Is it me or the new horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Catchops, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Catchops

    Catchops New Friend

    Jan 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    I'd like to get some advice/direction with an issue that I'm having with a new to me.

    I've been playing a Bach Strad 72* since 1985 (ML .459 bore). I have always loved that horn. But last summer I played a friend's horn that would be considered a "ML+" bore - I think it was a .462. Regardless, I loved the open feel of the horn. I have also had a few small mechanical issues with the Bach, so I thought I'd look around for a horn that had similar characteristics to my Strad (sizzle in the upper register as well as the ability for a big warm sound in the middle and lower when necessary - all great for big band Jazz) - BUT would also have a bit more open blow.

    Anyway...after playing about a half a dozen horns I found one that I really like - a Kanstul 1600 - the Wayne Bergeron model. It is a used horn - but made in fall of 2008 - so fairly new. It is a .460 bore (not much larger) but has a modified lead pipe which gives it a nice open feel - and can still sizzle in the upper register.

    Anyway...I love the open feel. It is also a very responsive horn and I think my lower register is clearer, yet didn't take away from the upper register.

    The bad thing is that the range between D (on the staff) and high A, I am REALLY STRUGGLING with being able to play with accuracy as well as being able to play dolce and lightly while in that range. I thought that I was just going through a tough time, so I pulled out my Bach, and behold, those notes come out again nicely.

    The big question that I just need to give it more time and practice?? you think it is a mechanical thing. I've kept my same mouthpiece (Reeves 41S)...with the same sleeve (4). Should I consider modifying the gap (sleeve), getting a new mouthpiece...or should I just shut up and practice more?? Do you think the horn just isn't right for me??

    I'm not sure if I have the patience to break it in more knowing if I just go back to the Bach, I can do those things easily again.

    Any thoughts?!?? Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The freer the blow, the less "slotty" the horn. Everything is a juggling of the basic parameters. The slotting is actually the "efficiency" of the horn. Leadpipe and bell shape have a lot to say about this.

    It is probable that the Kanstul does not have the "feel" of the Bach. Yes, we are creatures of habit and can get used to anything. If there are already issues in the "easy" range, what are your chops going to say during a 2 hour gig?

    This does not sound like the right horn for you, open blow or not. I played he 72* for many years. I consider it to be a very special Bach. It has a very wide palette of colors. I used it for symphonic playing as well as big band jazz.

    My advice: keep trying out more types of horns. The right one will find YOU - if you give it a chance.
    Richard Oliver likes this.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I would try different sleeves to change the gap.The gap affects slotting,that's why one mouthpiece will work better with certain horns and not others. Plus it's cheaper than buying another horn.
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    How long have you been playing the new horn?

    Moving to a more open horn (particularly after 25 years on the other horn) can take some getting used to.

    I played on a Bach 37 for 20 years (until this past summer) and then I switched to a large bore Lawler TL with a rounded tuning slide. A MUCH more open blowing horn than I was used to, but I love the sound and open feel.

    I'd say it took me about 6 months to really lock things in (accuracy, hitting pitches right away, etc.) on the new horn. Up to then things would get a little froggy from time to time.

    So if you're slow to adjust (like me) then stick with the new horn for a while. If it's been a while or if you just done't feel it on the new horn, let your safari continue. You always have your Bach to fall back on.
  5. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    And timbre also. And much less expensive than a horn.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I would check the valve alignment as well. Misalignment often shows up in the area of the 4th to 6th partials.
  7. brian.hess

    brian.hess New Friend

    Mar 13, 2011
    Port Orchard, Washington
    I would concur with about everyone who has posted here. I have a new trumpet that I have been struggling with, a Berkelywind double trumpet (with optional Picc bell). I found that i had to make modifications to the horn just to get it to play in tune with itself. I've been playing a Gezten Severinson Eterna 900S since high school, and this other trumpet is a seriously different beast.

    I think that many times when switching around instruments, that our habits tend to come out more as we feel new bore sizes, mouth pieces, and valve response. Some instruments are built specifically for me, while other are not, so with that in mind, I tend to stick with the instrument that works best. I would prefer to buy a Gezten Genesis 3003, but i don't have the 4k to purchase one, but when i played the instrument at a music store, it opened up an entirely new world to me, and made me sound even more powerful.

    When you feel the instrument and it touches your soul, that will be the horn for you. Don't get overly concerned with the bore or mouthpiece sleeve or anyother aspect of the instrument unless you are looking to replace the horn you have been using with another that is just like it or at least simular. There is no harm in having two different instruments to do two different kinds of performances. I use the Berkely for darker stuff, and like the piccolo attatchment for some of the baroque stuff, but when i want to play the music that really moves me, i stick with "Old Faithful."

  8. Octiceps

    Octiceps Pianissimo User

    May 5, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    You can get an almost new Getzen Genesis for ~$1800 if you look around. There are a couple for sale around that price in the classifieds here and in the marketplace at

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