Stomvi USA a Review

Discussion in 'Horns' started by dcstep, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    The Stomvi USA Bb trumpet is a horn squarely aimed at the Bach 180-37 market. It’s assembled in California using parts manufactured by Stomvi in Spain. The bore is .459†with a #25 bell, that’s very similar in profile to a Bach 37. The weight is very similar to a Bach 37 and the bracing size and placement is almost identical. However, there’s only one brace on the main tuning slide rather than two.

    Another major difference on the silver plated model is very attractive gold trim consisting of gold plated bottom and top valve caps, finger buttons, gold trimmed Amado waterkeys on the main AND third slide and gold plated retaining screws on the third and first slides. By the way, I much prefer retaining screws on the slides rather than the Bach stop-rod with twin nuts. The stop-rod can rattle and just get in the way a lot, in my experience. Anyway, the gold trim adds a nice element without being too flashy. The silver plate and finish on both horns was very good.

    The Stomvi USA Bb retails for $1400 in lacquer finish, $1550 in Silver finish and $1700 Gold finish.

    Thanks to Airstream Music http://www.airstreammusic.com I was able to sample a Stomvi USA for several days. Since it seemed to be so directed toward the Bach 180-37 I borrowed a brand new 180-37 for comparison’s sake. (Thank you Brook Mays, http://www.brookmays.com/ ).

    The Stomvi and Bach have almost identical response and feel. I normally play a large bore horn with a small mouthpiece, but for this test I pulled out my trusty Bach 3C and my GR66LX. With these mouthpieces both horns were free blowing and responsive. The slotting was secure without being overly sluggish. The intonation was very good with almost the same set of compromises chosen by both manufacturers. I prefer the convenience of the waterkey on the third slide of the Stomvi and could not detect any penalty in intonation or response attributable to that convenience, even when using 2-3 and 3d valve combinations trying to aggravate the node in that slide.

    Both horns resonated well and were stable up to G over high-C (the reliable limit of my range). From behind the horn, playing into an open room, they had almost identical focus and tonal palettes. To really hear the differences I had to play into a mirror and the corner of a lively room. In that situation I heard that the Stomvi had more emphasis on the upper overtones. Both had a similar core, but the reduced upper partials of the Bach gave it that “signature†tone that so many seek. I’d characterize the Stomvi’s tone as between a Bach #37 and a Bach #43 bell, leaning more toward the #37. The Stomvi will certainly blend in a Bach/Yamaha section.

    The valve action on both horns was good right out of the box. The Bach valves are kind of “clanky†and noisy, while the Stomvi’s #2 valve required less effort than #1 and #2. In my experience, Yamaha valves tend to be tighter and quieter, but slower than either of these trumpets, particularly when the horn is new. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the very best) I’d rank both of these valves around 7. Selmer Paris, Schilke and some boutique horns have better feeling valves right out of the box, but those horns are more expensive than either of these.

    Both the Stomvi and Bach come with single ProTec-style (sorry, but I don’t know a better way to describe the style) with formed spaces for the trumpet and internal storage for accessories and an outer music pocket. I preferred the Bach case slightly because it had more useable storage and seemed to be of slightly higher quality materials. My Selmer Paris came with a very expensive European BAM case, that has better materials than either the Bach or Stomvi case, BUT I prefer the Bach case because of its better internal storage layout. I can’t even put a Harmon mute in my BAM. The hardware on the Stomvi case is a notch down from the Bach case.

    Overall I feel that the Stomvi USA is a trumpet that anyone considering a Bach 37 or Yamaha 8335 should also consider. The build quality, response and tonal palette are consistent with the Bach. The price is very competitive, particularly when you consider adding the gold trim package to a Bach.

    Dave
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Nice, objective review Dave. Thanks.
     
  3. Mr. Stomvi

    Mr. Stomvi Pianissimo User

    211
    2
    Nov 14, 2003
    Nice review Dave. One quick thing. Stomvi uses some really heavy duty valve springs on their horns. I swapped out all my Stomvi springs for the Schilke light weight ones and it made a world of difference. They feel just like Schilke valves now. I sometimes put the Stomvi ones back in when doing Clarke type excercises on the picc. The Schilke springs feel sooooo easy after this exercise.

    Seth Moore
    Stomvi Master Ti Bb, cornet, picc
     
  4. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Seth, I could see where the Schilke springs would work well in the Stomvi. The valve effort on the Stomvi USA was similar to the Bach, but the effort was low enough that a lighter spring would probably work. I felt like the difference in effort on the Stomvi's 2d valve was probably attritutable to a mismatched spring. The action was very good in any case.

    Dave
     

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