New horn = bad tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ConnMan36B, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. ConnMan36B

    ConnMan36B New Friend

    Feb 27, 2007
    The United States
    Hello all,

    I just purchased a used Yamaha 6335HS from a band mate. I played the horn for the very first time today and whoa - what an airy tone! I have heard this horn played several times per week for the past year, and it never sounded this bad, so picked up my trusty 36B right afterward and my tone was back. So... my question to the experts is why? Is the difference in the horns that great? Do I need to approach playing differently for each?

    Thanks for your help,

    Puzzled.......... :-(
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    It may be that your mouthpiece is not fit to the Yamaha. A very tiny change in the shape (diameter, etc.) of the receiver could leave you with a significantly different end gap. Also, don't forget that the sound you hear can be quite different from the sound your audience hears. Have someone listen to you and comment.

    After posting a thought occurred; any chance you've got a leak around a waterkey or somewhere else on the horn? Bad cork? loose slide? worn out valves?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  3. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    Those horns are nice players with a bright clear tone - check the gap out and give it some time. Also, is the water key leaking?
  4. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    Did you play it before you bought it?
  5. ConnMan36B

    ConnMan36B New Friend

    Feb 27, 2007
    The United States
    Hey guys, great suggestions. I checked the water keys for leaks and they are tight as a drum. I don't know how to check for other leaks, so I'm open to suggestions. I didn't play the horn first becuse I'm familiar with the instrument and know it was well taken care of. I admit that having played my 36b since high school (18 years) I never thought about a trumpet not being a trumpet.

    I checked the gap using a pencil and it's about 1/4 inch. Is that right?

    Thanks for all the suggestions thus far, I'm looking forward to more.
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    What is the gap on your old horn? Although there really is no hard and fast rule, 1/4" is about what I have on my horns. If it isn't gap and there are no air leaks then perhaps you should get a listener to "hear them out" from an audience position and see if they hear the airy tone. It may just be a matter of your ears getting used to a different sound coming off the back of the bell.
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Just because one person sounds good on a horn doesn't mean it would fit what you play like and want to sound like. It is absolutely essential to play a horn before you buy it.
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I think your problem is switching to a Yamaha after playing a Connstellation for years. The Yamaha probably needs a different mouthpiece, and you are used to playing a .438 bore horn. The Conn is a great horn, well designed around the small bore, but a Yamaha is different, and you will probably have to "learn" to play it.

    I'm in the opposite situation right now. I played a Bach Strad for years and bought a Conn 6B Victor trumpet (very similar to the Connstellation). My trusty 3C didn't work, and the Conn responds very differently from the Bach. I'm "learning" the Conn with a Connstellation mouthpiece, and am having good luck so far.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  9. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Failing something mechanical, I think Dale has hit on it. Takes me a while to get my balance right (see Prof Hickman's 4Ps) when I switch between instruments that I'm not used to and are quite different as well. It takes a different approach.

    I know it's a rediculous simplification, but 'bad tone' to me usually means 'strangled air'.


    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    let's slow down a minute here! Who says that it sounds bad? What do your bandmates say at 20-50 feet away?

    When you change instruments, a lot of things change: how you hear yourself, resistance, slots, intonation, projection into the room. All of those things bring a certain amount of "unrest" in ones playing and that CAN lead to over-compensation that could lead to air in your tone. BEFORE you jump on to the "I need a new mouthpiece bandwagon", I would recommend playing ONLY the Yamaha for a week. Get your ears/brain used to the "new" sound and then make a decision. A new mouthpiece could confuse the issue even more!

    I suspect that the Yamaha is freer blowing and that lower resistance is causing the anomaly that you describe. Stick with it for a couple of days - I am pretty sure that it will be OK!

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