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The elusive Benge 1X


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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: The elusive Benge 1X Reply with quote

This is the first 1X I've ever seen available for sale.

Unfortunately this one has had work done to the bell. I'm sure it was to brighten up the sound, but it's a deal killer for me.

But a low digit serial number, early LA vintage, so it will have the nickel valves, and if in good shape I'm sure a killer horn. $1600 is a lot of cheddar for a Benge but, I'd love to try it!!

http://www.dillonmusic.com/p-25372-benge-la-1x.aspx
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one caught my eye, too, and I think it's only the 2nd time I've seen a 1X for sale, though I've never actually held one in my hands!

I seem to recall a Benge thread fairly recently where a quote attributed to the late, great Zig Kanstul came up. It said something to the effect that Zig couldn't even understand why the 1X model came up, as it was so bright and focused. So, it does make me wonder why an old-school CG-style bell treatment was given to this horn. Brighter than bright!?

Any friends down in the NYC Metro area gonna take this puppy for a spin? I've been meaning to make the pilgrimage to Dillon's the next time I'm down in new york visiting family.

Anybody else play a 1X? I'm very curious about impressions between the 1x and 2x. That said, my 6x is still treating me quite well!

Happy practicing,

-DB
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Daniel Bassin
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I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette P1
Various Bb, D trumpets.
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MPCs: Prana 1-1 series.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just irritated beyond words that somebody would strip the silver off the bell of such a rare horn. I'm sure they had their reasons, and it may even have improved the horn.

But man, what a drag.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danbassin wrote:
This one caught my eye, too, and I think it's only the 2nd time I've seen a 1X for sale, though I've never actually held one in my hands!

I seem to recall a Benge thread fairly recently where a quote attributed to the late, great Zig Kanstul came up. It said something to the effect that Zig couldn't even understand why the 1X model came up, as it was so bright and focused. So, it does make me wonder why an old-school CG-style bell treatment was given to this horn. Brighter than bright!?

Any friends down in the NYC Metro area gonna take this puppy for a spin? I've been meaning to make the pilgrimage to Dillon's the next time I'm down in new york visiting family.

Anybody else play a 1X? I'm very curious about impressions between the 1x and 2x. That said, my 6x is still treating me quite well!

Happy practicing,

-DB


The 1X is a medium bore, but I don't know what bell flair is used on it. The same as the 3X, or the tighter 2X flair, or I wonder if it had its own design?

I like tight smaller bore horns. I got a great 2X a few months back, and it is a special horn. Very focused and bright, and plays like a medium bore horn even though it's a .460

I did see one years ago, used in lacquer. Lots of lacquer wear and that pink color around all the slides, so I didn't even bother trying it. I wish I had. It was being sold for $695 I think.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a bunch of old Benge catalogs

http://www.hnwhite.com/Benge%20Instruments.htm

Not one ad talks about what bell is used on a 1X

Mysteries...
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="trumpet.sanity"]
Danbassin wrote:
This one caught my eye, too, and I think it's only the 2nd time I've seen a 1X for sale, though I've never actually held one in my hands!

I seem to recall a Benge thread fairly recently where a quote attributed to the late, great Zig Kanstul came up. It said something to the effect that Zig couldn't even understand why the 1X model came up, as it was so bright and focused. So, it does make me wonder why an old-school CG-style bell treatment was given to this horn. Brighter than bright!?

Any friends down in the NYC Metro area gonna take this puppy for a spin? I've been meaning to make the pilgrimage to Dillon's the next time I'm down in new york visiting family.

Anybody else play a 1X? I'm very curious about impressions between the 1x and 2x. That said, my 6x is still treating me quite well!

Happy practicing,

-DB



Thanks for sharing your experience about your 2x - I think it was on the thread you started about the search for this horn where I encountered that Ziggy quote.

Bore vs Bell is a big issue in the Benge lexicon, with some variants over time, and some confusion that I must admit also challenges me. I do wonder whether the bell on my 6x was a 'big' bell (as in, bigger than the 5x) since it doesn't impress me as being "Bach 72-ish" and also its terminal diameter is somewhat smaller than Bachs, Yammies, etcetcetc.

As with all things Benge, I'd direct any and everyone to Joe Lill's page:
http://www.musicbyjoelill.com/benge/

And there is some information here about the dawning of model designations. It should be noted that differentiating between bores seems to have come first, then the various bell mandrels were developed. The oddball out, always, is the 4x, which is by all accounts a 3x with an unusual leadpipe configuration.

Any experts out there want to comment if the 1x was just a medium-bore Benge, or a medium-bore Benge with Benge's tightest/brightest bell? What about the 2x? Finally, is the 5x a 3x with a big bell, and the 6x a large-bore horn with...what kind of bell????

Best,

-DB[/url]
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Daniel Bassin
Conductor, Composer, Trumpeter, Educator

I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette P1
Various Bb, D trumpets.
Picc: mid-70s Schilke P4-3 (Monette A pipe)
MPCs: Prana 1-1 series.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just by eyeballing some pics, I think the bell on the 1X is the same as the 3X. From the catalog pics, Dillons website pic of that 1X, and a few others, the flair does not look like the 2X, and seems to be like the 3X.

The 6X flair, looks like the 3X as well. Maybe just larger bore 3X?

I think Benge only had 3 bell flairs. The 5X bigger flair, the 3X bell, in the middle, and the 2X. I have no documentation obviously, but I can't find anything to counter my thoughts either.

I'm also curious about the 4X which is a 5X with a "Besson style" mouthpipe. I wonder what pipe is on it that "adds resistance"? A Brevette copy maybe?

It's said the CG uses a Meha copy mouthpipe, I wonder if that is on the 4X or something different.

Wish I had a time machine, and could go back and figure out the answers from Don Benge, or from Zig.
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Yamahaguy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danbassin wrote:
Any friends down in the NYC Metro area gonna take this puppy for a spin?
I am now!! Whoa...very cool, I'm gonna swing by tomorrow after work.
trumpet.sanity wrote:
I think Benge only had 3 bell flairs
I believe you are correct, as I remember reading this somewhere.

As far as the 4x, I used to own one...first Benge I ever had actually, very nice horn- just not quite for me.
Same goes for the CG, funny feeling bird...didn't dig it.

I'm sure the 1x isn't for me as I really like the feeling of my MLP's and 5x, but
it sure will be fun to try!

Thanks for spotting it- I'll report back and try and get some video comparisons.
Peace,
Dennis
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamahaguy wrote:
Danbassin wrote:
Any friends down in the NYC Metro area gonna take this puppy for a spin?
I am now!! Whoa...very cool, I'm gonna swing by tomorrow after work.
trumpet.sanity wrote:
I think Benge only had 3 bell flairs
I believe you are correct, as I remember reading this somewhere.

As far as the 4x, I used to own one...first Benge I ever had actually, very nice horn- just not quite for me.
Same goes for the CG, funny feeling bird...didn't dig it.

I'm sure the 1x isn't for me as I really like the feeling of my MLP's and 5x, but
it sure will be fun to try!

Thanks for spotting it- I'll report back and try and get some video comparisons.
Peace,
Dennis


Thanks man. Let us know how the bell looks. If it just had the silver stripped, or if it was wildly buffed, and how clear/crisp the engraving is.

A comparison vid would be sweeeeet. Thanks again!
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything a out the 1X bell, but the 6X bell is different from the 3X bell. One day after playing it, I asked Zig if the 6X bell was tighter than the 3X. He gave me a funny look and said, "Slightly." I can't tell you what that means, specifically. I have heard it said that Zig was very proud of that mandrel, inferring that it is his design.

On a different note, the current band director at my Alma Mater has a 1C Benge, which has the funniest looking bell taper of any trumpet I've ever seen. It stays very tight from the valve block to almost the first valve, then opens up noticeably faster to the last 4-5 inches of bell throat which gets large really fast. It almost looked like a Dr. Seuss drawing!
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
I don't know anything a out the 1X bell, but the 6X bell is different from the 3X bell. One day after playing it, I asked Zig if the 6X bell was tighter than the 3X. He gave me a funny look and said, "Slightly." I can't tell you what that means, specifically. I have heard it said that Zig was very proud of that mandrel, inferring that it is his design.

On a different note, the current band director at my Alma Mater has a 1C Benge, which has the funniest looking bell taper of any trumpet I've ever seen. It stays very tight from the valve block to almost the first valve, then opens up noticeably faster to the last 4-5 inches of bell throat which gets large really fast. It almost looked like a Dr. Seuss drawing!


That's interesting, the large bore 6X was around and being built long before Zig ever started working for Benge. Maybe he made a different mandrel, replacing what they had used since the Chicago and Burbank days?

I'm hoping Dennis might get some side by side pics of the 1X and some other Benges for some visual comparisons, when he stops at Dillons.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpet.sanity wrote:
shofarguy wrote:
I don't know anything a out the 1X bell, but the 6X bell is different from the 3X bell. One day after playing it, I asked Zig if the 6X bell was tighter than the 3X. He gave me a funny look and said, "Slightly." I can't tell you what that means, specifically. I have heard it said that Zig was very proud of that mandrel, inferring that it is his design.

On a different note, the current band director at my Alma Mater has a 1C Benge, which has the funniest looking bell taper of any trumpet I've ever seen. It stays very tight from the valve block to almost the first valve, then opens up noticeably faster to the last 4-5 inches of bell throat which gets large really fast. It almost looked like a Dr. Seuss drawing!


That's interesting, the large bore 6X was around and being built long before Zig ever started working for Benge. Maybe he made a different mandrel, replacing what they had used since the Chicago and Burbank days?

I'm hoping Dennis might get some side by side pics of the 1X and some other Benges for some visual comparisons, when he stops at Dillons.


Was there a Burbank 6X prior to 1960? I know that there was a short series of Chicago large bore horns, but I'm not aware that Elden made any after that. When he died, his son Donald kept going with people like Bob Reeves and eventually Zig Kanstul. I have played both LA and Burbank 6X models, but the Burbank was a post Elden horn.

Btw, Zig worked with Elden in the 1950s, moonlighting in the afternoons while he worked at Olds.
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Brian A. Douglas

Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb Trumpet in copper
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Flugelhorn in copper


There is one reason that I practice: to be ready at the downbeat when the final trumpet sounds.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
trumpet.sanity wrote:
shofarguy wrote:
I don't know anything a out the 1X bell, but the 6X bell is different from the 3X bell. One day after playing it, I asked Zig if the 6X bell was tighter than the 3X. He gave me a funny look and said, "Slightly." I can't tell you what that means, specifically. I have heard it said that Zig was very proud of that mandrel, inferring that it is his design.

On a different note, the current band director at my Alma Mater has a 1C Benge, which has the funniest looking bell taper of any trumpet I've ever seen. It stays very tight from the valve block to almost the first valve, then opens up noticeably faster to the last 4-5 inches of bell throat which gets large really fast. It almost looked like a Dr. Seuss drawing!


That's interesting, the large bore 6X was around and being built long before Zig ever started working for Benge. Maybe he made a different mandrel, replacing what they had used since the Chicago and Burbank days?

I'm hoping Dennis might get some side by side pics of the 1X and some other Benges for some visual comparisons, when he stops at Dillons.


Was there a Burbank 6X prior to 1960? I know that there was a short series of Chicago large bore horns, but I'm not aware that Elden made any after that. When he died, his son Donald kept going with people like Bob Reeves and eventually Zig Kanstul. I have played both LA and Burbank 6X models, but the Burbank was a post Elden horn.

Btw, Zig worked with Elden in the 1950s, moonlighting in the afternoons while he worked at Olds.


Is there a difference between a large bore Benge and a Benge 6X?
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpet.sanity wrote:
Is there a difference between a large bore Benge and a Benge 6X?


I have a Chicago Benge Large Bore and a Burbank Benge 6X. My Chicago horn has a 4 3/4" diameter bell. My Burbank horn has a 4 5/8" diameter bell. The bell on my Chicago horn has a taper similar to the taper of my Burbank Benge 3X. The bell on my Burbank 6X has a taper more similar to the taper of a Burbank 2X. My Burbank 6X produces a brighter sound than my Chicago Large Bore.

All of that being said, the above descriptions are not necessarily uniform to all Chicago Large Bores and all Burbank 6X's. That's because these horns were truly custom horns in those days and the purchaser could specify exceptions to what was considered "standard" production. My belief is that my Chicago Large Bore is probably a standard production example and that my Burbank 6X was customized at the time of production with a bell designed to give it a much brighter sound than the standard 6X bell.

So just because two horns are the same model designation, even from the same era, doesn't necessarily mean that their specifications are exactly the same.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpet.sanity,

It is the accepted story (as it was told to me by Charles Hargett when he worked at Kanstul and also by Michael Thomas who owns the rights to the Burbank brand trumpet line) that Elden didn't take the bell mandrels with him when he left Chicago. I personally find that a bit hard to swallow, but the story is that Donald found mandrels in his grandmother's attic and these were thought to be the ones used by Elden in Chicago. That's the story.

Joe Lil writes of a short run of Chicago "Large Bore" trumpets. The 6X came later. In fact, I have only heard of Elden making the 3X (which was simply known as the ML bore trumpet in Chicago), 3X+, 5X, 2X and 2X+ in Burbank. Neither Byron Autrey or Zig mentioned (to me anyway) the 4X or 6X in connection with Elden. I believe those models were developed when Zig oversaw production.

Of course, I could be wrong.
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There is one reason that I practice: to be ready at the downbeat when the final trumpet sounds.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far out.

Benge history is so much legend, and word of mouth history. I think that's part of the reason why I'm so intrigued with them.

There is, in my experience, is nothing like a Benge. I've only played a small number of them, sometimes just a honk on a buddy's trumpet here and there. But they all play so darn good.

I'm glad Michael Thomas is still having his Burbank horns made. A web site might help him get the word out a bit more, and sell some more horns. And I bet he might even pick up some wholesale dealers besides the Horn-Trader.

Anyway, thanks for the info about the Large bore vs the 6X
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Yamahaguy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Benge-nuts!

Update...I went to Dillon's yesterday and totally geeked out with Perry and the 1x!

I'll upload pics shortly, but just wanted to give you my review-

He told me this horn used to belong to Dave Trigg, he had the plating removed.
Josh Landress did the work, the bell doesn't look too insanely buffed,
and the engraving was taped off, still has silver in it.

It's heavier than my 2x+, due to the bell being specifically made "double thick"
then after initial response guess he had plating removed to brighten it up.
Gosh, not as bright as I expected at all...gotta say, a little disappointing.

Yup...it's a medium bore all right! Was kinda hoping to like it, but just what I expected.
I had to pull WAAAY back to get her to sing upstairs! From high D up to
double B (C was meh...) notes spoke, but just didn't jive with my style of playing.

Overall, it was incredibly cool to compare to the three horns I brought- 2x+, 3x+, and 5x
Closest similarity was to the 3 (not only in serial #) in weight, leadpipe, bell flare, and oddly enough, sound.

Perry agreed as he listened to me, and I enjoyed listening to him try them too.
Audio/video came out crappy due to two other players in the room, sorry.

Anyway, still a very neat piece of history and I'm sure someone will dig it.

Peace,
-Dennis
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dennis,

Thanks for the update. And your assessment is kinda what I expected in several ways.

I assumed for a long time the 1X had a bell similar if not the same to the 3X. I also never thought it to be as bright as a 2 bell.

Dave Trigg is obviously a great player, and I'm sure can make any horn sound great. I wonder what he ended up trading that 1X for?

I'm still intrigued by Benge weights. I wonder if the later LAs were just whacked more when making the bells, or if they used a thinner gauge brass than Burbanks and earlier LA horns.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to go to Dillons, and find out some answers to some of the mystique. Too bad about the vid, but I wonder if you have a pic or two to share?

Thanks again Dennis, you're the man!!
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamahaguy wrote:
Hey Benge-nuts!

Update...I went to Dillon's yesterday and totally geeked out with Perry and the 1x!

I'll upload pics shortly, but just wanted to give you my review-

He told me this horn used to belong to Dave Trigg, he had the plating removed.
Josh Landress did the work, the bell doesn't look too insanely buffed,
and the engraving was taped off, still has silver in it.

It's heavier than my 2x+, due to the bell being specifically made "double thick"
then after initial response guess he had plating removed to brighten it up.
Gosh, not as bright as I expected at all...gotta say, a little disappointing.

Yup...it's a medium bore all right! Was kinda hoping to like it, but just what I expected.
I had to pull WAAAY back to get her to sing upstairs! From high D up to
double B (C was meh...) notes spoke, but just didn't jive with my style of playing.

Overall, it was incredibly cool to compare to the three horns I brought- 2x+, 3x+, and 5x
Closest similarity was to the 3 (not only in serial #) in weight, leadpipe, bell flare, and oddly enough, sound.

Perry agreed as he listened to me, and I enjoyed listening to him try them too.
Audio/video came out crappy due to two other players in the room, sorry.

Anyway, still a very neat piece of history and I'm sure someone will dig it.

Peace,
-Dennis


How cool!

Interesting about the 'double-thickness' of the bell - I wonder whether this was originally part of the custom order for this particular horn. The nearly-comprehensive serial number list kept by Joe Lill doesn't have this particular horn:
http://www.musicbyjoelill.com/LABenges1.pdf
Therefore, one may have to go directly to the source and ask Dave Trigg about the build of the horn. I'm not 100% sure when the "6xCG" models started using the thinner brass that Zig Kanstul prescribed, following the labor-intensive buffing that was previously used to lighten those bells, but it is cool to see a custom option in the other direction from somewhere around the same time.

The great 'Schilke Loyalist' website also has some excellent resources on Benge horns, but your post had me thinking about the quite valuable preamble from the Schilke Bb part of the site, "A note about the irrelevance of bore size" ---
http://www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/B%20flat%20trumpets.html

I tend to agree with this wholeheartedly. However, when I started playing my main lead/bigband Bb, a circa 1981-2 LA 6x, something about the way that horn played - and quite likely its LARGE bore size - really jived with the rest of my physical approach and basic equipment preferences. It's been a long while since I played a medium bore horn, and I truly wonder whether this quite minor design feature would similarly put me off to the 1x, or if, taken as a totality, things wouldn't matter quite as much.

In the Schilke world, I recall enjoying a number of B7s, and prefering them to B6s, somewhat, and S42s quite a lot. I've never seen, played, or held a B4. However, I've also had some satisfactory experiments with old French C trumpets that are quite modest in internal measurements, as well as some similarly antique high horns (a Mahillon piccolo, Selmer Radial D trumpet, etc.) where bore seemed to matter a bit less.

My question for you, Mr. Yamahaguy - do you feel much of a difference in 'openness' from your MLP Benges to the ML horn (5x), or do the the bell/etc. features almost cancel out the differences with all things not being equal?

Best,

-DB
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Daniel Bassin
Conductor, Composer, Trumpeter, Educator

I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette P1
Various Bb, D trumpets.
Picc: mid-70s Schilke P4-3 (Monette A pipe)
MPCs: Prana 1-1 series.
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trumpet.sanity
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

I've read about and seen first hand the CGs and the bells. I understand they were hand buffed and thinned, before using lighter gauge brass on the bells. I've read the articles from Dallas Music and had a few in my hands.

But non CG Benges also seem to have gone through a weight transition. Chicagos were the heaviest, Burbanks got much lighter and LAs seem to have gotten lighter in the mid 70s as well. Early LAs seem to feel more like Burbanks, and then mid 70s LAs (CGs and others) all seem to be quite a bit thinner and lighter. At least in the experiences I've had.Though there is no documentation to back that up.

Re: M bore Schilkes. The B4 is an underrated horn that rarely seems to show up. I played a friends B6L that had other bells, and the B4 bell made that horn soooooooo bright and compact. It just sizzled and screamed. I love Schilke trumpets and have owned a few over the years, but always traded or sold them. I don't know if it's because I always had issues hearing myself behind the bell, or there was always an opaqueness about the sound that I always wanted more color from, and I always felt like I was swimming in the horns and felt like I could never get the gap right with my mouthpieces.

Benge seems to be a great compromise. I feel like I can "man handle" and control them more than Schilkes, and the sound stays together more for me, never seems to spread. Schilkes I've played have better intonation and slotting for sure, but I think that stiffness is limiting for my playing.

Anyway, I'd love to play a 1X someday just to satisfy my curiosity
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