Tips for the comeback player


When you start back some of you will still have your old horn and some will pick up one at a yard sale.  ;-)  This is fine for quite some time the horn will not matter. As long as there are no valve problems. Although at some point you may start looking a other trumpets.

No design will make you play any better. Jake played a Conn and WOW.

No design will make you play higher. Maynard played a Conn 38B and now a Holton they are very unlike each other in internal design.

Years ago Conn came out with a heavier than normal horn. Lots of people jumped on the band wagon.

Then Schilke started making lighter than normal horns. They even went with very thin walled bells. People jumped on the band wagon. Bach, Holton, Yamaha ect made light weight horns.

Then Monette made a heavy horn. Then an even heavier horn. People jumped on the band wagon. Courtois, Taylor ect are making very heavy trumpets ala Monette.

What is the big deal about horn weight?


A lighter weight horn will respond to the buzz faster. It even takes less of an impulse to create the sound. This leads to a horn that will change registers faster than a normal weight horn. The lightweight horn vibrates more and loses some of the energy before it exits the bell. The heavy weight horn is less prone to vibrate and lose energy. It does however tend to be less flexible than a light weight model. ( All we are talking about is weight.) The leadpipe can be adjusted as can the bell to affect carrying power or response. The energy loss is most noticeable at the front third of the lead pipe. This loss is less and less as it goes through the instrument. As for a darker or bigger sound the bell is responsible for most of this aspect of the horn. If we had a lightweight body, a very thick and heavy receiver, and a thick soft bell (copper) then most of these problems would not exist. It would not lose much energy , it would be responsive and it would have a full dark sound.  Then we could let the leadpipe design and bell design complement the horn rather than NEED them to over come a problem.

Horn elements:

1. Schilke adjusted tapers (to affect intonation.)

2. bell tapers offered by:

Bach 6 tapers
Blackburn (changes daily)
Calicchio 4 tapers
Lawler 8
Schilke 3
3.Weights: lightweight, normal, heavy horns and the Monette .

4. bells they use 3 grades of brass, bronze, copper and sterling silver.

5. leadpipe tapers:

8 for Bach
7 for Blackburn
10 for Calicchio
An adjustable gap receiver for Max

6. How about bore sizes?
438,   Constant taper .445 ,   .450,   .453, dual .453-.459, .459, .460, .462, .463,   .464,   .465, 468, .469, .470, constant
taper.470, .472 these are all used on Pro model horns. The sound is also affected by the diameter of the bell as compared to the wavelength of the pitch. This affects the dispersion of the wave. Every internal gap, solder joint, ... has an affect.

Physical needs
There are a few basics that may help in this decision. A player that creates his or her own resistance by using the Stevens Embouchure, Super Chops or a variation like the Costello, or Screamin needs a horn that is free blowing inorder to fully take advantage of the embouchure. Players that use the Farkas tend to do better if their horn or mouthpiece creates some resistance for them. Remember that the mouthpiece also has the ability to create resistance through a small bore size or a tight backbore.
All in all the choice of what horn is for you depends on your build, embouchure, musical needs, taste in sound and nobody can tell you what is best for you. You owe it to your self to play everything.

As for quality trumpet makes I can recommend:
Calicchio  (Family owned hand made trumpets  $ 1750 +  The most custom made horn available)
Callet   (Made by Kanstul )
Kanstul  (A quality horn for less money than custom horns. Discounts available on this line)
Monette (If you have the $)
Schilke  (A family owned quality horn maker. )

These instruments are the BEST never any problems or rejects. Other companies have had some quality control problems and I don't recommend them.