Make a Bb horn into a C ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NOwens, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. NOwens

    NOwens New Friend

    Nov 13, 2008
    Valley Village, CA
    Hi guys, I was wondering if there was a way to make a Bb trumpet into a C just by getting a longer tuning slide? Im not planning on doing this believe me, but Im just wondering theoretically if it would work!
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    You can do it, but it takes an experienced tech. You need to shorten all of the tuning slides. It takes time, and patience.
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    You would come closer by making a C into a Bb. To make a Bb into a C you must have less tubing to make a C and therefore it would not be feasible. Now I do know of Cs that have or can be made into Bbs. I have seen it done with a Kanstul 1510, however the Bb side is way out of balance.
  4. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Can be done, but the whole length has to be Shortened by approx 4", including the valve slides.

    I did this some years ago to a beat up old Besson that I paid $10 for.

    It was a fun project and played reasonably well.

    Regards, Stuart
  5. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    It's a fun project if you have the time and energy to do it. Working with horns for fun is great, but If you are planning on playing a C professionaly or at a serious level, than you do need to invest in a real C. The design of a C trumpet is quite a bit different than a Bb, more than just shortened slides. However, shortening the slides will make a horn that plays in C, not a C trumpet.
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I agree with Brass Crusader. A C is different from a Bb. If you plan to use it professionaly, you should invest in a good C. The top symphony players seem to have switched to the new Yamaha Cs. New York, Chicago, etc.
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    It would be easier to make a Bb into a C. All you do is shorten the tubing. TO go the other way you have to get all new tubing.
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    A big difference between Bb and C trumpets (other than the length of the horn tubing) is the mouthpipe. A Bb can be cut down to C length, but probably won't play very well unless the mouthpipe is replaced with a C pipe. A C trumpet can be fitted with longer slides to convert it to Bb, but it will be squirrely with the C mouthpipe.
  9. trumphat

    trumphat New Friend

    Mar 14, 2007
    While I was in college, way back when at Fredonia, I didn't have the cash for a c trumpet. I took an old Holton that I had and measured the bore against various c trumpets that were around the school. One of the trumpet profs (Herb Harp) had a Benge c that was the same bore as my Holton. I then measured all slide lengths on the Benge, marked the Holton, got out a hacksaw and went to work! There are idiosyncrasies to the horn, but I've played some production horns that were as good/ bad. It is a medium bore horn, not suitable for orchestral work, but I had some fun with it. I now play a Classic French Besson and the Holton "hangs out" in my studio.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    All you have to do is remove 1/6 of the tubing and you are good to go. Probably miserable intonation and blow, but stranger things have been sold. If you have nothing better to do with the Bb, cut it down. Maybe you will get lucky!

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