Last trip to L+M, and the pocket surprise

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DaChan, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. DaChan

    DaChan Pianissimo User

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    Aug 10, 2014
    I'd been meaning to pick up a cornet to trumpet mp adapter, figured while I was at it I could try some new horns. I own a ytr 4325s, ytr 632, conn 20a flugel, jw york and sons perfectone, and a "bessons" pocket trumpet. I also recently owned a ytr 2320, which sits atop a shelf at my cousins' house waiting for his infant son to get off his ass and practice.

    First off, the bob reeves adapter is fantastic. Intonation is a bit more difficult, and projection is reduced with it, but I find it much more forgiving and open than using a tpt mp of similar depth/width. It is fantastic for warming up. With a deeper mp it pairs very well with a harmon, the slotting is slipperier. Multiple mouthpiece guys will know what I mean. "Legit" guys can disregard. Seriously, the adapter setup is plenty playable and even advantageous in some circumstances. I didn't even notice the intonation quirks at first, it just seemed so much easier to lip. Highly recommended for anyone with a stash of cornet stuff.

    Next I tried a P. Mauriat 700 in silver. About 6mths - 1yr ago I tried the unlacquered against my 4325s and was blown away. This time I tried it against my 632. Not blown away anymore. Where previously it seemed to have a breathy lightness and ease of slur, now it seemed pitchy and thin compared to the warm openness of my copper belled 632. It didn't seem like a bad horn, not at all. I was just not blown away. My vintage 632 was bought at a rock bottom price but even at the same price as a new P. Mauriat, I'd rather be playing the 632 (keeping in mind that mine is in very good condition).

    Then I tried a used Shilke s22, possibly gold plate. I didn't inspect the valves, but they felt worn. It was listed around $2500 cdn, call it over $2000 usd. It was much warmer than the silver mauriate, very stable, lots of core, not breathy, but not for me. It felt like I was trying to rally race a vintage mercedes convertible.

    Next I tried a new Jupiter 516 pocket trumpet. It was not nearly as good as any of the previous horns. Not even close, but it is also not a $2000 trumpet. It isn't even a $1000 trumpet. Quite frankly, it was priced equivalently to a good student horn. It played like a good student horn, a very good student horn, better than my ytr 2320. In many ways better than my Perfectone, not that it is a fair comparison. The Perfectone is 96 years old and i use the high pitch slide on it (pulled out). The Perfectone is for vintage sound, not ease of play (though it is surprisingly good).

    I know it would be contrary to etiquette to bring a Jupiter pocket trumpet to introductory band class, but hell - it is IMO the best student horn. There is no frigging way I'd buy a brand new student horn, but one of these in good shape used would definitely hold their value. It is the only student horn that I could see myself owning for the rest of my life. It doesn't have that nice resonant quality that some types of music need... but student horns and mind blowing tone do not go hand in hand, nor does band class and good tone as I recall.

    PS
    I also bought a K&M folding trumpet stand finally - I've wanted one since the friggin 90's.


    PPS - here are the 632, perfectone and 20a flugel:

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPfN-m5R9mKNd7sPYXfMk4-ml3swPNMY6_hcRs
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The reason that you think that the pocket trumpet plays better is because the bell is closer to your ears - more immediate feedback. Practice for 30 minutes in a large auditorium and you will discover WHY a pocket trumpet is NOT a good idea as a main horn.

    I also really like the Yamaha 6xx(x) series. They are simply a fantastic value new or used. I understand where you are coming from with the Schilke. There is never an issue with the playability, but the sound certainly does not fit many players. Schilkes answer is their relatively new HD series.

    I hope that you got the 5 legged trumpet stand. I have had stability issues with the 3 legged versions.
     
  3. DaChan

    DaChan Pianissimo User

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I'm not sure that is really it, though even if it is I'd still rather own a Jupiter pocket than a student full size as a first horn for a beginner. It seemed equivalently functional, with near zero depreciation on used models, and a cool factor that just doesn't quit. I mean, my pocket "bessons" is probably the worst trumpet ever made and I've had people hear it and want to get it on stage. You can't buy that kind of encouragement.

    What if I were to amend the statement to say: instead of paying $300 for a good modern student horn, consider paying $300 for a jupiter pocket and another $100 vintage (Ambassador or similar) student horn, or alternately $400 for a decent step-up horn?

    I have a Yamaha 4325s, I'd be on the fence if someone offered me a used Jupiter pocket and say $150 for it. It's a better horn by far, but I don't really need an intermediate horn. I suppose I could use it to overdub a horn section, but that's about it.

    Yup - 5 legged. it even holds my Conn 20a flugel rather well.
     
  4. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    First: Bessons is fake brand:

    Fake Bessons Trumpets! - Vintage Trumpets

    I am sorry but they are completely worthless. They are hammered together on the streets of Meerut (India) by beggars, rickshaw drivers, barbers and other experts.

    I own an Empire Brass pocket trumpet/cornet whatsoever (also from Meerut I suppose) and it's indeed BAAAAD (read: not playable). I bought it in Delhi (Darya Ganj) NEW for 22 dollar. Later they informed me politely that I payed 12 dollar too much. It's now a toy for my grandson (almost three) who proudly lugs it around.

    http://www.indiamart.com/global-india-delhi/pocket-trumpet-music-instrument.html#silver-trumpet

    I tried to play several Jupiter 416's (with the small bell) but that was quite a frustrating experience, I would not buy one for 50 US dollar, so I would always prefer the full sized student horn if I needed one.
    Never tried the 516 (with full bell). Up to now I never played a pocket I liked.

    The best "pocket" horn I know is my Ambassador cornet which I always carry on my long trips through Asia in a simple small Wenger backpack, is undestructable, plays decent to good, will not be stolen (looks ugly) and was very cheap. I play it with my trumpet cup, a Warburton 4M on a 7 Warburton cornet bb. This mp combination was more expensive than the cornet. But after three to four months usely I start to hate the unctious (is that the right word?) cornet sound.
     
  5. DaChan

    DaChan Pianissimo User

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    Yes I know bessons is crap. I believe My wording was "probably the worst trumpet ever made."

    I tried the 516, not the 416. The 416 is the small bell, the 516 is the large bell. Either way if you wouldn't buy one for $50 you're a bit insane because they ware worth well in excess. It's like saying that you wouldn't buy 200 euros for $50, because euros are frustrating. Maybe your Warburton setup doesn't jive well with the horn, or maybe you don't jive well with it. I don't use the same mp on all my horns.

    I liked the 516. I liked it a lot. It likely has a lot to do with stylistic choices. It was nice and bendy and responsive and... dare I say it in such a flippant manner -- jazzy. Just kidding, I would never call anything jazzy. Even Kenny G deserves a more thoughtful adjective than jazzy. I did find it conducive of portable improvisation, in a crowd pleasingly novel package. Anyways, I'd much rather own a pocket for the same price as a full size when it comes to student horns, provided that they are reasonably playable. If you disagree, that's fine - but you should at least try the horn I was talking about before saying that it is inferior to your ambassador cornet. If you still think that it is inferior, fine. I wouldn't be surprised, but even if you are right that an ambassador is a better horn, I'd still prefer a playable pocket to a marginally more playable student horn. Why? Because student horns are a dime a dozen. Pockets can be brought to a bar for a tune or two, or a party, or a football game, or a massive city wide protest against student cornets from the 60s. Of course such a protest would never happen here. Here student cornets from the 60s are held in such high regard that they eclipse the very god to which we give our devotion. Student cornets from the 60's are bigger than good sound itself.


    Cornets aren't pockets, they are cornets.

    My Bessons is playable, just barely. cupping the bell helps a lot. I don't regret the $35 it cost me at a flea market. The 516 in comparison was a freaking miracle. The Bessons, when played well, has a tinny toy-like charm. The 516 sounds like a trumpet, though a tiny bit stuffy (of freaking course).
     
  6. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    Sorry if my writing was too difficult for you to understand what I was trying to say.
    And I like the "stylistic choices".
    But I am afraid that your opnion on student horns (whatever they may be) is also based on "stylistic choices" and on nothing else.
     
  7. DaChan

    DaChan Pianissimo User

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    Aug 10, 2014
    My opinion on student horns is that they sound mediocre at best and are common as dirt. As such, I'd rather have something a bit less common - even at the expense of a tiny bit of sound quality. I absolutely agree that it is a matter of style.

    I think we can both agree that we both choose to spend our instrument budget on horns of better than student quality. You like to have a backpack with an ambassador cornet. I like to have a backpack with a 1919 York Perfectone cornet. All I'm saying is that I kinda wish my first trumpet had been a jupiter pocket 516 (weren't invented yet) rather than a Bach (tr300 I think). I no longer have the bach, but I'd like to have a better than Indian made pocket and I'm in no rush to buy one. Having it as a first horn would have saved the loss taken on my first horn. Many many band parent lose money on the eventual sale of the student horn. At least with a pocket, this loss would be mitigated if not completely avoided. That is unless a decision maker thinks that the pocket is insufficient to learn to play. It seemed perfectly sufficient when I played it.

    If the student has someone who will provide playable, good quality horn for say a hundred bucks - then clearly that is most cost effective. If the student is going to get a more modern, less beat up and more expensive student horn I would recommend a used step up horn for about $400. But in the student horn for student horn category - I like the 516. It's got mad style.
     

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