horn I will write more about this later but wanted to give a quick response. I find them to be stuffy! I much prefer the feel and blow of a "new" 37. This is just one man's opinion. Some people love these instruments for their playing characteristics. I do not. Also I don't like playing a horn with out a 1st valve hook. One could always be added and this isn't the main reason but I don't want to play a horn where I can't adjust the first valve slide. More later.


  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    That's just part of it. Back in January I received a very detailed answer to the question, "How have Bach Strad. trumpets changed over the years?", from Daniel C. Oberloh of Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works. I thought you folks might find it interesting.

    "Early differences are the nickel hex braces, this changed in around 1940
    to what we are familiar with today. The next was the master tuning slide
    crook in the early 50's which was made wider on later instruments made
    in the Mt. Vernon shop after 1955. The first obvious change Selmer made
    was the rim of the bell in 1965. Elkhart bells have a round bead
    compared to the 1964 and earlier models that have the traditional French
    half round bead. The major changes made were in the early 70's. The
    first was in the way the bells were manufactured. Instead of the
    traditional funnel shape or fan pattern they used a newly developed
    flower shape that simplified the forming process and required a
    completely different approach to shaping the flair. Selmer Changed the
    way bells were bent in around 1973 using a frozen soap filler instead of
    alloy material of pitch. Around 1974 the valve casings were made in one
    piece construction instead of two, this was when the nickel-silver
    spring barrels ceased to exist on the lacquer instruments. These chances
    were made for the most part to increase production and boy did it. In a
    publication an interview with Mr. Bach stated that in his nearly forty
    years of making instruments (1924-1960) he made no more then 5500
    cornets and trumpets total. I have been unable to verify this but I
    would not be surprised if it was in deed the case. With changes in
    production technique the units manufactured grew by leaps and bounds.
    From 1924-1960 serial numbers reached around 20,000 by 1970 they were
    over 60,000, 1980 over 200,000 they are now well past 500,000. So, with
    the manufacturing changes made, the actual shape is for the most part
    the same but the construction, though contentious in my opinion is
    considerably different then that employed during the time in NewYork. I
    hope this answers some of your question."
    - Daniel C. Oberloh

    Based on what I've seen on his website, this guy does some incredible work.

  5. MPM

    MPM Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Mt Vernon Bach's

    I've played some that were really stuffy, and a few that were abolutely fantastic! I don't even know the leadpipe and bells. I've seen where there were many times a "model #" was not stamped on the bell of some of these older Bachs.

    One of two best trumpets (non-Scodwell ... that's what I play) I've ever played was a Mt Vernon Bach. Silver plated, no model number on the bell. The leadpipe had been replaced by Ren Schilke. The owner went to Ren and asked if he (Ren) could but on a new leadpipe "identical" to the damaged one. So it was done.

    The other was an Elkhart Bach 37, with a monette lead pipe. (this was back when D.M. made lead pipes to replace a standard Bach 25). Jim Becker was the owner of this horn, and he did the custom work on this horn. At the time (early '80's) Jim was living & working at St James Music repare in MN. I think he's in the northest now.

    Jay Daversa ( former LA Studio Trumpet player ) has a very nice light weight Mt Vernon Bach. HA .... Jay ha a number of really GREAT playing trumpets ... including perhaps the best Calicchio 1s-2 I've ever played.

    Pwew .. I'm getting a brain crap ... there are a few points I'm trying to make, and a few observations to mention. As far as observations, you must consider the "times" and the players when these Mt V's were being made. Music was different, recording was different, playing above an F or G was a novalty ... these older horns were made for the times. A player of today may very well not like an old Mt Vernon, even if it's a good one. A few years ago Bach put out a limited number of the "Mellinium" models. While "superbly" crafted trumpets ... they played very tight & stuffy starting at about high F.

    Points... everyone likes something a little different. The horn to play is the one that helps you get that sound you hear in your head as easy as possible.

    Take three tumpet players ... Doc ... Maynard ... Harry James. All like something different. Different trumpets, mpcs ... etc

    Or Conrad Gozzo ... Bernie Glow .... Al Porcino ... ditto the above.

    Bud Herseth ... Harry Glantz ... William Vacchiano ... double ditto.

    Point being, it's ok to say you don't like any particular make of trumpet, and anyone who'd try to argue that point with you is ignorant. Some players have "loved" Mt Vernon Bachs. Some won't play anything but their Schilke B5 ... Some willl only play their Calicchio's ... a few are swearing by their Bach Sterling Plus ... I know one guy who sold three great horns ... ( a great Bach 43*, a Calicchio 1s-7, and a great Schilke S32 ) ... becuse he found a horn he liked better than any he's played yet.

    So ... if you don't like a Mt V Bach, cool. But :D ... if you're never going to play it ... maybe you would a very nice guy to sell it to a "player" who's really wanting one.
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Not selling. :) It will stay in the family. Jim Becker works at Osmun in Arlington MA now. Does very nice work! I have yet to play a Mt Vernon that I thought was "fantastic" I have heard they are out there. Just never been lucky enough to get my hands on one.


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