why don't Monette players sound better?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by jamesfrmphilly, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly Piano User

    Oct 31, 2003
    the north philly ghetto
    i just heard Wynton's and Terrance's latest recordings.
    i assume that they are playing their Monettes.
    i do not hear a fat , thick or dark sound.
    i certainly do not hear 20K worth of trumpet.
    i know my ears are not the greatest but i hear nothing of the sound that Monette advertises.
    I've heard far fatter sound from old players on old style equipment.

    I've been to the Monette site and listened to the sound clips and i have not heard anything special.

    is it me or is the emperor buck naked? 8)
  2. Vessehune

    Vessehune Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    Sunnyside, WA
    Monette is nothing but a great salesman. An informercial brought to trumpets. His excuse for the trumpets not sounding good on recordings is simple. Monette trumpets sound doesn't focus right at the microphone. It will focus about 80 feet away from the bell. This is also why if you go hear someone play in concert that plays a Monette it may not sound "amazing" if you sit too close.

    This is why Monette is a genius. He can sell a mouthpiece that the only difference from a $30 Bach is a different throat and backbore combo, for $300. If you compare Monette's guide to an infomercial you will see a few similarities. In most infomercials there are disclaimers. Monette has these same disclaimers. If you don't play the mouthpiece the way he says your results will not be ideal. This gives Mr. Monette an out. If you don't like a mouthpiece or horn he can always say you must not be playing the ideal way. I don't think I have ever seen another mouthpiece with a disclaimer. Disclaimers usually make me not want to by a product. There is a reason for the disclaimer. Because after a while you may figure out that hey, this $300 mouthpiece is just a mouthpiece. Nothing fancy. Nothing mystical or magical. Just a configuration of the different attributes of any mouthpiece. Mr. Monette is a genius. He brought infomercial style marketing to the brass world, and he has become a very rich man because of it.
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    AND....recordings are just that.... recordings. Not live. We don't know what equipment was used to record the clips, nor do we necessarily know the sampling rate (and therefore sound quality). We don't know what kind of setup you have on your computer nor what speakers YOU use to play the clips back.

    If the sound clips had come from a previous recording, we don't even necessarily know what horn was used for the recording.

    Oodles of variables; too many to make a definitive statement about the sound quality of any given horn/player combination.

    I'll just add here that there exists what is known as the "80/20 rule". It states that 20% of the people in any given sample will have 80% of the money. There is a similar rule called "the rule of diminishing returns"; the more you spend at the top end of the scale, the smaller the benefits returned might be. In other words, the first $20 you spend will get you something that works at an 80% level. It's the final $80 that adds the last 20% "quality" to the object. The "80/20" rule can be extended to become the "90/10" rule, or even further, the "95/5" rule. Monette is obviously at the top end of the scale where the "air is mighty thin". Whether you or I can hear the final percentage improvement is immaterial: those with the cash to pay think they can and for Dave, that's what is important.
  4. etownfwd

    etownfwd New Friend

    Jan 8, 2004
    I guess there is some validity to what you both say. I will agree that the recordings with Monette equipment somehow seem lacklustre. I also agree that Dave Monette is a hell of a salesman. But in defense of both propositions, there is more to the issue than what first meets the eye. The reason that you might not hear a "$20,000" difference is more subtle than you would expect. I am sure that many players know a good sound when they hear it, and would agree that there is a tremendous difference to the sound you hear live, and the sound you hear etched in plastic. That is the relative difference you get with Monette equipment. I should also mention that Monette's horns are also MUCH easier to play, atleast for my taste. But these differences are hardly realized if you only listen to their equipment through some type of recording. I should also mention that when one posts an electronic media (e.g. MP3) one usually must lose a significant amount of quality so that the item can be easily downloadable. With that out of the way, now I want to address the idea of Monette as an infomercial. Yes, it seems as though he is "disclaiming" his product but his intent is to make more efficient playing easier. Ultimately, his goal is to give players who purchase his equipment (regardless of the amount invested) the best possible performing equipment. You can like his work or hate it, but I would have a very difficult time thinking of his equipment as an infomercial-type.
  5. Jazzman

    Jazzman Pianissimo User

    Dec 16, 2003
    I used to own and play a Monette Chicago and I sold it. I cannot believe that it was a two piece bell! It kinda felt like an intermediate Getzen to be honest.....if it works for you, then I guess it is ok.
    But not for me.......
  6. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly Piano User

    Oct 31, 2003
    the north philly ghetto
    i heard the recordings on the CD format and then on whatever format is used for the sound clips.
    are you saying that Monettes can't be recorded?
    then what good are they?
    I've heard recordings made many years ago with old gear that sounded fine.
    do Monettes sound thick or not?
    find me an example.
  7. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    I think you guys a being pretty hard on Monette just because he does different things. To be fair, Monette says that not all his horns take 80 ft to sound good. Only the really heavy horns behave like that, the lighter ones focus at just a few feet.

    Anyway, besides the fact that everyone seems to be forgetting about "different strokes for different folks" everyone also seems to be forgetting that you don't buy an instrument for your audience, you buy it for yourself.

    How many of us have had to explain to friends or family why it's necessary to spend more money on a new horn when the one we've got works just fine? My parents can hardly tell the differnce between my first horn from school and my Yamaha pro horn. Do you think they'll know the difference if I were to pick up a Lawler or an Eclipse or even a Monette? They might hear a slight differnce but to us it's like night and day. Even to trained ears the difference is subtle.

    When you're playing for audiences that can hardly tell the difference between a trumpet and a cornet you should feel free to play whatever horn you like and spend as much or as little as you like. I'm not going to say that certain horns don't have a certain sound or that us trumpet geeks can't pick out certain horns on recordings but don't fool yourself into thinking that the horn you play makes a big difference in the lives of the people on the other side of your bell. Buy your horn for how it feels and how YOU think it sounds and don't listen to hype and especially not your band director.
  8. Lawler Bb

    Lawler Bb Piano User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    For the record, a two piece bell has absolutely nothing to do with the sound or build quality of a horn. Excellent and terrible horns are made with both.
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    If you want to hear the sound of a heavy Monette then get a cd of Charlie Schlueter. You should look for one where he is playing his C trumpet, although he will sound good on all of them.

    Charlie has a big fat dark sound. I think it's great. Before you go off saying it's not the sound for symphony playing, remember he has been with the symphony for about 25 years.

    You can have the Monette sound and playability for about 5000.00

    It is true that Dave is a genius, not for marketing but for his ability to make a trumpet.
  10. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    oh, 5000 is that all?

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