UMI Hate?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Stradbrother, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. JSB

    JSB New Friend

    Oct 16, 2008
    Spring Lake, Michigan
    When I was in high school, my parents offered to buy me a new horn to replace my Cleveland Superior cornet (which I still have for sentimental reasons, and which I used with the University of Michigan Marching Band). The local music store let me try a Selmer Radial, a Conn Studio model, a Yamaha and a Bach Stradivarius for six weeks. It was great. I tried and tried and tied to find best horn, which was obvious from the start. The Bach was clearly the most expensive (at about $400 40+ years ago), and I was trying in my mind to justify something cheaper for my mom and dad. My parents were okay with my decision, but the Bach was (and is) the best of the bunch.
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    If you like a UMI Conn/Benge/Selmer/Bach/King/_____ (in case I left out one), then by all means buy it. Barliman hit the nail on the head. Certain horns did certain things for folks and conglomeration put all the horns in a high speed blender and out came whatever worked out best for the bottom line. I don't have a problem with that but some folks want a King Silver Flair to sound like the original and to those dedicated to the brand, they don't sound or play the same. Progress is in the ear of the beholder. Some die-hard Getzen players "hate" the newer 900 classic because it's not the same as the old 900 Eterna. Is the classic a "bad" horn? Not at all. Many on this forum have the newer 900 and love it. I have 2 900s, a Severinsen and a Herriot model. Even they play different from each other. And since Tickg mentioned Fred Powell, if you get a chance to play one of his horns, you're in for a treat.
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Great reply by rowuk about vintage horns and about how much equipment doesn't matter.

    To the OP, why the "hate"? Because some of us think we'll appear smarter if we're critical. And those same people find UMI (now Conn-Selmer) an easy but undeserving target.

  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    What is your planned use for your horns? Symphonic/orchestral would seem the most critical place to blend and I'm not sure a Silver Flair would. The other thing to note. The King 2055 Silver Flair is now marketed by Conn/Selmer as a "step-up" horn, not a top of the line pro horn. King is only offered in 8 models, none pro. That could explain some of the "hate".
    Can you imagine a Corvette with a straight 6 cylinder engine?
  5. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    The original Corvette did come with an in-line 6--no other options. I like horns that I like, I play the horns I like, my main horns happen to be out of the "classic era"; but when, and if, I find one that I like better, that's what I'll start playing. I'll figure out how to pay for it. I think that people are too concerned with a particular brand or brands because someone recommends it, or someone plays it, or some other external force. In school I picked out a Olds Recording when everyone else was buying a Selmer K12 modified. I almost didn't buy a Bach when I went college because I couldn't find one I liked then I tried my 72 MLV and fell in love with it. Don't be afraid to go against the flow if that's what you like.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I'm also a classic car lover. I was wondering if anyone would catch that! ;-)

  7. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    Not that it's particularly pertinent to the OP's post, but this reminds me of the time ford tried to do this with the train wreck that was the Mustang II...
  8. jengstrom

    jengstrom Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Not only did the '53 and '54 Corvette come only with the Blue Flame 6, all 150 horsepower of it, they all came with a 2 speed Powerglide transmission, too. Now that's performance. Put that in your UMI Silver Flair and smoke it.
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    While we are off-topic, and car orientated, those 2 speed Powerglide GM gearboxes were just like the slowest... a slug for first, then it would wind up. But how they learned a lot, and then created the Hydramatic 400 - it really was the cream of gearboxes for a couple of decades - Rolls Royce bought them, they were really that good.

    I remember when 150 bhp was a good output... Triumph TR6 territory.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not sure that criticism is proper here. How did those brandnames even become available? Obviously the market made some decisions long before UMI came into the picture. Even today, what is the fair market value of these horns? Certainly not what is required to keep a company afloat.

    Funny enough, in Germany there are still small family run instrument makers that survive on a handful of trumpets and repairs. Maybe the issue is not the horn, rather critical economic mass?


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