Looking for a New Horn

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Kenne60, May 5, 2004.

  1. Kenne60

    Kenne60 New Friend

    Feb 29, 2004
    I currently play two Bb trumpets a Kanstul Chicago MLP and a Yamaha 6345GSII. Neither is perfect for me. The kanstul is too bright and a little stuffy to me and the Yamaha a little too heavy.The Yamaha sounds nice but kind of is tank like. I am and adult comeback payer who lays a little bit of everything. But mostly like big band section work. I played 8 years (many years ago) in a DCI drum corps so I am used to open horns.I was a lead player. I have been considering a Calicchio 3-9 or 1s-9 Large bore. I like open but not impossibly large horns. I also have learned that the bore sizemay be less important that the bell and leadpipe. I am also considering lawler. callet and the kanstul Wayne Bergeron. Anyone have an ideas??? ( and yes many years ago I was a Bach 37 person but no recently)
  2. CalicchioMan

    CalicchioMan Pianissimo User

    Dec 23, 2003
    Lombard, IL
    You might want to contact Calicchio and speak with Dave Johnson. Based on your needs, he can help you make a decision appropriate for you.

    I have 3 Tulsa horns and if you like large bore horns, I would recommend the model that is my main horn....1sZ/3RL (.468)!

    Scott Wiltfang
    [email protected]
    |\_____ --- _____
    |/ (__=||||=__) 1sZ/3RL (.468)
  3. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles

    Well, let see. We seem to be starting down the same road about terminology and semantics’ a little and it somewhat hinders me in giving as complete a response as I want to. Again, what does “ open , stuffy , tight , etc “ mean to when used, what do they mean to trumpet makers and vendors , what do they mean in “ trumpet talk “ forums and more importantly of course, what do these terms mean to the player using them and asking for advise .A little while back, there was a lengthy discussion about the use of resistance and it’s necessity in making a trumpet feel the way you want it to. Ie: more resistance could make a trumpet actually fell more “openâ€. Everyone’s trying to achieve that “ warm, fuzzy , feeling “ about your instrument and how you now consider the one you hold on your hand at the moment , this make and model , the one that feel the most “ open , responsive and free blowing “ yet the numbers , bore size , bell taper. etc. may indicate on paper that this trumpet should have a “small, tight, restrictive “feeling / experience when you play it.

    Also realize “Drum and Bugle “corp. instruments are designed and engineered differently that normal band instruments in how they play and how efficient they respond and feel. How may “G Soprano “trumpets do you find in your local community orchestra or big band. Most marching “brass “are designed to be able to be played at the very extreme level that they are called on to do. (The Wild Thing bell was originally made for a Drum and Bugle corp. instrument – G soprano I believe – the Kanstul superbore)

    OK, back to the point. Here are a couple of things you didn’t mention that helps someone (me or anyone else) give you some “cyber-advice “on choosing a trumpet within certain parameters. If I had to ask for just one more piece of information from someone to try to help if would be “WHAT MOUTHPIECE “? Are you the most comfortable with?


    If you normally play a Bach 3c for everything then a recommendation on a bell/leadpipe/bore for a trumpet choice would be somewhat different that if you relayed that you like a Schilke 6a4a or Al Hirt Jet-tone because of the things you normally are called on to perform.

    By the way (side point) – so-called “cheater mouthpieces “

    There are no “cheater “mouthpieces. I get somewhat annoyed when the term “pea-shooter “is used. Every mouthpiece is designed for a different purpose. Does “ Maynard “ or “ Bud Brisbois “ or " Bill Chase "use a cheater mouthpiece , how about Bud Herseth or Charles Schuelter. Why is a shallow mouthpiece a “ cheater “ and a deep mouthpiece to get a big, round, full, classical sound not a cheater mouthpiece but a admirable accomplishment of a highly disciplined “ alpha “ male . Why wouldn't you think making players of that caliber go thru huge and ackward musclar and physical manipulations to achieve their desired perrformance level by making a Bach 7c their pnly mouthpiece the rest os us think they should play? Isn’t every mouthpiece just a tool to help perform and “make easier “what you want to achieve musically. Isn’t every mouthpiece a compromise with the “good “aspects of its playing characteristic’s what you want to the most pronounced in your playing leaving it's negitive as " somwthing to work on "? Is playing a shallower mouthpiece on a piccolo trumpet cheating? Why not? Why doesn’t Haken Hardenberger (just for example) play the same mouthpiece on his Bb trumpet that he plays on his Bb piccolo, hmmmm ( Please don't give the argument that a Picc. takes a different type shank mouthpiece so you cant compare. A Selmer picc ( Maurice Andre style ) with accept a plain old trumpet mouthpiece on it's Bb pipe, so will the Yamaha)

    You don’t drive a “formula one “racer on a drag strip and expect to win and you don’t expect a “Bentley “to win the Indy 500 or a “Lexus “to do the ¼ mile and succeed? Right I’ve seen , first hand , the principal trpt in the Boston Pop’s pick up his Eb trumpet to play some show tune for behind a singer that was originally written for Bb trpt, just to ensure and to make playing easier , that the long shout chorus would " happen " and all would enjoy the performance. Is that cheating? Should we ban all mouthpieces and trumpet except for a Bach 37 and a Bach 7c and then see who's the best .( whatever best means anyway ) Wouldn't all trumpet players and listeners suffer under that senerio , plus what would be accomplished by that experimental control factor placed on talent ? (might make these forums non-existent thou )

    Think about it.

    (I’m now stepping off my soapbox)

    OK, back to the original point

    Having played .470, 468, 464, 462, 460, 459, and 453 bore instruments, I can tell you that each one can play all the same notes, but what brings out the best in them, shat seems to make things work better, helps them have better efficiency and effectiveness, is a manipulation or change in the mouthpiece with a different cup depth a different backbore or a combination of both. The gap also has a lot to do with bring out the best qualities in bore size changes, but that the hardest to get correct and all other mouthpiece aspects need to be developed before gap becomes the deciding factor. Usually when the gap is wrong, the player starts to manipulate the throat size compounding the gap problem. More on that later.

    To me, a rim diameter is not an issue. The rim diameter is a matter of comfort to the player. It’s decision is based on , “ piece of mind “ , ease of execution and a security factor . Volume can be obtained by alot of other variables to a mnouthpiece the least of which is a larger diameter mouthpiece. ( projection also determines the " audience " volume lever )If you finally find the diameter , shape , bite you can live with , I always advise to manipulate the other aspects , cup, backbore, gap ( the throat last ) too achieve your objectives. With the 3 piece mouthpiece system now (first patented by Bob Giardinelli and Joe Sheply in the late 60’s), it’s rather simple (but a little expensive) to be able to find out how changing 2 or the 3 mouthpiece elements affect you, your playing and the make/model you like. ( throat and gap not included )

    I would not suggest getting a Calicchio 1s/9 or 3/9 LB ‘s as your primary instrument. I have 2 ( two ) 3/9 large bores. One made by Dominic and one made during the period John Duda and Joe Lintz worked at Calicchio in Hollywood and I love them both. The wonderful full, crisp, velvety sound they produce, plus the ease of playing them both are somewhat indescribable. You probably know at one time, the 3/9 large bore was called the Freddie Hubbard model because of how easy it is to get around on them, but like every trumpet, there is a compromise to playing a design that is somewhat far from the norm ( standard ).

    Unless you use a fairly narrow back bore on you mouthpiece, and you want to play lead trumpet things , the sound on a 3/9 LB with not travel very far because of the lack of resistance and the large bell flare that tends to diffuse the sound somewhat quickly. Freddie like a “French Hornish “quality to his sound (I think I remember Freddie playing French horn as a child at some point. I know for a fact that Mick Gillette ,who also favored large bore , big flared belled trumpets - Martin #3 LB with a 6†bell - played French horn as a child and liked that type of big, velvety defused sound, but remember, he used a Jet Tone studio D , 24 throat , mouthpiece to offset the “ bigness “ of his equipment, plus usually with Tower of Power had a Sennhieser mic and a complete monitoring system in from of him., so projection and hearing himself were not a major issue ), so keep that in mind.

    I would play my 3/9 LB in certain situations , such as a “ society “ big band job where I knew the charts would be more ballads , older dance tunes , Mancini and Bert Kempfert things , Sinatra , Bennett standards . The band would be unmiked and the ballroom would be big and echoy so I didn’t want to bounce off wall with a laser beam sound or stick out but wanted to “sing “(Bel Canto) and blend thru the night with a big, wide sound, plus, if by chance, a chart would have a hi F or G in it, I didn’t want to send some little old blue haired women to the ER room. I think you get the picture.

    Now, to get the feeling I like, and be able to play the whole nigh on my 3/9 LB, I had to manipulate my mouthpiece somewhat. I would use a Reeves #2 sleeve that would give me a gap of over ½ inch which would give me the same feeling/efficiency that I had on my usual set-up. My only concern would be a constant vigilance on the intonation because a large gap will tend to make the upper register sharp and the sound pinched, but the large leadpipe has a tendency to make the upper register flat once you get a little tired and can’t overcome the inherent situation physically, so again it’s all a balancing act to be able to adjust to the obstacles.

    So, when you ask for trumpet “cyber “advise, give the person a chance to get your whole picture and fill in as many blanks as possible i.e.

    Mouthpiece – rim, cup, throat, backbore, gap
    Music mostly played
    Place in section mostly played
    Upstream or down stream player
    Playing situations you play in are they usually “miked “or acoustic
    Do you hear yourself well when you play or are your playing situations usually have a monitor for you?
    In the musical situations you mostly play in, is the intonation by the band or other player pretty good or are you fighting it most of the night
    When you play higher, do you tend to go sharp and your notes thin out or do you ten to go flat and your notes tend to get fuzzy and defused.
    Do you have a background of private lessons thru college or are you a somewhat self-taught player.
    Do you usually like liqueur. Silver, raw brass or gold plating (you’d be surprised how the answer to that question reflects on the player and his pchsci on playing)

    One more piece of advice – be very cynical of “cyber-advice “. I have seen some very bad advice (not intentionally by the writer) on these forum sites. In fact, I truly believe that if you asked any prominent teacher the same question of them 20 years ago that you would ask them today, you would get a somewhat different answer

    I actually put that scenario to Charley Davis and Gary Grant the other day (both guys are not computer junkies or forum watchers at all) and after thinking about it and with slight qualifications, they agreed the advice they would give would be changed by the experiences and knowledge they have gained in the past 20 years

    (Rick (rhdroc), I hope the talk with Charley helped with your problem. Wayne also mentioned he e-mail/talked to you – good luck) Time seems to always change your perspective on trumpet related issues, especially something as physical and moody as trumpet playing. This may be true of a lot of avocation, I don’t know

    Well, enough of my rambling dissertation.

    If you are “hell-bent “on a large bore Calicchio, which I thing are the best large bores on the market (. 468 range) then I would go with the 1s bell and the #3 or #2 leadpipe.
    No bigger unless you want a somewhat specially trumpet. Listen, you can always strap on a #9 pipe to the 1s/3 (and ever play jobs that way) and see the difference. If you can afford a couple of different trumpet and want a 1s/9 or 3/9 in the arsenal, then by all means get it. I know you won’t be sorry with either of them. I have a 1s/2LB that I got from John Harner when he was in LA (he played it on Kenton’s band, so you can see what a Calicchio large bore can do), but ask yourself, when are you going to have to play in a “Kentonish “situation. When John was in town for a while, re-alized he had somewhat the wrong equipment to be more versatile and do more of the work that being “in-town “meant so he went to a Calicchio 1s/2s ML (a “s “cut leadpipe has a smaller opening ) which gave him that same Calicchio sound, but with a very “sure “attack and feel.

    Bye, hope some of this made sense.

  4. Creedscraft

    Creedscraft New Friend

    Dec 13, 2003
    El Reno OK

    I too am a comeback player, (7 years back after a 42 year layoff), and have been on a horn/mouthpiece safari. Chicago Benge .460, Burbank Benge .460, LA Benge 3X+ .464, LA Benge CG .468, Olds Super .460, Olds Recording .460, Olds Mendez .460, Olds Opera .468, not to mention an LA Benge pocket. I was very lucky in a way in that each of the horns was a very good horn of it's kind. The search was complicated by each horn's liking of a different mouthpiece. At the end, depending on the playing situation, I was playing the Chicago Benge for small rooms, and the Olds Mendez for loud halls. An '80 vintage 1s7LB Calicchio was on Ebay, and I sought Larry Gianni's advice.His reply convinced me to buy the 1s7, and after a short period of adjustment, I now have a horn that is superior , to me, to all the other horns Ive played. Now I can play one horn and mouthpiece, ( a Zottola 66D, bent for downstreamers), in all my playing situations. I'm very shortly going to be very busy on Ebay selling a lot of surplus horns and mouthpieces. Thank you Larry Gianni.

    Best regards, John Creed
  5. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    If you can, try a Selmer Paris Concept TT. It's large bore with much more resonance and vibrancy than the 6345, without being extremely bright, like the Stomvi Mambo (for most players).

    Of course, the Calicchios are always contenders in this zone (read and re-read Larry's super post-- he's such an incredible resource-- thanks Larry).

    A Schilke B1L or X3L might also be to your liking.

  6. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles

    That's great news. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

    I so glad those Calicchio's pros and cons we talked about helped you make up your mind and it was the right decision for you. Bravo !!!!!

    Like we discussed John, a Calicchio is not for everyone , ( like a Ferrari is not for everyone ) even thou I do believe they are the very best at what a Calicchio can offer. Again, when trying to use a certain model as your main trumpet ( or only trumpet ) and having the possibilities of certain leadpipe/bell/bore combinations which , at times , gives the instrument a somewhat " specialty " aspect, this would make it very poor choice as a main instrument unless that's the exactly what your looking for and mentally you can accept that if placed in a 180 degree playing encounter.

    You really have made me feel very, very good. Nothing better than a happy trumpet player. ( I think that makes 6 I know of - none live in L.A. thou - haha ) Best of luck and stay in touch either publicly or privately.

    John, all the best


    Oh by the way , Chuck and Bob Findley play a bent mouthpiece ( 11 degree's ) and so does Zeke Zarchey ,Don Leight and Rick Kieffer ( one of Maynard's 60's bands lead players ) - plus a good friend of mine in Florida who keeps leaving these very strong Double C's ( and above ) on my voicemail , which I foward to my mom and take credit for ( I don't want her to think she wasted all that money on lessons ) and is considered one of S. Florida's finest commercial players.
  7. Kenne60

    Kenne60 New Friend

    Feb 29, 2004

    Wow thats a lot of information. You are all right in a lot of ways. As a comeback player I am on a bit if a safari. At least I am enjoying it!! I am looking for playing opportunities again and I know that I will be in a big band situation this year. Im probably not going to play lead although my range is pretty good and I know I can get there. It will be a completely amateur thing.

    That being said. After a mouthpiece safari I eneded up right where I began on a CG 3. When I bought my Kanstul ( from John Duda at Tulsa Band) he sent one along. I didn't believe it was so simple so I tried a number of others and ended up there. Smaller mouthpieces are just uncomfortable to me. I can play larger mouthpieces which do darken my sound but I have to work too hard. Im my younger days all through college I played a Bach 37 yes with a bach 3C and never tried anything else. It worked ok for me and playing in College Jazz band, and before that a local Youth Orchestra it was fine. Switching bach and forth with my summers in Drum Corps never caused any problems for me. Although I did switch to the 3C from a 10 1/2 C and saw my range increase and sound improve.( I was the only kid in my drum corps that played lead on 3C.

    Now however I am a lawyer by day and have limited time to devote to playing. But I like the feel of the CG3 and don't really want to search for a new mouthpiece. ( I also am not a good a player as I was when all I had to do was play all day)

    What do you all think. Are you suggesting maybe I should try a 1s-2 ml or 1s-7 ml? What is the 2 bell like??? Will I be able to use them as all arounds? Frankly, I can afford more than one horn but Im not sure I want too. I kind of like getting used to the feel on one horn and then just playing alot!
  8. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles

    I well aware of the Claude Gordon mouthpieces having taken lessons from Claude himself for 3 years and his views on mouthpiece designs.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the cup and rim are somewhat the same as the Bach 3c except for the outer bite on the rim falls off much faster because of the " anchor-grip " type mouthpiece blank. ( the outer rim design was modeled after the cornet mouthpieces of Del Staigers and HL Clarke - it give you much more flexibility but very little support from the outer portion of the embouchure ). The backbore is close to a mini-Schmidt but , here's the big difference - the throat size is a # 23 ( Claude's personal model had a long V cup with a #22 throat ).

    To me - that is a very big throat size - with the other factors to play commercial trumpet parts. OK - the CG mouthpiece is what you like so we'll work from there.

    Oh by the way -

    Claude's most successful students of the days when I took from Claude were Bob O'Donnell and Mike Paulsen in Los Angeles and Larry Souza in the SF Bay area. All 3 played the CG Benge , but they offset the large bore by using Bob Reeves mouthpieces with 28 throats ( Mike eventually ended up with a 13a4a - 26 throat on a Calicchio 1s/2 LB playing in Las Vegas for the last 15 years - I believe he played lead trpt on the " Viva Le Girl's show ) with reeves 69 backbores - same as Chuck Findley ( Larry now plays a 692 backbore on his Selmer CG with a 26 throat) with a roughly a 7 - 101/2 c Reeves diameter mouthpiece rim.


    Lowell Stevenson , originator of the " Fokus Mouthpiece " line, also took from Claude at the same time and used a Bach 20 F ( yes a F cup - shallower than a Bach e) with a Bach 47 backbore, but i do remember he had a 24 throat .I believe one of his Fokus mouthpieces is copied from this design, but not with the small diameter rim. Lowell spent many years playing in Germany with Al Porcino , after leaving Las Vegas , subbing regularly for Al on many recordings. Lowell played in Vegas at the Stardust ( or was it the Sands ) in the 70's with a trumpet section consisting of Lowell, Rick Baptist , Tony Scodwell and Gerry Lamy.
    What a section.
    The " FoKus " mouthpiece was being manufactured by kanstul for a while but I believe Bill Muilhous , out of Minn. is now making them, I may be wrong on that also. I gave Lowell my Walt Johnson - Calicchio mouthpiece as a model for one of the Fokus pieces and he did use certain aspect of that piece also. Anyway , there's a little plug for my friend Lowell.

    My point was that the best of the Claude Gordon students at the time - those that were actual pro./ working players were really not playing his line of mouthpieces even thou they did play his CG Benge. The combination was just too big for the commercial demands they had.

    OK, back to Kenne60 and his new Calicchio.

    I would suggest first to play a ML trumpet ( or even a Medium ala Dave Trigg ) because of the large throat of a CG3. Second I would suggest that you use a #3 leadpipe, which is the most " Bachish " of the Calicchio standard leadpipes giving a very quick response and easy, smooth attach and a very " secure " condensed sound, but still has a very open upper register with very close slots. ( the # 3 was used by Jerry Hey on his 1s/3 and Walt Johnson on is 2/3 for many years and is also the leadpipe Dave Trigg plays on his medium bore model and Mike Williams on his large bore model )

    Now if you want to get more custom, you can try a 2s or 7s leadpipe which gives you a smaller venturi y( Bob Findley and John Harner play the 2s leadpipe on their Calicchio's )yet still give that very even felling of the airflow and " hot " Calicchio sound.
    I wouldn't get any bigger in the bell size than a 1s seeing how the modern commercial trumpet sound is getting somewhat narrower and more compact even thou I love a Calicchio #2 bell and have 2 trumpets with a #2 bell on them.

    Here;'s a thought, if you can, get a raw brass Calicchio for now and a couple of extra leadpipes that can be strapped to the side. Start with the standard #3 leadpipe and then try the others as your playing starts getting use to the Calicchio air flow and " free blowing " quality. If you want to get a commercial " sizzle " to your sound and not change mouthpieces , then you need some resistance somewhere so a longer, narrow tapered leadpipe would serve that purpose , plus a smaller venturi would help in playing softer and in getting a more " instantaneous " attack,
    especially if your practice time can be somewhat limited or inconsistant.

    Then when your satisfied on the combo - you can get a finish applied to the trumpet.

    I'm told by Noel Langley that the famous lead trumpet player, Derick Watkins carries 3 or 4 leadpipes with him so why can't Kenne60 from Conn. do the same.

    Again, on Claudes line of mouthpiece's, there is nothing wrong with them, just not a piece that would ever work for me.

    here's another thought:

    Go to the Kanstul Comparator ( Kanstul makes the CG line of mouthpieces ) and over lay the Bach 3 c on a CG3 and I think you'll find that they are rather close. another thought is you can always have Jim New at Kanstul make you a CG3 with a more conventional 28 or 27 throat and see what that feels like. You might have to go thru Claude's company for the purchase of the final product, but Jim would be happy to discuss the option with you.

    Remember - this is all " cyber-advise " it could be a big "180 " from what you really need and are looking for , but you asked and this honestly is what i would do in your situation as you described it.

    Good luck


    So, like we talked about before - you need to create some resistance somewhere
  9. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

    Nov 17, 2003
    Lowell recently emailed me and I believe he said that Warburton is now making his pieces. I have one of his "Lead 10" pieces and it plays very well. It has a #27 throat but he suggested I have it opened to a #25. He said the piece "reacts" better with the bigger throat. FWIW!

  10. Kenne60

    Kenne60 New Friend

    Feb 29, 2004

    I have listened to your advice. I am still thinking about a new horn, but am reconsidering bore size and mouthpiece. I might look for something like my CG3C but with a small tighter throat. It may well be then that a 1s-3 or 1s-2 ML might be worth trying. Ok and tell me would the DT model in a medium bore really work for me. After playing larger bore horns will I have difficulty moving to a medium bore? I once played a Yamaha Z in a music store and was really surprised that it didn't feel small to me.

    Oh to answer some of your other questions. I want to play more big band because I have the opportunity and as an adult amateur there really are not that many options when you combine playing l with my day job as a lawyer. I did take lessons through colege and played in the Jazz band along with the music majors. My lessons were primarily traditional and leaning to classical preparation. So Drum Corps was only a part of my experience. So I am not self taught. I am a solid player not a great player.

    The thing is that I am playing for me now. Back when I started I was competeing with the real good players who were working toward a professional career. I am much more relaxed now. That all being said I like the feel of a good horn. It makes me want to play more and makes me enjoy my playing more. I am really looking for a horn that sings and is fun to play.

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