Tour Stop #19 - Peter in Florida

Discussion in 'Horns' started by tom turner, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    This is the last stop in the Florida leg of the tour. The tour will next move towards the middle of the country.
  2. PJB

    PJB New Friend

    Dec 2, 2003
    Niceville, FL
    The touring Wild Thing finally made its way to Gulf coast of northwest Florida and the town of Niceville (that’s right, Niceville…and yes, it is!). I was impressed with the horn from the moment I unpacked it. As I played the horn, it was very easy so understand why so many have sung its praises. It is a wonderful instrument.

    The primary goal for my spin with the WT was to really get a feel for the difference between it and my 30-year-old but very reliable LA Benge 3x. I’ve been playing my 3x with a GR 66** mouthpiece; a good combination for big band work. So, I stayed with the 66** for the horn comparison. Now, for a synopsis of my WT experience.

    First, from the time I pulled the WT from its case, it just felt good! This was the first time I’ve seen, touched, or played a Wild Thing. The slightly shorter length of the WT (it’s about one inch shorter than my 3x) made for a comfortable hold. The build quality is excellent but that should no surprise to anyone familiar with horns from the House of Kanstul.

    Second, the WT sound is exceptional! I warmed up a little on my Benge before switching horns. As soon as I began playing the WT, my wife came into the room and said, “That must be the new horn, it sounds very different.†When I asked her to describe the difference, she used terms like “distinctive†and “brighter.†I don’t find the horn bright as much as full—it sounds great! As many others have already stated, the blow is open and even. By the way, most of my WT playing was with the #1 slide.

    Third, the horn plays beautifully with fast and buttery smooth valves. Intonation is also very good and the WT seemed to slot more precisely than my Benge. Many others on this thread have commented positively about the playing characteristics of the WT and I’m in complete agreement. The WT is a terrific horn!

    I regret that with too many competing demands on my time last week, I did not take full advantage of the five days allotted to me for this tryout. On the other hand, how long does it take to know that a horn like the WT is really something? I would have loved to play a big band job with the WT but I didn’t have anything going on last week. Bummer!

    So, how was the WT compared to my Benge? In short, stellar! My old 3x has been a reliable companion for the 30 years I’ve owned it but the WT is a better instrument. The WT valves smoke the Benge and the WT sound is exceptional. With the artisans at Kanstul, Flip Oakes has produced an extraordinary trumpet.

    Before closing, I have to comment about the WT Walt Johnson case. If anyone wanted a bulletproof gig bag, this case has got to be it! It’s an impressive piece of work. You could use the thing as a battering ram without any worries for the horn inside. The only downside is lack of space for extras—there’s only enough room for the WT, a few small bits like the extra slide, valve oil, slide grease, and a mouthpiece or two. It really is an armored gig bag!

    Unfortunately, all good things like WT tryouts eventually come to an end. So, I had no choice but to clean and polish the horn before sending it back to Tom Turner for a quick check up. I sure would like to have kept the WT around for my college jazz band reunion next week. Hey, Tom! Just a few more days, okay?

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