I'm a believer...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vega Power, May 31, 2012.

  1. Vega Power

    Vega Power Piano User

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    I would have never believed that placement of braces on a horn would make much, if any difference in the tone and playability of a trumpet. I now have no doubt.

    A few weeks ago, some of you may recall, I received my '46 Vega Power Model back from restoration without the vertical "S" brace installed to the leadpipe. This was not requested, rather, it was an error in restoration. I didn't notice this was missing for several hours. The horn looked incredible and that's all I saw; a beautiful trumpet. I slipped in my Vega Fred Berman B-1 mouthpiece and... what's this? ... What's the matter with my horn? The sound was bright, slotting was way too close, bending notes was impossible!!! Prior to being sent out, the horn's tone was warm and slotting was loose, just the way I like it. Because I didn't notice the brace was missing, this knowledge did not color my opinion at the time. As nice as the horn looked, I sent it back to get the brace installed; even though I liked the brace-free look. I also knew it may not be as pretty (does anything look as good after it's been "re-worked"?).

    My Horn arrived back home today. The S brace is back and so is the tone and playability. The lacquer is a little hazy in certain area from additional buffing, but; it's tone is warm and soothing, it whispers and cries once again. You can bend a note beyond the breaking point. It reminds me of Billie Holliday's singing. I was a new horn guy, prior to this horn. It's the horn that made me realize that these "old gals" still have much to say.

    -Blair
     
  2. patkins

    patkins Forte User

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    That is a very good observation. I'm glad they got it right the second time. I wonder how they overlooked it. Those are fine horns.
     
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Lacquer a little hazy? It wasn't stripped and relacquered? That's what I would have expected....

    Tom
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I don't know why Blair... but your post put a tear in my eye. I know how important it is to get your horn back in its true form. I can only imagine the despair you must have had not knowing if your baby would return to its original form. It has... for some reason, I have tears of joy for getting your horn back!
     
  5. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

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    San Antonio
    Just goes to show that a real restoration must preserve the soul of the horn. Glad things turned out so well!
     
  6. Vega Power

    Vega Power Piano User

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    Dec 9, 2011
    Florida
    Absolutely, it's such a sweet old horn. It was away for some time and the lack of a brace was not noticed as a result.

    Without the brace it was not the sweet horn with which I fell in love. It was shrill and it couldn't sing (unless it was trying to sing like Ethyl Merman). When I played it when it first came back, even my wife questioned the tone. When it came back this time, she quietly said that the horn sounded beautiful. Bracing truly makes a difference. I enjoy this horn for the sound, not, so much, the appearance.
     
  7. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

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    Jan 28, 2012
    San Antonio
    Perish the thought!
     
  8. Vega Power

    Vega Power Piano User

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    Dec 9, 2011
    Florida
    [​IMG]

    This is my '46 (on the bottom) when it arrived the first time. My '55, in the original lacquer is on top. To me, the bracing was too unique to be anything other than a decoration. I was beginning to rue the day I decided to send it in for restoration after playing it if this form, despite how nice it looked.
     
  9. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

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    Jan 28, 2012
    San Antonio
    Sometimes horn design appears to be as much art as science. I'm sure there's some physics involved here, but it escapes me.
     
  10. Vega Power

    Vega Power Piano User

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    Dec 9, 2011
    Florida
    I'll tell you, Gary... a few weeks ago, I was ready to put it in the back of the closet and never play it again. Despite how pretty it was, I didn't even want to look at it. I felt I let it down. It was horrible. I was crushed and vowed to never do that (restore) to an old horn again. I'm so relieved by the sound at this point that I don't want to let it out of my sight again. On a side note, my Eterna 4-valve returns early next week from minor repairs. I can hardly wait.
     

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