Archive for December, 2012

Which one is the Committee??

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Martin Committee





I thought I would do a quick experiment this afternoon and record a short sample of a song on a number of horns.

The challenge is to work out which one you would define as the closest to the Martin Committee sound concept?

Horn #2 Sound Test

Horn #3 Sound Test

Horn #4 Sound Test

Horn #5 Sound Test

Horn #6 Sound Test

Horn #7 Sound Test

These are one take (mostly) quick recordings with no editing – just a mic (AT2035) into a Zoom H4n recorder.

For the purpose of this exercise there is no horn #1 – the track got lost somewhere – which is unfortunate – but the experiment can still be run without it.

Put your votes in here or via trumpetherald!


Olds Recording Trumpet










This particular horn was in my possession for just over a month before it’s new owner was found.

I knew of the Olds Recordings and how highly regarded they are but it was through mere chance that I happened upon this horn locally and was presented with the opportunity to acquire it.

Now, unlike the Martins – there seems to be a lot better information out these in regards to these horn – so if you are looking to gain some insight into the horn and the specs etc this particular post is not for you.

What I will give is purely an emotional perspective upon such a horn.

Just looking at a vintage horn is this kind of condition you can but wonder the care it took for someone to preserve the integrity of the horn over the last 50+ years.

These horns were built to be played and recorded – and I am certain that this horn has done both, although somewhat sparingly.

The design and thought that went into this horn ins somewhat special also – the devil really is in the details:

– Trombone style waterkeys for easy use

– 3rd Valve trigger centrally located

– Offset 2nd valve (Ergonomically friendly!)

– Pushed forward valve section for balance

– Knibs on 1st and 2nd have mother of pearl inlays.

These horns just ooze a quality rarely seen in some of today’s mass produced horns – even the engravings is deep and crisp.

The sound of the horn matched the visual quality also – the horn is full, rich and with some power to it all at the same time.

When first putting it to the face you really need to be careful not to whack your chops as the valve placement is deceiving, the 2nd valve feels funny for a few minutes and then just kind of makes sense as the hand naturally falls that way. Today’s horns are mass produced – so it’s about efficiency of production and use of parts for multiple models – where this is a horn of yesteryear that was ‘crafted’.

Needless to say, I was well impressed by the Olds Recording Trumpet.

Truly a stunning design and well worth seeking out.




Well, I lucked upon yet another great example of a Blessing Super Artist cornet about a month ago (being so close to the US is great for horns!)


This horn has really got me stumped though – The serial number and my research just don’t add up.

The serial on the horn is the lowest I have seen on a Blessing instrument to date – Serial #1101 – that would put this horn in the very earliest years of Blessing Instrument Manufacture – which dates back to 1906.

Now according to some webpages between 1906 and 1935 some 28,000 instruments were produced. I am doubtful that this horn was produced earlier than 1930’s though as the decorative bell work seems consistent to the late 20’s early 30’s horns I have come across.

I emailed Blessing themselves hoping that they might have some records – but no luck.

Official response:

“Your cornet has to be from the early beginning of Blessings. 

Unfortunately early records were all kept by hand and not on the computer. 

Serial number with 28,000 are from the period of 1935.  

Your horn has to be before this period.  Blessing’s was started in 1906.  Unfortunately I do not know where your horn would be from 1906 to 1935.”

Hence I draw the conclusion that they restarted the serial numbers somewhere perhaps with a new model line.

I’m picking 1930-32 but that’s a real stab in the dark.

The funny thing is for a 80+ year old horn this thing stills plays great and just like one of the later models that are so sought after. Another gem uncovered from the Trumpetgear crew…

Here’s some images for people to compare/enjoy: