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.

 

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Comments
  1. Rob says:

    I will be honest. I have not heard of Carol brand Trumpets. But, that doesn’t mean I would not like the brand. I will look into these horns.

    Thanks for the info.

  2. Derek says:

    There are some good comments, especially on the pocket trumpet, on trumpetherald. I see another brand of brass instruments, Vivace, has just been released in NZ, Shawn (www.vivacemusic.co.nz). More competition out of Taiwan by the look of it. I have played one of their eupho’s and it is pretty good, valves a little clunky though.

  3. trumpetgear says:

    Hi Derek,
    Thanks for the comment.

    I can assure you that these are a big step up in anything I have played on coming out of China etc. (Including my own custom design I had made by a Chinese factory). I could be wrong but those instrumetns look a lot like the Chinese designed ones.

    The pocket is definately a standout – they have had years of OEM experience building these horns and it shows.

    The rest of this comment is a general comment as Derek sparked a good topic of discussion for me:

    For those in reading in NZ, I will not be bringing in the low priced Carol models unless specifically requested as I do not wish to compete in the low priced market at all. (Even though I probably could)
    This means for Bb players the CTR-506 will be the starting point. (Perhaps the CTR-400)

    Staying true to the Trumpetgear Mission & Concept I will only bring in the intermediate and above equipment – more focus will be placed on the Pro quality instruments of course.
    Our goal is to improve the overall quality of goods on the market – the Carol brand is the first baby step.

    Pricing and quality will reflect in this mission of course.
    If people are looking at instruments based on price alone we are probably not the right place to be looking.
    We offer fair pricing – not cheap pricing, nor expensive (both a relative to individuals also).
    If anyone would like my opinion on the instruments coming out of China currently (I’m positive they are rapidly imporving, please see my post archives)

    Details to follow on the website about pricing on the Carol brand within the next few weeks (Still ironing out some details with the manufacturer on some things like spare parts, freight options etc)
    I will say this much – the C trumpet at first estimates will be priced well under NZ$1500.
    That’s a nice dedicated C trumpet with a Gold Brass Bell, great case, 2 tuning slide configurations, a 3C mouthpiece and accessories kit for a very nice price.
    (And it plays nicely in tune – I put it to the test on the tuner and it appears very good). This price is less than the RRP on a Jupiter C/Bb 600L which is a compromise at best. Who else has a C in the market that is around or below this price point? – the numbers are very few

    I will however be sending the Cornet to Don today (he should recieve the horn around the 9th of October)

    For anyone that wants to test this horn get in touch with Don sooner rather than later.

    Derek, your name is pencilled near the top of the list for a trial should you wish to test them out.
    It would be good to get your feedback on the horn once you’ve given it a go.

    I also failed to mention in the previous posts that also Carol makes mouthpieces too.

    We will be stocking the following sizes:
    – Trumpet 3C and F1 (The F1 is a lead player piece with additional mass – very shallow)
    – Cornet Standard & Classic (Very Deep mouthpiece)

    More on all this to come!

    Rgds,
    Shawn

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