Selmer Paris Concept TT - another view

Discussion in 'Horns' started by JunkyT, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. JunkyT

    JunkyT Pianissimo User

    133
    1
    Jan 6, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    After an exhaustive search, I (gulp) plunked down the money for a Selmer Paris Concept TT last week, and so far, I can't seem to get this stupid grin off my face.

    First, some history: I am a 'comeback' player. I started playing in 2nd grade after Dizzy and his band played at my elementary school's multi-purpose room (no joke). Played a couple student horns (Yamaha, Mercedes II), and then jumped up to a Bach Strad 72. Played that horn all the way through college in symphony, big band, rock bands and the like. After college, I put the horn down and didn't return to it until 9 years later (4 years ago). At that time, I started playing mostly small-group jazz, and found very quickly that I did not like the Strad very much. It felt very hard to play, and seemed to give me too much resistance. I played a friend's vintage Martin Committee, fell in love with the sound, and found a 1946 on eBay, which I purchased and played, pretty happily, I should add, until last week. But I have started to play more rock/R&B/lead type stuff in the last year ($$), and found the Martin to be somewhat limiting...hard to play up top, thin-sounding, not great projection...

    So off I go on the oddessy that is finding a new horn. There is a new wind instrument store near Seattle called Dick Akright Music, and Jimmie let me take out many horns to try. I played the Conn Vintage 1 (all different bells, finishes, bores, etc.), the Kanstul Wayne Bergeron, Kanstul Chicago 1001, Yamaha Xeno, Yamaha Bobby Shew, and various Bach's, just to see. While all of these horns had their merits, they also all had issues (or should I say, I had issues with them).

    Then, after reading Dave/dcstep's reviews of the Concept TT, and exchanging a few emails with him, I took one out to see for myself. Now, I can't thank Dave enough for his guidance.

    So, now the review: I'll start by saying that I played an 80J a few years ago in Paris and loved it. I have been dreaming about that horn ever since, but only ever found one in the states to play...at Dillon. I remember playing the TT in Paris too, but I didn't have much of an opinion at that time because I was blinded by the 80J. So last week I take the TT out for a test drive with a Schilke 14a4a. The first difference I noticed between this horn and my Martin with the same Mpc was how full the TT sounded, even with the small piece. My Martin is the .453, and the TT is .463, and the difference is incredible. In just playing alone at home, I found the horn to be so resonant, full-bodied, and easy to play throughout all registers. It hums down low and completely sizzles up high. Intonation is great (I do have to use the third valve slide on D/Db/Eb down low).

    Then, I played it with my soul band (Soul Provider), and was amazed at the sound that came back to me. It cuts through the sound of both the horn section and the band as a whole, and is so well defined that my band mates were all turning around to find out what was going on with this trumpet player they've been almost hearing for a year now. I got so many positive comments about the sound of the horn, even from the drummer, that I was convinced it was the right horn for that job.

    Then I played it with a rock band I'm in (Heather Duby). Again, the horn cut through the band, and I can finally hear myself even over electric guitars. Imagine my delight! (Sidenote: I used my Jo-Ral copper "wah-wah" mute extensive...wow!!! It's as if this horn and mute were made to be played together...)

    I have yet to play the horn with my quintet (Jason Parker Quintet), but I can't wait!

    As for the quality of the horn, I just can't say enough. The workmanship is top-notch, the matte finish which I bought is gorgeous (everyone has commented on this), and the horn feels so solid in my hands. The "Twin Tube" technology makes the whole horn buzz in a way that sends shivers down my spine.

    As you can tell, I am in love with my new horn. I would encourage anyone in buy mode to search one of these puppies out before making your final decision. It may not be the horn for you, and it was the most expensive horn on the wall at Akright, but if you are fortunate enough to fall in love with it like Dave and myself, this horn will bring you much joy.

    Again, big thanks to Dave for his guidance and super-friendly emails, and to Jimmie at Akright for letting me try so many of his horns.

    Good luck in your continuing search!

    Jason
     
  2. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly Piano User

    366
    0
    Oct 31, 2003
    the north philly ghetto
    are you sure it's not the large bore vrs a small bore horn?
     
  3. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    What do you mean by "it."

    Shades of Clinton, but I guess it's called for at times. ;-)

    Dave
     
  4. David Oulton

    David Oulton New Friend

    9
    2
    Jan 9, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    What do you buy after a Wild Thing?

    What do you buy after a Wild Thing? Well, my cohort bought a Concept TT. His note below is in response to the links on TH that I sent him on the Concept TT:
     
  5. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Hmm, thanks for posting that David.

    I thought that I raved on about the TT resonance, dynamics and big broad-shouldered tone. Well, sometimes what we write doesn't connect with others and it's mainly a matter of word choice and different interpretations of the words. Anyway, the more times the same thing is said in different ways the better off we are, since more people will connect.

    FWIW, the Chorus 80J has more "core" than the TT. The TT is "broader" and the 80J is more "focused". This is not surprising, given the considerably larger bell on the TT. They both have the same tonal character and emphasize the same primary overtones.

    BTW, I just had a new 180/37 and a Stomvi USA (a review to come) in for comparison. They're nice horns, BUT response, intonation, build quality, valves, etc. of the Selmer Paris are all at least one or two orders of excellence better. (It costs more, so it should be better).

    Dave
     
  6. hsa-arch

    hsa-arch New Friend

    15
    0
    Mar 30, 2004
    New England
    Hi everybody, new around here and this is my first post. I've been playing for 30 years in almost every type of band , orchestra, whatever. I've been playing lately in a brass quintet, big band and rock band and I'm looking for a horn that will do it all. Ive been reading the reviews on the Concept TT and I'm really thinking I want to try one. I change mouthpieces (sometimes) from a schilke 15a4a to a schilke 15B depending on the sound thats appropriate for the group, setting style, whatever but I favor the 15a4a. What does everybody think about the versatility of the TT?
     
  7. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    It'll do all the things you listed. In big band and rock its dynamics really make things easy. Lead, solo or section will be a breeze in these settings. One thing my sax player and I have noticed in rock/soul/funk is that the tembre of his Selmer Paris tenor and my TT is such that they blend like one horn. It's amazing. He'd been playing Yammies and brought in a new S-P tenor and an old S-P alto. The trumpet and sax have the same alloys and it's amazing how "together" they sound together. (Now all you got to do is convince your tenor to spend six-grand on a new horn).

    For classical you'll need to rein in the dynamics to match the group. You have to do this with most horns, but more so with the TT because it's so easy to power it up. The tembre in excellent for serious work and your two mpc selections will probably work well. However, you may want to go one backbore size smaller on the larger mpc. (You don't say what horn you're coming from, but the TT blows like a larger horn than its measurements would lead you to expect).

    A guy or gal could go into a community band setting and spread havoc with a TT if they're not sensitive to matching. The horn is just so dynamic that it's easy to overpower. HOWEVER, if played with sensitivity it'll be a joy and great fun. You can pull back an play with much less effort to achieve whatever the needed dynamic.

    Let us know what you do.

    Ciao,

    Dave
     
  8. hsa-arch

    hsa-arch New Friend

    15
    0
    Mar 30, 2004
    New England
    Thanks for the input, I'm really excited about this horn and I can't wait to try one out, the only problem is I'm in Connecticut and I don't know any really good dealers in the area. Don't really have the time to drive into New York or Boston, weekends are pretty busy.

    My horns are
    Yamaha ytr6335 (beautiful sound but too restrictive for lead playing)
    King legend 2070sp large bore (decent horn, nothing special)
    Getzen Piccolo (love it)
    Getzen Flugel (love it)
    Getzen Valve Trombone (love it)

    I've been using the king in different configurations for all the bands lately but I'm not really thrilled with the responsiveness of the horn. I want something more free blowing, lively and responsive for lead playing mostly.

    Any ideas where I could get a TT online to try out for a few days?
     
  9. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    From what I understand, even WWBW is backordered and talking a three-month wait. They're coming up on Ebay occasionally, but getting a loaner is next to impossible. Your best bet is probably a long drive on some weekend.

    Dave
     
  10. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly Piano User

    366
    0
    Oct 31, 2003
    the north philly ghetto
    i tried one at Dillons
     

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