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Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by SVTrumpet, Feb 27, 2010.
Do rounded main tuning slides make much of a difference?
Apparently so, because some models come with a rounded slide and a dual-radius (squared off) slide. When I toured the Bach plant a few months ago, they mentioned that they designed the bell crook to be squared-off because it made a difference.
I guess some people can sense the difference when they play. I cannot personally tell. So, it apparently depends more on the player than on the slide design.
It definitely does make a difference, whether it will be a positive, negative, or neutral difference depends on the player and the horn, and what the player likes/dislikes about the horn
take a look at the website for edwards trumpets. they describe the intended effects of different tuning slide shapes in detail.
If you're considering buying an instrument which comes with a choice but doesn't include both rounded and squared tuning slides, have a friend do a true blindfold test with you where the friend changes (or only pretends to change) the slides a few times and have you play the instrument without touching the tuning slide and see if you notice a difference and if so, which you prefer.
Then remember that if you ordered an instrument with that type of slide, if you were able to do a blindfold test on the new instrument the same way, you might like the opposite combination.
So much of how a trumpet plays/responds is dependent on the specific instrument you're holding and not so much the design issues. I've played Bach trumpets which should have been identical, within a few serial numbers of each other, but one played beautifully and easily for me and the other one (same mouthpiece) was stuffy as all heck.
That's an important thing whenever looking for a new instrument -- you can't play one at a local music store and then order one "identical" to it and expect that the one you order will be as nice as the one you played. If you are holding an instrument which you love how it plays, buy that specific instrument and not merely another one "exactly" like it unless you can play that instrument and get your money back if it doesn't in fact play exactly the same.
That being said, everything makes a difference. It depends on the horn, the bracing on the slide, the thickness of the metal, how it is bent and how gullible that you are. Rounded slides are generally braced differently, bent differently and if not from the original manufacturer, from a different material and thickness and that makes a bigger difference.
There is no set "behaviour" between "squared" and round". It really depends like everything else on construction details that have nothing to do with the optics.
Taylor builds horns with really sharp angles that he claims makes no difference. He also builds really heavy horns that sound very "Bach" like and not Monette or Harrelson like.
We are all looking for simplistic solutions to complex problems. They are often myths and lies.
Yes, rounded slides play differently from squared off slides. Whether good or bad is up to you. I've never played one I liked better than the stock slide. (Bach)
Thank you ROWUK
I agree, and would just replace the word "optics" with "cosmetics".
I made some rounded tuning slides for the Jaeger-Diamond just so that the players looking for cosmetics could see how terrible this rounded slide made the horn. I had comments before people played the horn that there was going to be too much resistance with the squarer slide. Then they played it and decided that my original design was correct, after all!
Generally, the designers/manufacturers will get it right for how they think the horn should play. If you don't agree with their concept, then don't buy the horn.
Cool would have been to make the rounded slide showing that there was NO difference because the material, bending strategy and bracing matched.......
There are still too many players that forget or ignore that a trumpet plays the way it does because of the STANDING WAVE created and that bracing either damps or transmits vibrations to other parts of the horn, modifying the response.
I await with interest a discussion regarding the even tighter bends in valve slide crooks....
And what about the restrictions (bubble shaped dents) forced into valve ports to enable shorter actions?