Sympathy for the less fortunate

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Some of us "less fortunate" players don't know it and are happy with our lot. I tend to think that we probably need more practice on the equipment we have instead of wondering if there's something better out there. Once you have a really good instrument, are the better ones that much better? Different, yes, but better?...I'm not so sure. As they say, "Ignorance is bliss." :cool:
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Nothing wrong with having more horns for fun, and I said as much in my first reply. I'm not getting paid to play trumpet (last time that happened in 1982 it didn't work out so well), and no one cares what trumpet I bring to community band. I can afford to have a few other horns and it's just fun to play them.

    If you want to do it all on one horn, hey, go for it.

  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Word on the street is that when Olds made the Mendez model they copied his French Besson, tapers, bore size and anything else they could think of, yet Mendez refused to sign off on any of them. Finally, someone measured the valves and discovered they were worn way down from lots of practice and playing. They shaved a bit off the Olds' valves and Mendez was delighted with the trumpet. Sometimes it pays to stay with the same horn.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    People are entitled to their views, and most likely wouldn't understand why I'm so high on my trumpet and down on others.

    Here's an analogy.

    Consider someone who has owned and driven muscle cars their whole life, let's call him Joe.

    Joe had a 66 Pontiac GTO in high school and college and loved it. But the 70's came and Joe had to sell the GTO
    when he got married. Joe gets a job, has a few kids, and does OK, but cannot afford an authentic 66 GTO.
    He longs for the days when he and his wife (then girlfriend) used to cruise main street in the "goat".
    Gas was cheap, as was just about everything, and life was good.

    He manages to occasionally afford something "sporty" along the way, a used 85 camaro here, a Grand Prix GT in the 90's,
    but its just not the same as the 66 GTO, the best selling muscle car ever made, his dream machine.

    So Joe hangs onto his dream and does the family man thing until his kids are all grown and he is able to save some money.
    So, now Joe is in his 50's, an empty nester and decides its time to finally go after the dream car, the 66 GTO.

    Joe spends a lot of his free time joining a classic car club, posting on the GTO forum and learning all he can about them.
    After a year or so he purchases a 66 GTO that is all original, but in need of serious repair. He begins working on the things
    he can, like locating parts, and some of the simpler tasks of restoration. For the most part Joe has to pay someone else to do the
    body work and engine rebuilding.

    Finally, after several years of work, waiting and serious money expenditures, Joe has his restored 66 GTO.
    It's like a dream come true. Cruising with his wife on a Saturday night in the GTO is like returning to high school again.

    Joe is happy. He and his classic car buddies love their restored cars that were state of the art in the 60's.
    They truly believe they are driving the greatest cars Detroit ever produced.

    Then one day, on the way home from a cruise in, Joe happens to pull up next to his buddy Tom who is driving
    a Hyundai Sonata.

    "Tom, what the hell is that [email protected]#$%^&* you are driving? Where's your Chevelle?"
    Tom replies,
    "Well, my Chevelle is in the shop getting the head gasket replaced again."

    "Too, bad, I thought I'd show you how a GTO eats a Chevy for dinner!" replies Joe.

    "Ha! That dinosaur can't even beat my Hyundai!" laughs Tom.

    So they both start revving their engines and when the light turns green they drag race to the next stop light.

    Joe is incredulous when he realizes that Tom's putrid Hyundai just bested his beloved GTO.

    "What the hell was that?" Joe yells at Tom.

    "That, my friend, is called modern engineering." replies Tom.

    And so Joe went home a little down-hearted, because his GTO, restored to factory specs, just got owned
    by a Korean family car. He got over it, in a few days, and found solace in the more staunch members of the
    car club that still "keep the faith", and only drive American made cars and continue to boast that their
    60's muscle cars are the best ever made.

    Tom, on the other hand, realizes that technology advances, and so must all products if performance is to
    advance as well. He appreciates what the muscle cars were in their heyday, but understands that their day is long
    past, regardless of what the majority of his fellow club members say when they are at the cruise in.


    I identify with Tom.
    If you all want to identify with Joe, that's fine.

  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Nice story, and true, but I have 150 year old cornets that aren't that much different from new ones. I think the improvement/development of brass instruments has been incremental, at best. The manufacturing techniques, quality control, tolerances, etc. have improved, but they are still just a conglomeration of brass tubing with some valves.

    Not knocking your original post, btw. I understand what you're saying. Sometimes internet boards leave the wrong impression due to the lack of voice inflection and facial expression.
  6. Randall Nelson

    Randall Nelson Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 26, 2011
    WA State
    ...I have a bunch but that French Besson Stamm is one really nice horn to play...:D
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    The one that was conventional in slotting? My grandfather's 400 that Charlie Melk replaced the mouthpipe on. I asked for it to be "gapped for a GR [mouthpiece]".

    It's more than once that I have thought to have it returned to its original condition, where the "gap" is near a quarter inch, if not more.

    I think the Model 217 Lightweight 400 was the most bendy? Love that horn. I can't wait for you to try the Model 228 Lightweight 400!

  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    I agree with you 100%.
    Big companies have done very little to advance the technology of building trumpets, and Bach is one of the worst...probably THE worst.

    But that is not what this thread is about.

    Harrelson trumpets are not a carbon copy of anything.
    They certainly aren't a result of gradual minor changes applied slowly over the years.
    And they sure as heck aren't a Monette knock-off, not that anyone in this thread has said such.

    What they are is the fastest developing line of models available today. Anyone who has spent any time watching
    this company knows how the product has improved by leaps and bounds in a few short years.

    And the changes made to the product are not cosmetic "me too" gimmickry.
    The changes from model to model are substantial, and made strictly for the purpose of enhancing performance.

    I've spent hours in conversations with Jason learning about his product and 10X more studying material available
    in print and video online regarding these horns. I have also done enough experimenting with trumpet modifications myself
    that coupled with my engineering background confirm the science that Jason claims is behind his work.

    Jason has concepts in his head and some on paper that are simply waiting for him to be able to design proper manufacturing
    schemes for them to become a reality. The man is obsessed with building better trumpets, and the fact that he works
    something close to 4000 hours a year is testimonial to the depth of his obsession.

    It is borderline ludicrous, IMO, for people to think a trumpet is a trumpet is a trumpet.

  9. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    What is, however, true? The audience doesn't give a shit. You either perform or you don't.

    They don't care how you got there.

  10. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Heck, I'm still playing the same Holton Collegiate that I got in 4th grade in school! It ain't the prettiest thing out there, but it still plays nice. What I want to get is a used cornet somewhere. I'd love to play some mellow big band stuff and smooth jazz pieces and feel they'd sound better on a cornet vs a trumpet.

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