Archive for September, 2009

Let me introduce Carol Trumpets!

Posted: September 28, 2009 in Gadget Talk

Well it’s been less than a month in the making, but I sense I may have discovered a great brand for the NZ market that is both affordable and decent quality.

Allow me to introduce the Carol Trumpet brand. Carol-Logo

This range of trumpets is produced by the Hoxon Gakki Corporation in Taiwan.

Let me tell you straight off the bat that these are some nice instruments – not your TOS (Trumpet shaped objects) that you would find coming out of certain parts of China.

In recent years Taiwan has starting putting out some nice quality instruments.

Hoxon Gakki has a history of doing OEM work for other manufacturers but have decided to go their own way and put out their own brand of horns. A gutsy move in indeed, however they really seem to be on the right path.

Their attention to detail is nice for one, and I couldn’t fault the presentation too much either (maybe a small section that didn’t quite get buffed enough – but that’s about it)

Instruments come in nice plush protective cases with little accessory packs that include all you need to get going:

Accessory-Kit

1 x Mouthpiece, 1x Cleaning cloth, 1x Cleaning rod, 1x Slide-o-Mix valve oil, 1x Made in Taiwan Guarantee Card.

It would have been nice to have seen a tube of slide grease in there too as that was noticeably lacking (I think I’ll be throwing one in for people myself  if  I can find a good supplier)

As part of my sample order I went for 3 completely different horns, even though they have a great selection of Bb Trumpets:

pocket_1

CPT-300LR

Pocket Trumpet with Large Bell

C-Trumpet

CTR – 400CR

C Trumpet with Gold Brass Bell

Cornet_side

CCR-300R

Bb Cornet with Rose Brass Bell

One important note should be made that the valves that they use are Stainless Steel and not the usual Monel Valves. This provides for better durability in the long run.

So how do they play I hear you ask – well surprisingly well.

If I had to fault some areas I would say that the Valve springs are a little too hard and the valve tolerance very tight. Both of these can be solved by just playing and breaking them in over a few weeks. Also the 2nd C Trumpet slide was a little on the loose side too (Oh Yeah, the C trumpet comes with both round and semi round  – nothing a bit of slide grease didn’t fix)

The positives are that these blow nice and the intonation appears to be good on all instruments.

Pocket – blows and sounds like a trumpet. Would have to be hands down the best pocket I have played personally. It’s available with the large or small bell configuration.

C Trumpet – 2 slides and a nice Gold Brass Bell give a nice clear tone. This is the 1 st C I’ve played so I am by no means an expert on these instruments but I would take this one to a gig  without giving it second thought.

Bb Cornet – a nice soft sound on this one. I can’t help but think that this would make an excellent Jazz Combo horn in this configuration. For the more traditional minded player this will also be available in Silver plate over a Gold Brass Bell or over standard yellow brass.

The good news is we can order in anything from the range for you.

Check the full range here: http://www.caroltrumpets.com/eng/e_02.htm

If you see something that interests you be sure to contact us – we have an exclusive agreement with this brand to supply the NZ market – so don’t bother looking elsewhere – we’ll look after you.

Pricing and further details will be added to the website over the next few weeks and hopefully reviews.

 

New Brands and Happenings…..

Posted: September 24, 2009 in The Business

Just wanted to give you all an update as to what’s going on with the Tgear team.

We have the new samples of the horns I mentioned in a previous post arriving at my apartment here in Okinawa either today or tomorrow. This is a new step for us and I’m quietly hoping that my gamble is going to pay off on this one.

I’m not about to give the game away just yet – but there will be an update soon with all the images and details about how each one plays, looks, feels etc soon.

I have a 2 different models coming in – C Trumpet, Bb Cornet and Pocket Trumpet.

I’m not sure NZ and the surrounding region are quite ready for the pocket – so this might not make it to the land of the long white cloud – but I have high hopes for the C trumpet and the Bb Cornet. I’ve purposely not bought a Bb in at this stage as the market it saturated with Bb options right now.

Speaking of which – if you want a nice Bb trumpet we still have 1 brand new Bb Challenger left in stock – this is the lucky last and still going for a very good price! As a deal to our loyal followers – if you mention you read about it on this blog and decide to purchase I will give you free 1x mouthpiece of your choice out of our current range – up to the value of $100 (new or used).

Apart from that,  right now I am looking at 2 new mouthpiece ranges (both will be setting new standards in terms of pricing and design) , a brand new mute range and also a trumpet/flugel option coming out of the USA and Japan.

More on those one’s at a later stage……..but all in good time.

Rest assured that the trumpetgear team is committed to bringing you the best products we can find out there and I am looking around daily to source new items for the future.

On a side note – we will be slimming down our current assortment soon to concentrate on basic categories, but still going deeper in each area. 

What that means is we may exit some existing products soon. (The first is likely to be all Trobone products – there’s just no interest in them on our site and we can use the funds to buy more trumpet related products).

Other products will soon follow so we can concentrate on what we do best – Trumpets and Flugel related products (we are likely to have more cornet related items too)

That’s it for now, another update soon with images etc.

Website Updated

Posted: September 7, 2009 in The Business

Well I just spent the past weekend doing website updates – it’s a slow and thankless job let me assure you.

But someone has got to do it.

I’ve added some new mouthpieces to the site and changes the menu for the trumpet mouthpieces so you don’t have to wait for the whole page to load – instead you can just click on the brand you wish and view them there. The old look is all gone and onto a smoother more visually friendly interface. (If anyone ever has any feedback on what they think of the site, stock etc at www.trumpetgear.co.nz I am interested to hear – the only way I am going to get better is if people point out any potential faults etc)

Next step is to fully upload the whole mouthpiece selection on the www.smallfish.co.nz/trumpetgear website.

(Our sub site of trumpetgear which allows you to purchase direct using your payapl account or a credit card)

Also I will make it so you can view larger images of each mouthpiece – scratch another weekend in the not too distant future.

On a side note…..I am off to Vancouver 1st week of October.

As part of my visit there for a few weeks I plan to catch up with Dr. Dave of Wedge Mouthpieces as his workshop/ business is based there. http://www.wedgemouthpiece.com

I’ll be checking these innovative mouthpieces out and chatting to him about design – if he lets me I’ll take a few pics and have that information up for you on the blog come late October.

Until next time – over & out!

Shawn