A good friend of mine from my Army band days contacted me a week or so ago. He got out of the Army about two years prior to my leaving in 1999, and has been working as a technical consultant doing load testing of computer systems, and has done quite well for himself. To make a long story short, he hasn't played since he left the Army, really missed it and wanted a new trumpet. Did I mention that he has done well for himself? So, we chatted over the phone, and I put together a list of horns that I thought were worth looking at based on what he said he was looking for; he specifically said he wanted a commerical/lead jazz kind of sound. I emailed him with a basic rundown of some horns based on things I have either read here or on TH, or experienced for myself that I thought would help him reach his intended target. He bought a lightweight Stomvi/Bob Reeves V-Raptor. Just like that, he called and ordered one. Keep in mind, this is the same guy who has put a considerable chunk into customizations of his Mercedes Benz sportscar in the last year, so popping a couple of grand for a new horn like that really isn't that big of a deal for him. I just hope he likes it. He really wanted my opinion, but at the same time, based on what I had said and what he had read, he had already made up his mind about the V-Raptor and was hoping that I would give my "blessing" so to speak, for him to purchase it. Not having played one myself, I couldn't really give him much info other than it seems to review very well with those who have played them, and by all reports, it has the brilliant open sound he's looking for. This is a guy who likes to hot rod pretty much everying - his computers are all racked out, screaming, fine tuned machines, he has high end home electronics, and he has hot rodded his Mercedes - the V-Raptor is a trumpet that is already fully hot-rodded out of the shop, and I think he wants to play a horn that he has confidence is already fine tuned for the highest possible performance. I just thought I would share this - I'm not completely sure why!