An aspiring jazz trumpet player's blog about jazz improvisation and ear training.

March 25, 2004 Jazz Blog 6 Comments

Trumpet trial - Conn V1

The final horn in my trumpet trial arrived yesterday. Following are first impressions and a recording:


click for larger pic

As you may be able to tell from the picture above, this is the "rose brass" model. It's a nice looking horn, but without sufficient lighting it can be a bit hard to tell the difference between the regular brass and the rose brass bell color.

Like the Getzen, this horn will take some getting used to due to its physical characteristics. The ring on the first valve slide interferes with my normal grip. If I do end up with this horn, I'll have to have it removed. Also, since the valves are nearly flush with the casing when depressed, it's difficult for me to play flat fingered --something which I do fairly often. I know... it's a bad habit!

The valves started out VERY stiff, even worse than the Getzen. After a lot of oil and movement, they have improved a little. They're still stiff enough that I have to pound them down while playing fast passages, causing undesired horn movement. I do have hope, though, that they will get better during the next week. The Getzen valves, for instance, have already begun to loosen up nicely.


For your convenience, all recordings are listed below. The Conn recording is the only new one...

iwasdoingallright - audio clip - Conn Vintage One (1BR)

iwasdoingallright - audio clip - My current Bach trumpet

iwasdoingallright - audio clip - New Getzen Eterna 900S

iwasdoingallright - audio clip - New Yamaha Xeno 8335

Comment by josh

Not a huge fan of the Conn, and while the Xeno is my favorite, I don't really think it sounds better enough (vs. the Bach) to justify the expense. In my own experience, I find it immensely difficult to accurately test out new horns shortly after switching to a new mouthpiece - too many variables in flux to tell what exactly is causing the difference in sound and playability.

My recommendation: stick with the Bach and keep the mouthpiece safari going instead. You might consider going back to the 3C you played previously; the rim feel and shape is similar to the 7C, though slightly larger and deeper. Oddly, the 3C is shallower than the 5C, which has a deeper, more cornet-ish cup.

Comment by Rick

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

I followed your advice and tried to go back to the 3C today, but I find the rim to be significantly less comfortable then the Bach5C and the Yamaha11C4-7C that I've been using lately... so I don't think it'll work for me.

The mouthpiece search continues!

Comment by ray long

Hi Rick,

Belated comment here...I found the Yamaha Xeno to have a surprisingly energetic sound, very rich, muscular, far better sounding than the bach sample.

As far as your mouthpiece search goes, try to test a benge 5b, if you can find one. It has a VERY comfotable rim with a big warm sound that still reaches well into the upper register with authority.


Comment by ray long

Hi Rick,

Here's a belated comment to my first sugestion regarding your mouthpiece search. After doing a web-search for a benge 5b mouthpiece I learned that its not widely found. Still bach makes a trumpet mouthpiece that is commercially available in that size which doesn't have to be custom ordered. I'm guessing that it's comparable to the benge 5b mouthpiece, and will offer the same comfort, warmth, and range as the benge.


Comment by guy

Dude, great choice. The Bach for me remains the best made horn no matter what new trumpet makers say. BTW i heard the demo for the Bach, Getzen and Xeno. Its clear that the person playing it makes the difference. When You played the Bach and the Getzen there was very little difference but the Xeno really sounded stuffy and scratchy. I think the earlier Yammies were better.

Go Bach Go !!!


Comment by Joey

In order of best overall impression:

Yamaha had the most 'punch'. For a new horn, it sure sounded like you were comfortable with it physically too!

Conn sounded 'warmest' probably the gold/red brass. My first horn had a solid copper bell so I like that sound so I'm prejudiced.

Bach sounded like you were simply very comfortable with it, but it's actual sound quality was not as impressive as the Conn or Yamaha.

Getzen sounded forced as if you were fighting the valves, the small hand space and concentrating on those things to the detriment of the sound. In these recordings, it was clearly the worst sounding.

It really suprised me that I liked the Yamaha best and the Getzen last. I would have guessed just the opposite. I expected the Conn to be high for me because of the bell, but the Yamaha is better.

How much of this is due to your comfort levels with the various horns, I can't tell of course.

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