That was a nice surprise...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    This is a first: am actually asking for advice on a trumpet.

    Just tonight at R&B band rehearsal our manager presented me with a slightly belated birthday present. Well the fact is I've missed the last practice so I can't exactly blame the boss.

    Wat up?

    Just a Jupiter Carnegie XL B Flat trumpet in lacquer w/case. A very solid case that is. OMG! happy boy here.

    Does anyone else play this trumpet and what do you think of it? Granted it isn't the most expensive thing. Probably only an "intermediate" quality trumpet. However there are plenty of those so-called "professional" trumpet models I can't use. Not loud enough. Once heard that Louis Armstrong played much of his career on what today would be called a "student model horn".

    Well the fact is my F. Besson needs a major overhaul and the boss was bitchin about how I hadn't had it re-soldered and shined up. Didn't look right on stage. So he goes out and BUYS this horn and offers to fix up my main ax before the first of May. Hip hip hooray!

    One mild scratch on the bell. Otherwise mint shape. No corrosion, valves perfect. One thing I find odd is the "reverse" first and third valve slide but the tuning slide is standard, ie: the slide itself has the two male ends which insert in the main body. If I were to design a reverse slide I'd put it on the tuning slide first and then perhaps run the first and third slides w/reverse slides.

    Here's the thing: I don't study horns much. Mouthpieces? Oh yeah. They're what i would call my main area of expertise. But trumpets? Naw. I usually wait until my main ax is so badly beaten up that I gotta worry about parts falling off of it and must replace. Which means I change trumpets about every twenty years or so. About every time i divorce a wife. Or she divorces me lol.

    I've bought three B Flat trumpets in my life. Yup, that's it...

    let's do the math:

    2012 minus


    47.5 / 3 = 15.5 years... OK so maybe its only 15.5 years between horns... Again about as many wives as I've had.

    I do try other horns from time to time at the local music store. So far have found it hard to beat or meet the quality of my recent vintage F. Besson in .464 bore. The other horns either don't play loud enough or lack the quality of tone i like. Once in a while i find a trumpet that plays loud enough. Like the old Holton .470 bore Ferguson model. However it plays too shrill for me. I could use it to get plenty of volume but the lack of a tone I would describe as "mine" means it wouldn't make me happy. Might drive me crazy.

    Did recently try the Shew 8310 Yamaha with tight valve bore and yet free & open lead pipe. It would work as well or nearly as well as my .464 F. Besson. but the $2200.00 average price means I will remain happy w/the one I've got.

    By putting my main ax in the shop it forces me to play only the Jupiter through the rest of the month. A good way to get to know any instrument. If I switch back and forth I may not get the chance to settle in for some important gigs.

    Conclusion/analysis so far:

    Loudness, decent quality tone and good valves are my main concern in a horn. And for stage presence I suppose having an ax in beautiful mint condition is important. Me? I tend to be more concerned at the quality of the tone coming OUT of the bell. Not how pretty it looks on stage. But others see it differently. Like a band director I had who once said

    The audience 'hears' more with their eyes than their ears. And I suppose he's correct. An ugly horn looks somewhat unprofessional

    Then again Willie Nelson has been known to play some BUTT UGLY guitars. Its his style. Also I've found that the "professional" vs. "student' quality labels of other instruments including especially electric guitars to often be irrelevant. Just about any Fender Stratocaster I've ever played had perfect intonation. No foolin! Those guitar players don't know how lucky they are. You buy the cheapest Fender Squier right off the rack and it will play immaculately in tune. Try for yourself.

    Yet no rock 'n roll guitarist will tell you this! His ego won't allow. Instead he'll rail on how "inferior" the Korean and Mexican made Squiers are to the original ones. However other than some handy electronic features these axes play no better than their cheaper brother the Squier.

    Thus the line between a "student" and any "professional" instruments can be thin. There are "pro" model trumpets I wouldn't play unless you paid me. At least in certain applications. The Bach Strad 37 is a great solo horn but doesn't play loud enough. I also slot poorly with it making it near impossible to blow lead through three sets of jazz big band charts. So when I want that sweet tone so desirable for soloing? I'd play my cheap old Conn Director cornet. The Strad would work but again it would cost a small fortune and an old Conn cornet will sound even better.

    There was a time when I only wanted to play lyrical, sweet solo stuff. Back in High school and college. Kind of a cross between the Alpert and Mangione tone. But fate tore me away from that direction when i found out that projection, high range and endurance were the main qualities necessary to keep a steady show & dance gig.

    I like the idea that a relatively cheap horn can work well enough for my needs. More later.

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  2. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    I've never played one, but it sounds like you got a good friend. I like vintage too and .464 is my favorite bore. You can't beat an F. Besson but you have to maintain any trumpet. Loose braces will distort the sound, of course. Congrats on the new axe. More than that, thanks to a caring friend!
  3. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    I suspect he's "mobbed up" lol

    Mexican syndicate.

Share This Page