Tour Stop #18 - John in Viera, FL

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Japle, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Japle

    Japle Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Cape Canaveral
    The Wild Thing arrived at work, so I didn’t get a chance to play it right away. Workmanship was obviously top-shelf. Fit and finish are flawless and the valves are terrific.

    Just a note here: I had an endarterectomy done 16 days ago to clean out a mostly-blocked left carotid. The operation required an incision from just below my left jaw almost to the end of my collarbone. As you might expect, I was somewhat reluctant to do any playing. My neck expands about 1 ½†when I play high or loud and I had visions of springing a wide, messy leak. I wasn’t too interested in blowing the Gortex patch my surgeon had installed in the artery, either. These days they don’t use stitches or staples; they just push the skin together and slap on some glue. I’d been told it was plenty strong, but still….. Because of this, I’ve only done a little soft playing and nothing above the staff for the last two weeks.

    I warmed up on my .470 bore Kanstul Chicago. I love this horn. It’s the most responsive, open-blowing, easy to play horn I’ve owned. I play a GR 63M mouthpiece, BTW. I did the “Six Notesâ€, some expanding Adam scales up to high C and some “Flight of the Bumblebeeâ€. Then I switched to the WT with the #1 slide.
    Oh, man! The difference was dramatic. The WT is even more responsive than the Chicago. At first, I didn’t care for the tone I was getting. It seemed too bright and brittle. Hard to control. The control problem didn’t last long.
    I got out the Clarke Characteristic Studies and started with “Carnival of Veniceâ€. The valves are so fast they almost get away from you. The low range is very open. The “blow†seems the same in all registers. It doesn’t take any more air than the Chicago, but I must admit the low range speaks more easily.
    I went to “The Southern Crossâ€. When I got to the third line, I was thinking about that high D and wondering whether I should try it. My wife was sticking her head in the room every few minutes with dire warnings about blood pressure.
    The D came out easily. No strain. No bleeding, at least where I could see.
    After a half hour, my chops were going and I didn’t want to strain.
    The #1 slide still produces more of a “lead†sound than I like. The #2 slide responds very much like my Chicago. I’ll have to play them side-by-side.
    More to come.

  2. Japle

    Japle Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Cape Canaveral
    2nd day with the WT

    First, about the valves-- The WT valves are just plain great. They seemed much better than my Chicago at first, but that was because I hadn't oiled the Chicago in a few weeks. I use BiNak Pro and sometimes it's hard to notice the gradual slowing of the valves. They never stick, they just very slowly bog down. After wiping them off and applying the usual 1/3 drop of Pro, they were back to normal. If the WT valves are a 10, the Chicago is a 9.5.

    I warmed up with the #2 slide and started on “From the Shores of the Mighty Pacificâ€. After going all the way through it, I switched to the Chicago. There wasn’t all that much difference. The low register is a bit more open on the WT. Response is very similar. Both horns are very open up to high C.
    Switching to the WT with #1 slide, there was a difference in the response. It has less resistance than the #2 slide. The main difference is in the tone. It’s brighter than I like, but I’m not a lead player. Could I get used to the tone? Could I learn to get my own sound? Yeah, I probably could. I sure do like the open feeling below the staff with the #1 slide.

    4 out of 5 of my straight mutes fit.
    1 out of 3 cup mutes fit.
    Neither of my Harmons would stay in the bell.
    My Solotone fit.

    If a standard Harmon won’t work with this bell flare, is there one that will work? I did a search in the TM database and nothing came up. What’s the story here?

  3. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    Flip does sale a line of harmon style mutes - the Best Brass mutes. The downside is that the least expensive one, the aluminum mute, costs $92! I'd just add some extra cork to the good ole' Harmon brand wah-wah mute.
  4. Japle

    Japle Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Cape Canaveral
    I’ve spent the last couple of hours playing the WT with the #1 slide against my .470 bore Chicago. (After getting used to the WT, the only noticeable differences between the WT with the #2 slide and the Chicago are the Amado water keys on the WT and the slightly freer valves.)

    Intonation: The WT has excellent intonation, although no better than the Chicago. Both play within a few cents of right-on from low F# to high E.

    The “Blowâ€: The WT with the #1 slide has a more open blow than the Chicago. Both play more open than any other horns I’ve played with the exception of a couple of 45-50 year old Calicchios. With the #2 slide the WT and Chicago are very close. No two horns are going to feel exactly the same, but these two are real close.

    Response: Excellent with both horns. Interval leaps, lip trills, slurs are easy. The WT with the #1 slide is more responsive below the staff. No question about it.

    Tone: I don’t notice any significant difference in tone with either slide anymore. At this point, I have 4-5 hours on the WT. Guess I’ve gotten used to it. The excess brightness is gone. Now I just sound like me. Well, that’s what I expected, isn’t it?

    Valves: The WT valves feel quicker than the Chicago. On the other hand, I can’t play “Flight of the Bumblebee†any faster. With both horns, I’m running 145-150 bpm.
    The WT sure feels good, though.

    So, what do we have?
    The WT costs almost exactly twice what the Chicago 1070 costs. Is it worth it?
    If I were a professional trumpet player, it definitely would be. No doubt about it. I’d be willing to re-cork my mutes and go for it. I’d leave the #2 slide in the closet forever.
    As a fairly-serious amateur who plays 10-15 gigs a year, no. I can’t justify the cost.

    Bottom line:
    I’ve never played a trumpet I loved more.
    I can’t afford it.
    I wish I could!!!

    John Lisbeth

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