Archive for July, 2012

Before considering purchasing another instrument to get a different sound – why not consider the option of purchasing a different mouthpiece to change the tone and color of the sound?

Here is another Trumpetgear sound sample that demonstrates just this idea. (I recommend using some good quality headphones or monitor speakers to pick out the differences)

Mouthpiece Test (Cornet)

The horn in question is a Conn Victor 80a Vintage Cornet (from the 1950’s) and 4 different mouthpieces:

– Vintage Bach New York #2 Cornet Mouthpiece

– Wedge Gabriel Rim Flugel Top with Cornet Backbore

– Vintage Bach New York #10 Cornet Mouthpiece

– Al Cass 3×4 Cornet Mouthpiece

Although most share a common sound concept there is a definite change in tone and timbre – the most noticeable being the Al Cass 3×4 mouthpiece.

Switching between mouthpieces is a big no-no for a lot of players – but I have developed being able to do this over time and can fine tune the sound to the music and the sound concept through some minor changes.

I hope you enjoyed this little test and look forward to your comments as to which you think might be best.


Which is better – a Bb Harrelson Summit or a Vintage Martin Committee??

Let your ears do the deciding for you.

I finally have some semi decent home recording equipment for which to make some accurate recordings of horns. (More on this later as I dive further into this)

This comparison I have been asked for several times – so here it is:

Summit vs Committee Sound Test

Conditions for recording:

Mouthpiece – Wedge Gabriel Rim 24 with a Medium Backbore on both horns

Mic – Audio Technica AT-2035 linked into a Stienberg CI-1 Audio interface and Audacity software – there are no effects added to this recording – it’s raw and ‘as-is’


One of the beauties of being in this business and having such a niche interest is that we hear from people all over the world.

This information comes from one of our friend via the USA – Chris Dankler is a prolific Ebay seller and collects/studies and sells a large range of vintage horns and equipment. (I thought you would all appreciate me sharing this – and it is being shared with his permission – and we will be sharing more of his information in our Guest Posts section in the future)

He had this to say about Martin Horns: “Hey you guys…..found  your page discussion on the Martin Standard and I can fill in some blanks. If you find a standard with nickel past 42, then it’s actually a discontinued Handcraft Committee …..the earlier standards go back maybe as far as 32….and they aren’t named.

Schilke was doing much of the same design work at Holton early 30’s messing with the placement of the cluster and other little tweaks but really the basic “Committee” design was started 32/33…..they also changed their mid bore to .453 then and also kept their famous taper but increased the bell ending diameter.

I have a 32 horn with the traditional reverse tuning slide/bigger bell but it’s all .438!….(getting a valve job on it). Later they introduced the Handcraft Imperial with all of the nickel and maybe more ornate finger rings etc but the Standard is basically just the plain stepsister!….and most probably all Schilke designed….people think they’re student horns, but people forget that the Indiana line was actually the student line.

Under the Martin name there really aren’t lesser horns…..not only that, even the Indiana’s share the valve clusters and valves….as time goes on the Indiana and straight Imperial are both lesser horns for a while…..they don’t do the step bore and the bells seems to be made of harder metal but due to the design still retain many of the qualities.

Now on top of that, in 55 when they introduce the Magna, the Imperial gets the goofy double reverse slide…..BUT, as my theory goes, they were low on money….as it seems they were quite often…..and my thought is that they used Committee bells on them…..there are some that are also stamped IMPERIAL-COMMITTEE….also COMMITTEE…with Imperial script underneath Elkhart…..on top of this, they use the Committee Finger Buttons too…..and they PLAY much different that the Imperials and really close to Committees, but once again with better bracing.

One thing that is really funny too is that you’ll notice that sometime around 1960, they don’t have that great olive color to them anymore…..some attribute it to having to change lacquers but roughly the same thing happens to Blessing same time…..I think that the brass forging changed, whether they went to cheaper makers or perhaps some industry change…..there really isn’t a horn today that can play like some of the New York Bachs, 50’s Holtons too….and I think all the designing in the world doesn’t help as it is the actual material that made the difference!!!”

Martin Handcraft Standard Trumpets


This post has literally been a while in the making – as I ordered these horns back in Feb/Mar of this year, and have been patiently waiting since for them to arrive.

Brand new to New Zealand (and perhaps the first worldwide for at least one of the horns) are the two following CarolBrass Custom horns:

1) CTR-5000L-YST-AD

This horn is the standard offer CTR-5000 with a unique finish applied to it. If you weren’t familiar with the CTR-5000’s they are probably the most popular of the lightweight horns that Carolbrass sell – and for good reason…they are a great price – and they play exceptionally well. An ideal horn for Jazz, Lead or Commercial music.

AD – in the model number stands for Antique Dark. See the image below for details – I think this is a stunning looking horn and really has a modern contemporary look about it.









2) CTR-5000L-PSM-AL

This horn was the one I was really waiting for……. It uses the valve block and leadpipe/mouthpipe from the CTR-5000 but comes with the Carolbrass Phosphorous Bronze Standard Medium bell.

How many horns do you know of under $2K that has a bronze bell on them?

On top of that I asked the factory to apply a special finish to this horn – the finish is Amber Lacquer – which has only ever been used on the full Material range phosphorous horn – and that costs quite a bit more and is very limited. This same process was applied to the bell and the body and produces a finish which I think is stunning – it’s like having an aged horn from the 1950’s with all the perks of a modern one (great valve action – and even better yet in stainless steel – and amado water keys). Doing this was a big roll of the dice as it’s a risky move with the process and it’s always coming out different – but I think it really paid off.

If you like this horn don’t sit on the fence – contact us via the website and talk to us about it – At this stage there is only one that I know of that has been made.

Someone is going to be exceptionally happy with this horn in their gig bag.