Monette Prana Pieces: Whats Up?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by Heavens2kadonka, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Someone's gotta tell me what makes the piece so much more different than the regular monette pieces.

    Someone has also gotta tell me why they sell it for the price they do...

    Van
     
  2. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Talk to anyone who has played one, they will tell you they are SO DIFFERENT they are worth the money. I've only played one, an STC1 B4, other than the extra mass below the cup, I couldn't tell it from my Bach 3C. I've since picked up 2 Bach 1 megatone pieces, a C and an E. To me they play better than that particular Monette.

    I think David has a great PR and marketing guru working for him. Limited supplies (or maybe implied limitations) always drive up costs but I know too that his products are some of, if not the, best in our trumpeter's world. Are they worth it? I can't say so, my horn isn't making me enough money to support the cost of mouthpieces or trumpets like David makes!
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Van,

    It's pretty simple for me to state since I've had experience with virtually every kind of Monette equipment there is. Since I have many students and colleagues I've been able to satisfy my curiosity about other equipment as well. I've also had a wide range of experiences of hearing Monette equipment up close, from afar, from the side and dead on. I've had the same experiences with standard equipment. So, if you think that's enough of a world view about trumpets and accompanying periphery, read on.

    I went from playing a Bach to a Monette based on a visit he payed to me where I was able to try a Bb of his during a pops concert back in 1984. I was playing Bach 1B mpc. I found the sound as I played to be warmer and fuller without any added rasp when I played louder than when i played the Bach. Silly me, I actually liked that.

    In Novemeber of the same year I took delivery of a C trumpet to replace the Bach I was playing. I was playing a run of Zarathustra and had already played one performance of it and did fine. I got the horn the next morning and played a bit on it and found that the high C was more secure and stable than when I played it on the Bach. Silly me again, I liked that even more. So, I took it to the job that night and played the show on it. If one can actually say that one enjoyed playing that piece I certainly can. The next night was a broadcast and also went well.

    I ordered more horns of varying keys and lived through the many "improvements" that Dave made always with the discussion about creating more core. Then the mouthpieces came and it sealed the process. I experienced a tremendous clarity without giving up any warmth. The sound of the trumpet was evolving before my ears and eyes. At one point, the evolution surpassed my own abilities and I sought the help of the Jedi master, Arnold Jacobs, and I came to understand very fully the whole rap about body use and heavier instruments. I got rid of the tightnesses in my body that had been masked by other equipment and improved as a player and teacher for now I really was able to make the link between the body and music-making.

    So, to your question finally:

    Dave's Pre-Prana mouthpieces improved the intonation on his instruments even more than what only the instrument could do. It also solidified the slotting feel that you get when you relax and blow with a sound in your ear. The Prana has taken everything positive about the older mpcs and made it freer, better in tune (don't ask me how but the Gs are lower and the high Cs are perfect as is the high B), and the sound is even clearer and warmer than the best mouthpiece he'd ever made before. Why is it expensive? I don't know. Why does a set of the best violin strings cost as much as a Prana mouthpiece? All I know is that they are very labor intensive and each one is tested. I've seen the tests. They don't take five minutes if that's what you envision. It's a long process that has taken up to and more than an hour for me in the shop.

    So, why don't I play the heavier horns any more? The Prana1 horn has as much wallop and sound to as my Ajna II did but in a lighter package and it's mentally easier for people to deal with blending with something that looks more mainstream. What's the alloy? I haven't the foggiest. I honestly don't know the answers to most of the questions that people ask about manufacturing. Am I a stockholder? Yes, and have been so since about 1986. That's why I don't hawk the horns and turn the site into a free Monette ad. I don't think it's right to do so and I think it's better to let my playing speak for itself.

    Incidentally, Dave doesn't have any PR or marketing gurus on his staff. He markets his own stuff with the staff on hand. Maybe he gets advice about that from others. If he does, I'm not aware of it. I can remember many times when he had an idea about something, he'd run it by trusted friends and associates if he thought it was a good idea.

    I'll say this, though: If you look at every almost new design concept that has been adopted by trumpet manufacturers they are imitations of ideas that Dave came up with first. I'll list them: Heavy Wall bells, weighted valve caps and bottoms, heavy bracing, heavy mouthpieces, fancy art-deco style designs.

    I, quite frankly, think that those that have imitated Dave's stuff owe him a debt of gratitude for his having the foresight to think for a new way and having the guts to weather the storm of controversy that has surrounded each new development and price hike.

    Well, there's a mouthful. Hope it clarifies my thoughts for you.

    ML
     
  4. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

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    Nov 17, 2003
    GEORGIA
    VERY nice post, Manny!

    Butch
     
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Mr Laureano,

    Thank you for the very informative reply!

    Would you say they feel any different on the lips than the other Monette pieces?

    Van
     
  6. eoliver

    eoliver Pianissimo User

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    Nov 15, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    When I tried them, they didn't feel any different on the lips than the non-Prana Monettes. I think (and I may be wrong) that the majority of the difference is in the throat and backbore, but the cups and rims are the same. The throat is the only difference I could actually see on the inside of the mp.

    Is Dave stamping serial numbers on the Prana mps now? Also, the scratch gold look on the LT models is very attractive.
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

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    Oct 21, 2003
    I had a chance to take a look at one of these the other night and the metal on the shank (?) don't know the terminology is -very- thin!
     
  8. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Thin, yet heavy.... Wonder what metal they're using? Maybe they're using regular metal for the cup/rim, but something special on the stuff below the cup, to give it a heavy, yet thin sound...

    Heavy, yet thin... :?:

    Van
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

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    Oct 21, 2003
    I'm not talking about the sound of the mouthpiece. I didn't play it. I am just making an observation. The metal on the bottom where the shank fits into the receiver is very very thin! Not much metal there at all!
     
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    And now for the icing on the cake. We know that Kanstul makes a mouthpiece that looks "a lot" like a Monette. Now "somebody in Windsor" is selling the same darn thing labelled as an "Aegis"!

    Wow... if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery... what is imitation of an imitation!?


    (AKA: "There goes the neighbourhood....again!")
     

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