leadpipes and free blowing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by graysono, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 5, 2007
    Excuse my ignorance. But in response to Gzent 's statements of diminishing return. Would not a mpc impact the sound far more than the lead pipe ? Are the resulting changes dicussed above really impacting the sound dramatically ? Just how much of a change are we talking about ?
  2. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    A few years ago, one of the custom trumpet builders posted a statement on one of the Internet trumpet boards about the relative effects of changing the leadpipe versus changing the bell. It was pretty close to, "The leadpipe is 90% blow, 10% sound. The bell is 90% sound, 10% blow." While I don't think he intended his percentages to be considered scientifically exact, one of the basic messages (as it applies to the current thread) was that if you want to make a dramatic change in your sound, the leadpipe probably isn't the component to worry about.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    My experience says that is BS!
    A good trumpet is balanced from front to back and it is impossible to isolate what is blow, sound and intonation. I think the "low rider" pimp my trumpet concept is there to make money and let the middle class think that they actually can "improve" their ax for next to nothing.
    I have 3 different leadpipes for my Bach C trumpet: the original has the best sound but the worst intonation, the Spada has much better intonation and less "core" to the sound and one made by a german instrument maker has fantastic intonation and a miserable sound. The Bach blow is hardest only because I have to bend notes or use alternate fingerings to play it in tune.
    If you want to make a dramatic change to your sound, the starting point is between your ears and not behind a torch!
    The leadpipe does have a clearly defined role in the construction of a trumpet. A lot of R+D is necessary to actually make a "production" instrument. Tacking another leadpipe on is like playing the slots in Vegas. No criticism for Najoom and all of the other after market vendors. If the stuff was UNIVERSALLY so much better, why has Bach or Yamaha not incorporated it into the production models? It can't be money. There are enough players investing twice what a Bach costs. Why don't all the pro players have pimped trumpets? The answer is probably that it doesn't work in full production and like "New Coke" and "Coke Classic", the universal preference is not there.
    You spend your own money. If you are not happy, maybe more research is necessary before trying to cover up production mistakes.......
  4. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Well this thread certainly has developed beyond my wildest expectations and occasionally gone beyond my understanding. Can we back up one moment? In terms of bracing, does the term "infinite" imply that the leadpipe is braced to the bell for all of its length? This would seem to be like some of the Monettes that I see pictured where the leadpipe is sort of "webbed" to the bell. When I hear them they appear to sound "darker" but usually this sound outcome is conflated with everything else that has been talked about (mpc, player, etc), including finishes such as raw brass. I have not blown one of these so I don't have a clue how I would sound thereon.

    I like rowuk's most recent post on common sense here. Clearly if there was a magic wand all of the big production companies would be waving it. However, in that regard, it is notable that many of them offer a reversed leadpipe option. Somebody, somewhere thought this was the way to go at one time. To start with maybe it wasn't done cynically until the bandwagon was rolling.

  5. Magnusverdixon

    Magnusverdixon Pianissimo User

    Dec 25, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Be sure to try both Bergeron horns ... the YTR 8335 LA Yamaha and the Kanstul Model #1600. Both have larger leadpipes ... are free blowing yet ML bores. Both horns are very versatile. I have played the Yamaha and I own the Kanstul in brushed laquer.
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    As I mentioned in another thread, I believe the closer the hardware is to the lips, the greater the impact on the resulting sound and playing characteristics of the trumpet.

    Now, that said, my experience has been that given that all other hardware remains unchanged, including the mpc., changing the leadpipe indeed changes the sound, the intonation and the resistance of the blow.

    I don't know how you quantify it, other than if you take two trumpets made by the same process with the same specs ad then start changing the leadpipe on one of them you will definitely notice a change.

    Of course, this all assumes that the tester is an accomplished enough player to notice the difference. A 7th grader won't notice the difference.
    Somone who plays substantially everyday and has years of experience under hisbelt will.

    That's my view.

  7. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Infinite bracing, in the spirit of what Rowuk suggested, would be a leadpipe that is constructed with an outer wall that is so incredibly thick that no energy from the vibraiting air column is able to escape the leadpipe in a direction other than the airflow. If the walls are that thick, then bracing is much less important than on a 'normal' leadpipe in which energy leaves and enters through the realtively thin braces.

    Big production companies exist for one purpose, to make money.
    Any change in the design and construction process of a production line trumpet cannot negatively impact the cost or the company loses money and drops that model.

    Small, quality/performance driven builders (Monette, Eclipse, NYTC, Kanstul, Harrleson, etc) focus first on producing the best possible horn and charge what is necessary to stay in business.

    There's a big difference in philosophy there. As for reversed leadpipes - well, one designer did it and many copied them. They didn't need to know exactly why if made a difference, they just knew they could make more money by offering it.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    The single most imporant part of you setup is the mouthpiece and the match between it and your horn. However, the rest of of the horn certainly does impact. The impact, as seen from the many fine posts, is incredibly complicated. I agree with the bracing remarks. Frankly, I notice more of a difference with a curved crook versus a D crook.

    Also, "free-blowing" is a funny expression in my mind. I think there are a variety of ideas as to what ths means. I think some folks think it is an "air-flow" thing, like the air goes through the horn more easily in some horns. That is a bit misleading, as once the air gets out of the throat of the mouthpiece, it flows rather slowly. Also the DC part (the flow) has no impact on the sound at this point. To the extent "free-blowing" is a response thing, it makes more sense in my mind.

    Just a couple of quick, off the cuff, remarks!


  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    100% what I was thinking.

    To me "free-blowing" means how much effort does the player have to put forth to produce a desired volume at a given distance and angle/pattern out from the bell. Its not as simple as how fast can I put air through this metal tube.


    PS/FYI - My comments are based on personal observation, experience, research and the excellent theories stated by experts like Nick and others.

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