WT intonation

Discussion in 'Horns' started by sa doc, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. sa doc

    sa doc New Friend

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    Jul 9, 2004
    Hi guys,
    I recently bought a lightly used WT in gold plate. Its in near perfect condition, other than a nearly imperceptable ding on the bell near the 1st valve.I've been playing it for a week now, and even though I really like the horn, I'm having some issues with intonation. I'm having to pull the tuning slide out a lot further than I'm used to ( just over an inch), and I'm still really sharp in the lower register. If I tune the middle C, everything from midline G down is sharp. I have to push the 1st slide all the way out for the F, and for the D 1&3 both must be fully extended. I can't get the Db in tune even with both slides fully extended. Upper register tuning seems to be better.
    I can switch to either of my other trumpets and get the notes to tune without a problem. ( My other horns are a Bach LR180-37 and a recently restored Old's Recording. I generally use Schilke mouthpieces. ( 13C4, 13B, or 13A4a depending on the situation). So far I've been using the #1 tuning slide. I didn't like the feel of the #2 slide.
    Has anyone else had issues with intonation? I really like the sound of the horn and its nice to look at, but I've got to get the tuning problems worked out before I can use it in public. Am I just not used to the horn? Do I need to switch mouthpieces?
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Is the problem the same with all your mpcs? The tighter pieces will work best with the WT for most of us.

    Dave
     
  3. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Dave,

    What do you mean by "tighter?" Smaller ID, shallower cup, smaller backbore and/or throat? Or all of them.

    My experience (not with the WT, but with the Olympus) was a bigger piece ID and cup usually helped.

    Jim
     
  4. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I think the design of the WT, at least reading what Flip wrote on his website, is to have a horn that can "color" sound. A good player can do that and can keep the intonation in tact. If you like a horn that slots dead one with a core tone, the WT may not be for you. The Yamaha horns have been said to produce a great core sound and nice slotting, but no flair (probably a bit unfair).

    The WT is supposed to be open and free. You may have to work at intonation, especially in lower registers, where other horns may often help you more. But given enough room and talent, players can do that.

    From the WT website:
    This trumpet is a "Chameleon" in the sense that it produces a variety of sounds, depending how you approach it.  Players of all different musical styles and playing situations are now playing the Flip Oakes Wild Thing!
     


    That is its design, to be a "Chameleon."

    That is why I think a bigger mouthpiece would give a player "room" to adjust the intonation.

    Just my thoughts ... I have never played one and the Olympus is different in that in has a reverse leadpipe which helps the intonation but makes it less "free blowing" in general (most everything in the trumpet world is a trade-off of some kind -- they key is too make the trade-off less of a problem).

    Jim
     
  5. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Could be mouthpiece placement is an issue. It might be interesting to try moving mouthpiece up a little to stabalize it.
     
  6. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

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    Nov 29, 2003
    AL
    In other words, you're going to have to work your tail off and manipulate your chops, and everything else, just to get the horn to hit the center of the slots in the register where most of the playing occurs. To me, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. I don't think there are enough players that can handle that kind of horn.
     
  7. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I don't know that they way you painted it is correct. We all work at it some, we just get used to different horns. If you like the openness of the WT, then working a bit to get the lower intonation right is no big thing. Seems to be much less of an effort up high. I am not sure I would buy a horn for how it plays from low C up to G.

    Most of the people on the WT Tour have had good things to say.
     
  8. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    He's coming from a high-resistance horn (Bach 37) to a low-resistance horn (WT). I suspect he's doing some sort of lip manipulation to get the resistance he needs to feel good and is generally going sharp. IMHO, a slightly shallower cup and one-step tighter on the mpc backbore will still give him a big sound and make it easier for him to play in tune.

    All this stuff about "working" to make a horn work is "bull", IMHO. If a horn adds work to your playing formula, then there's something wrong with the trumpet/mpc/player system and a change needs to be made. You can choose to change the "player" piece of the system, but I find it's much easier to work with the mpc/trumpet piece of the formula.

    Dave
     
  9. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Then why play the WT if you need to add resistance? Of course, it might make the transition easier. Play a "tighter" backbore now, and then open it up.

    I think I understand what you are saying here. But that doesn't eliminate the "work." If you make a change, say from a medium bore with resistance to a large bore with little resistance because you want, or need, the sound the bigger horn produces -- you will have to work to acclimate. Adjusting to a new horn is work. Adjusting to a new mouthpiece is work.

    Sure you can adjust the mouthpiece/horn to fit you, which is great -- unless you want or need a different sound. I know personally I don't play as well on a low resistance wide open horn. But the sound I get from my excellent slotting Holton is great. I don't need (or want to) change my sound. But that is not the design purpose of a WT. It is wide open and made to "color" the sound. That may take work to adjust to.

    Jim
     
  10. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Well, Jim, big horns sound different from smaller horns. They sound, surprise surprise, bigger. Many (most?) players need or want some resistance in the trumpet/mpc/player system. If you've been playing a Bach 37 with a Bach 1 1/2C, then trying to play a WT with the same mpc is going to work your butt off, unnecessarily. The sound will be enormous and, perhaps, very broad. A tighter mpc will reduce the work and bring the sound back down closer to a 37, but not all the way.

    We're comparing two extremes here (a Bach 37 vs. a WT). In the middle, a person will make smaller changes to suit the blow to their preference. For instance, a Xeno user might prefer an 8335RGS to an 8335RG and no mpc change is likely to be required. Changing the main tuning slide from ovate to squared will probably not require a mpc change. However, on a V1, if you go from a #34 leadpipe to a #50, that may or may not require a mpc changing, depending on the player and use. (BTW, many lead players prefer the V1 with the #50, but then they combine it with a tighter mpc than most of us use on average).

    The WT has such a large bell and large bore, many players risk sounding "tubby" on it in the lower register, unless they make a mpc adjustment. Many of us will also benefit with a tighter mpc for endurance and range purposes. (Don't anyone write me saying you play a WT with a 1-1/2C. I know it can be done, but I'm talking about what most of us might do here).

    Dave
     

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