I ordered these trumpets from music123.com. They have a 45-day return policy, so hopefully that will give me plenty of time to decide which, if either of these two, will become my new trumpet. I'm not even sure that I'll buy a new trumpet, but since my horn is pretty beaten up (slow valves, dents, airy sound -leaks?), and since I've never played another quality horn, I figured it was worth trying something new.
I've only had the horns for 2 full days, and I'm learning that this isn't nearly long enough to make a qualified decision (my mind changes each time I play). So, this post simply details my first impressions of these two horns.
GETZEN ETERNA 900S
When I first picked up this horn, it felt small. As soon as I tried my normal trumpet grip, the reason was obvious. The bell is about 1/4" lower on this horn than on my Bach. As a result, the space between the 3rd valve slide and the bell is smaller. It's big enough to accommodate my normal grip, but my fingers feel a bit cramped.
I recall reading that Getzen valves are supposed to be really good. Unfortunately, the valves on this horn are sluggish and tight feeling. It's kind of hard to press down. Well, not truly *hard*, but it definitely takes more pressure than both my Bach and the new Yamaha. Even after a lot of oiling, I have to say the valves are disappointing... They are reason enough for me not to consider this horn. Hopefully, they'll improve over the next week or two.
YAMAHA XENO 8335
In contrast to the Getzen, the Yamaha's valves are pretty speedy. After a single oiling, they moved nicely.
The Getzen wins out, however, in the spit valve category. The spit valves (are they Amado's?) on the Getzen are awesome. I remember seeing this type of spit valve for the first time while in high school several (13) years ago. I went to school near Lawler's old workshop in Florida and a few of the students had Lawler modify their Bachs with these spit valves. Honestly, I don't understand why anyone uses the old-fashioned style spit valves anymore...
Update 3/25/04: The final trumpet of my trumpet trial arrived. Click here to read about the Conn Vintage One.
Update 10/17/05: My flugelhorn also has the amado-style spit valves. I now know that unless oiled/moved regularly, they can get stuck in the open position. So, I suppose the requirement of having to oil your spit valves might be reason enough to favor the old-fashioned variety.
I recorded a few bars from a Chet Baker solo on each horn to compare the tones. I don't want to influence your opinion, so these clips are comment-free.
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - New Getzen Eterna 900S
iwasdoingallright - audio clip - New Yamaha Xeno 8335
I almost forgot. There's actually one more horn on the way... a Conn Vintage One. Stay tuned!