Understanding the resistance in a trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by soundgrazer, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. soundgrazer

    soundgrazer Pianissimo User

    Oct 6, 2008
    I have been playing for25+ years and have only recently learned that a "great trumpet" does not work for every player. There are so many variables, such as, bore size, mouthpiece, mass, shape of the slides, weight of the horn, ...

    One thing I have discovered is that a larger bore size does not mean more air than a smaller bore size. I have a .459 Bach that makes me feel like I am blowing through a straw compared to my vintage King that is easier to play with a smaller bore size, while requiring MORE breaths. I have been considering a custom tuning slide, that is less squared and more rounded, for the Bach, because it is a good quality instrument and has a nice church sound. But there is no guarantee that the "straw" air flow will disappear. Anyone who can elaborate on similar problems is appreciated here. My Bach is much heavier and has a larger bell size than my King. I read somewhere that a smaller bell will cause the sound to "reflect" back faster, causing a quicker and perhaps "easier" response. I do not know what to believe. There is also the reverse lead pipe set ups on some horns. What I have been told by some of my friends is that I need to figure out where I like the resistance in a horn and look for the one closest to these needs. Simple? Not.
  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    how long have you had the Bach? Hace you had it checked for valve alignment or other obstructions?
  3. soundgrazer

    soundgrazer Pianissimo User

    Oct 6, 2008
    Come to think of it,
    I have not done a tune up since 1995. I really need to find a tech I can trust.
  4. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    Well first has this Bach always been stuffy or is this a new development? If it has always been that way it could be excess solder or silver palteing crystals int he bore etc......Also the whole idea of a bore size number is misleading since the bore tapers continiously so depending onthe rate of taper the measurement given could be meaningless. Say one bore measer's at .459 but tapers fast the other measures at .430 but the taper is much more gradual etc..... Also some tuneing slides offer size's that greater or lesser then the average bore size. BK drawing and design I think it is offers more free blowing tuneing slides in round,square and ovate I think for the Bach Strad's and they offer different bore sizes for them and with or without the brace. Removeing the brace fromt he tuneing slide makes the Bach Strad a lot more responsive especialy when you go with a round tuneing slide.

    You can always try a more open leadpipe and tuneing slide. I would only consider a reverse leadpipe on a trumpet that you will never need to bend a note on! Usualy the longer length of the the leadpipe and more gradual taper will make the reverse leadpipe set up very warm sounding but also it will slot so tight you will never be able to bend a note! Each trumpet is a bit different but all of them are much free'er blowing with rvse leadpipe set up.

    Another thing to consider is that some companies like Schilke usualy go with a larger bore ont he valves then the that of the trumpet so it makes them blow a lot easier not many do this though. So depending ont he valve design of the two trumpets that could also be an area of difference.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You have made my day! The correlation of bore size and resistance is truely a myth!

    A trumpet designer has many factors to play with and can massage any design into many different directions.

    My take is, if a player feels that the trumpet is stuffy, they should review their own playing habits before blaming the instrument - EVEN IF ANOTHER HORN IS NOT STUFFY!!!!

    Many times the difference is not the blow at all, it is the room where the comparison is being performed. A dead acoustical environment will ALWAYS favor a brighter sounding instrument. A live environment like a good sounding hall, gives us much leeway in our choice of sound (notice that I am not addressing hardware, rather the room/ear/brain part of the system?).

    The second myth is that a valve job is going to appreciably change the character of the sound. This is incredible BS. Tight aligned valves MAY make the slotting better (which is a curse if the instrument is slightly out of tune!).

    Resistance of a horn is actually impedance and it is directly related to the efficiency of the horn. It is an AC (alternating current) not a DC (direct current) process meaning that it has little to do with how quickly your air is gone. Your playing setup should be complementary to the hardware. This means that the player with an efficient horn would not try to force the horn and the player with a more "free blowing" horn is willing to work harder for the same output.

    Picking the right horn is a learning process with no shortcuts. To do the job, you have to play the horns that you are thinking about in the environment where they are going to be used. Take notes and anticipate a year before making a decision. DO NOT USE RANGE AS A DECISION FACTOR. Your daily consistency is the biggest variable for any player and once you are accustomed to a good horn, the range is the same. Vulgano Brother often makes a great point that the right trumpet will find YOU.

    Good luck!
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I` ve noticed a big difference in the resistance between say a .459 and a .468 bore trumpet. The .468 at first is a bigger sound but takes a lot more air, I know because I used one for a few years, didn`t know how hard I was working until I had some repair done and used my old .460 bore horn and wasn`t as physcially tired at the end of the night. Within the same brand and model a lot of times there can be difference in response in the different registers , so play test a trumpet in all registers to find the one that speaks for you.
  7. djserrant

    djserrant New Friend

    Dec 13, 2008
    Wow, I never realized there was such a difference in the way one would have to play one model trumpet from another model. I've been playing with a Getzen trumpet for a long time. I wonder how it would be like if I switched.
  8. soundgrazer

    soundgrazer Pianissimo User

    Oct 6, 2008
    The trumpet tec who worked on my King said that "resistance" is part of playing the Bach.
    This does not make much sense to me because all trumpets have some resistance and without resistance would not work. I really believe that the location of the resistance is the real factor here.
  9. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Some bachs are more "resistant" than others, some are more "free-blowing" than others
    Mine got really stuff really quickly in the upper register until i changed its tuning slide, its not free-blowing, but its no longer the "straw effect"
  10. soundgrazer

    soundgrazer Pianissimo User

    Oct 6, 2008
    That's it! You are the third person who described the upper register as stuffy or quirky and I forgot to mention that as one of the symptoms. From what I understand, the square shaped tuning slide on Bach is supposed to give a nice sharp attack, but if a person already has a "over" attack due to the shape of the mouth this might not be a good thing. Rounding out the corners of the slide should effect velocity while maintaining the same air volume. I am curious, Bagmangood, was there a big difference in the actual sound? Lovevixen. thanx for the headsup on the reverse leadpipe because I bend many of my notes!

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