The question must be asked!!!

Discussion in 'Horns' started by miles71, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    Ok guys,
    I am new to TM and heres a little background. For the past 8 years I was a high school band director and had little time to play my horn. Before that I was a freelance player while getting my under-grad degree. Had all the horns from two b flats to picc. While teaching I got a Masters Degree and had quite a few private students. (yes I went home every once in a while). Short of a "life story", I have moved and am no longer teaching.

    Since the move I have been able to play much more than usual (very nice). I am at the point where it feels good to play, just wish I could get back to the level I was about 9 years ago. I am again thinking about a new horn. I presently play a Yamaha Xeno 8335RGS and think it is a great horn. I need something that can do it all - concert band, lead work, small group, etc. The Xeno does all of that with some small problems, but is still the best horn I've owned.

    The Big Question!!!! What is the best pro horn for all around playing? I have read about the Eclipse and must say it has my attention. I live in "Bach Country" but only had one of them I liked, so any help would be great. Would be nice to hear you backgrounds as well. Thanks for the help.
  2. Castle Bravo

    Castle Bravo Piano User

    Nov 6, 2003
    Sche├člitz, Germany
    I'm a little biased toward Eclipse as their webmaster, but here's my 2 cents.

    I have been playing for 19 years, am currently in the Army band program. I do a lot of lead work, lot of dixie, brass quintet, basically whatever people want to hear. Enough about that.

    The Eclipse is in my opinion, the last horn you will ever need to buy. The flip side of that is they are all so good, you may have a bear of a time settling on just one. All of the horns are exactly the same minus the bell. The finishes and the bell are the only difference between models; so the horns are labeled 'eclipse' followed by the bell type. Mine is an eclipse MR (med red-brass bell).

    The unique design of the horn is responsible for 3 of the 4 characteristics that in my opinion sell the horn - an uncannily even blow, impeccable tuning, and crisp slotting. The 4th is the valve block - best of the best (even doc uses it on his custom horn). Every horn plays and respond the same due to the uniform design across the models, and all you have to do is figure out what sound you want.

    If you can find a way to try out an eclipse, do it (at your own risk). The first time I played an eclipse, I had just bought a brand new horn 8 months prior, and I sold it and bought the eclipse. I was'nt in the market for a new horn.... but once you play it, it's hard to deny the horn's caliber and class.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I say that if you are ready, willing and able to drop a goodly sum on a new horn, fine, but my question to you is what in the heck is wrong with the Xeno? You say that you want a horn that can do it all, but in my experience, there really is no such thing. You can find horns that are particularly good at one aspect or another of playing - for instance, a Bach Strad ML 37 is going to be a great legit horn, and does ok for other things, but if you are really serious about playing lead, it might not be for you. Likewise, a Schilke B6 is considered by some to be an amazing rock band horn, but it's not what you would want to bring to the brass quintet rehearsal. The "do-it-all" horns, such as the aforementioned Bach ML 37, usually have the shortcoming in that it has to compromise somewhere for something.

    That being said, I'm going to list off some horns that I have either played or heard about that might fit that category.

    Schilke S32
    Conn Vintage One (depends on configuration)
    Schilke B5
    Lawler - Roy or Bruce Lee can answer better what his best all-around horns are
    Eclipse - Top dollar, but worth every penny from what I have heard
    Calicchio - Not sure which Calicchio is going to be a good all-arounder, but I know there is one
    Kanstul Signature
    Flip Oakes Wild Thing
    Blackburn - you will have to wait and they are expensive, but they are also outstanding from what I have heard

    I'm sure that others can add to this list, but that's where I would start.

    Something else that I would consider if I were you would be to look into getting a Blackburn leadpipe for your Xeno. It's a much cheaper alternative to buying a new horn, and the results could be just what you are looking for.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I would add the Zeus Guarnerius to that list and would agree - what do you want to do that the Xeno can't do?

  5. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004

    Im just looking to improve the set up I already have. The Xeno has some small problems.

    Intonation seems to suffer a bit in the 4th partial.
    The square slide is a little resistant

    It is a great horn and I could just stay with it, but as we are trumpet players we can never settle on what we have. Just searching for answers man.
  6. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I say play on any horn you sound great on!!!!
    How YOU sound is the most important consideration.
  7. ScreaminTrumpet

    ScreaminTrumpet New Friend

    Feb 25, 2004
    Lubbock, TX
    Recently I have played quite a few horns. I played several Kanstul trumpets and were VERY impressed with them. They are very well built horns and I would highly recommend them. Also, the Zeus trumpets have recently caught my attention. I had a chance to play them this last year at TMEA convention (Texas Music Educators Assoc.) when Reverend had his booth there. The Olympus is a fantastic horn for a great price. It all comes down to how much you want to spend! Happy shopping.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    The Olympus in made by Kanstul (as is the Wild Thing). Alex's specs are used for that horn alone. Its not for everyone, but if you want a big bore, big bell horn that doesn't spread too much, it is a fantastic horn. And the price is excellent.

    In like style, the Kanstul 1500 Tim Wendt model or the 1600 Wayne Bergeron are amazing horns. Less $$ than a Schilke or Eclipse (a lot less than some others). In the Kanstul line you can get horns as bright and focused as a Calicchio and as dark and rich as Mt. Vernon. The Chicago series is very much like the Chicago Benge. Zig Kanstul worked with Eldon Benge and Foster Reynolds (of Reynolds/Olds fame) and worked in management at Conn and King. His "fingerprints" are on many of the great horns of a few years back and today. And completely made in the US.

    Not that I am biased or anything. :roll:

  9. Greg5850

    Greg5850 Pianissimo User

    Jan 10, 2004
    Try a Wild Thing

    I too am a HS band director, I've played a Bach Lt37 since '78 and have tried out everything that has come along looking for something I liked better. I even spent a GREAT afternoon with Reynold Schilke himself playing his horns (years ago). What a great man!)

    Everything came up short in one way or another, (although I really liked the Xeno Large 8345) until I tried the WT. I've got one on the way. It worked for me. It was just easier- less fracks, more endurance, faster technique. I think it makes me play "right". I believe I tense up more on my Bach.

    Of course, people always talk up the horn they just spent big bucks on.

    Bach Strad Lt37
    Courtois Flugal
    Burbank Pic
    soon to be Wild Thing
    Bach 1 1/2 C legit, Warburton 6 series Jazz
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Hmm... good point. Maybe that's why we keep changing horns... so we'll always have something to talk about! :D

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