Wild Thing loose in Kalamazoo

Discussion in 'Horns' started by pwillini, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I now have the honor of auditioning what I've heard to be the best trumpet available, Flip's Wild Thing. I'm planning on writing this in stages, as my audition will have several highlights (at least they will be for me)

    First, you can't help but notice the fine craftsmanship of the Wild Thing as soon as it's taken out of the case. Smooth lines, beautifully designed bracing and the HUGE bell flare! I couldn't wait to get my Warburton 5SV/4 piece and take this Thing for a ride but it had to wait, I was busy at work.

    I let my brother-in-law have first crack at the Thing yesterday. He too is a comeback player. I helped him select his Bach 37 3 years ago. When he started playing simple scales I thought he was going to go nuts! He loved the sound (so did I). One of the first things he noticed were the valves. He likened them to a bike with index shifting, they are there when and how you want them. He played flat fingered and still the valves were right on. He stuck to the #2 slide and then started to play some Miles riffs he knows. Right off the bat I noticed how crisp and clean each note was. Slotting and intonation were right on! He never sounded like that on his Bach.

    He compared the Thing to his Holton MF horn, an early 80's large bore. At least he tried to compare them, it was no contest for the Thing. Each note he played on the Thing was right there in front of you, the Holton really sounded muffled compared to it! His range on the Thing was about a fifth higher on the Thing as well, and with so much less effort and great intonation!

    I gave him Tom's card, don't be surprised if you see and order come your way real soon Tom!

    I get to try it tonight at our church orchestra practice and afterwards as I practice for a solo I am doing for our anniversary celebration this Sunday. I'll post my initial impressions tomorrow!
     
  2. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    My first ride on the Wild side

    I took the Thing to church orchestra practice last night. As soon as I started warming up our Worship Pastor, a professional, touring artist now ministering with our church, noticed the sound difference. He went right to the piano and started my solo for Sunday so he could hear the whole Thing. He was amazed at how full the sound is and how little effort it took to start peeling the paint from the walls. We then rehearsed Sundays hymns with the full orchestra with everyone noticing the sound difference.

    I must say, my Bach doesn't come close to the full rich sound the large bell flare of the Thing produces. I find it very easy to maintain my intonation and slotting is a breeze. One thing I have noticed though, because I play a Bach ML bore, the #2 slide works best for me. Having the conical change from .459 to .470 makes the transition to the large bore easier for me. When I play using the #1 slide I find myself running out of air much sooner, seems hard for me to believe with only the distance of the radius but.... I also like my sound better with the #2 slide, bright but not brassy.

    I like the valves on this horn better than any other I've tried in the last year, to include a Muck Citation, a Chicago Benge, a Callet Jazz and an Olds Super Recording. There is no doubt when you finger a note the valve will be right on, missing nothing. I did some cadenza work from my days of lesson taking and flew through some of the tougher ones, even those I've never been able to play. I like the solid feel as you press down but better yet the immediate release when you let up. Strong yet quick springs, boy what I'd do to have them on my Bach!

    A trumpet major from WMU tried the Thing against her Bach 72 LB. With her I heard a major difference, but in the Bach's favor. She said she found the Thing too big, the bell not responsive enough for her style of playing, mainly classical, symphonic and solo work. She did note, however, that the Thing would be fantastic for an intimate jazz setting!

    Everyone who heard me play last night said the solo sounded so much bigger, crisper and livelier than they'd heard it before. A gentleman, an experieced trumpet and flugel player noted I was playing a silver horn, but "it couldn't be you Blessing, it's never sounded like that before!" He then tried to play the Thing but found the bore too large for him these days (he's only 89 years old and still tooting!)

    I'll post more as I have a chance to perform with the Thing on Sunday. I would like to hear from more comeback players about how they perceived the difference between the #2 & #1 tuning slides.
     
  3. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    My last day with the Thing

    I hate to say it, but today is my last day with the Thing. I took it to church this morning to play the offeratory (I Love You Lord). I played the first service using the #1 slide (I practiced Thursday and Friday so I could see the difference today). I had difficulty controlling my air, seemed to run out way too fast. No matter what I tried I never could fill the horn the way such a beautiful instrument should be filled. After the first service I got many complements, people loved the sound, many wanted to know what I'd done to make my Blessing sound so good! I told them I traded up.

    The second service I switched back to to the #2 slide. I had more warm up time and noticed a distinct difference during the hymns I played with this slide. When it came time for me to play again I felt much more at ease using the#2. My sound was immediately warmer and I thought fuller. My wife said after the service she had goose bumps as I changed keys the second verse. She loved the full rich timbre and said she thought I sounded the best she'd ever heard me sound. She was very impressed with all the Thing allowed me to do, from a pp introduction to a ff passage at the climax. At the end of the song I borrowed a little Phil Driscoll styling and played bell chimes, the sforzando's clean, crisp and right on.

    Feel free to ask any questions that may come to mind. As a comebacker I put my thoughts and impressions in simple terms, not to many technical details. I wish I knew the technical aspects of trumpet acoustics so I could tell you what makes this trumpet far superior to any I've ever played. Suffice it so say, I can tell you what feels and sounds great and that's this horn!

    I can't say enough good things about this trumpet. Anyone, comebacker to professional, could take a Wild Thing and have the time of their musical career. This trumpet is one that any level of player can and should appreciate. It will enhance the sound of any player just in the craftmanship and precision that is instantly noticable when the trumpet moves from your hand to your lips. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. My next adventure is to sell off some of the junk I've accumulated over the years so I can afford such a magnificently crafted work of art.
     
  4. Matsumike

    Matsumike New Friend

    2
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    Aug 26, 2004
    Alaska
    My very own gold plated Wild Thing will be arriving in 6-7 days and I will post my experiences here also. I too am a combackplayer who has more money than talent at this point. But, I do know that having a great instrument will make my playing that much more enjoyable.

    I play also in Church and with the local community orgastra. We have just started our fall season. I am working hard to get to the point where I can play for local musicals, in a small jazz band....., that kind of thing. I am hoping my hard work and some guidance along with the Wild Thing will get me where I want to go!

    I talked with Flip a couple of times in the lst few days and he seems like a very nice and helpfull guy.
    Michael.
     
  5. Matsumike

    Matsumike New Friend

    2
    0
    Aug 26, 2004
    Alaska
    Okay. WOW, my very own Wild Thing came from California quick! I have played it for 3 days now and here are my first impressions.

    1. I LOVE this horn. Okay now it is out in the open. All else I say here will be colored by the fact that I LOVE THIS HORN!

    2. The fit and finish is good, as expected. A minor problem with a chip on the finish on the end of one slide (the #1), I will have to ask Flip about it. Not a big deal.

    3. The horn has a bit of a larger look to it. It actually is a bit larger with a 5†diameter bell. I got mine in Gold Plate. It really shines!

    4. The valve action is very fast, immediate, with absolutely no delay or sluggishness. I was a bit surprised at the amount of play the valves (the back and forth movement allowed by the stops), and the spring noise but have noticed that it is slowly going away as I play it more. It has been many years since I purchased a brand new horn... Flip assures me they will get quieter the more I play it. Seems to be working as I spent 4 hours on it yesterday, and they are getting quieter.

    5. Now , for the part that really makes a difference – SOUND. I have read with interest the many posts about slotting, centering, overtones, color, broad tone, brassy tone, intonation, thin sound, fat sound ,etc. Seems these issues are the variables that often make the difference in how a player perceives his horn. Many of the posts regarding likes and dislikes of other horns have used these terms and I must confess that at times I am not certain I even know the true meaning of them myself. However, when you are writing about a sense like sound and cannot actually hear it - we are by necessity limited to these rather poor definitions and descriptions to help others understand what we mean. Having said that, please forgive me the inadequate descriptions that follow:

    • The horn slots wonderfully for me. I have NO problems feeling/hitting the notes dead on, hitting them very smoothly and centering the tone in my usable range (up to high C) Beyond that, my own limitations do not allow me to adequately test it. Plays beautifully in the lower register too and I can get a very rich tone.
    • I had some problems playing sharp on my old horn (a Courtois 313EV1) not so on the WT. I am barley pulling the #1 slide out to stay in tune with the piano.
    • My wife stayed around the corner while I played in our living room. I played a passage with the WT, the Courtois, and my Olds ’59 Ambassador. I tried to play the passage exactly the same way and each time she picked out the WILD THING AS THE BEST SOUND. She is a singer and really has a great ear.
    • I think I sound better too. I love the blow of the horn. Some have said they like a bit more resistance, but I find that it is not hard to blow. I like the #1 slide and Flip sold me a #3 Mcp to go with it, which has a little more bite than my Bach 3C , but I really like it. I think I’ll see if he will sell me a nice lead one too.


    Well , there you have it for my initial review. I will write a bit more as I gain more time with the horn.
    and oh ya.... did I mention I LOVE THIS HORN! ‘Herv’
     
  6. pwillini

    pwillini Pianissimo User

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Another opinion

    Just a quick addition to what I've already had to say about the Wild Thing's sound.

    A beautiful young lady of 85 in our church asked me when I was going to play again. She said she so loved the sound of the last solo I played (on Tom's touring WT) that she couldn't wait to hear me again. When I told her I was playing at the end of the month she wanted to know if I was going to play that "fancy, new fangled thing you played last time. It sounded so much better than those other horns you've played before!" (I've played on my friend's Chicago Benge, Selmer Balanced, my Bach Blessing and Conn Victor New Wonder!) She said she had a tin ear, can't carry a tune in a pickle barrel but knew she loved the sound I made with the WT. When I told her I didn't have the horn any more she wanted to know why I sold it! I told her about the tour then she said "when ya going to buy one?" I guess soon, since I keep getting many compliments on my sound with the WT. What will people say when I go back to my Bach?
     
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Why go back? :D
     

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