Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
Horns Discuss Rated: X-Model in the Equipment forums; ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Shofarguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    East of Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    96

    Rated: X-Model

    Rated: X-Model

    A Star is Born

    As the story goes, Kanstul Sales Manager Charles Hargett was on his way to Frankfurt, Germany for the annual MusikMesse show. He had packed up numerous horns and sent them on ahead, then stuffed his suitcase full of the usual necessities. At the last minute, he was handed another, unmarked Bb trumpet to carry onto the plane. Once he landed in Deutschland, he was met by Mudge Miller, Zig’s long-time friend.

    The horn was Mudge’s idea and was designed specifically for the European market. He thought that, since other companies were marketing new models with “Chicago” or “New York” in their names, one of the prospects for this horn should be “The L.A.X Model Trumpet”.

    Charles said that title brought to mind other products meant to keep senior citizens regular, or maybe a hectic, overcrowded airport. “Well,” Mudge asked, “what would you call it?” Charles’ reply was, “I’d just call it the “X-Model Trumpet”. He thought it hinted of the unknown “X-factor”. “Or ‘X-port’,” Mudge ventured. They agreed both were appropriate. It also happened to be the tenth addition to Kanstul’s Signature line of Bb trumpets.



    The horn was received very well at that first showing and has garnered something of a following in the few years since. Jumaane Smith, the young lead player for Michael Bublé, has been playing one for about two years. He and the brass section visited the Kanstul showroom when the band was coming through town. He liked the one in the showroom so much that he immediately bought one for himself. My understanding is that he's been playing it ever since. His former horn was the Kanstul Model 1600.

    And so, a star was born. Now, after three or four years as “forbidden fruit” in the States, the X-Model is finally available here through Kanstul’s US dealer network.

    Vital Statistics

    What can I say? The girl has a lovely shape with fine Besson details, like the knurled valve caps and finger pull turnings. More delicate-looking than even Kanstul’s Chicago line of horns, she furthers the fashion-model image with a reversed mouthpipe, classic forward bend of the second valve tubing and Harmonic Balancers, developed by Byron Autrey, on both the first and third valve slide crooks. This new classic American trumpet design has definite French lineage.



    She wears an ML on her valve casing, designating a svelte .460” bore. Her #25 mouthpipe, in reversed configuration, promises an open top-end feel. The semi-round tuning slide bow speaks of a Benge-like balance between secure slotting and broad, expressive phrasing. Modern Kanstul research and development mean that vintage intonation challenges are a non-issue. The “special” bell with its 4-7/8” rim is actually… Please, can’t a girl have some privacy?!

    How Good is She?

    In the three or so years since I first played one of the early examples, I have observed a few remarkable things about this trumpet. I immediately noticed a distinctive quality to the sound. From behind the bell, there are harmonics present that are missing from other horns. Something in the third or fourth octave of overtones rings with a liveliness that got my attention.

    After looking further into Harmonic Balancers and how they work, I added the weights to my Benge 5X. It suddenly had the extra overtones, too. It also had the “together” feel that the X-Model exhibits. Compared to typical Bb trumpets, the X feels relaxed, like there is no internal tension in the horn. It’s a crooner, with an easy playability in the human vocal range that keeps luring a player back to sample it over and over.



    The timbre of this horn is balanced between bright and dark in a way that allows it to fit into almost any situation. Remarkably, orchestral players will swear that it is built specifically for their genre, while studio players insist it is the perfect horn for recording. While not Committee dark, it has enough bottom-end to satisfy the balladeer, too.

    When I put the horn through its paces (oh, now that is funny, Brian. Everyone knows that it’s your own “paces” the horn is putting you through! :wink: ), I find that it has a security that allows technical passages to be played accurately. Other hard-slotting designs ask the player to give up agility, but not so the X-Model. It begs the player to join the “dance” in the way that a good Benge does, but it isn’t sloppy and doesn’t stumble over intonation problems.

    Still, I was surprised by its willingness to fade pitches, smear notes and color phrases. The un-braced tuning slide with its semi-round bow probably has a lot to do with this ability. What is also eyebrow-lifting is that often a rear positioned bell brace will stiffen a horn’s response, but not here. The balance of handling is uncanny.

    Another characteristic of the reversed mouthpipe configuration seems to be an open blow. Of all the Kanstul horns that use the #25 mouthpipe, only the 1601 is this open, and it has a much larger bell taper. There is a good continuity to the resistance as one ascends the scale, without sudden upturns or shut-offs.

    Are there down sides to this design? It’s hard to say. The player who must play in the upper register much of the time may find that the balancers add to his work load. Jumaane Smith would probably dispute this, however, as he must be ready throughout each Michael Bublé concert to nail those many high passages.

    A tried-and-true Bach player may still think the horn is too loose. However, one such player tried an X-Model at the Kanstul showroom, while I was there, and thought it gave him better control than a Chicago 1000.

    Which brings me to the most unusual trait of this trumpet: It seems to have no cultural barriers. Players coming from Bach, Yamaha, Benge, or whatever-else backgrounds all seem to relate well to the X-Model trumpet. Of all the horns I’ve played, only this design seems to be able to claim that ability. That is why I believe that, as the years go by, the X-Model will be known as Zig’s finest Bb trumpet design; a true American Classic available now, for the first time in the US, as a worthy addition to the Signature line-up of fine Kanstul trumpets.



    Kanstul.com

    Brian

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    13,036

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Sounds like an ad to me.................
    I always stop at the Kanstul booth when they are at the german Musikmesse. Nice horns, well built. The people on the Kanstul stand are always informative and friendly.

    Are we really sure that a horn without weighted caps and resonant this or that have real chance? Could it be possible that a trumpet that is simply intelligently designed and well built can be a killer?

    I sure hope so! Can't wait to try this one - not because of the ad text above though!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  3. #3
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Parts Unknown
    Posts
    10,783

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    It sure looks pretty, except for the stupid rubber bumpers at the top of the water-keys. Zig builds great horns, but gee--the post does look like an ad to me, too!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  4. #4
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    152

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    That's just Brian's writing style - it's not purposefully 'ad text', he's just enthusiastic.
    Quote Originally Posted by adamrapa View Post
    Well, to be honest, breathing is kind of over-rated. Personally, I think it's for wimps. It may look like I'm breathing, but that's just for show. I haven't actually inhaled since 1997.

  5. #5
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sydney Aus.
    Posts
    119

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Even though it looks like an ad. I enjoyed the review. It's a pet hate of mine seeing new gear on the market without a full review.

  6. #6
    Pianissimo User Shofarguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    East of Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    96

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Dear Moderator,

    Thank you for your warm welcome and immediate recognition of the quality of my writing! As an amature, it is quite something to be included in the ranks of those professionals whose skills are so great that they are sought after and highly paid to represent the workers, engineers, executives and others who give their lives to bring products and services to us.

    It tells me that you consider my writing to be easily differentiated from simple opinion, or the common assertions and jabs that, unfortunately, over-populate web communities of all types. I am flattered by your discerment of the research I have done into the products and people that make our trumpet experiences so rich and exciting.

    Having spent hours on the phone and in person with industry icons such as Zig Kanstul, Flip Oakes, Tom Getzen, Byron Autrey and Bob Reeves, your insite and affirmation is gratifying. If I may, I would like your permission to quote your comments as I seek out those businessmen who, in this troubled economic climate, are continuing to produce their wares, but need help in order to stay in business. Wouldn't it be a shame, if this Golden Age of brass instrument design were to fall short because no one supported the industry!

    Though I have never recieved financial...I mean, a paycheck for a composition such as this one, imagine my excitement when, after three years of only guarded comments about the X-Model (on another trumpet forum website), I was given the opportunity to introduce it publically to the US market by Zig Kanstul, himself! I consider his trust of my character and abilities to be almost as high a compliment as your own.

    Sincerely,
    Brian Douglas

    p.s. As you observe the honesty, fairness and hopefully entertaining qualities of my writing, feel free to contact me in order to promote your own business. Perhaps quality posts like this will attract even more subscribers and sponsors for you, too!

  7. #7
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ithaca NY
    Posts
    4,038

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Has Shofar been reading Swift? Nice drole irony last post, whatever the influence. I think the review is consistent with his well-put impressions of other horns, notably his WT and the Benge he played earlier. Makes me want to try the X.

    While his may seem ad-like, there are more frequent posts here by folks actually SELLING something. They may get panned, banned, or roundly scolded, but rarely do they trigger witty critique. I think it is to Shofar's credit that the instrument in question drew some fairly complementary remarks considering the absence of hyperbole in his post.

    I like the rubber coating on the stop rod. It won't snag the polishing rag and will prevent loss of the nuts. Maybe the rubber tipped water keys aren't as elegant as the felt undersided ones on some other horns, but they won't mar the finish (until they fall off, which looks likely).

    veery

  8. #8
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    13,036

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Shofarguy,
    I don't know what you are on and I am not sure that I want any, in any case, the post was borderline to get moved into the marketplace where ads belong.

    I read that it was developed for Europe. I don't know what that means. Horns like this aren't very hot over here. That is not a reflection on the instrument, but perhaps on the players.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  9. #9
    Pianissimo User Shofarguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    East of Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    96

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    Shofarguy,
    I don't know what you are on and I am not sure that I want any, in any case, the post was borderline to get moved into the marketplace where ads belong.

    I read that it was developed for Europe. I don't know what that means. Horns like this aren't very hot over here. That is not a reflection on the instrument, but perhaps on the players.
    I've only spent a total of three weeks in continental Europe, myself, so I don't really understand the culture. Maybe I'm getting caught in the wrong neighborhood??

    Do with the post/thread what you wish!

    Brian

  10. #10
    Fortissimo User trumpetnick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tekirova, Antalya, Turkey
    Posts
    2,773

    Re: Rated: X-Model

    Rowuk is an American. This has nothing to do with European culture....

    Nick I - freelance wellness consultant
    My online store
    The Official Group of Nick I
    Spada Bach B flat 72, leadpipe 2L/DWMM1.5C
    Spada Bach C 256, leadpipe 2LQ/DWMM1.5C
    A Besson Sovereign 928 modified by Spada to come...


    Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. WTS Lawler Model T
    By Mnc in forum Bb Trumpets
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-01-2009, 09:36 PM
  2. B&S model help!
    By Warren in forum Horns
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-08-2007, 05:20 AM
  3. New Study shows G-rated fare more profitable
    By rjzeller in forum TM Lounge
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-08-2005, 09:51 AM
  4. Lawler Model T
    By Bill Bryant in forum Horns
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-17-2005, 12:23 PM
  5. Lawler Model T
    By chetbaker in forum Horns
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-31-2005, 11:39 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26