Why I Play Vintage

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dviglis, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am so happy that budget was mentioned. It is probably the number one reason that old trumpets are so valued.

    In my case, I have some notable exceptions:
    1) the playing qualities of the vented baroque trumpet have improved immensely in the past 15 years
    2) the playing qualities of Monette trumpets have improved as Dave Monette has learned things
    3) the consistency of Bach trumpets has improved immensely since Ted Waggonner took over QC
    4) the Xeno series of Yamaha trumpets represents a major advance in the art of perfecting trumpets
    5) Schilke horns have maintained consistent quality over the entire life of the company (excepting certain partnerships.......)
    6) Getzen horns have maintained a consistent quality regardless of age!

    I know that this is semantics BUT to me vintage is horns from the 50s and earlier, not the 60s and later. Manufacturing took a turn when Bach left Mount Vernon, and if we research carefully, we see names like Fullerton and other first attempts at economic consolidation happening about the same time........
     
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    In the case of the United States, the big band era was all but over and children born after WWII ended and the soldiers came home exploded the populations in these age groups, requiring many more schools... and instruments for these children to play. Understandably the manufacturers wanted to get in on this business, and a company that could only create 3000 instruments a year saw that, to compete, they had to create 10,000 or more instruments per year. Because that's where the market was, many of the large manufacturers start concentrating on what is now called "student instruments", and the more inexpensively they could be made, the better. Elaborate engraving was simplified, construction was simplified, anything that required a lot of hand-work and fitting was simplified.

    Therefore, I agree with Rowuk. My personal favorite manufacturer redesigned their entire line in 1956, partly for this reason and partly (I surmise) because government contracts for aircraft parts made during WWII and Korea had disappeared. Gone were items like side-mounted water keys, contrasting-colored rings on slide tube ends, and unique slide pull knobs.

    This is not to say that later horns can't or won't play as well (or better) than the older ones... but they definitely are different.

    Tom
     
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Vintage because, on the pro horns, quality was high
    Cost is generally less than newer horns
    You are playing something (assuming it was produced for a number of years) that was tried and proven true
    Hey, those old guys we listened to on records used them, and they sounded pretty good

    In addition, I sometimes wonder if, in addition to the craftsmanship, the metal makes a difference. Yes, I know 30% copper, X percent nickel, y percent Q etc. But the metals "feel" different to me. Pick up an Olds Super, and the metal has a certain feel and response. Ziggy Kanstul is still around making horns, but none of my Kanstuls have the feel of the old metal. Yes, it is probably in my head. I would love for someone like Ziggy to find an old piece of metal that had been hidden away from the Olds era and make a horn from it. I really think it would be different than the modern day. (half humorous- they probably could use all types of impurities like arsenic and such in the metals back then).

    One point that those of us that are vintage players rarely point out. Making a generality here, so there always are exceptions- Vintage horns do not necessarily PLAY more easily than new horns. In fact, many demand more from the performer. Being an older guy who mainly plays for fun, when I do get a gig that looks overly demanding to me, and if I haven't been doing much practice, I definitely don't reach for the Olds Super or Recording. To much work.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Vintage horns do play better with newer equipment (such as the silent brass mute, the Soulo mute) just as vintage trumpet players have better time with newer equipment (such as shapely blonds born AFTER 1980).
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    By the time I get my "new" Harrelson, it may be qualified as vintage. - Jason, are you reading this?
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    i.e. He has never tried a vintage horn.
     
  7. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

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    Amati apparently did...

     
  8. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

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    Well okay then!
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Not my experience with the Adams A4. An audience member loaned me his to play for a gig. I almost did not make it through the first set. Fortunate my vintage Martin Committee came to the rescue and saved the gig (the day, and my life). Viva la difference for Vintage Horns!
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Are you breathing vintage or non-vintage air?
     

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