Personal experiences

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nordlandstrompet, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
    As one can feel some interest for added mass devices
    and there is a lot of theoretical knowledge floating around,
    it would be very interesting to hear from you that have actually tried
    some of these devices.

    I am talking about valve caps, sound sleeves, heavy top mp,
    and other reversible items mounted on a “normal weight” trumpet .

    What are your personal experiences?

    (We can make another thread for the heavy equipment like Monette, Taylor)
  2. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    This is a VERY interresting thread, Nordlands!

    I have no such experience myself, but it
    will be interresting to hear the answers
    about how tone, slotting, intonation and
    more has improved or changed with these
    added items!:-)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I have some heavy weight valve caps for my Schilke, but I stopped using them because I preferred the feel of the horn without them.
    I use a heavyweight trumpet and cornet mouthpiece and love the way they feel.
  4. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2008
    Hertfordshire, UK
    I have a Kelly soundsleeve that I use quite regularly. I bought it to try it and see what it did and to be completely honest I can't see that it made any difference whatsoever altho other people I've played with have said it's made an improvement to my sound but not really offered any explanation as to how...

  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    The intonation on my Schilke Eb is better with Curry C caps (I think that's what they're called). It feels more even too. There may be a tiny trade off in the "live-ness" of the sound, but the benifits outweigh any negatives.

    Heavy caps made my Schilke pic worse, and the Bach Bb and C are pretty much the same either way.
  6. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I had heavy weight horns with all the extras and never did care for them. They slot like none other, etc, but it seemed like they always got in the way of my flexibility and speed. Also, playing lead... not the best choice as the lightweight horns can just bury heavyweights (in my opinion) at the back of the room.

    I've also tried heavyweight mouthpieces and did not notice a huge difference except in sound manipulation. Currently, I play on Monette mouthpieces and absolutely LOVE them BUT they are the PRANA and STANDARD weight models.

    I have heavyweight caps on my C... but my C is suck a piece of #%^ that it doesn't really matter.

    my two cents. Take care.

  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I use heavy caps on two of my C's, my D and my D/Eb, which makes them feel "heftier." None on my Bb, rotary C and rotary picc. I find the weighted mouthpiece (Curry Monstersleeve) makes more of a difference on the un-weighted horns.
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Well, I have played heavy horns and light horns. In no case could I possibly ascribe my like or dislike for the horn exclusively to the added mass since the horns were different in other ways as well.

    I have used heavy mouthpieces and light mouthpieces and they do feel different, though subtly so. I have never had too much success in telling a difference with changing valve caps.

    The other night at the Skinsnes/Manley clinic, I did get to try a regular VRII and K.O's personal horn which was made of VERY heavy sheet metal stock. I am ASSUMING the two horns were identical in every other way. K.O's horn played nice, but didn't light up the way I would like it to for lead playing. The others did.

    Now, Felix's horn (Stage California Light) is actually made of heavier sheet metal than one is expecting from a horn labeled "light" but the sparse bracing has a serious impact on how the horn feels. When I compare it to my brothers old Benge MLP (an ultralight horn) I find his horn plays easier as a lead horn than the lighter Benge. I would have to say that it is simply a better built overall horn, but that can't be attributed to any one thing.

    So, yes, from personal experience, I can feel a difference with added mass in the sheet metal and mouthpiece. Not so much from the valve caps for me, though.



  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have NEVER been able to improve ANY stock horn with ANY weights ANYWHERE.

    There was always a difference and a cost of business. If your horn doesn't play the way that you need, you have the wrong horn, or it needs a rebuild like Spada, Ackwright, Malone.............

    Pimp my horn is something that only works psychologically. We then believe that we were able for little investment accomplish something that the engineers who build for a living were not able to.

    There is nothing wrong with a tricked out trumpet. Just don't try and build a story out of pseudo science. It should suffice to say "it looks cool" and "I imagine that it plays better". The only truth is when the player says "I like it better".
  10. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I play a Besson Brevete model, and I ordered a set of Pickett Brass caps, to see what effect they had. Peter said that many people he had worked with ended up with heavy cap on the 3rd valve, medium on the 1st valve, and standard weight on the 2nd valve. So that's what I ordered, and I did find that the horn slotted much more precisely, especially on the higher notes (High C and above). My son, who is a trumpet major in college found the difference quite astonishing also.

    Then I ordered more caps from Peter Pickett, so I could see what other combinations might offer, so I ordered 2 more heavy and 2 more medium caps. I have experimented a lot and have returned to heavy-3rd, medium-1st, normal-2nd.

    Regarding extra mass on the mouthpiece, for many years I had played a Bach 1C and when they brought the Megatone series out I decided to try it out, and it took me all of 2 notes to know that the megatone 1C was a better mouthpiece for me. When my son started, he started on a normal 7C, no extra weight, but as he became more serious, I moved him to a megatone 3C and eventually to megatone 1C. On his own, he went back to the megatone 3C, but with all the work he's done at college, he's back on a standard-shaped 3C and more recently has moved to a Greg Black cup and Warburton back-bore, but both in standard design, no added mass.

    I tried a lot of mouthpieces at ITG and ended up with a Laskey 84D, standard design. After returning home I ordered a Denis Wick added-mass sleeve, and I notice a big difference in playing characteristics -- I keep the added-mass sleeve on my mouthpiece all the time.

    I have not tried added mass on my flugelhorn mouthpiece (Laskey 84fl) but I am considering ordering one to see how it will affect the tone.

    rowuk is right on the money when he says that the only truth is when the player says "I like it better." What's great for one person will not necessarily be good for anybody else, and it bothers me when I hear/read people saying "you have to do this" or "add this to your horn and it will be better."

    Experiment if you wish (and can afford to) but do so with truly open mind -- don't think that just because it's new it will automatically be better. As much as possible play the same pieces of music with the instrument/mouthpiece in both conditions (standard and tricked-out) and ignore which is which -- concentrate only on which sounds better and which allows you to do what you are trying to do in the easiest fashion.

    And don't be afraid to be like my son -- using your equipment in the condition it was in when you bought it is perfectly fine no matter what the people around you may be doing to their instruments.

    Do whatever works best for you.

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