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Schilke Handcraft-short review


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rooster7
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Schilke Handcraft-short review Reply with quote

I ordered a Schilke Handcraft an eternity ago, and finally got it today. I know a number of people have been interested in Schilkes new horn, so I will give a short review.
Upon receiving the trumpet, I gave it a close look over and didn't find any cosmetic problems. No excess solder and no problems with the slides. The slides were already lubricated. I oiled the valves. They were fast and flawless.
I also have a Schilke B5. I played (compared) both for about an hour and and a half.
Cosmeticaly, the only difference between the two, that I saw, was the B5 has a slightly larger bell.
Both trumpets slotted dead on. Both played evenly in the lower register, middle, and upper register (I played to a high D). The Handcraft has a more focused sound, is slightly clearer, and brighter. Resistance is about the same for both trumpets.
I played a dozen Big Band Era songs. In retrospect, it would be hard to decide which one to choose for jazz/blues/Big Band music. If I had to choose between the B5 and the Handcraft for "church" music, I would take the B5. I think the Handcraft is going to be a excellent solo horn in a night club environment. If you like playing jazz/blues/ Big Band era music, the Handcraft would be a wise choice.
The only thing I didn't care for with the Handcraft, is the case that comes with it. I don't know if I am the only person who feels this way but a trumpet player who buys a Schilke is probably a pro and already has a trumpet case. Thus Schilke could mark their price down a couple hundred dollars and sell the trumpet without the case. I would like to see Schilke include a case with their piccolo trumpets,though.
There you have it.
Mark
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Usedtobegood
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please let us know which Handcraft model you purchased.
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rooster7
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the silver model. If Schilke had a solid laquered version, I might have gone that trumpet.
Mark
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Adam V
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rooster7 wrote:
I went with the silver model. If Schilke had a solid laquered version, I might have gone that trumpet.
Mark

I think what he meant to ask was if you got the yellow brass or copper bell.

Also, I do believe they have a lacquer version... That's the only model Schilke offers in lacquer.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Schilke Handcraft-short review Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, I do believe they have a lacquer version... That's the only model Schilke offers in lacquer.


Actually their entire "HD" line is available in lacquer ...and raw brass as well!!

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rooster7
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I ordered my Handcraft, I asked for a silver finish. The horn I received was a HC1. According to the Schilke web site, the horn would have a yellow brass bell with a silver finish.
Yes, Schilke offers the horn with a laquer finish, but its two toned-laquer/silver. I don't care for that finish. I prefer 100 percent silver or 100 percent laquer.
Mark
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Adam V
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rooster7 wrote:
When I ordered my Handcraft, I asked for a silver finish. The horn I received was a HC1. According to the Schilke web site, the horn would have a yellow brass bell with a silver finish.
Yes, Schilke offers the horn with a laquer finish, but its two toned-laquer/silver. I don't care for that finish. I prefer 100 percent silver or 100 percent laquer.
Mark

The lacquer finish would have been 100% lacquer. The nickel used in some of the parts is what makes look "silver" in certain areas. It's just a different metal, not a different finish. Only horns that don't use any nickel trim appear 100% yellow when lacquered.
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scipioap
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam V wrote:
rooster7 wrote:
When I ordered my Handcraft, I asked for a silver finish. The horn I received was a HC1. According to the Schilke web site, the horn would have a yellow brass bell with a silver finish.
Yes, Schilke offers the horn with a laquer finish, but its two toned-laquer/silver. I don't care for that finish. I prefer 100 percent silver or 100 percent laquer.
Mark

The lacquer finish would have been 100% lacquer. The nickel used in some of the parts is what makes look "silver" in certain areas. It's just a different metal, not a different finish. Only horns that don't use any nickel trim appear 100% yellow when lacquered.

Agree with Mark, Schilke should have forgone the nickel silver slide receivers and trim on the HC1 - perhaps reserve that as an option, like the "Deluxe" Committee, for future collectors to bid up?

In comparison, the graphic of the HC2 (copper-belled config) is void of all nickel. So essentially Schilke should allow you to order the HC2-L swapped with the HC1 bell without a custom upcharge (should have been the flagship Handcraft). This would be more comparable to my rival Adams A9, another sweet horn.
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Retlaw
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark I am curious if there is a big enough difference in sound to keep both ?The B5 is a great horn already.....

Walter
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nickel parts are chosen to add crispness to the sound and feel of an instrument. They provide more definite slotting, too. They are not just for looks. I imagine that Schilke chose nickel for the brass bell version to separate it a little more from the copper.

Brian
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VetPsychWars
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nickel silver, please, not nickel. Two different things.

Brian's right, though, nickel-silver will affect the tone because it's harder than brass. Whether that is something you like, well, that's personal.

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trumpetguy27
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope the OP doesn't mind me taking a small tangent here... I apologize if I should have done this in a seperate thread, but I felt like it fit in here ok.

So originally before the Handcraft came out everybody was calling it "The new Committee... etc." so being a huge fan of that style horn (and after owning two committees and two Martin Handcraft Imperials) I HAD to try one when the local shop got one. While I thought it was a VERY nice horn that I would definitely consider if I was in the market for a new big band horn I felt NOTHING that hinted at Committee to me. Am I the only one? Do others feel/hear/think Committee when playing this horn?

I know eventually it was said that "The Handcraft isn't meant to be a Committee copy" etc. but they supposedly used Miles' horns in the design process so I would have expected SOMETHING Committee.

Anyway... thoughts?

(Again... I apologize if I am too far from the original subject!)
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scipioap
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously from my signature, I'm with Scott. Schilke seems to market the HC as an "evolved" Committee, but other than the bore change, can't the same be said about Schilke's entire line, esp. their B-series? That's why the Handcraft (and its brand naming) seem more like an in-your-face marketing strategy over an accurate reproduction of sound and feel. Schilke can leverage Renold's historical legacy to attract new customers--both reminiscent old-timers and new generation of Martin fans wanting new.

For those of us that didn't feel the Committee needed evolving (or prefer exploiting the primitive characteristics), the Adams A9 seems to be the more technically authentic choice.
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jazzbebop
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone compared the Handcraft with the copper bell to the others, side by side ?
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bixtone
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I visited the Schilke factory in June, and was able to compare the Handcraft to most of their other horns. It is a very nice instrument, and definitely shared some sound quality with the two late 30's Handcraft Imperials I own. I preferred the silver one over the lacquer, I tend to prefer brass bells.

Blow was to me like a tighter version of the X3, somewhere between the X3 and the B1, a little different than the B3. Or, you could say, like the B3 with a different sound.

My impression was that it had much more of a vintage sound than the standard Schilke models. By 'vintage' I mean that it had more overtones in the sound than say the B1, which has a very pure, clear sound. The bell throat is really large like the large bore Committes and I think it would be a great horn with the right mouthpiece if you want that kind of sound. It was not like a Committee in that it (the Handcraft) has very good intonation and build quality. The lacquer was very well done.

I personally don't care for the intonation and build quality of Committees so if I wanted that sort of sound I would definitely consider the Handcraft.
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jazzbebop
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bixtone wrote:
I visited the Schilke factory in June, and was able to compare the Handcraft to most of their other horns. It is a very nice instrument, and definitely shared some sound quality with the two late 30's Handcraft Imperials I own. I preferred the silver one over the lacquer, I tend to prefer brass bells.

Blow was to me like a tighter version of the X3, somewhere between the X3 and the B1, a little different than the B3. Or, you could say, like the B3 with a different sound.

My impression was that it had much more of a vintage sound than the standard Schilke models. By 'vintage' I mean that it had more overtones in the sound than say the B1, which has a very pure, clear sound. The bell throat is really large like the large bore Committes and I think it would be a great horn with the right mouthpiece if you want that kind of sound. It was not like a Committee in that it (the Handcraft) has very good intonation and build quality. The lacquer was very well done.

I personally don't care for the intonation and build quality of Committees so if I wanted that sort of sound I would definitely consider the Handcraft.


Did you happen to compare the copper bell Handcraft with the non-copper bell Handcraft ?
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Retlaw
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schilke make great horns and I have no doubt (even without a trial) that the Handcraft when judged on its own merit will be a really good trumpet.. I doubt it is a Committee replica and is more a legitimate evolution from the lineage of Mr Schilke himself. After having owned Committees my B6 feels like a step forward on this road and would guess that the Handcraft is a little more overt in that direction.

The Committee is a great trumpet with a wonderful heritage ...I don't see it as primitive but I can understand why a modern/new replica could be of interest. I think the Schilke approach in the development of the Handcraft shows care and consideration for Mr Schilke's "original" thinking and they are basically honouring the right they have to do that.

I certainly don't think there is anything underhanded in their marketing or approach....if they had brought back trombone keys I would feel they were trying to clone....but at least it would have been a clone of Mr Schilke's own ideas.....well perhaps mostly.

Walter
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patdublc
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be a lot of rumor flying around about the Handcraft and whether it was modeled after this guys bell or that guys lead pipe or if its really supposed to be a modern Committee or whatever.
I played a copper bell model and a yellow brass model extensively at NTC this year and thought they were both great. For my purposes, I preferred the yellow brass model because it seemed to a little more "all around" to me. But, that is just me. I am certainly considering adding one to the fleet.
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trumpetguy27
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAT!!! Come to the Hang on the fourth and play my A9! (At least I REALLLLLY hope I have it by then!) AND my dubba bell horn!
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TrentAustin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetguy27 wrote:
PAT!!! Come to the Hang on the fourth and play my A9! (At least I REALLLLLY hope I have it by then!) AND my dubba bell horn!


We're working on it... slowly but surely our Production a9's will arrive. FYI the Adams isn't just simply a "copy". It's a modernization of the classic design. I feel in this design intonation, centering, tonal color palette, versatility, and response have improved over the classic Martin design.

The Handcraft is a wonderful horn too!
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