Trumpet Modifications, Where to start ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Kentish Man, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Kentish Man

    Kentish Man New Friend

    Nov 7, 2009
    I was given an old student model trumpet some time back and am interested to modify it as follows
    1) Tunable bell
    2) 1st & 3rd valve slide thumb hooks
    Why ?
    · Feels restricted when blowing
    · It’s already in parts
    · Interested in the Engineering element
    · Like to see the Cause and effect of the modifications
    My Question is not to debate the logic of the modification it’s self but
    Where and how to get started ?
    · Are pre made parts available? (Channel lock, Bell stud) [really stuck here]
    · Thumb hooks,
    · Where can I find some basic’s of Trumpet construction?
    · Tips & Tricks?
    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
    Kentish Man
  2. rettepnoj

    rettepnoj Fortissimo User

    Feb 22, 2009
    Tunable bell isn't too hard to make! You need to make a slide and a "slide brace" between the valve casing and the bell! This is pretty easy, but you need the right tools! And a lots of hours!!
    I have done it a lot, but not at home!
    Do you have access to speciality tools?

    Thumb hook and ring is also easy enough!
  3. Kentish Man

    Kentish Man New Friend

    Nov 7, 2009
    What kind of tools do you have in mind, other than for the soldering work?
    I don’t have a workshop of my own but depending on what tools are needed I could probably get access to one.
    I have done a basic metal fabrication work so I know my way around a workshop
    What i am particulary interested in is the Bell fittings, do these need to be made from scratch ?
    I have found brass channeling and bar that can be used even thumb screws, but the 'collar' part or bell stud with the small thumb screw is the challenging part
    Kentish Man
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no correlation between "free blowing" and tunable bells.

    Substandard instruments could be improved with a bit of TLC. Moving braces can change the basic playing characteristics. Removing them for a tuning bell can destroy projection.

    I am modifying a C trumpet and will use the adjustable finger ring or march lyre holders on the bell and adjust (reforge) the braces to fit inside. Then I have a tuning bell but still keep all of the bracing.

    There is no set formula for what happens. A general rule of thumb is that the freer a bell can vibrate, the more brilliant the sound, the worse the projection, the less reliable the point where the sound starts to distort. Instruments where you can hear yourself better (lighter instruments) seem to have more feedback to the player and for the amateur seem to let the player believe that it is more "free blowing". In fact, little changes really, but the brain is fooled by the additional feedback.

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