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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Efficiency can be Bad in the General forums; Folks .... Carrying on from "Eastern Michigan UP says HI" in introductions forum ...... I know that a very pitch-slotted ...
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    Efficiency can be Bad

    Folks .... Carrying on from "Eastern Michigan UP says HI" in introductions forum ...... I know that a very pitch-slotted horn that has notes naturally out of tune is not the answer. My Mt Vernon seems to me, with use of some alt fingerings and 1st and 3rd slides, to be fine even after the efficiency modifications I did. I still can bull the pitch wherever I want it without half-valving. I know I have not had the opportunity to try a lot of different horns, But ..... I feel pretty fortunate.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Efficiency can be Bad

    Plutopete,
    efficiency as far as trumpet design goes is never bad. Stupid design always is. There is no trade off between efficiency and intonation. Schilke proved that YEARS ago. It took a long time for Bach to get the message. I believe they woke up after they got the whippin from Yamaha.

    Efficiency is not the same as "slotting". Efficiency is merely output vs input. If we measure "efficient" horns, for instance a Xeno or Monette Ajna, we do see higher amplitude for a given amount of energy pumped in the mouthpiece side. The player would "feel" that the Yamaha "slots" better because the thinner bell and reduced bracing (compared to the Monette) radiates more energy back to the player (but not to the audience). The measurements would say that the Monette is more efficient though.

    My take is, we buy instruments because of the sounds that WE can produce with them. All the bunk about efficiency, slotting may stroke our confidence initially, but plays no role in how well we play once we are used to the instrument. An out of tune instrument that requires alternate fingerings is just that: an out of tune design.

    Improvements in "slotting" with valve caps and other weights do not necessarily increase the amplitude of the output. Improved perceived "slotting" does not mean more efficient. What we feel is perhaps a different resonance of certain parts of the instrument. The pimp tools available do not change the basic design and therefore the efficiency.

    Following horn theory, the trumpet transforms the low amplitude vibrations at the lips into standing waves in the horn. There is a high impedance (resistance) at the mouthpiece side. A mathematically perfect horn would only amplify the lip buzz, there would be no slotting at all (like a horn speaker). The imperfection of trumpet design, lets the standing wave escape, amplified by the bell. There we have high amplitude and lower impedance. There is a relation in efficiency between throat size to bell size. the bigger the throat, the worse the efficiency, the smaller the bell, the worse the efficiency.

    I think out of tune instruments belong in museums. If you have to muscle your horn around, you are not lucky. You are tolerant. That tolerance made Bach the # one orchestral instrument. No other industry has tolerated incomplete designs like trumpet and oboe customers.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Re: Efficiency can be Bad

    Thanks, Rowuk .... I in my mind by efficiency, mean that the horn speaks quickly, the sound starts soon IN the horn after the effort at the lips. Maybe I should say responsive? By being able to bull the horn around, I mean able to play a quarter tone, or play all my tones equally a little flat or sharp, or bend an a,f, e, in the low staff or a d or c# under, down without shooting the slides. Does that clarify my starting post here?

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    Re: Efficiency can be Bad

    Plutopete,
    either the horn is (reasonably) in tune or it is a design error. Bach for many years did not have a handle on intonation. Clearly a design failure that was tolerated by the music industry.

    As far as what you mean with responsive, that is easily accomplished by using medium bore trumpets and mouthpieces without the throat bored out.

    The slides are there to help us tune the trumpet instead of destroying the tone by playing off of the resonant center. I understand what you mean, but think it is BS to accept inferior. A Mt Vernon Bach is a collectors item. We do not need to build a myth around bad intonation to justify keeping it or playing it. What you describe is "tolerant" not "smart". If it works for you, and you get asked back to play gigs, then 'nuff said'. I do not book "non-resonant" players for gigs. It just doesn't work. The projection and endurance are always a problem, as well as getting chords to "ring".

    History does not impress me. Cool trumpets should be hung up on the wall. Players should get played.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Re: Efficiency can be Bad

    Thanks, Rowuk,
    My Yamaha YTR6320S thin-wall does have better intonation than the Bach, and more like-timbre from note to note, but the Bach is still my choice on my limited budget for pleasing timbre, with the Conn Director a close second. I know the whole question is an emotional one, in addition to my pitch sense not being objective from being with one horn for so long. The Bach can no longer be called a Mt Vernon considering the changes I have made to it. They may have been being kind, but every player who has tried the horn has said it is the easiest playing horn they have ever tried. I do play resonantly, and use the slides to improve the intonation; I meant by being able to play flat or sharp, the parlor trick, or the practice exercise recommended by Chase Sanborn.

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