Why I Play Vintage

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is actually VERY easy. Just think about the 500 modern recordings of Beethovens 9th Symphony. Tell me now what THE (singular) sound should be. It was no different decades, centuries ago. The interpretations - as today were based on respect, intellect, exposure, the performing forces available, the room, the audience as well as perhaps the location. Tuning pitch for the specific locations is researchable by measuring all of the the instruments and coming up with a mean average.

    With that in mind, we today pick up a historical (not vintage) instrument, its respective mouthpiece(s) and experiment. Lip flesh has not changed much and I am sure that the finest players ALWAYS had a relaxed approach to what they did. Then we simply play from the heart. There may be small differences in vibrato and accepted intonation among professionals between then and now, but the foundation for town band music has not changed for centuries - motivated amateurs! A naive approach with a vast spread of playing qualities in the group probably represents the closest "sound" for town band genre.

    Many times we discover wonderful things just by having exposed access to instruments and ensembles dedicated to the historical cause. We discover that the theories have no practical application because of other limitations.......

    Historical is not vintage. Vintage is simply a modern style trumpet built more than n years ago. N is an arbitrary number that has NOTHING to do with manufacturing or construction style. Vintage just means "definitely not new".
  2. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    i was referring more to the 'revolutionary war' period music, etc.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    While I can agree that the technology hasn't changed that much between then and now, I think that the truth of the matter lies in the refinement of designs toward a better end result.

    One of the things that I think is kind of comical is the reverence held for the Bach Stradivarius. Today's Bach is quite a bit different than the trumpets that Vincent Bach made in New York and Mount Vernon. This isn't to say that it isn't a decent trumpet, and the design may even be superior to what Vincent Bach was making in New York and Mount Vernon.

    With that said, a lot of it boils down to how well the horn has been put together, and again, going back to the Bach Strad, for those of us who were around in the mid 1980s and early 1990s, build quality wasn't exactly the best. It was not uncommon to find a Strad with excess solder slopping out of a joint or from around a brace, or even to find small gaps where more solder should have been. I once had a guy move the front bell brace on my LB Strad and when he took the torch to it, when the solder let go, the bell popped away from the brace - there was a lot of stress there because the horn wasn't adjusted very well before that brace was put in.

    Are vintage horns put together that much better? That seems to be the theory, although I'd submit that many makers are doing just as good of a job with fit and finish. Then again, you'll pay for it - most vintage horns can be found by the discerning buyer for a fraction of what a brand new trumpet from a reputable maker will charge.

    To each their own. I want modern refinement of the design along with superior workmanship, so I'm willing to pay the extra for it on the rare occasions where I actually buy a brand new horn.
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I am reminded of a story my mother tells from time to time of when she first moved to the village in the late '50s. There was one old guy who always sat at the back of the church, barrel-chested with a huge bass-baritone voice that thundered out the bass line to all the hymns pretty well drowning out the tatty little organ up in the bellfry.

    My mother asked him where he'd learnt to sing like that and he replied "Here!". As a child, and this must have been well before the turn of the last century, he said that the whole village sang like that in church. They didn't need an organ, everyone new the right harmonic line for their voice, and they just belted it out. Maybe not everyone was quite in tune but near enough and they just thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was the highlight of the week for them. But now, he was the only one left.

    Shortly afterwards, a new vicar took residence and after a couple of weeks he asked the guy to stop singing during his services. The guy just stopped coming to church, and the village lost it's last real tie to the sounds of the nineteenth century. Which was a pity.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Dumb vicar!
  6. WannaScream

    WannaScream Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2013
    People here talk about what a great deal vintage horns are- I don't see it, if I go to *bay or Dillon's anything much below a thousand bucks is usually ratty or a student model.

    I do have a '79 Bach- not quite vintage, I suppose, but I like it better than new Bach's I've tried. If I had to buy another, I'd probably shop vintage models first, then late model used. I still prefer my shiny new Carol, a bargain at not much more than 1K.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I refer to the Rennaissance, Baroque, Revolutionary, Classic, Romantic and everything in between. There is no difference. With some proper research, we have all that we need to fulfill the "needs" of the music. The conductors of the years gone by have the same profiles as conductors today - with the varied musical gifts and education.

    If we spend time with the instruments and period music, we make a lot of discoveries based on what is possible. There is no possibility to narrow the "sound" down as there were more than one conductor, ensemble or specific orchestration. You have to dive in and then make it work, not through intellect, rather through musical gift. Once you have a "working" ensemble, practical research starts - tempered by the capabilities of the group.
  8. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    I've been watching this thread grow for a while, I guess I'll join in now.

    I go back and forth on what I prefer to play. A lot of the time it is vintage horns from Holton (probably my favorite), York, and Conn. The craftsmanship and designs of these horns blow me away. Plus, they just have "the feel" and "the sound". For me, nothing has ever quite matched up to my 1920's Holton Revelation cornet.

    On the other hand, I find that I enjoy instruments made by modern makers....but not any modern maker. I enjoy the small "boutique" trumpet makers. The one man operation guys that use their hands more than machines. There is a quality in those horns that I've never seen or heard in the larger manufacturers.

  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008

    [​IMG]via Imgflip Meme Maker
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    There are horns that are not pre-Elkhart Bach, Martin Committee, or Olds Super Recording. All it takes is some cash and a willingness to try something different. Living net to a world-class tech doesn't hurt, either.

    One brand I heard of is still quite affordable (if the seller hasn't read these forums) and deals are to be had.

    I also think you apply "student model" where perhaps you shouldn't. Who cares if they sold it for less and marketed it heavily to parents of school-age kids? That's where the money was! The only thing that matters is whether it plays well for you.


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