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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Why I Play Vintage in the General forums; I am proud to say that do not own a single horn made past the year 1980. I play vintage ...
  1. #1
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Why I Play Vintage

    I am proud to say that do not own a single horn made past the year 1980. I play vintage because whenever any young student purchases their first pro horn, they feel this joy and splendor, and I feel the joy of the original owner, no matter how terrible of shape the horn is in, whenever I pick up a vintage horn. I feel that the sound is often much more colorful, and unique when compared to some modern trumpets that are pumped out like cheap trinkets. Not only that but, I feel the old world craftsmanship of the builder. I play knowing that someone spent days, sometimes months, delicately turning sheet brass into a beautiful instrument.

    I would love to hear some other people's opinions! Especially those who play modern horns!
    1971 Benge 3x+
    1930's (?) Pan American 64b
    1920's Buescher Model 10
    1918 Conn 22b
    1952 Conn 80a (later model)
    1956 Holton Super Collegiate
    and more...

    Shilke 13a4ah (heavyweight model) for lead playing and jazz
    Schilke 11 for everything else

  2. #2
    Mezzo Piano User Martin Williams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Columbus, Oh-hi-uh

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    Well said. I also play mostly vintage horns because I hope all the bad notes have been blown out by the time I get it. Sadly this is not always the case!!!

  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    My favorite vintage horns are my 1941 Olds Super, 1949 Super Recording and 1970s Selmer Radials, my 2000 Selmer Concept TT and 2008 Eclipse MS will do all the vintage horns can do and sometimes easier.

    Some of my vintage horns I think have had all the good notes blown out of them and only the bad ones remain.

    Regards, Stuart.

  4. #4
    Fortissimo User
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Greenfield WI

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I play vintage horns because I learned to play on my grandfather's Buescher 400 and it amuses me to continue playing Buescher. These horns, especially my Model 228 Lightweight 400, have fabulous intonation (I only use third slide on the C#) and a sound you just can't get on a Bach or a horn designed to sound like a Bach.

    I have standing offers for some of them. (Now if I could only sell the extras I rarely play....)

    fuzzyhaze, gordonfurr1 and Dviglis like this.

    Buescher Lightweight 400
    Other Buescher horns 1939--1955
    Al Cass 1-28 mouthpiece
    Humes and Berg mutes

  5. #5
    Forte User Rapier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I am the opposite. I like my horns to be as new as possible, made by modern craftsman with the best technology available.
    ''I'm nearly as good as I need to be,
    but not nearly as good as I'd like to be".

    ~Wild Thing Trumpet~ Eclipse Enigma Trumpet ~
    ~Kanstul 1525 Flugel ~ Smith Watkins K2 Cornet ~
    ~ Besson Bugle ~ JP152 C Trumpet ~

  6. #6
    Fortissimo User ConnDirectorFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    United States

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I feel as if some of the "best" vintage horns were built to standards that allowed them to stand the test of time and still be highly regarded today.

    I certainly did not create that statement, but I agree with it wholeheartedly. While some would disagree, the playing qualities, build quality, and overall design of "classics" such as Conn Connstellations/Victors, Martin Committees, vintage Schilkes, and Getzen Severinsens allow them to compete with horns made today. Yes, I am a little biased, but my main horns both were made in the last 5 years.

    Now, that point is easily refuted as it would seem recent developments [i. e. Harrelson, Monette] in trumpet manufacturing are starting to change that trend. Other trends would be that modern manufacturing [i. e. Yamaha] result in greater consistency, to the point that trying out multiple horns of the same model isn't necessary, perhaps.

    Kind of the middle, I feel, is Conn - whenever I play two of the same model of a vintage Conn or a new Conn/King, I feel that the two specimens seem reasonably close in characteristic - maybe not identical like Yamaha, but respectable enough to be called "the same". Instead of a horn having that "soul", it's the entire model-lineup that has that "soul"...

    Others argue that hype *cough*Committee*cough* takes the quality of the best examples of a given model, then blows it out of proportion. However, I think that could apply to many horns - but then again, the hype exists since there were some fantastic specimens! As for the decent specimens, they were close enough that people still like them.

    Then it boils down to...the best horn for the job - preference certainly playing a factor - if you like a 1950s horn better than a 2000s horn [i. e. you like the playing qualities better, the sound better, it creates your sound concept better, etc.], then that is your preference and that is the way it is.

    One might like the sound of a 1960s Amati cornet, but feel that the build/material quality isn't good. Then they pick up a 1990s Weril, find that the build/materials are better, but they don't like the sound as much...

    Oops, I restated a lot of stuff in a giant post...sorry
    fuzzyhaze and gordonfurr1 like this.
    "The Musica man is a Conn man"

    2002-5 Yamaha 6310Z trumpet
    2008-11 Conn-Selmer King 1117SP trumpet
    1996 UMI Musica 96T pocket trumpet (KHS-Jupiter stencil, Taiwan)
    1972-9 Conn 24A flügelhorn (Willson stencil, Switzerland)
    1966 Conn 5A Victor cornet
    1960s Musica Steyr–Austria tuning-bell cornet (Amati-Kraslice stencil, Czechoslovakia)

    Thanks to Reedman1 for profile image help

  7. #7
    Fortissimo User Dupac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Bordeaux, France.

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I have both vintage and modern horns. In fact, when I play a trumpet recently made by talented artisans (Lawler) or with the most accurate technology (Xeno), I'm just ahead of you: in fifty years they will be the vintages everyone want to have, and from where I'll be, oh Lord, I want to be in that number playing with all those old cats, I will smile happily...
    Mikel Dupac / Lawler C7-3R-1A + Prana B6S1
    Olds Super Bb 1962 / Carol Brass Dizzy pocket
    Conn New Wonder cornet 1917 / Many others...
    Music is the healing force of the Universe! A. Ayler

  8. #8
    Piano User Ursa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Northern Michigan

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    There is joy to be found in brasswinds both old and new. I happen to have a lot of old stuff simply because it's the best I could afford at the time of need.

    But I do get more attached to the vintage horns. The process of nursing each one from as-found to top playing condition with all the right accessories can involve considerable time and expense. I love that part of the journey.
    Ursa's collection...
    1929 Holton Monster E-flat tuba
    1932 Conn 6E New Wonder alto horn
    1937 Indiana Band Instrument Company E-flat sousaphone
    1956 Holton Super Collegiate trumpet - Copper/Nickel/Brass
    1964 Holton Collegiate cornet
    1966 Conn 4D Artist "French" horn
    1967 Olds Ambassador cornet
    1969 King Silver Flair trumpet
    1995 Yamaha YEP-321S euphonium
    2006 Blessing XL-CR cornet

  9. #9
    Pianissimo User RonD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Ontario, Canada

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I would have agreed about vintage horns until I got my Adams A4.
    Even though it's a "larger" bore, I find it effortless to play.
    Even my first note of the day makes me happy!
    I can only attribute this to the craftsmanship.
    fuzzyhaze and gordonfurr1 like this.

  10. #10
    Fortissimo User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    in exile from Germany

    Re: Why I Play Vintage

    I feel a placebo effect in the air.
    You can't blow it if you haven't lived it.

    "Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis."
    Chet Baker

    Schilke B7
    Martin Committee (1956)
    Connstellation 38B (1959)
    LA Benge 3X (1970s)
    Hans Hoyer G-10 Geyer Horn

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