Stuffy Callet Symphonique?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by pwillini, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I've borrowed a friend's Callet Symphonique, an earlier manifestation of Jerome's Jazz. I have a hard time thinking this is a large bore horn, it's so stuffy! I've tried 3 JC mouthpieces, no avail. I wrote Jerome and he called me! (an honor!) He said he saw no reason the horn should not be stuffy, i just needed to play through the horn instead of at the mouthpiece.

    I've tried all this and still find it harder to play than the Wild Thing I demo'ed through this site, a Chicago Benge and another friend's Bach LB 72. Any thoughts? I would think that I should be able to get a more consistant, sound from this horn but can't.

    I was thinking of buying this horn but am glad I tried one before I did, especially since they cost as much as a WT, which I just loved!
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    I never found the .464 callet jazz (basically the same horn) very open either. I think its that conical bore idea but Im not sure. alot of people like them, I didnt like it. you might just have a dud, its hard to tell.
  3. ScreaminRaider

    ScreaminRaider Piano User

    Apr 22, 2004
    San Antonio, Tx
    Here is a perfect example of a horn that simply doesn't work for you. I've played on a symphinique before, and absolutly loved it. Have you tried a Strad yet? Kanstul also makes good C's. Remember, just because the horn doesn't work for you doesn't mean it's a "Dud."
  4. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Well, the horn that I've found doesn't work for me is the Conn Vintage One. It was a very good looking horn, and I thought including two tune slides and two types of valve caps were pretty neat, but it was such a hard-blowing horn. With the rounded tune slide, it was a bit more tolerable, but with the square... A normal, Bach forte was a mezzo-piano through the V1. Maybe the horn was a bad one, but I know I'll still cringe a little bit whenever I see someone playing on one...

    So yeah, don't sweat too much about it. You may find you love this horn that everyone else hates (Like whoever it was who liked that Arturo Sandoval..).

  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    The Symphonique IS basically a Callet Jazz that's renamed so the legit players don't mind taking it to orchestra like they might if it said "Jazz" on it. It also had plastic valve guides (vs. metal used today) but that's just an evolutionary thing.

    I suspect what happened is that you played an older instrument that someone had the bad habit of twisting their mouthpiece into the receiver each and every time that they put the horn together.

    This terrible practice (that I sometimes see people doing) turns the mouthpiece's shank into a reamer that opens up the diameter of the reciever until a stock mouthpiece fits in so far that there's no gap left. Without the proper gap any trumpet will get really stuffy and not play correctly.

    Another way to "ream" out the receiver until there's no gap is if someone accidentally crammed a mouthpiece in really hard and it has to be removed with a special tool. After all . . . the receiver is just brass, which is a soft metal!

    This can also occur when someone uses a mouthpiece with an out-of-spec shank that's too small in diameter . . . such as when using an old mouthpiece. In your case though, I'm sure it is the receiver that's worn.

    The Callet Jazz is my second most favorite Bb trumpet . . . and you know what my favorite is! It is a horn that's freer blowing than most . . . so I suspect a gap issue has occured. A really bad valve alignment can mess up things too . . . but never as bad as a "no gap" situation!


    Tom Turner
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    You know, I played a Callet Superchops once that just didn't work for me. I don't know if it was my mouthpiece, the gap, my chops, etc. It could have been any number of things that just weren't quite in line for me. Apparently they weren't quite in line for the original owner of the horn either because he sold it! ;) Horns that he has owned since then? An old Conn Victor, a Conn V1, a raw brass ZueS G, and a Lawler, all of which were better for me than the Superchops.

    BUT....don't think for a minute that the Superchops was a "bad" horn, because I don' think that it was. I just don't think that it matched my mouthpiece or the way that I play.
  7. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Gap problem, probably not


    I borrowed the Callet from the other trumpeter in Kzoo that toured the Wild Thing. He too has noted the stuffiness of the horn. After you told me about the gap from his trial I tried increasing the gap with all of my mps, but without avail. I wondered too about the valves, I noticed the numbers on the barrels don't all point the same way but they do seat according to the valve guides. I suppose the alignment could be off, if I were buying this horn I'd send it back to Jerry to see what he could do for me to open it up. But since the Wild Thing is just what I'm looking for......... :D

    I tried several "techniques", as suggested by several other trumpet playing aquaintances ie playing through the horn, don't worry about the mouthpiece, use the whole horn, etc. So cliche. I played it Sunday morning at church. People loved the music but all of them noted the difference between this horn and the Wild Thing, which I played for them last month. Oh yea, the Wild Thing it is!
  8. wavestar

    wavestar New Friend

    Oct 13, 2004
    I have a '90 Jazz modified by Jerry in '96 when I was using a JC 10S Magnum, the combo of the two opened it up, however the biggest change came when I switched to a M MFII mpc and it is now very close to my Wild Thing with an M MFIII mpc.
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    I played a friend's Callet Jazz a couple months after getting my Zeus and I had almost the same impression. The notes above the staff were just not there. I've never experienced it so noticeably with any horn but his.

    Maybe its a coincidence, but it is strange.

  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    A Callet Jazz costs as much as a Wild Thing? What's up with that?
    Its no more unique than any of the Kanstul Signature horns, and they are all under $2000.

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