TOUR STOP #13 - North Carolina

Discussion in 'Horns' started by BrassClass, May 17, 2004.

  1. BrassClass

    BrassClass New Friend

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    Apr 2, 2004
    I'll be receiving the WT tomorrow. Be looking for first impressions soon as well as details and horn comparisons later in the week. It's going to be educational as well as fun!
     
  2. BrassClass

    BrassClass New Friend

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Hi Guys. I received the WT in today. My first impression is a very positive one. The Walt Johnson case it arrived in is first class, holds the additional slide, valve oil and slide grease well. The horn really feels good in your hands, balanced very nice. You can tell this is a quality instrument. I get the same feeling when I hold my Schilke but I can't say that about a lot of horns I have played. You just know it when you're holding a quality instrument in your hands and this is it. The finish and fit are of course excellent.

    After checking out the horn cosmetically I blew it a while. I won't go into a lot of detail as I didn't get much time on it before heading to our church's wind ensemble rehersal. I can say however, that I was expecting this huge open feel but it wasn't that way at all - really surprised me. I played both the #1 & #2 slides a few minutes and would have no problem playing this horn.

    Another thing that really surprised me were the thin valve caps on the horn. I have read about those for a long time but would have never thought I would like them but I do. I really like these! - will probably get some for my other horns.

    After the rehersal tonight, I asked the director to hang around and help me do some comparisons. He is an excellent brass player and I wanted to get some opinions from him. We went into the sanctuary which is a large room with high ceilings. He sat in the back and I played from down front. I played my Bach 37, (a good Bach 37 by the way), and the Wild Thing back and forth not telling him which was which. I played some slow mid range melodic pieces then some higher range stuff using a lead piece. He picked the WT hands down every time. He commented that the WT had a more open richer fuller sound - and the other horn sounded slightly restricted. He also thought the horn had a very rounded sound.

    I plan to play a lot this week and do some comparisons with several horns - Bach 37, Schilke B1L and my "Z". I have a recording studio in my home and plan to also record the horns on identical material and do a side by side track playback comparison. I'll also get more into the different mouthpieces I played on the horn. Check back this weekend for more comments.

    Thanks Tom & Flip. Players like myself really appreciate you guys getting this together. This is going to be very educational as well as fun!
     
  3. BrassClass

    BrassClass New Friend

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Final Comments:

    I was initially going to compare the WT to my Bach 37, Schilke B1L and my Yamaha "Z". I decided to drop the "Z" out of the contest because it's such a different type horn. It just didn't make sense to test it in this way.

    I have a small recording studio in my home and recorded several tracks of playing some scales, arpeggios, jazz licks, high phrases, classical pieces and etc on the WT, my 37 and my B1L. In all cases, the horns all sounded very different but the results were consistent.

    The results: The WT hands down had the best blow of any of the horns in my opinion - the more I play, the more I seem to gravitate to more open blowing horns. The WT is open but not "too open". I am only an intermediate level player and have a long way to go to master the use of my air. I would have no problems playing this horn. I preferred the #2 tuning slide - the smaller of the two tuning slides Flip sent but only because of their sound - not because I couldn't handle the #1 one slide. Both gave me a great rich full sound.

    They all sounded good but the B1L sounded much more like the WT than the 37. I guess that is because of the large bell on the Schilke. The WT seemd to slot better than my B1L and I like that a lot. The only thing I would change is I wish the WT was just a "tad" brighter. I do like the sparkle of the B1L better but the blow and feel of the WT is simply awesome. I can't explain it - it's something you would just need to experience yourself to fully understand. I played a Monette B4S and B4L for all the recording tests. These are large mouthpiecs with large throats. I pulled out my Warburton 5SV/KT bb and a Schilke 13A4a and it definately brightened up the WT but was still not the commercial sound that I was hearing in my head. I realize that probably teaking mouthpieces or tuning slides would improve this. I read on Flip's website where his J-slides are brighter than the #1 & #2 slides he sent. Those might give me just the sound I'm looking for.

    I shipped the WT off on Monday as scheduled. It was a blast playing such a great instrument. I have a lot of respect for this horn. Thanks Tom and Flip. I have too many horns and mouthpieces and really need to downsize, (in # not diameter), and a WT may very well be in my future.

    Thanks!
    Phil
     

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