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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Ken Larson Conversion in the General forums; Hey all. Just wondering what a "Ken Larson" conversion is. I see horns for sale with a "Ken Larson" conversion. ...
  1. #1
    Mezzo Piano User eisprl's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA

    Ken Larson Conversion

    Hey all.
    Just wondering what a "Ken Larson" conversion is. I see horns for sale with a "Ken Larson" conversion. Just wondering what is done to the horn. It looks like it's just another lead pipe.

    Eric Sproul
    Practice is like filling a leaky bucket

    Bb: Paul Mauriat, Yamaha
    Flugel: Hub Van Laar ACK
    Mouthpieces: monette, yamaha

  2. #2
    Forte User Jimi Michiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Ken Larson Conversion

    Hi Eric,

    I'm guessing that my listing is one of the ones you're talking about. "Conversion" can mean a lot of things--anything from a few custom parts to a complete overhaul of the instrument.

    Ken is the trumpet teacher at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Before that, he was an LA studio musician (I believe he played lead on Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, amongst others). He also worked closely with Bob Malone when Malone was based on the West Coast. As far as I know, it's a one man operation based in Interlochen, Michigan. I know a few of the top candidates for the last Boston Symphony audition used Ken's instruments.

    Here's what Ken Larson's BrassWerks Custom Trumpets, leadpipes & more! says about their conversions:

    Yamaha and Bach Trumpets really take on a new life by being "converted " i.e.: a new leadpipe, bell ferrule, adjustable braces, tuning slide, annealing, valve alignment, etc... Prices start at $1100* for this service.
    When I first listed my C trumpet, I listed it as a conversion. I'm not sure exactly what was done to it, but I know that it had a BrassWerks Malone/Yamaha Artist Mode-type double reverse lead pipe and tuning slide, as well as Brasswerks braces between the bell and leadpipe. The braces looked like they were in a different place than the original Bach braces, ostensibly to line up the nodes. It does not have adjustable braces, and the alignment was done by Roger Blackburn in Philly, not Ken. I'm not sure if it was annealed (does anyone know if there would be visible signs of that?).

    So the reason I didn't list as a "Conversion" when I revised and reposted the horn is because I didn't want people to think that it had gone through the complete $1100 process at Ken's shop. The horn plays great, and to me it feels like it has been "adjusted"--everything just lines up well and it doesn't feel like a Frankenhorn.

    Hope this helps.


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