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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Jan 7, 2014.
I pity the fool!!!
A Porsche 911 may indeed perform poorly for some excellent drivers and is an outstanding example. It is a mid-engine car and it handles different than another well engineered car, the Chevy Corvette. They both can get around the road course very well but they each require a little different approach. For some drivers, one will just fit more naturally than the other. Another good comparison is an F-18 vs an F-16. The F-16 has raw acceleration and turn rate on it's side, where the F-18 is smooth, stable and can generate more angle of attack. There are pilots who fly each who say they have never lost a dogfight to the other.
I acknowledge that Jason Harrelson has done a great deal to try and accommodate various players. I also acknowledge that his SWE principles are well researched and well thought out in terms of acoustics. However, the human variable trumps the acoustic science. A key idea behind SWE is to minimize "stray" vibrations and allow more of the sound energy to project out of the bell. In theory that should allow more volume and response with less effort. But a big a consequence of minimizing those stray vibrations is that feedback back to the player is reduced. A weighted mouthpiece reduces feedback even more.
For many players that reduced feedback is not an issue. For me it was a disaster. In my attempt to get the horn to "feel right" for me acoustically, I constantly overblew it and as a result I pushed notes sharp above the staff, my endurance suffered, and my flexibility was poor. In 18 months I couldn't ever adapt my playing to the horn. Now I could do fine playing lower parts, and by careful chop management I played my lead stuff okay. But it was always a bit of a struggle when I got to the extreme limits of my ability.
When I started playing higher feedback horns my struggles were greatly reduced. When I fully understood I needed a high feedback horn, I tried the finest quality high feedback horn I knew of. The Wild Thing is made by the craftsman that designed all those great FE Olds horns, and then the horn is blueprinted by a pro trumpet player who has a lot of mechanical experience. Flip Oakes used to be a drag racer, and he applied the same kind of concepts used in high horsepower racing engines to the trumpet in terms of managing airflow and eliminating turbulence. The result is a high feedback horn with tremendous projection as well as broad sound. Usually "projection" and "broad sound" don't go together.
Also, I am not a one-off example. While I agree that pro players have a very broad range of the type of equipment they can make sound good, they do have preferences. Lots of these players have chosen higher feedback horns. Look at how popular the lightweight Bach 72/43 was for lead and commercial playing. The players liked its warm sound when soft as well as the ease with which they could scream and light it up. Bobby Shew's Z horns are high feedback horns with Bach 72ish type bells as is the Yamaha Bergeron trumpet and the Yamaha Eric Miyashiro horn. The Carol Brass 5000L is like a lightweight Bach 43/25 and is very popular--Chris LaBarbera (a monster player) loves his. IIRC, Flip has sold a couple thousand Wild Things with less than a 1/2% return rate, so there are a lot of players who like it. They are also hard to find used. I took a quick look on the TH Marketplace and found one Wild Thing. I also looked for Harrelson and found five: two Summits, a C Bravura, and two conversions.
Monette is another company that makes well engineered horns. I have met Dave and been to the factory. He is a fine gentlemen, a true craftsman, an innovator, and an honest businessman. His ideas are also a disaster for me. His "constant pitch center" mouthpieces caused me to regress for the year I used them.
Perhaps as I develop more I'll eventually be able to adapt to a low feedback horn. Perhaps one day Jason will have an SWE horn that gives lots of feedback to the player. perhaps Dave will one day will make a horn that will fit players who tend to push sharp in the upper register vs the horns he makes now that are for players that tend to play flat up high. Be that as it may, the Wild Thing fits the way I play here and now better than any other horn I have tried, and I am not alone in that assessment.
The Porsche 911 is rear-engined, surely? Are we talking about the same car? The one that's so well-engineered, it's called "The Widowmaker"? The one they've been working on for 50 years to stop the back-end overtaking the front-end?
btw afp, following a couple of months reacquaintance, I'm with you 83.7% on the Wild Thing.
You're right, it is probably better described as rear-engined. The Vette, however is front engined and the way you agressively drive those two cars is different.
Jag man, myself. Point and shoot in leather-upholstered comfort with Deep Purple blasting through the stereo.
Porche engines make a Volks Wagon modification with one a real "sleeper".
I am actually a Duramax man. My mid life crisis was was a 2002 Chevy 2500 HD Dmax/Alli. I lifted it, put 35" tires on it, re-geared it to 4.11s, had the tranny beefed, and put a 500 RWHP/1000 ft lb torque tune in the truck. When fuel got expensive I went back to 33s, and the combination of 33s and 4.11s with that big tuning program made that truck insane. I could punch it at 50 mph on dry pavement and break the rear tires loose. Trucks that were set up similar to it would run 12s in the 1/4 mile, which is not bad for an 8,000 lb pickup. I planned to keep this truck forever.
However, on June 29th, 2009, as I was at a dead stop at a stoplight while on my way to work, a taxicab rear-ended me. the cab was travelling about 50 mph and knocked me and my truck 20 feet into the intersection. The impact actually hurt. Fortunately, I was unharmed but the taxi driver broke his pelvis. Both rigs were totaled, though the truck looked okay it's frame was bent--just like they are designed to do in a hard impact. Thankfully my truck was lifted, and I think that saved the cab driver's life. The nose of the taxi slid under my rear bumper and hit the center section of the rear end, exploding the driveshaft and sliding the rear end forward a foot on the springs. I think all that cushioned the impact. Had he hit my rear bumper head on he would have withstood the full force of the impact.
I went through two other trucks until I settled on my current ride, a 2011 DMax/Alli. This truck came form the factory with 33" tires, a beefed front end, a stronger tranny, and it puts 360 HP to the rear wheels. That is more power I had in my 2002 with the first 3 chips I used, and I only exceeded that power level with the tuning program. Now I couldn't tow anything at much over 300 RWHP with the 2002, but with the 2011 I get to tow with 360 RWHP and my warranty is unaffected. Still, I DO miss the 500 RWHP/1000 ft lbs of the 2002.
Maybe it's time for another drag race car, like the 10 sec car I had in the 90s.................
I like turtles...
I'm happy with my Ford Taurus SES. 200 hp gets me to the speed limit in a hurry and cruise control keeps me from getting tickets.