What is it about Monette?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BrotherBACH, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    I have never seen, read, or heard a thing which supports the belief that Monette horns are each
    unique. Where is this notion coming from?

    If people believe each and every (or even
    half) of the parts are uniquely cut for each
    sale they are showing their ignorance.

    The cost would be tripled if each part was
    truly one off.
     
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    If you watch the videos (on facebook and their site) you'll see them building each brace out of stock. Pistons, valve blocks, and some of the tubing definitely isn't. Its all made for the specific horn though - one at a time
     
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Each trumpet is one of a kind made for the person. The model number gets you in the ballpark.
     
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Again, watch the video. There is no "magic" revealed, just sound, modern manufacturing technique. And, some of what is done, like hand made braces can be automated. [As an aside Jason Harrelson has automated his brace manufacturing to reduce his costs.]

    As I said, the video confirms most of the parts are identical, most importantly being the valve block and the slide components that the techs are pulling from bins.

    Consider, is it sensible to believe that Monette invested millions in CNC machinery and engineering his manufacturing process to reduce variability, but then throws it all away at the end of the production line by "manual adjustment"?

    I've built my own trumpets using parts from various vendors and I've been in the shop all day staring over Jason's shoulder when he built both of my Harrelson trumpets.

    Anyone that has been through this (or in general, anyone trained in modern quality control science) knows that variability in manufacturing produces poor, unreliable products.

    That elimination in variability is what Monette is striving for, as only a world class designer would. For that he is to be applauded. For people to assume with no experience or discussion with Monette directly that he performs some "voodoo" after
    a horn emerges from his multi-million dollar state of the art process is silly.

    Also, since each of the "base" model horns require 150 hours to produce and an estimated cost of $12,000 that means his "shop rate" is about $80 (not including materials cost).

    That may be a bit on the high end, but is certainly not "screwing" anyone over.

    People who think that are just plain ignorant of what it costs to make a "perfect" trumpet, which is what Monette is trying to do.

    Greg
     
  5. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

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    Sounds like of all the opinions expressed so far yours is the most authoritative. And it confused me. When I hear "eliminating variability" is the goal, then isn't that mass production, even if the runs are only very limited? It would seem to boil down to which manufacturer has the best CNC equipment, followed by "craftsmen" who assemble the pieces. I assumed there'd be something more going on at the high-end manufacturers...and I expected to hear from an expect such as yourself the Monette specifically DOESN'T use fancy equipment, but instead hand crafts each and every piece.
     
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Satchmo-

    I don't think I'm an expert on Monette, I just have a small bit of experience building horns and watching others, plus my experience as an engineer (non musical industry).

    You bring up a point which I have often been puzzled by: why do so many musicians believe "hand made" is better than "machine made"? When you have a manufacturing process as good as Monette's appears to be based on public info, then you remove the
    errors introduced in the build process or, to be picky, you reduce the errors to the point
    where they have no major effect on the instrument's performance.

    I believe this has probably been Monette's goal all along, hence the high cost.
    Now that they have world class automated machining they can (essentially) remove the errors that they had before from manual parts creation.

    This is important because now, more than ever, Monette can achieve horns that very closely achieve the design parameters he puts forth from his mind to the computer to brass.

    What is somewhat of a puzzle to me is why no one has done this until now.
    A trumpet is a fairly simple machine. Companies have been building much more complicated machines to much tighter specs using automation for years and years,
    so it is odd that so many horn builders are still doing things the way they've always been done.
     
  7. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Getzen, for example, makes a big deal out of their hand making and hand hammering process employed in trumpet manufacturing. They even state that not all hand hammering is equal.

    As I have read here, Monette simply turns bells on lathes.

    When it come to consistency a machine (CNC) will win every time.

    But to echo the above quote, it is widely believed that a hand made (old world method) trumpet is superior to the mass (machine) produced models.

    I'm beginning to have my doubts on the whole process.
     
  8. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Mezzo Piano User

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    It seems to me and I might be way off that most trumpets are built part machine part hand. After watching the video on this thread, visiting Kanstul and watching other videos by Getzen and others on youtube, certain pieces are made with machine and technology and some by machine and hand.
    So the difference between most of these horns is a Monette is build on specs through Dave Monette's research and trial and error while other companies are built on their research on what is best through their own trial and error.
     
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    A lot of the parts are made on a machine but, the machine isn't set to the same specs each time. Sometimes parts are made three different ways to see which will play the best. Sometimes, all three are thrown away and more are made. There is no template for each trumpet.
     
  10. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    And so it is that each manufacturer (Kanstul, Getzen, Yamaha, Bach, Lawler, etc., etc.) will make the claim that their horn is the best available, as they all use engineering data obtained through years (decades) of trial and error plus feedback from thousands of customers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010

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