Not sure if I should fix this Getzen Elkhorn 390

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Tizzdizz, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    So, I was recently gifted two horns. One is a 1936 Conn 40B, which is really neat and functions, but also needs a bit of work. It's a bit hard to play on for a returning player after 20 years, although I am getting better.

    The other horn is an Elkhorn by Getzen 390, and I'm pretty sure it's from 1990. It's shinier and much newer, but the third valve sticks (some dent or protrusion into the casing), and two braces need to be resoldered. It had a munched bell that was mostly straightened at some point in the late 90's.

    I got a quote from my shop on the Getzen for $230, which includes: Ultrasonic cleaning, valve work to fix dent in 3rd valve, brass soldering in 3 places (2 braces and 1 slide pull nub), and remove/replace valve adjusters + port valves.

    Money is tight for the moment, and I want to be smart about this. I'm having a hard time deciding if this is worth it. I know the 390 is regarded as a good student horn, but I'm also finding that they're pretty readily available for not a lot more than the cost of these repairs. I like the shop and want to give them the work, but I'm wondering if this money could be better spent on a more intermediate horn that I can grow into. I don't have better pictures of the damage, but here it is next to the Conn.

    IMG_3391.jpg IMG_3392.jpg IMG_3393.jpg IMG_3394.jpg
     
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Tizzdizz,

    Someone thought a lot of you to gift these to you. The Conn 40B is a monster horn, a collectable with the ultimate Art Deco time tweaks. It is worth keeping and spending money (over time) to have it working.
    Is it a horn for a new player? No.
    Will the Conn 40B sit comfortably in a section? No
    Will the Conn 40B be comparable to the Getzen? No
    Which would I like to Comeback with - The Getzen.
    Which will be more forgiving to play - The Getzen.

    What is the best part of the Getzen Horns = The valves. So the only thing that concerns me with the Getzen is the Valve Block damage. "Some dent or protrusion into the casing" - that can be nasty.
    That quote looks fair to me, someone with skills will do the work, and $50 to $75 an hour labour (minimum) then use equipment etc.

    You could reduce the quote by doing the clean yourself. I don't like Ultrasonic cleaning, unless it is with a Tech I know and can see it done. The valve and soldering are important.
    Give the horn a Bath - and learn to do it right - NO Hot water or Boiling water. Use dishwashing soap and strip it down completely. Plenty of You tubes showing what to do. The 3rd valve and brace fix has to be done.
    The crease in the bell is no big deal, the Tech may be able to make it less noticeable, but it happens a lot on student horns - players have to learn, and the crease is a visual indicator of a learning curve.

    I would keep both, the Getzen as the daily beater, and when funds become available, then work at getting the Conn up to scratch. Which is desirable? The Conn 40B IMO is a massive horn, for a soloist.
     
  3. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    Thanks for the reply Peter. I pretty much agree with everything you've said. There's no question about the Conn, and I'm very grateful to have been given these horns. I just want to make sure I'm not putting more money into something that it's worth.

    I've cleaned plenty of horns before, as I had switched to tuba the last 20 years and am now rediscovering the trumpet. I have heard lots of good things about the valves on a Getzen, so that is definitely reassuring. I'm going to move forward with the repairs, I guess I wanted some feedback that I was on the right track. Cheers!
     
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    South Salem, NY
    If it makes you feel better, regard the cost as being for 2 separate services:
    Maintenance - ultrasonic cleaning

    Repair - solder braces and repair valve

    Because the cleaning will help valve action, and because you do not want to bake dirt on with the heat of soldering, and because the tech does not want to be delving into someone else's dirt, a deep clean is necessary before any repair work is carried out. If you imagine that this is around $100 cost, then the soldering, straightening and valve repair is costing $130.
     
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Melbourne Australia
    When thought of like that, it is cheap.

    Keeping things in working order is part of the coat of ownership of anything mechanical.
     

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