What Next?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BrassBandMajor, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. True Tone

    True Tone Piano User

    Aug 16, 2015
    I'll also point out I said Elkhart Conns; although your comment on Bach Cs still stands.
  2. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Anyone (including me) who aligns himself with one particular brand is making a fool of himself. Lots of companies have produced great horns. But the same companies have also produced junk.

    I knew a number of guys back in the 70's who played Martens. Bobby Hilton, for example. Great horn, but I saw them so seldom that I really don't know anything about them.

    Conn was experimenting a lot back in the 70's. Norm Quinn had one of those dark-nickel horns with the huge bell. Can't recall the model name off-hand. Big sound, good player. But both Conn and Bach were making a lot of junk at the same time. Bach cornets have always been student-quality horns, as have Conn cornets. Bach's Buick mellophone, or whatever the car-manufacturer name was, was student-model junk.

    It's the same where the trombones are concerned. The Conn 88 has been a great go-to horn for a long time. I've tried various old Bach's that were great players. But both companies put out lots of junk because they make most of their money on cheap band instruments for high schools. Several times when I contacted Bach, I had to special-order the instrument I wanted in a time-frame that worked around their band-instrument rush, from late Summer to mid-Fall. It's the same with Conn- most of what they make are cheap band instruments for high schools.

    Olds was like that, come to think of it. The Ambassador line was high-school band instruments. Lots of guys used them as pro horns, especially back in the 50's, but by rights they were an entry-level instrument.
  3. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    I'm just glad we've not come to slamming THE very best horns of all time, my favorite.....HOLTON
    But l have enough of them so time to move to another
  4. Lukarino

    Lukarino Pianissimo User

    Dec 8, 2015
    San Diego, CA

    As for slamming Bach...

    Something has to be said about the fact that my private instructor (a trumpet professor) sold his Monette for a Bach Artisan (actually 2, a Bb and a C) and loves the Bach(s).

    However, I do realize that Bach is notorious for consistency issues, and that's part of the reason why I have a Yammie in my sig instead of a Bach.
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    With so many varieties of makes and year groups being discussed, I just want to make sure I'm following this discussion accurately. Do you mean "Marten" or "Martin"?
  6. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Sorry -my rusty old brain has let me down again. It's "Martin".

    Bad brain. Go sit in the corner.
  7. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    With Holtons, as with Bachs and Conns, it depends which horn you're talking about. Holton didn't just make top of the line trumpets. They're another company that made their money mainly on student-quality band instruments.

    I've often wondered if making mountains of cheap, second-rate instruments doesn't bring down the level of quality when someone is also trying to make high-end instruments.
  8. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    Holton symphony series were highly regarded and endorsed and used by even the famous Chicago Shmphony Trumpeter Adolph Bud Herseth and many others!
  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I thought that's what you meant, but you guys are far beyond me in knowing a wide number of trumpet styles, makes, models, etc. Thanks.
  10. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    It's not because we're smart or anything. With several of us it's the "age" thing.

    Back in the late 60's, early 70's, when some of us were starting out as players, there were just a lot more horns around to be seen, and a lot of the top players of the day were all over the media. Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson, and yadda, yadda, yadda . . . these guys were all still alive, and every high school kid wanted to become a trumpet player, and wanted to get his hands on the horns their idols played. The players had big followings, everything about them and their horns and mouthpieces and schedules was well-known. It was a different world.

    As kids at the time, we had no idea how bad things really were. Duke Ellington was playing Legions, as he had always done, but instead of being filler gigs, legions had become his mainstay. Maynard Ferguson was playing high schools. Brubeck and others were playing universities. The gigs were drying up, and the players were desperately running from city to city all over North America, trying to find work. Mostly, and sadly, it was just rumours they were chasing. One by one, most of them settled where they found themselves, hung out a shingle at some music store, and taught lessons to shmucks like us, who thought we had a future in brass-playing.

    But stuff was still happening. Equipment sales were still strong. Guys like me were working two and three jobs in order to buy our dream horns. And there were lots of goodies to choose from.

    But- at the same time, lots of junk started hitting the market. I don't know if it was a cause-and-effect thing, but this is when my teacher, Ken Hopkins of the Vancouver Symphony, Ross Armstrong of the Vancouver Philharmonic, and Len Whitely, who had played Carnegie Hall, had bought Bach Strad C trumpets that were out-of-tune junk.

    At the time, junk horns were everywhere. This is when Yamaha appeared on the scene, selling very pretty but mediocre high school band instruments.

    And come to think of it, I just recalled an interview I heard on CBC morning radio, back in 1971 or so, with Barry Tuckwell, who was complaining that no one anywhere was making a good "French" Horn at the time. There were still a few independent makers making fine horns, but the waiting-list to get your hands on one was ridiculous- several years if you were willing to wait.

Share This Page