Kanstul trumpets

Discussion in 'Horns' started by SteveRicks, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Today I had the opportunity to try out 3 Kanstul trumpets -which I believe were new. One was the 1500, another was the 1500a, and the last was the Mariachi.

    I thought the 1500a was horrible. I had a dead sound, no thickness, and no "feel" in the horn for the sound. I was told the horns were designed for projection, with no reverb in the hands. Maybe so. It wasn't for me and I thought I sounded horrible.

    The 1500 produced a good, thick, solid sound. A little dark for my taste (my sound is typically bright).

    The Mariachi was literally the best horn I had ever played. If felt substantial in my hands and produced a thick, full, bright sound, and was easy to play.

    Now, can someone share a little about Kanstul trumpets? (I've always been an Olds player and do know Ziggy left Olds and started his own Kanstul shop). Is there any problem with certain years to avoid, or are some better than others? Also, can someone share the different models of Kanstul -and any history of this if important? If I ever get one, it will likely be used.


    Olds Super 62, 53, 46
    Olds Recording 52
    Bach Strad 66, 70
  2. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Here is the fine Kanstul website, in case that would help you get started.
    There are many archived threads on Kanstul trumpets here, especially on the Kanstul made Besson 609-709 models. I love my 609 so-called "student " horn, which fills my playing needs very well. I have found exact production dates and serial # info hard to come by.
    I imagine you will get other responses from owners of other models produced just under the Kanstul name.
    Here is the Brass Review page with many reviews of models.
    Brass Review.com - Kanstul
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  3. Flathead75

    Flathead75 New Friend

    Oct 10, 2009
    I would just say that all manufacturers strive to make each horn as good as they can, but realize each is a little different. It is always best to play as many as you can and if one grabs you like the Mariachi horn did, then buy it and be happy! I had a friend that played with Dave Brubeck in the Army, matter of fact he turned down the move to NY after the military because he had a wife, daughter and job at home. They replaced him with some guy named Paul Desmond, I think they made out alright though. He had the to opportunity to play a dozen or so Selmer saxes in the 50's at the factory. He picked the one that played the best, and from what others have told me, they have never played a better horn than that one, yet they were all made the same, on the same line and in the same factory! If you find a jewel just jump on it!
  4. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi Steve. Thanks for posting your review of these horns.

    I wonder if part of the problem you had with the 1500A and 1500 was your preference for brighter/livelier trumpets like the Kanstul Mariachi? The 1500A has extra weight and bracing for a darker more symphonic sound, similar (I suppose) to the new Schilke HD and Getzen Genesis. The 1500 is more general-purpose, but I believe it also has a heavier bell.

  5. Kanstulbrass

    Kanstulbrass Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Anaheim, CA
    The Model 1500 features a fairly heavy .025" copper bell, giving it an intimate, smoky sound perfect for combo jazz. It also blends well in a section and can be brightened with a quick change of mouthpiece if necessary. It is indeed a great all-around horn, but probably not quite appropriate for lead in a big band. This was our first "Signature" model - introduced about 20 years ago - and originally referred to (in the factory, anyway) as the "Hal" horn. It was developed by Zig Kanstul for noted trumpet collector and aficionado Hal Oringer. It has been played by many of the greats here in LA including Ollie Mitchell, and played today by Chuck MacKinnon in NYC.
    Model 1500

    The Model 1500-A is a similar horn but with a .020" bronze bell. The heavy receiver, bottom caps, weighted tuning slide and bell "fin" (as many call it) give it substantially better projection while retaining the dark sound. With the unweighted tuning slide, the horn lights up much easier, making it a terrific commercial horn that will be heard in any hall. Also introduced almost 20 years ago, the Model 1500-A is widely used. The trumpet section of the Starlight Orchestra at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, led by monster lead player Larry Hart all play this model.
    Model 1500-A

    The Model 991 "Mariachi" was designed to be a brighter horn. It has a medium bore and large bell flare giving it excellent projection and a light, bright tone. Back off a little, and it mellows quickly making it a terrific jazz horn. It's based on the classic Connstellation, and many players say that it compares more than favorably. Our friend Steve Reid played this one on the Ellington band, and as lead player with KC and the Sunshine Band.
    Model 991

    All the best,
  6. Bruin

    Bruin Pianissimo User

    Mar 21, 2008
    Never with Kanstul.
  7. BradH

    BradH New Friend

    Feb 6, 2008
    I don't think Kanstul makes anything bad. I have two French Besson horns (made by Kanstul) one a Bb and one a Flugelhorn and have nothing but good to say about them. I prefer my Bach 180s72 over the Marvin Stamm Bb trumpet but that's mostly due to my personal preferences. Kanstul makes great horns to buy to play. The only negative is they don't hold their value like Bach or Schilke...
  8. Slick Steve

    Slick Steve New Friend

    Oct 26, 2009
    Indianapolis, In
    I agree. I have owned 2 and still own one, and a Callet. I have also played many others, and been "around" a bunch. Never seen a bad one, not even close.
  9. ewetho

    ewetho Piano User

    Jun 24, 2007
    Kankakee, IL
    Mine ROCKS!!! I love it a lot!!!

    Mouthpieces too!
  10. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Agree. And thanks to Charles for the detailed descriptions. I think the OP just didn't feel the darker horns fit his style of playing. That's just a personal preference, which is fine. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the horns themselves.

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