Selmer Paris Chorus 80J

Discussion in 'Horns' started by dcstep, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    As you see from my signature, my primary horn is a Selmer Paris Concept TT. I found the TT at the DFW TrumpetFest in November of last year, where it was sitting right next to an 80J. I tried both, but was attracted strongly to the TT immediately.

    Since buying the TT several people have asked me about the 80J and how the two horns differ. In response to these queries I decided to borrow an 80J from Brook Mays and take a closer look at the differences (and similarities).

    First, you must understand that, in general I'm a large horn kind of guy. When my parents purchased my first pro horn for me I selected a King Super-20 Symphony which had a "dual-bore" with the final bore at .468". All my subsequent horns have had large bells (if not large bores), so you see that I lean toward free blowing horns.

    Here are the main physical comparisons between the 80J and TT:

    The TT has a 5" bell, while the 80J is 4 7/8th" (both one-piece, hand-hammered).
    Both bells have fairly fast flares.
    The 80J's bell is "silver-brass 703" and the TT's is unspecified.
    They both have a bore just over .463".
    The TT has no brace between the 2d-valve casing and the leadpipe.
    The TT is 3" wide (outer edge of the bell to outer edge of the leadpipe) while the 80J is 2-3/4".
    The TT weighs 140kg more than the 80J, mostly in the leadpipe (according to the hype).
    Both have excellent balance.
    The 80J's leadpipe has a fairly prominent taper that culminates in a traditional somewhat squared tuning slide, while the TT culminates in a rounded reverse tuning slide. (I can't see if the TT's leadpipe is tapered and I don't have the proper instrument to measure.)
    Both horns have Selmer Paris' relatively heavy valve-block with a super sweet action.
    Construction quality is impeccable on both horns, comparable to custom-built horns.

    As you see, there are quite a few detail differences between these horns. They are close enough in tonal character and response that the differences only become readily apparent with A/B comparison. They both have a big, bold, warm tone. The 80J is slightly more focused and more "traditional" in tone. While the 80J should work well as a jazz horn and the TT should work well as a "legit" horn, if I had to characterize each I'd say that the 80J leans more toward legit and the TT leans more toward jazz and lead. Remember that I said these differences are not real big.

    I think that a big difference is in the feel of the two horns. The 80J is considerably more resistant than the TT. It's not anywhere near as tight as a Xeno 8335 and ml horns of that ilk, but it feels much like you'd expect from a .463" horn. OTOH, the TT feels larger than .463" to me, blowing as freely as some much larger horns (in measure). The other big difference is the resonance of the TT is among the very best I've ever experienced. The player gets more feedback from the TT and hears the horn better. Perhaps that resonance perceived by the player comes at the expense of projection. Unfortunately I didn't have anyone to help me judge that by listening to me and vice versa. Sorry 'bout that. I do know that the TT projects well, having heard it compared to several other leading horns at the DFW Trumpetfest; however, I didn't do a direct comparison of the 80J and TT in this regard.

    Bottom line, if you want the ultimate in resonance, then the TT is the way to go, IF you can manage a large feeling horn. However, if you need a slightly smaller feeling horn (the bell is smaller and the main tuning slide certainly impacts feel) then the 80J is probably the way to go. Wind ensemble and orchestra players may prefer the 80J (in fact there are a couple of other "Chorus" models with different leadpipes and bells that might be worth investigating. See for more details of those horns). These horns are definitely brothers, with a very similar tonal character, but they're different. I their relationship is similar to that of a B1 Schilke to a X3L Schilke, with the 90J being the B1 and the TT being the X3L.

    Best regards,

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