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Trumpet Makes

Posted on July 27, 2004 by 

I’ve played a great many trumpets. In fact there are very few I have not played. I have NEVER found a horn that I LOVE. I’ve found horns that I disliked. I’ve found horns that were ok. And I’ve found horns that I liked. But nothing that I felt blew away all other horns in every aspect of playing.

I’ve played quick (more responsive) horns that I felt were lacking in tonal qualities. I’ve played horns with great lower registers that I felt were tight in the upper register. I’ve played horns with great valve action.

Yet I have never played a horn that I felt was ALL THAT. Including Monette, Schilke, Calicchio, Callet, Kanstul, Blackburn….. These are fine horns and well built. But they don’t play themselves. And Regardless of price I consider them to be roughly equal instruments. One will slot high notes better, one will be better sounding in the low register……. Not one of these horns clearly dominates the others. 3 of these makes sells for under $2000.

I see, feel and hear a difference between this group and the 1000-1500 dollar group of : LeBlanc (Courtois,Holton,Martin), Selmer (Selmer & some Bachs), Getzen…… I said some Bachs because some play at the top of the Custom horn group and some don’t.

Then you have the Vintage horns where for 30 – 500 dollars you could buy a horn that plays as well as any already listed.

It is just a horn. If you worked your rump off playing the entire Arban, Clarke, Schlossberg & Williams books then you would sound good while playing a kazoo. ALL horn sells are 90% hype. That’s why they have artist endorsements. I played a 1500 new horn at a store when I was in Dallas. I took it to the salesman and showed him that the valve alignment was off and it had solder blobs in the slides. He told me that it was fine and nobody else had complained. He then put it back in the sales cabinet. Not all salesmen are equal.