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Vintage Trumpets / Cornets Discuss Boston Vega Trumpet in the Equipment forums; I was wondering if anybody had any info on a trumpet that I just picked up. It is a Boston ...
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    Boston Vega Trumpet

    I was wondering if anybody had any info on a trumpet that I just picked up. It is a Boston Vega/Standard trumpet charles George model. It has a patent date of 1910 on it. the outside valve casing looks very similar to a 1926 Bach (apollo model) that I have and has some characteristics (braces and other fittings) that look identical to a Benge that I used to have. Did Vega try to duplicate the French Besson like Bach and Benge did? the engraving on it is very nice with the more elaborate push style engraving rather than the shallower scratch type. Over the serial number is stamped SB and the number 3. It plays very nicely (a lot like the Apollo). I was wondering if anyone else has any experience with these?

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    (sound effect) *wind blowing through an Artic wasteland*

    is there anyone out there?

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    There are people out here. Maybe none of them have any experience with "these".

    Tom Turner is pretty sharp with most of the older stuff. But he's frequently "out of town" so you might have to wait a while for him to catch the question.

    Patience is a virtue.... or so they say.

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    Mezzo Forte User tom turner's Avatar
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    Hi,

    After researching all this trivia . . . here's the convoluted evolution/timeline of the company that eventually became Vega:

    David Hall was a bandleader, keyed bugle player . . . and eventually an instrument maker.

    1861 - Hall studies horn making with the famous early maker Joseph Allen.

    1862 - Hall starts his own instrument making company.

    1866 - Hall joined with the Quinby Brothers to make the Quinby and Hall brand instruments.

    1870 - The elderly E.G. Wright (of Wright AND Boston Musical Mfg. fame) left the Boston company and joined on. The name now was called "Hall, Quinby, Wright & Co," BUT NOT FOR LONG . . .

    1871 - Wright died. The name reverted to "Hall & Quimby."

    1876 - Hall left that business and the name became "Quinby Brothers."

    1884 - "Quinby Bros." was purchased by Thomson & Odell. They renamed the company the "Standard Band Instrument Company."

    1909 - The Vega Company bought out Standard. The company lasted at least another 30 years and was known for making quite a few models. Their horns were well respected.

    Quite a few Standards and Vegas show up yearly on eBay. Many are "peashooter" model trumpets but Vega also made a F. Besson clone (doesn't everyone?). The engravings on the bell, with the big single star, are indeed nice!

    Tom

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    See? Now that didn't take long did it?

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    I have a Chas E George model Vega Standard made by the Vega Company. Its serial number is 6380 and I can confirm through my grandfather who is still living that this horn was originally purchased new in late 1917 or early 1918. It is a pea-shooter with a .436" bore as measured inside the second valve tubing.

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    thank you all, especially tom Turner. Mine is serial #22,2xx (can't remember the last 2 digits off the top of my head) and must be a early to mid twenties model. the wrap is not the "pea-shooter" style although I haven't measured the second valve slide I think it is probably a small bore. It really does play very nicely and the engraving is very sharp.

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    Mezzo Forte User tom turner's Avatar
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    Enjoy!!! They are really cool horns!

    Tom

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    I have two Charles George model Vega trumpets. One is silver plated and is the ultimate peashooter with a .438 bore and a tiny bell. It has the double tuning slide for a qick change to A, and was probably made in the mid 20's. The sound it makes is really dated, very big-bandish UNLESS you use a flugel mouthpiece. Then it makes the most gorgeous symphony trumpet sound you've ever heard, though it takes a lot of effort. Truly bizarre.

    My other Vega is a raw brass Chas. George model of similar vintage but a different design. It has a .453-.468 dual bore and a larger bell that flares abruptly like a C trumpet bell. It has a big, penetrating sound and a killer high register.

    If you look on your horn, you should see under the bell tube on the center valve casing some stamped markings. One will be S.B or L.B to denote small or large bore. There will also be a number from 1 to 5 that denotes what style bell it has. My small Vega is S.B 3 and the large one is L.B. 5.

    Chas. George was a prominent trumpet teacher in Boston.

    The Vega trumpets were made by Standard Band AKA Boston musical instrument company and are very similar to the Boston trumpets of the same era except for the bell flare which is more abrupt on the Chas Geo. model than the more ordinary looking Boston bell flare.

    -Eric

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    Vega trumpets...

    Maybe this will be of some help to you, buddy...

    My first horn (age 8) was a Boston Vega...
    Mine though was not a pea-shooter...
    It was big and warm...
    I bought another in Houston years ago...
    Finally selling both to a Vega collector years later...

    Let's go back one generation...

    New Orleans, late twenties into the depression...
    My grandfather rented half a double from Alois Hirt Sr...
    My dad grew up listening to this man's son practice his trumpet...
    It was a Boston Vega...
    My dad was so impressed with his next door neighbor's ability...
    That he too got into the trumpet, but couldn't afford a fine horn...
    The boys went to the same grammar school...
    And both eventually joined the N.O. Jr. Police Band...
    Then came WWII...
    Dad went on to the Pacific Theater...
    Became an officer and a war hero...
    Al went on to Vandercook and Cincinnatti Conservatory...
    Became a monster...and trumpet hero...

    Dad bought me my first horn...
    A Boston Vega...
    He and many of the old timers I learned from in New Orleans...
    Considered the Vega on a par with Bach...
    But I can tell you after 40 years of professional trumpet playing...
    By far the Vega was warmer, more flexible, and more emotive...
    Than any Bach I've ever played...

    Don't let that Vega slip away from you, pal...

    Oh yeah...
    And if you know anyone selling a LeBlanc Conrad Gozzo...
    Please steer them my way...
    I'm still playing my 1964, but she needs cosmetics...
    I just won't play anything else...
    Sorta like a "Vega thing" for some guys...

    Love your horn...
    Lemme know if you can help me find a Gozzo...

    Wes Mix
    professorwes@aol.com

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