When did Bach go wrong?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by bigaggietrumpet, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Ok, apparently today I'm just feeling controversial...

    If you had to say when Bach really started to go downhill as far as quality and such are concerned, when would it be? 70's, 80's, 90's?

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    The answer: Yes ROFL

    Some say when Bach was purchased by Selmer.

    I personally played some fine Strads in the mid 70s and they were sweet (and I was a broke college student). By the time the 80s rolled around, and I had a little more money, the Strads did not play as well.

    I never had the "silky smooth" feeling from a horn like I did that 70s Strad until I played a Kanstul. Same kind of feeling. Now, I have never had the privilege of playing some elite horns: Edwards, Monette, Taylor, Eclipse, etc. so my comparison is a little narrow -- so take it for what it is worth.

  3. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Actually, yours lands right on the mark with my dad's experience. Back in his wild college days, he actually played trumpet in the stage band. Realize this too was back in the late 70's. At the time, he had an Ambassador, but somehow, the second valve was out of round, and he didn't know what to do to fix it (dropping it from the grandstands on a Friday night while oiling the valve probably didn't help). So the band director loaned him a two-tone Bach Strad. Anytime, and I mean ANYTIME, I mention Strad around our house, I hear the story about what a sweet horn that was, and how he wished he'd have practiced more, etc.
  4. latinjazzcat

    latinjazzcat Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    West Virginia
    Just to add some fuel to the fire....anyone else think they've started to turn things around? I tried many horns at Washington Music Center, including Conn, Kanstul, Schilke, Yamaha, the Bach in my signature and a used Bach. The used one didn't particularly stand out, but the new one (and the one I ended up with) was hands down the best horn out of the bunch (with a Conn V1 with a rose brass bell a VERY close second). Perhaps it was a fluke and they accidentally made a great horn, but I think it'd be pretty hard to unintentionally produce quality.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Supposedly they are getting their act together. However, they had 2 prototype Artist Model C trumpets at ITG. Two identical setups. One played well; the other was crap. Now, you would think that they would make sure a lemon did not end up at such a high-scrutiny place as ITG......

    How could they let a bad horn out?

    I'm putting my money with Yamaha...........
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    For the past two weeks we have had a trumpet instructor from the local university (acquired her M. Mus at University of Louisiana) over to do workshops with our community band trumpet section. She commented that when she started out she purchased a strad and has had it ever since. She also went on to say that she has recently tried some of her students' new strads and is beginning to think it is time to maybe get a new one. I'm guessing that she would have purchased her instrument about in the late 70's.

    I owned a very late 80's strad ('89). It was full of quality control problems and tuning issues. I haven't seen nor played one of the new ones (say, 2000 or later).
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    There are great Bachs good Bachs and bad Bachs. I don't think you can put a year or a decade on when things went bad. There might be years when things were not as good as they could have been but that doesn't mean you couldn't find an amazing Bach trumpet from that year. I have played some great Bachs from just about every decade and some awful ones. If I had a student looking for a pro trumpet and I couldn't test it before he / she bought it I would say go and buy a Yamaha Xeno in silver plate. Thats just me.
  8. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    I had to wait until I graduated from college to buy my first Strad. That was in 1967 and Vincent had already sold his company to Selmer. However, he was supposed to still be overseeing the quality of the Bach production for Selmer. That Strad was one sweet blowing horn. I can't compare it to the Eclipse I play now, because I don't own it any more-a fact that causes me to kick my butt daily even after all the intervening years.

    However, I bought another Strad in the mid 80's. Since it had to be ordered (local music store didn't have any Bachs in stock), I had not played it prior to buying it. Boy was I in for a surprise. The second Bach was a pure piece of *&^$ compared to the first one. Except for the looks there were no similarities between the horns in sound or playing qualities at all. The second valve had a loud click, when depressed. It was so loud it was distracting, and my wife could hear it in the next room. I sold the second Bach soon after and went back to my old dependable Olds Recording.

    That was my last attempt at buying a Bach. Since then I've played a Kanstul made French Besson Classic-a fine horn, my old Olds Recording-a fine horn, and my Eclipse-the finest of the fine. I have no plans to ever own another Bach.

    Now I'd buy a Kanstul, a Yamaha, a Getzen custom of some type, or a Schilke before I would consider another Bach. Or best of all, I'd save up my pennies and buy an Eclipse MY. It would certainly do anything the Bach would do and give me a little contrast in the tone I get from the MR Eclipse.
  9. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    I have an early New York Strad, that I "stumbled upon" while perusing for vintage guitars in a small-town music store, some years ago.

    I no longer even try-out other, more recent Strads -- there simply is no comparison. I would imagine my Strad was hand-made by Vincent B., himself, and once he got into more of a "production mode", things were never the same.

    I believe there might be a possibility of some really fine horns coming out of the modern-production, but, probably not on a consistent basis.

    Robert Rowe
  10. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

    Nov 17, 2003
    Let me start by saying that I AM NOT a Bach fan! I haven't owned one since about 6 months after graduating college in 1970! I play mostly Schilkes, Benges, and lately Taylors. BUT...over the past 5-6 weeks I have played 6 brand new MEDIUM bore Bachs that I was super impressed with. Talk about being consistant! Out of the 6 only ONE would I not have purchased and that's only because with my set-up (lead player/shallow-tight backbored piece) it felt a hair stuffy or a little too resistant. The other 5 I could have taken on the gig that night and played them! The sound was nice and bright with a GREAT core to it; intonation was "dead on"; the upper register was as solid as a rock and even "included" a double "A"! :roll:; the scale from bottom to top was VERY even feeling to me (no weird, dead feeling notes); valves were as quick as my Schilke; compression in the valves couldn't have been any better...NO air leakage whatsoever; fit and finish (at least on the outside) was perfect; all of the slides were fitted to work just like they're supposed to (including the 3rd slide which isn't the case on alot of other brands of horns)! I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of these new Bachs..and again...I'm NOT a real Bach fan (at least I wasn't up until a few weeks ago!!!!) ;-)


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