Mystique vs. A Standard

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MUSICandCHARACTER, May 14, 2004.


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    This has been a question in my mind for quite some time. Lots of people buy a Bach Strad ... well because it is the horn to have. Peer pressure does this, etc.

    Others will never by the "standard" horn. Boring plain ... ugh! Give them an Olympus, or Eclipse or Wild Thing or a Kanstul WB, or if they have big bucks, Doc's new horn, a Taylor, or even a Monette.

    Some people don't want to answer the question "what horn are you playing?" and have to answer with a lessor known name. Others wouldn't be caught with a Bach, Conn or King.

    I have never been for buying the standard myself. My car is a turbo diesel VW Beetle that gets 50 mpg. Every dealership used to get one or two a year. I got one of them (I fill up about once every six weeks or so -- nice with the prices as high as they are).

    I like having an edge. Something different. It is risky sometimes -- you may be buying a horn that few others play. What are your thoughts? Do you like having a unique horn with some mystique? Or do you feel better with a Bach, Schilke, Conn, Benge, etc.

  2. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    I agree. While the standard is the standard for a reason (I'll say a pretty good reason), I'm tired of showing up everywhere and blending into the sea of silver Bach 37's. On top of feeling limited by my particular horn, I want to have my own voice (and I'll disagree that the person has more to do with a sound than the horn). Unfortunately, I don't feel that my playing skill is worthy of the type of horn I want and I don't have the funds available. Until then, I'll be one of 95% of college music majors with a silver ML Bach 180-37.
  3. TheMoose

    TheMoose Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2003
    In the future there will be an opportunity to play alot of really nice horns if you don't mind a short road trip from T-town to Mobile. Look for details coming up, the event is in the planning stages and should come about in Feb of 2005. Send me a pm with your email address and I'll let you know more the closer we get to the day of the event. Brands represented will be Callet, Wild Thing, Lawler, Eclipse and some really nice mouthpieces by GR and Trumpet chops.

    Bruce "The Moose"
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I feel good playing whatever is going to benefit me in the long run. I have an Eclipse and various Olds trumpets. Some days I don't touch the Eclipse. I do love the fact that I own one of the first hundred trumpets made by Leigh though. In 50 years, it will be a true classic and that just makes me beem with pride knowing I took a chance that paid off.
  5. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Hi Jim,

    I must admit that is something I reconciled myself to quite a long time ago. I'm attracted to the slightly eccentric.

    I like my choices to show 'character'. It's probably the reason that I went to see the Taylor in the first place. It's also the reason that my favourite car is a Morgan and, like you, would probably also be attracted to a diesel beetle (if petrol wasn't $1.40 a gallon here). On saying this though I'm an ameture who can afford to be different. If my living depended on conformity I'd play whatever it takes to earn the dough (there's a limit to my eccentricity!!!)

    Actually when I play the Taylor with somebody new the response is usually..'what is that? sounds great, can I try it?' either then followed by 'well it's different' or 'how much and where can I buy one?' in about equal proportions. The contrarian side of me quite enjoys both responses.

    Weird eh? :)



    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Not weird at all! The ZeuS line comes in so many different finishes that when I pulled out an Olympus in brushed copper at Symphonic Band rehearsal, I got very similar responses.

    I am with you. I think everyone should allow other players to play their horns. I carry a bottle of Mi-T-Mist sanitizer too with me so they can try my mouthpieces. Not every horn or every mouthpiece is for everyone. But if we let others play our horns and mouthpieces and we get to play theirs, more information is shared.

    I guess you would have neither of those questions if you played a Bach 37. Maybe if you had a Benge 3X or 5X. But with a ZeuS, or Taylor, or Eclipse, or a Wild Thing, or even a Kanstul .... someone will ask those questions.

    To show you how bad I am, I am playing a great ZeuS Gaurnerius right now that is silver plated. I had the bell done in gold wash and the the tuning slides gold plated so it wouldn't look like a standard horn. Now part of that, of course is that I sell ZeuS and it is in my best financial interest to get noticed. But I really don't like playing a "common" horn or even look like I am.

    As for playing characteristics, I also want something different. First, I like a more mellow sound. I like the brushed copper for that reason. I also play on mouthpieces that give me a more mellow sound (right now I am playing a Rudy Muck ... pretty interesting pieces).

    I don't think I would buy a Strad. I would buy a ZeuS G (Mt Vernon Bach copy) in a great looking finish though! I probably won't drive a Chevy Cavalier either.

    But I am sure there are those who have a different opinion.


    Unusual Smiley:
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Sure, Jim. You are always going find, in any population sample (even a sample of trumpet players!), a number of people who want to "participate" but who don't want to be noticed. They're the ones who turn red with embarrasment but deep inside positively "glow" when they receive a compliment.

    And, like you said, there are those for whom something "different" that sets them off from the rest of the herd, is virtually mandatory. (You'll see them wearing "Plus Fours" at the golf course). It's the "holy cow... what is THAT!?" factor that draws attention to themselves and they simply revel in it. Nothing wrong with that (unless it is carried "ad nauseum"). I reckon it's like buying cars... if you are going to go "whole hog" and get something that is unique, you are most likely going to get something that is REALLY "unique" (else, why bother?)

    "Behold the lowly turtle... for he does not make progress unless (and until) he sticks his neck out!"

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I think there is a difference. I don't buy "way out there" cars. Usually they are overpriced and they underperform. The same is true about a musical instrument. Going hog wild will get you something unique alright -- but you are likely to overspend and not get the performance you want.

    I may not want a Chevy Cavalier -- nor do I want a Range Rover. I want something that is going to be great, with a bit of mystique, but not strange or crazy.

    There is fitting in for no apparent reason, unique and mysterious, and then there is extravagant and obnoxious.

    OK, I might like obnoxious once-in-a-while, but I abhor being extravagant.

  9. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003
    there is a schilke mystique. how could you have missed it?

  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I didn't. The Eclipse mystique is even greater! :)

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