Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis
The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8
Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson
Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!
In 1959 I started with a Buescher. In 1965 I went to a Selmer Mod K. In 1968 to a Benge 2X. In 1984 added a Yamaha Flugel. In 1988 added a 1969 Bach Strad 37. In 1990 a Jupiter slide trumpet. In 2008 added a Huttl and Conn/Willson Flugel. Through the years, I have played Holton, Getzen, Le Blanc, and King. Finally in 2010 I bought a 1929 Conn 22B.
Now I have 28 Conn/Pan American/Cavalier/International Trumpets/Cornets/Flugels in my collection. I also still have the Benge. The Huttl will be sold soon, like all the others.
Like people have different opinions about the makes, I have also. I have even changed my opinion over the years. In the 1960's and beyond, I did not like the Conn product. Now I am a collector of its instruments (1920-1969 mostly) and doing studies on the company.
What I have found is each manufacturer and model has sound, design and utility characteristics combined with price that are pleasing to some. Some of the manufacturers or their models can become pleasing to many. Often it is based on what is the sound or usage trend of the day. Musicians playing in different styles from Rock, to Jazz, to Dixie, to Polka, to Big Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Symphony or Solo work many expect different performance from their instrument. In combo's I even find different instruments or models mix better than others with different instruments types or models. I am sure there are many that disagree as they may play the same instrument for all performances.
Having said that, I have noticed there are "quality" differences over the years and among the manufacturers. Alloys, hardening and plating are easily noticed and influence sound quality from a richness viewpoint. This can also influence the opinion of an instrument. For example I have 2 Chinese made pocket trumpets (omitted from above purposefully as they are just fun horns). They measure the same in all aspects. However, 1 is very tinny and can be annoying in the upper registers. Whereas the other plays pretty well and is relatively balanced along the scale. What is very noticeable is the poor version is made from a different alloy then the better one. For example, using the old flick test, the bell thunks on the poorer one, but the better one has a ring. Inspecting valves reveals a better plating on the better instrument.
Basically, what I have learned is don't judge a manufacturer's or a country's product by one or a few instruments as instruments and times change. The "best" of yesterday may not be today and the "best" of today may not be tomorrow. Even what makes a "student" horn, a "student" horn changes over time or for that matter intermediate, step-up or professional.
Those of us who have looked at the brand Conn and its products over its life can attest to this.
Kurt Walter - AlpenBand California
1921 - Conn 80A
1937 - Conn 26A
1956 - Conn 18A
1958 - Conn 14A
1931 - Pan American 46A
1947 - Pan American 58A - Silver
1949 - Pan American 58A - Brass
1930's - Cavalier 90A - 2 Verisons
1929 - Conn 22B w/rotor
1929 - Conn 22B w/o rotor
1926 - Conn 24B w/rotor
1957 - Conn 14B
1969 - Conn 60B
1930's - Cavalier 94B "Peashooter" - 2 versions
1970's - Conn 24A "Switzerland"
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