Phaeton Custom,Review #1: Heavens2kadonka

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Heavens2kadonka, May 28, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
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    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    First Impressions: beautiful horn, the first "scratch" horn I've ever encountered. Looked very cool with the polished silver trim. I also really liked the bigness of the finger rings, and the look of the bracing. That trademark "Phaeton" leadpipe can't be overlooked, either.

    When I finally started playing the horn, I noticed I had generally the same reaction as the Phaeton I tried before: I couldn't play it.

    If you force sound by over-pressuring the buzz, your sound will suffer much more noticeably with this horn. If you slightly change the embochure anywhere in the register, the horn will let you know about it. This is what I really love and hate about the Phaeton. It doesn't cheat for you. It makes you play by it's rules.

    It took me about two days to get completely used to the horn's feel.

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    Now for MECHANICS. The valves were amazing, even better so that the un-customized Phaeton I've played. Much smoother action, not quite as much of a "reactive feel when you work the valves." Not up there with Bauerfeind, in my opinion, but comparable!

    The slides worked very freely, although they needed some greasing at first. I could tell this horn still needed some breaking in, though. I felt no bumps in the slides, and there were no misalignments.

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    I want to go a little bit more into the horn's appearance. Leigh did a great job in keeping a heavy look about the horn, while decreasing overall weight (bracing). This was done with the finger rings and his unique bracing. I also really dig the tuning slide. That also did much to give the horn a more rounded look.

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    Now, about FEEL of the horn. This horn has, without a doubt, the best feel of any horn I have ever played. Period. The slots were dead on, the low register braked, the pedals could be rung out, the upper register sounded gorgeously. Slurs were operated much more surgically with this horn. After I played this horn for three consecutive days, I switched to my Bach for some comparison. I had to put the horn down after about thirty minutes and go for a walk, it was so frustrating!!!

    After playing the Phaeton Custom, my other horns feel "slippery," all around the register. The slots are there, but they are harder to locate than with the Modified Phaeton. Only my trusty 1503 could compare, and even it didn't do a very good job either!

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    Finally, about the SOUND of the horn. This was the only part of the horn I didn't think did superior. I look for a sound that is dark, but with a "hot" ring, like a Strad 37 or Stage 1 NY. I didn't think this horn's bell rang out like I wanted; it was a bit too tame. Of course, it wasn't dull or dead sounding, but it definitely wasn't what I wanted sound-wise.

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    OVERALL:/b]

    SOUND: .....7/10
    FEEL: .....10/10
    MECHANICS: .....9/10
    APPEARANCE: .....9/10

    Van
     
  2. NYTC

    NYTC Forte User

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    Nov 1, 2004
    Brooklyn,NY
    Van,
    How would you compare the sound between the Custom and Original?
    Did it change at all?
     
  3. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
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    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    The original Phaeton is the best horn I've ever played in the $1000-2000 price range. The Custom Phaeton is the best horn I've ever played, but just needs a different bell! :D


    The weight on the original Phaeton gave the sound a warmness unlike any other horn I've played. The sound was amazing when I used it on my Easter gig. The chapel I played in really showed off that intimate sound the Phaeton possessed.

    The bell sound is a lot more controlled, really. It could ring, of course, but it was a bit more tame than I like.

    If Phaeton ever comes out with a lightweight model, I should be flown over the make sure they're doing the bell differently. I'll bring my cane and tonfa, just to make sure they stay in line..... :evil:

    EDGE: Phaeton Original

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    The feel on the original Phaeton was great, it allowed a noticeable improvement on slotting, intonation, and general feel of playing trumpet. It didn't feel like a work out practicing!

    .........But MAN!! The feel of the Custom really, really made my day! I smiled every time I put the horn down. I was never disappointed with my accuracy playing this horn.

    I think the difference is in the new oval tune slide, I think my playing fits that shaped slide much better. It may be the opposite for other players, though. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks about the horn's feel.

    I'll just make a wager: Every player on the tour who doesn't generally like square slides will love the feel much better than players who prefer the "D" shape. We'll just see.

    EDGE: Phaeton Custom

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    Appearance of the horn is much more objective than I like, but I'll go ahead. I personally love the finishing Eclipse does. I also loved those finger rings and the bracing. I think it fits the horn better than all that stuff on the original. GET A NEW BELL!!!! :lol:

    EDGE: Phaeton Custom

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    Mechanically, I can tell that there was some adjustments done by Leigh and the gang. Real noticeable improvement in the valves. The action there is much much smoother, not as reactive or violent as the original. The slides were also very good, though it wasn't something that was really different. You could just tell the horn was done right, if you guys can understand what I mean.

    EDGE: Phaeton Custom

    Van
     
  4. NYTC

    NYTC Forte User

    1,137
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    Nov 1, 2004
    Brooklyn,NY
    Very cool review,Van.
    Fine,I will change the bell for you ;-)
    One other thing...
    The Original was in Raw brass,that's where you feel the diference in sound.
    Silver brightens it up a bit,Gold does not change much from Raw,Lacquer will darken the sound a bit.
    Just my 2c.
     
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
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    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Maybe lighter bracing would lighten the bell up a bit?

    I'm currently on a rimless copper bell fetish. I WOULD FREAKING LOVE TO HEAR HOW THAT WOULD SOUND!!!! :lol:

    Van
     
  6. NYTC

    NYTC Forte User

    1,137
    4
    Nov 1, 2004
    Brooklyn,NY
    Light bracing and a light bell would only brighten the sound.
    The only way to change the sound on this horn to the sound you like,is to change the original bell to a heavier bell,like Gold or Red Brass.Copper is also nice,but......
    This horn was made to be a commercial instrument,where you are used to more of a legit playing.Did you try it with a deep mouthpiece?
     
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
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    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I tried it with my 5Bs and my 11/4Cs, but I found that my Kanstul B9, with a smaller cup, actually worked best with this horn and how I play it!

    Van
     
  8. NYTC

    NYTC Forte User

    1,137
    4
    Nov 1, 2004
    Brooklyn,NY
    Very cool.
    I forgot that I was talking to my main man,sorry.
    It does sound better with a smaller cup.
    Your Kanstul,if you compare it to the Bach cup,what is it close to?
    I got a BL5B,I think that's the model,very well made mouthpiece.
    I am used to very small mouthpieces,I don't have to work hard up the register. :D
     
  9. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    The diameter is close to a Bach 3. The rim is very smooth and rounded on the edges, making the muscles seem like they fall of the sides.

    The cup is what really threw me off for a while; its about D cup! Not as shallow as the lead pieces, but noticeably more shallow than the C's. For someone who has played deep, wide, fish bowl mouthpieces, it has taken me about a month to get decent with this new piece!

    I have felt its been worth it, though. Range, as well as tone, have improved very well. Playing on regular cups now feel airy, almost.

    I may have to start experimenting more with megatone pieces. My next investment is going to be a Bach 1 megatone, just to see if I like the deepness in this style of piece. I'm ordering it June 8th.

    From there, I'll start saving up for a Prana piece. :D

    Van
     
  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    One thing about shallow pieces: They are much less forgiving on low notes. You have to really work, to make sure you can make the lower stuff fat and full, without changing the embochure or air....

    I do like being able to play a high C cold now, however.... :D

    Van
     

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