Project ‘CaliMar’ is in Session

Posted: March 26, 2014 in Gadget Talk

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

It’s been a while since I did the last project ‘Making something new out of something old’ – Martin Handcraft Hybrid where I took a bunch of different Martin parts from various Martin models and put them together.

Whilst it took quite some time for the project to come to fruition that horn really turned out great. That particular horn found a new (very happy) owner in Japan – and no doubt will be seen in the Jazz scene there.

So,…….on the back of that project being finalized I started to look and source parts for another project.

For this round I have some pretty special parts lined up to make what I hope to be a special horn.

The idea is to make a Committee style horn (heavy Martin influences) with a larger bell – the idea being that the sound will be even larger and fuller  than the previous horn, and perhaps be more like the larger bore sound concept. The 3 bell was rumored to be a copy of the original large bore Martin bell anyhow so the results should be rather interesting.

This will be known as project ‘CaliMar’ – it blends some handmade custom Calicchio parts with Martin.

Valve Block – 1x Martin Committee Cornet Valve block complete with pistons

Leadpipe – I’m going to go with a Josh Landress brand new pipe here. Whilst I did have a #9 Callichio pipe lined up – I really do prefer a reversed setup – so I am going to have Josh complete this part for me and make a new pipe with a larger venturi than normal to compensate for the bell size. Plus he makes his pipes from scratch and they look and play great. A no brainer.

Tuning Slides – Sourced from a couple of Martin Handcraft Standard parts horns I have. 1st, 2nd and 3rd all from a cornet, and the main tuning slide from a Handcraft Standard trumpet.

What I like about the Handcraft slides is that they 1) have the standard style waterkey & 2) they have the additional detailing in the joins and edges that you don’t see on the later models – just nicer look and feel to them.

Trim – I have a set of Indiana/Handcraft yellow brass bottom caps. For the top I have a brand new set of Committee tops. I’m thinking to now save those and instead source some Indiana finger buttons and top caps to complete and older style look.

I’ve left the best piece till last – the bell.

I managed to find a Calicchio 3S bell that is in near new shape – been mounted for a test only. It wasn’t cheap – but it also wasn’t full price at about US$600 if you buy it new. Usually there is the #3 bell – the S I don’t know much about at all to be honest – and there isn’t much documented on it either. The size is a touch over 5 inches.  Either way I have high hopes for what this combination of valve block, leadipe and bell can do.

The last piece of the puzzle is of course – finding a good tech who can add that bit of magic and actually build what you have in your mind.

Josh Landress is definitely the guy for the job – a quick call to him, some quick suggestions and a rough quote – and the project is in progress as we speak.

I would imagine it will be finished by the end of April.

Here’s the before photo with all the parts laid out – can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like:


When done – I may break down all the costs as a matter of interest so people can see what it takes to put one of these horns together – it should be interesting!

Be sure to check back for update 2.



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