The last Bb I'll ever buy

Discussion in 'Horns' started by RichN, May 9, 2005.

  1. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    This post is really a public thanks to Leigh McKinney and the rest of the Eclipse team, and to Noel Langley, for a thoroughly enjoyable Friday afternoon. Choosing an Eclipse trumpet at the workshop in Luton has to be one of the most fun (legal and marriage-friendly) ways to spend a few hours.

    I've been to the Eclipse workshop, both the old one and the new one, a few times before, and I've played pretty much all of their trumpets, Bb, C, flugels, but I've always just been playing them for fun before. This time, I decided to stop boring everyone (particularly my wife) with going on about how great they are and spend my bonus (and the rest!) on one to replace my Bach Strad 37.

    So, on Friday afternoon I went down to Luton and spend a very happy few hours with Leigh and Noel working my way through the Eclipse Bb range. I was initially really nervous about exposing my dodgy playing to someone of Noel's ability, but he's such a friendly, easy-going bloke that I soon felt really comfortable playing. We went through a process of elimination with me playing whilst Leigh and Noel listened, and with Noel playing whilst I listened. Not a chore! Eventually, I couldn't choose between the Medium Red and the Medium Yellow, so Noel had a chat with Leigh and then Leigh re-belled a MHY as a MY and somehow managed to add a little more richness and warmth into the sound than the standard MY bell. Not a huge amount, but enough to make me 100% happy with it and end the indecision. That horn now has my name on it. In black marker pen on the bell. Next to the word 'sold' :D . I've now got a week to decide whether to have it in polished gold plate or scratched gold with polished highlights. Decisions, decisions....

    Anyway, a big thanks to Leigh and Eclipse team, and also to Noel, who only came up from London to help me out. I'd never met him before, and he was very generous with his time and advice. I know Leigh has just sold me an expensive trumpet, but that kind of care and attention to customers is rare, and it's made me feel really good about the whole process. One of the pieces I tend to play when I'm comparing trumpets is Fantasie Brillante from the back of the Arban and I've still got a little warm glow from when Noel said "that was really nicely played. I enjoyed listening to it". No idea if he was just being nice, or if he really meant it, but I'll choose to believe he meant it!

    It's looking like it will be ready for collection on the day I go away for a long weekend at the other end of the country. That will feel like the longest weekend away I've ever had!

    Rich.
     
  2. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    You lucky sod!

    Best of luck with your new horn.

    Leigh and Noel are true gents!
     
  3. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    477
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Hey, make no mistake, Noel doesn't pull punches about how he thinks you've played. If he says it was good, it was good. I'm glad you got to go thru that whole experience, it was one of the most educational experiences of my trumpet playing life as well. I remember in particular I wanted to get my old Bach 37 Heavybell rework and replated, and Leigh asked me to play for him so he could listen. I did and he looked at me and said "I think you have a brace loose Jarrett."
    Now, I've had the horn for 13 years at this point, I think I'd notice a loose brace since I play the horn every damn day. Nope, he shows me that the sauter sure enough had a hairline fracture and you could pull the brace away from the bell a little bit if you tried. What freaked me out is that Leigh knew this from listening to me play! He hadn't even touched or seen the horn yet! The guy has some crazy ears, he should learn Jazz.
    -J
     
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Congrats..............go with the scratched gold\polished accents. Sorry I wasn't able to get up there this last week or we could have played some duets while Noel listened in.
     
  5. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    219
    1
    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    Hi Rich and Mike,

    I have posted on the TH too but I just want to say here "Congratulations!" as well. Go with the finish you like the most and will be happy with for many years. If you can't choose between them then I would say both would be great choices for you.

    Me....I think I would probably go with polished gold plate but it's a close call!

    Yes I agree Eclipse trumpets are amazing and Leigh and the whole team at Eclipse are great to do business with.

    Now just wait for the "Eclipse Blues" to start! - I've had it, Tootsall's had it, Mike's had it! - but the cure is amazing when your super new horn arrives!

    All the best,

    Graham.
     
  6. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Luckily my 'Eclipse Blues' shouldn't last too long. I actually chose mine from stock (not something Leigh has very often!), so I've only got to wait for the finishing touches (slide stops, finger hook, gold plate etc.) rather than wait for the entire thing to be built from scratch. 2-3 weeks with luck and a following wind :-) .

    Rich.
     
  7. Dan Millheim

    Dan Millheim Pianissimo User

    228
    1
    Sep 4, 2004
    Fort Worth ,TX
    "Eclipse Blues." Man I hear ya...I just got over that last week and now I found out I have "XLR" fever!
     
  8. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    219
    1
    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    Just keep looking at your bell in the pic from the new shop and your temperature will soar.....!

    The cure is amazing though - has Leigh said when it may be finished and what about yours Rich?

    Graham.
     
  9. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Picking it up this Friday :D

    I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate at work. I decided to have it in a slightly non-standard version scratched gold with polished bits.

    The most difficult part of Friday will be that I won't be able to resist playing the flugels again. I really want one, but can't remotely justify it, and by rights it's at the back of the queue behind a new boiler, a new drive and re-roofing the utility. I have a very understanding wife but I think that would be pushing it that little but too far!

    Rich.
     
  10. music matters

    music matters Pianissimo User

    219
    1
    Apr 26, 2004
    ON Canada
    Sounds exciting Rich! Let us know how you get on with it once it arrives.

    All the best,

    Graham.
     

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