Trumpet design

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MarkMin, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. MarkMin

    MarkMin New Friend

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    Hello,
    this may be a stupid question: is there a reason piston valved trumpets are not made so that the lead-pipe goes straight into the first valve (like on a flugelhorn or a rotary valved trumpet)? You could then have the main tuning slide on the pipe that came out of the third valve (again, similar to a rotary valved trumpet). Has anyone made trumpets like this with piston valves? It just seems an obvious thing to do, and I wondered why it isn't done. Please tell me if I'm being thick, or if this has been discussed endlessly before.

    Best
    MarkMin
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a significant technical advantage to building trumpets this way. The LONGER leadpipe allows for better intonation and a more consistent tone throughout the registers. This assumes that that is what you want however.

    German rotary trumpets have a sexy low register, clear midrange and brilliant upper register. They also can be built in tune, but many aren't. Many germanic composers from 1850 to the present build those characteristics into their compositions. Mahler, Br├╝ckner and Strauss are very good examples. Playing those works with a section of rotary horns and german trombones gives you a completely different perspective. If you haven't been there, you are missing something important.
    Lets not turn the flames up because american orchestra XYZ plays everything on Bach or Yamaha piston trumpets though. If that is what they want to do, good for them. I believe they are making an unnecessary sacrifice in color!
     
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Despite Rowuk's typically knowledgeable response, I think this is a terrific question. What now begs answering is why are flugelhorns built the way they are, if better intonation would come from leadpipe to 3rd valve design? I have the impression that flugels are generally more in tune than trumpets (though certainly not my Yamaha YFH 2310). The discussion of the need for trigger-operated slides on flugels had many folks saying their horns didn't need it. Is the conical bore a factor?

    And rotaries - is it super expensive to build them in tune? Do they come with slide adjusters? They do have a terrific sound profile -listen to Mnozil.

    I remember from my french horn (from where comes my rotary knowledge) days that the right hand is the pitch adjuster, AND that most horns were not very well in tune and truly needed that hand to get there. What a pain! My right hand works great for fingering, but not so for bell stuffing. (The oboe is called an ill wind that nobody blows good - and the Horn needs a similar quip)

    The rotary valves are faster (or would be if right-handed), until you need to mess with them, then they are a pain. For a while I wondered why no pistons on french horns, but that was the naive me before I became mechanically accomplished. Rotaries are more compact, and double horn design depends on them. But I digress -enough on instruments from another forum.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Flugelhorns are NOT better in tune really. The slots are much fuzzier, making in tune playing easier. Play duets with another flugel player and you will hear how much adjustment is necessary!

    It is not super expensive to build rotaries in tune, it just requires a good leadpipe design and more attention during play testing. Monke from Cologne builds rotary trumpets that are quite popular, but I have NEVER played one that meets my definition of being "in tune". There are enough other brands with a similar fate! I own a Heckel Bb rotary that was built in 1938 and the intonation and sound are excellent. Play before you pay!
     
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Well, while it isn't a trumpet, this Conn 76A cornet is built similarly, but has a longer leadpipe than what you're talking about. It goes into the 1st valve and the bell tubing comes out of the 3rd valve, with the tuning slide between the 3rd valve and the bell flare. I really don't know what (if any) advantage this is, but this is a really good-playing horn. There are a few other cornets built this way, the Olds Recording being the more famous one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, MarkMin!

    If you can find the images, the trumpet Chalier played was essentially a German trumpet with piston valves, and if that trumpet gave the best of both worlds, there would a lot more of them floating around. As rowuk said, the longer leadpipe does give more control to the player, and suppose that the shorter leadpipe on the flugel is to allow more space for the bell flare.

    Have fun!
     
  7. MarkMin

    MarkMin New Friend

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Thanks for your replies.
    Seems like there is some debate about the relative advantages & disadvantages (or just *differences*).

    It's interesting (to me, at least) that the Conn shown in the photo uses a longer lead pipe than a flugel and so perhaps gets the best of both worlds -- consistent tone & better intonation --- and perhaps some of the sexy low, clear middle, and brilliant upper registers. Is that right? I'd like to see the Chalier trumpet.

    One day, perhaps, I'll build one (yeah, right) and hear for myself what it's like.

    Best
     

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