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Harrelson vs Monette


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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GordonH wrote:
OK, I am going to say something about this whole debate. I am a pretty good trumpet player. An amateur, but still pretty good and playing (cornet at least) at quite a high level. I have owned and played some very fine instruments (Taylor, Monette, Wedgwood). Following my divorce I hit a rough patch financially and had to sell instruments on a monthly basis for a while in order to pay the rent. However, when I sold my Monette I used some of the money I got for it to go out and buy a brand new Bb trumpet. Having trialed a lot of models I ended up with a standard Bach 43. I have since met a full time professional who also switched to a Bach 43 from Monette. At the same time I switched back to a Bach 1.5C from the Monette mouthpieces I had been using.

Having made this switch the change of mouthpiece has made a bigger difference than the change of trumpet. I tend to sound like I do regardless of what I play on. All I need is an instrument which will support that sound and play in tune.

Of the four full time professional trumpet players (orchestral and commercial) who I know in my own social circle, none are playing on "super horns". Its all Bach and Yamaha. Two are using Monette mouthpieces. Of those mouthpieces, none of them are custom - they are all off the shelf standard sizes.

My recommendation for anyone would be to determine what the sound you naturally produce is like, what your pitch centre is like (do you go flatter as you go up or sharper). Then find a mouthpiece and trumpet which supports or corrects those issues. If you can achieve 95% of a perfect set up then stop there. Trying to get any further is a law of diminishing returns. Spend some money on lessons (rebuilding my embouchure from scratch transformed my playing and the lessons cost very little in real terms).

Just some thoughts.


I have 2 Bach trumpets. A ML 37 and a ML 72. I consider them very middle of the road. I can play anything on them. Classical, jazz, big band lead.

I always have my 37 on a stand next to my chair where I practise. Every now and then I pick it up and practise on the Bach instead of the Monette. The Bach (for me) is just harder to play. Sometimes I use the Bach mouthpiece I played on for about 20 years. Still N.G. (for me). Last year I used the Bach with the Bach mouthpiece at a rehearsal so I could check out the blend and tuning. Half way through the rehearsal I was wishing I brought the Monette.

Maybe my Bach trumpets are the wrong model for me. I think they're getting me to about 75%. The Monette gets me to about 95%.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retlaw wrote:
4 pages...12450 views and we are down to an off the shelf Bach 43... :lol:

Now we have diverted from Harrelson vs Monette to Bach.... anyone playing the Mariachi? How does it compare to the 43.... :wink:


Walter


Nothing wrong with broadening the comparison. Maybe it's the difference between a Ferrari and a Ford, the Ferrari turns heads and gets you there, and the Ford just gets you there.
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Retlaw
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
Retlaw wrote:
4 pages...12450 views and we are down to an off the shelf Bach 43...

Now we have diverted from Harrelson vs Monette to Bach.... anyone playing the Mariachi? How does it compare to the 43....


Walter


Nothing wrong with broadening the comparison. Maybe it's the difference between a Ferrari and a Ford, the Ferrari turns heads and gets you there, and the Ford just gets you there.


A friend of mine had a Ferrari for a while and there is no way a Ford would get to the same destination the same way. I can remember hedge rows whizzing past as we buzzed downs some twisting paved country lanes. The speed was atrocious (I won't quote numbers) but everything was still inside..it was effortless and inspiring all at the same time. Balance ...poise..and a wonderful sound... A bus will get you there but there is more to life. Having said that I appreciate the concept of all show no go but I think there is a lot more to Harrelson and Monette than what meets the eye.

Walter
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gordon really cleaned the clock here much better than i could have expressed.
this is somewhat relevant to this thread. a trumpet is a trumpet and i prefer when they look like a standard trumpet. it's a very nice design. i will never forget the first time i saw one in childhood and wowzers, what a neat contraption.
in today's world there is the compulsion to pimp things out and builders take the plumbing and massage it into cool industrial design, some of it very nicely proportioned and tasteful. to me however it is a crock. maybe they have learned how to handle this or that bend, and how to harden and hammer, and made some acoustic advancement over their competition. this is great but it is plain jane stuff and should be presented as a simple and nicely turned out piece of manufacture.
i do not want to pay for the level of industrial design taste, i do not want to sit and admire the level of beauty, as a pet peeve i loathe bracing, i don't want my maker's head anywhere other than factory science and acoustics.
i don't want any of it. i don't want some self important snot of a horn. i want to pick up a trumpet that was made by one of the many blue collar heroes of this world, that they fashioned to blow really nicely, and blow it.
..chuck
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Chuck, while you may not want any of it, I am sure you would be the first to grant that your choices are your own and shouldn't belong to anyone else. Meaning, if you don't appreciate it, you don't. But, I hope that you would recognize that others might, or do, appreciate the elements you hate. If you cannot, then your opinion is bordering on areas that simply are not relevant in horn discussion.

I use the tool for the job. Monette for this one, Bach for that, Schilke for this...a trumpet is a trumpet, just as a car is a car. It is HOW you define your ultimate trumpet, or your ultimate car, that makes the difference.
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Wondra
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 on that. Given how some are talking about Monette and Harrelson, I wonder if they've even given them a try - these horns are not about flashy looks - they are about new approaches to design that are all about playability. I have owned many kinds of horns and appreciated all of them.

And "blue collar heroes" work for these manufacturers too...
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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure but, I think when I was at the Monette factory, there was a guy wearing a blue shirt with a collar.

The fins and heavy trumpets aren't about looks. It's all about making music. It's a tool to help bring the thought in your head to other people.
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laurent
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
gordon really cleaned the clock here much better than i could have expressed.
this is somewhat relevant to this thread. a trumpet is a trumpet and i prefer when they look like a standard trumpet. it's a very nice design. i will never forget the first time i saw one in childhood and wowzers, what a neat contraption.
in today's world there is the compulsion to pimp things out and builders take the plumbing and massage it into cool industrial design, some of it very nicely proportioned and tasteful. to me however it is a crock. maybe they have learned how to handle this or that bend, and how to harden and hammer, and made some acoustic advancement over their competition. this is great but it is plain jane stuff and should be presented as a simple and nicely turned out piece of manufacture.
i do not want to pay for the level of industrial design taste, i do not want to sit and admire the level of beauty, as a pet peeve i loathe bracing, i don't want my maker's head anywhere other than factory science and acoustics.
i don't want any of it. i don't want some self important snot of a horn. i want to pick up a trumpet that was made by one of the many blue collar heroes of this world, that they fashioned to blow really nicely, and blow it.
..chuck

I personally like the feel of heavy horns, I often like their look as well over the aspect of more "conventional" trumpets, I truly admire the work of Dave Monette and a few other makers, I love my Monette and Monette-like (Kanstul copy) mpcs.
But at the end of the day, I believe that the only important thing is to get a good trumpet and a good mpc, and then play them!

The obsession of getting "the best trumpet", or "the best mouthpiece" means in my opinion losing huge amounts of time and money instead of just playing the best that you can.
Even Dave Monette says what we all know: the real instrument is the player!

There were very good trumpets much before Monette, Taylor, etc., and much less expensive.

Although I think that the innovative trumpets of nowadays are very interesting, very nice (... or not: I remember seeing a few ones aesthetically very sophisticated, but quite ugly for my taste! ), very fun, ec., I'm afraid that they tend to take us away from a very great quality: simplicity.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion. I would wager that the number of players who've tried both models mentioned by the OP is pretty small. These sort of "boutique" horns, (what we call all the small French horn makers) are rarely seen in the shop, so I don't even get to be a voyeur!
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine you are correct. I've played Monettes and Harrelson's, I own Monettes (three), so I guess you can see where my preferences lay. Not that I disliked the others. The Monettes work for me, but I don't use them all the time. I have other horns I like: Schilke, Bach, Sonaré. A lot of good horn makers out there, and a lot of potential great choices. One should always try before buying, even if trying out another persons horn to get an idea of how the horn plays.
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sounds7
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know the Harrelson and Monette trumpets and you might as well throw in Taylor into the discussion are not the same design. Its like trying to compare a Lamborghini to a Porsche or Bugatti. Each are high end well designed and highly esteemed trumpets and each will offer something a bit different and each will have their own group of fans touting one particular make over the other. Kind of pointless to try to argue really.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds7 wrote:
You know the Harrelson and Monette trumpets and you might as well throw in Taylor into the discussion are not the same design. Its like trying to compare a Lamborghini to a Porsche or Bugatti. Each are high end well designed and highly esteemed trumpets and each will offer something a bit different and each will have their own group of fans touting one particular make over the other. Kind of pointless to try to argue really.


Porsche makes a trumpet???

I've seen pictures of the Lamborghini horn, but it is really made by Taylor, so... I don't know what that means.

Brino
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Retlaw
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds7 wrote:
You know the Harrelson and Monette trumpets and you might as well throw in Taylor into the discussion are not the same design. Its like trying to compare a Lamborghini to a Porsche or Bugatti. Each are high end well designed and highly esteemed trumpets and each will offer something a bit different and each will have their own group of fans touting one particular make over the other. Kind of pointless to try to argue really.


I don't see it as pointless to discuss..... If we just dismiss this type of thread we might as well discuss the merits of a Bach 43...

Why try to shut the thread down......I suppose we could eulogise over a WT for twenty pages eh Brian... JUST KIDDING BRINO...!!!

ps nearly forgot http://www.bugatti.com/en/veyron/design.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGLQn9lD9Iw
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david mickley
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish that there could have honest reports on the pros and and cons of the 2 horns. I have played a monette (really nice horn, but like I said I don't play well enough). I have never met Dr. Lilly but we have a mutual friend and I know he has the ability to do the horn justice. Someday I would like to play a Harrellson and a Scodwell, at least maybe someone can give honest reports on each horn without people slamming the horns without ever playing them.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

david mickley wrote:
I wish that there could have honest reports on the pros and and cons of the 2 horns. I have played a monette (really nice horn, but like I said I don't play well enough). I have never met Dr. Lilly but we have a mutual friend and I know he has the ability to do the horn justice. Someday I would like to play a Harrellson and a Scodwell, at least maybe someone can give honest reports on each horn without people slamming the horns without ever playing them.


I don't know if I do it justice, but I sure try! And, the last sentence should be posted as the only rule when talking horns. Honest reports are the best, and for me, what I look for on here. I get to the point where I skim, and just ignore those who aren't going to offer something of merit in a discussion. That doesn't mean we all have to agree, but perhaps we all "agree to respect"?

Who's our mutual friend? I'd bet I know, but just wanted to ask.

All my best,

Al
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david mickley
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Lilly - you already probably guessed him, Bob F. aka 2nd chair. pretty good guy, I feel privileged to be able to call him a friend.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

david mickley wrote:
Dr. Lilly - you already probably guessed him, Bob F. aka 2nd chair. pretty good guy, I feel privileged to be able to call him a friend.


Oh yes, my good friend Bob! I've known him now for more than a quarter century. Great guy, great player, fantastic repairman! Bob has been a great friend for a long time!
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Zman
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll chime in with a few thoughts on the subject....
I own a couple of Harrelson horns - Summit and an early 907 Modified Bach
I A/B'd these horns plus 2 other Harrelson vs a Monette Prana 5.

The I had someone else test the same horns.
Then we had a recognized pro playerA/B the horns.

Between the 3 of us the consensus seemed to be that the Monette was ahead of the pack.
The question was then - is it worth double the price?
To some I think yes.

If I'd had the cash I would have bought the used Prana 5 without question as it was going for a very good price. . The soft and louds were even better than my Harrelson horns (which I am a fan of) the notes locked in better and the fit of the horn felt good.
The soft was so soft you could whisper into that horn and get a sweet note out.

Both makers make nice horns Imo it's down to whether it makes you feel good and allows you to unlock that sound and thoughts you have locked deep within. Some can do that with a goodwill find - others need some external inspiration.

Rgds, Zman
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david mickley
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zman - thank you, exactly the kind of report I like, didn't cover everything but let me know what you experienced. the monette I tried was a very good playing horn and was very m,p, sensitive, the sound changed dramatically with different m.p.
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Don Lee
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
gordon really cleaned the clock here much better than i could have expressed.
this is somewhat relevant to this thread. a trumpet is a trumpet and i prefer when they look like a standard trumpet. it's a very nice design. i will never forget the first time i saw one in childhood and wowzers, what a neat contraption.
in today's world there is the compulsion to pimp things out and builders take the plumbing and massage it into cool industrial design, some of it very nicely proportioned and tasteful. to me however it is a crock. maybe they have learned how to handle this or that bend, and how to harden and hammer, and made some acoustic advancement over their competition. this is great but it is plain jane stuff and should be presented as a simple and nicely turned out piece of manufacture.
i do not want to pay for the level of industrial design taste, i do not want to sit and admire the level of beauty, as a pet peeve i loathe bracing, i don't want my maker's head anywhere other than factory science and acoustics.
i don't want any of it. i don't want some self important snot of a horn. i want to pick up a trumpet that was made by one of the many blue collar heroes of this world, that they fashioned to blow really nicely, and blow it.
..chuck


Hi Chuck:

I see that you are a cabinetmaker. I like cabinets-all kinds.
I would ask, do you only build one kind of cabinet?
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