An interesting piece of Martin and Schilke History Captured?

Posted: October 16, 2010 in Martin Committee
Tags: , , ,

Here’s an interesting horn than I picked up from a prominent brass technician in the US recently that is bound to spark a few comments.

Apparently this horn has been played by a few heavy hitters in the US (Mr. Wallace Roney for one) and they really dug the way it played and sounded.

What we have here is suspected to be an early Schilke prototype horn that is based of a Martin Committee parts. It has the unique serial numberin the 182XXX range and an X stamped above the number.

It’s rumoured that Schilke was perhaps one of the main driver’s behind the original Martin Committee designs. Being in a Committee of people making a lot of decisions (especially creative ones) will tend to lead of course to not only a lot of ideas – but also a lot of compromises (we’ve all been there right?)

Hence he would go on to design his perfect horn – and the Schilke horn line was born.

The major differences between this horn and a standard Martin Committee that I can easily identify are:

1) Bell is a lighter weight yellow brass bell (in raw brass) and is not stamped – apparently he like it this way as the bell didn’t get stressed by any stamping

2) The 3rd valve slide throw is a lot longer than a typical Committee

3) The RH finger ring is smaller

4) The leadpipe appears to be a lighter version yellow brass and has a Schilke style mouthpiece receiver.

So what does it play like?

Well it’s kind of right in the middle between a Martin and a Schilke in my opinion.

The slots are more Martin like – as you would expect as it has a Martin valve set.

The feedback behind the bell and the projection to me sound more like a Schilke.

To test my theory I went down to the local music store, borrowed a Schilke B3 and jumped into their testing room with my Zoom recorder and did a very quick recording between the 3 horns.

This was all done ‘on the fly’ and no allowance was made for gap adjustment between receivers (Schilke’s are set up for zero – to almost zero gap).

Since this video I’ve had a custom shank made and my Committee sounds 40% better as I’ve had the valves aligned properly – but it will give you an idea.

  1. Joe says:

    Horn #2 for me. Which is which though? Write back to me.

    • trumpetgear says:

      Thanks for the question.
      Horn #1 – Schilke
      Horn #2 – Martin – Reynold Schilke X
      Horn #3 – Martin Committee 1946 ish

      As a side note I picked up a Holtlon Heim #2 piece recently and tried it in the prototype horn – completely changed the whole character of the horn and it plays even better. I should have tried that as step #1 given the history of that era, Schilke etc.

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