New member here. Bach Strad. Help me be fair.

Discussion in 'Horns' started by wdot, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. wdot

    wdot New Friend

    Jul 21, 2008

    I'm a new member to the forums. I haven't really played the trumpet in almost 40 years, but for a couple of brief, shining years I went from an absolute beginner to a pretty good player. I had played piano from basically infancy, and my dad let me use piano scholarship money to buy a trumpet.

    I started trumpet in the 9th grade. I made All State in the 10th grade, and then I put it down. While I had my reasons, which involved an involuntary change of schools, I regret it to this day. I don't know how good I could have been. But that's not what this post is about.

    I still own my trumpet. It's a Bach Strad. Model 37. ML bore. Lacquered brass finish, silver around the valve casing, etc. The valve casing says "Mt Vernon." The bell says "Elkart." So this is a 1960s horn, and kind of a transitional one.

    Here's the deal. A young fellow from my daughter's school has been playing my trumpet for over two years. He loves the trumpet, and he's taken really good care of the horn. It has a couple of ancient little dents on the bell; otherwise it's fine. The lacquer is obviously spotted.

    This kid loves music. Made All State last year (10th grade; sounds familiar). His school-teacher mom raised him and his siblings basically alone. She recently remarried, but I don't think the bucks are just flowing. While I would love to play again, I have a respiratory problem that would make that a complete impossibility.

    Question: Any idea what my trumpet is worth? I'm not poor, but I just don't want to give it to him. I would like to come up with a fair value and let him pay/earn it from me.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.
  2. mwh

    mwh New Friend

    Mar 11, 2007
    Why not let him borrow it until he's able to buy his own horn or gives up playing. As much as he loves yours, time may come that he wants to go out and find "the one" for him, in which case yours comes home. Whether he winds up with yours or another, he needs to start saving some money.

    I bought my first trumpet from my teacher. After I saved up half my mom put up the other half. It felt so good to bring that baby home.

    BTW I think what you've done is wonderful and is sure to have a positive influence for decades to come however you decide to proceed.
  3. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I'd agree with mwh,
    the horn you have it is a great horn probably worth over 1500 bucks and for someone who would find it difficult to get a new horn, to be able to play a mount vernon strad :play:
    I think your idea of either letting him buy it from you gradually or maybe let him just borrow it until he can get his own horn is a good idea
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM, wdot! You pose a very interesting question. I have "retired" some of my old horns because I didn't want to sell them--they were worth much more to me than their "real" worth, but I have "loaned" trumpets on a permanent basis.

    Does the young man seem like a future son-in-law? That might keep the trumpet "in the family." On the other hand, you could make him a deal and sell him the horn for what you paid for it--if he ditches your daghter, however, he'll have gotten a steal....

    I once considered courting a young lady because of her 37.

    Not an easy choice for you, but hey, welcome to Trumpet Master anyway!
  5. wdot

    wdot New Friend

    Jul 21, 2008
    Well, if nothing, else, that would embarrass the heck out of my daughter!! The boy is a "player," in every sense of the word, but we all love him to death. Everybody loves him. He's good looking, smart, "sweet," the whole nine yards. He probably thinks my daughter is too good for him. Which means she gets him. She's also smarter than he is, and a better musician (clarinet and piano). But they are great friends. If she got into trouble on a date or something, she would call him in a heartbeat. And he would help. Because he's a great kid. Not a phony bone in his body.

    In other words, he could be a future son in law. She could do a whole lot worse. But that's way, way down the road. We're not talking dowry here!

    Bottom line, I guess, is that I should low-ball the trumpet (maybe $1200?) and let him earn it from me with yard work, car washes, etc.

    Does that make sense?
  6. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    uhhh. Mt Vernons are quite desirable.
  7. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    The trumpet is worth about a billion dollars if you give it to him.

    Ask him to give it back when he teaches or plays professionally. Don't let him trade it in.

    Then you have it overhauled and keep it in your estate.

    You can will it to your daughter's children.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  8. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 5, 2007
    I think you're on the right track. Allowing him to own it outright will mean much more to him. There is also no way of knowing what the future may entail, and any attempt to keep a connection with the young man may be difficult if not impossible. I believe your idea of allowing him to earn it is best for his appreciation of the horn, and will be a positive experience for him as well. While the value of the horn may be much more, $1200. to a young man of limited means is a major expense, and one I would hope he won't take lightly. It's clear to me that you think highly of this young man, and I applaude your generosity it considering this option. Besides, as you have already said, you're not likely to play anymore. Putting the horn in the hands of someone who will put it to good use is the best thing to do
    with the horn. Your bestowing this opportunity on a young person is an admirable thing to do, and I hope will serve as an example to us all.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  9. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I think allowing him to work it off is a good idea. Some things, even valuable things, are sometimes worth a whole lot more than the money. The experience of working for it will likely stay with him his whole life and be in many ways a positive experience.

    Yeah, you could get a quick buck if you sell it on ebay or something, but this seems quite worthwhile.

  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Sounds like a noble idea (and I applaud you for it), but....

    How did the young man get the trumpet from you in the first place? I'd like to know that before telling you what I am going to tell you now without waiting. Why don't you ask him how he'd like to proceed? He is perfectly capable of finding out how much it is worth, as well as knowing what he and/or his Mom can afford.

    Also, while he likes it, he might have something else in mind, and an offer from you might put him in the awkward position of fielding an "offer he cannot refuse". His relationship with your daughter could potentially interfere with his objective ability to arrive at a decision. Or if they have a falling out (it really does happen even in the best of relationships) his possession/ownership of the trumpet might become a problem then. If, for instance, he was making payments to you, then successive ones would require a contact which might prove uncomfortable.

    He sounds like a terrific kid, so why not involve him in the process of deciding where to go from here?

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