Vintage Getzen Horn - Is this crease fixable?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by burzum197, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. burzum197

    burzum197 New Friend

    Dec 27, 2016
    Ellenville, NY
    Hey there trumpeters,

    I've been shopping around for my first horn for quite a while - I found a great deal on a vintage Getzen horn from the 50's. Its in good shape besides a few small dings and a major crease on one side of the bell. I have attached two images (from the seller, sorry if low quality) of this crease in particular.

    Is this fixable, either by myself or with the help of a pro? Is it worth it/should this crease dissuade me from purchasing this horn? How will it effect the sound?
    $_12-1.JPG $_12.JPG

    *EDIT* Looking over the seller's pictures again, I have noticed what seems to be a break between the middle valve and the pipe on the other side. Does this need a resolder, and how much can i expect to be charged for this kind of repair? I don't have experience with a soldering iron so I'm guessing I won't be fixing this myself. I'm also wondering if it might still be playable for the short term with such a defect. Here is the pic:

  2. Artifex

    Artifex New Friend

    Oct 13, 2014
    Omaha Nebraska
    While I am not even close to the level of general expertise of most members on this site, I have been shopping Getzens for a while now and finally snagged a beautiful Severinsen.
    First, we can't really tell anything unless we know what model it is. What does it say on the bell/leadpipe/valve casings? While you are there get the serial number off the second valve casing.
    Second, are the valves free and smooth? Test compression by pressing down on all the valves, removing the first valve slide, covering the top hole, and blowing with all three valves depressed. If the compression is good no measurable air will be expelled. If air leaks during this test, you may want to pass depending on how bad it seems.
    Third, are all the slides free? It doesn't usually cost a ton to have an expert free up slides, but sometimes it can. Be very, very, very careful if you want to try your hand at freeing any stuck slides. Google it - there's a ton of information on how to best do so, starting right here on this site.
    Fourth: that crease - absolutely do not attempt to fix it yourself, it will require the attention of an expert. I recently had a light bell crease removed and it cost $85. A heavy crease may not 'disappear' completely even in the hands of a pro tech if the metal is too distorted.
    Fifth, pull out the slides and shine a light in the tubes and look for red rot. Any sign of that and the horn is probably not worth it. Again, starting on this site, there is tons of information on this.

    Also, check the classifieds here - the sellers on this site tend to be experienced and advocates, therefore you should expect a better buying experience.
  3. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    It won't change the sound as it is, and it won't change the sound so long as you have it repaired properly. A crease will still be visible in the lacquer following the repair. If you wanted to be 100% sure it wasn't affecting the sound, you could have the tech anneal it (apply heat), but of course that will destroy the lacquer in the area. If you were going for a full resto, you would just go for it and have the entire instrument re-lacquered anyway.
  4. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    Sure, you can. If you think if that horn is okay to be rolled over a truck, you can experiment in all means!

    You just need a rawhide mallet and a matching bell mandrel.

    Simply buy those two, which should be around 200 dollars total, 170 dollar for mandrel for cornet+trumpet and a 20~30 dollar rawhide mallet.

    Place the trumpet on the mandrel and hit with the hammer to get the shape back.


    Play safe, pay around 70~90dollars max. and send it a tech. :-)
  5. PakWaan

    PakWaan Piano User

    Apr 4, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    I bought a like-new Getzen last year. The guy who shipped it to me sent it in the original Getzen case, with no additional packing around the horn, and the post office crumpled the bell. Obviously, the case got dropped, and the horn collided with the case. (Moral = a trumpet case is designed to protect a horn in your car on the way to a gig, not from the perils of shipping). It looked twice as bad as your photo.

    I live about 20 minutes from Warburton's factory, so I drove it over there and their trumpet tech worked magic on it. You can see a tiny thin line in the bell, but that's it. It's perfectly reshaped and the sound was not affected. Just find a good tech.
  6. burzum197

    burzum197 New Friend

    Dec 27, 2016
    Ellenville, NY

    Thank you for your detailed response, it is very helpful. I am actually buying this online and have no way of testing it with my hands. The seller also doesn't know much about trumpets.

    I will admit, this is a stencil of a Getzen 90. It is a great deal and I thought the only risk I would be taking was a rotted leadpipe. I will ask the seller to look into the tubing with a light.

    I will definitely take this to a tech to get repaired, although I would like to do as much restoration as possible myself. I think I will take off the entire finish, as it seems to be a bit speckled and tarnished, and either keep it raw brass or re-lacquer it. This horn has a lot of charm and hopefully it's worth putting some effort into. I have seen some awesome before/after pics on this forum!
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    That is a minor dent to repair. Don't ask to anneal it. THAT will change the way the horn plays more than the dentwork.
    Also, you basically don't use rawhide hammers to work the bell flare for dent removal, other than truing up the rim before addressing the crease. The crease should be worked out with a roller to minimize stretching of the metal.
  8. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Charlie Melk has described to me how involved these can be. It was a while ago but it involved pulling the brass down and around to get it where it originally was, and if it's not done right, it'll be goofy after.

    So, yes, it can come out, and send it to a pro.

  9. burzum197

    burzum197 New Friend

    Dec 27, 2016
    Ellenville, NY
    Hey man, I noticed you are a trumpet maker, and I wanted to ask you (and the other trumpet masters who have shared their wisdom) directly about the image I just attached below and to my OP. I compared the seller's images to pictures of the same trumpet, restored, and I could be wrong, but I seem to have overlooked a break in the solder between valve/leadpipe due to my inexperience. The crease may have been minor, but would this be classified as a more major repair?

    If it's playable like this, without the resolder, I would still buy it and play it for a while before I can save enough pennies for the repair.

  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    It looks to me like the leadpipe has moved to the left in your picture, as the brace is not aligned with the area of the valve where it was soldered. SOMETHING moved it and there may be other damage you can't see. Unless this horn is VERY cheap, I'd avoid it.

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