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Benge Limited Edition



 
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Arainach
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Joined: 03 Oct 2002
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Location: East Lansing, MI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm quite curious about this horn. One of the kids in my section brought one in today - apparently it was on a great sale somewhere locally, and his parents got him one. The Horn is beautiful to look at - Silver Plate with Gold Trim. However, I'm not overly impressed with it as a horn. I've played some older Benges (LA Era), and was quite impressed with them. The only markings I remember seeing were the Benge name and the term "Limited Edition". I can't find any info about them at WWBW. Anyone seen or tried one of these? Obviousley, what suits this kid is none of my business, but when I played it, I found it to be one of the stuffiest horns I've ever played. The Student Line Bachs that a lot of the section play on feel more open. The Intonation was good, but the Tone, to me, lacked any brilliance at all. It didn't sound incredibly dark, like a cornet or flugel, but it lacked the Brilliance that I usually assosiate with a trumpet. The sound just seemed dead.

Of course, this is just from my experiences with playing the horn for 10 minutes. Anyone else ever seen or played one of these?

Oh, and I'll try to get a more detailed look for a model number tomorrow, but, by looking at the pictures on the UMI webpage, it strikes me as probably their 90B Leonore model. It had Gold Plated Top and Bottom Valve Caps, but I believe that the inner bell was Silver, so it doesn't seem to be the full-out 90B-SPG.

[ This Message was edited by: Arainach on 2003-12-08 16:36 ]
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Benge Loyalist
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Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 260
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The horn you describe is not a Benge at all. Instead, it is a trumpet sold by the company (UMI) having purchased the right to use the Benge name.

The UMI Limited Edition 'Benge' is a sales ploy to try to bring some credibility to this line of student trumpets. By adding a little gold trim, UMI hopes to market the daylights out of it and, hopefully, increase sales. This and the so-called Lenore trumpets do not follow the Eldon Benge design.

Real Benge trumpets were made in Chicago, Burbank CA, and early Los Angeles (under serial number 10,000). After that, the production numbers started to get pushed far beyond quality control's ability. Yes, there are some exceptional LA Benge trumets, but they were fewer in number than the earlier Chicago and Burbank instruments.
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Arainach
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Joined: 03 Oct 2002
Posts: 878
Location: East Lansing, MI

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Figures. It seems like the only decent horn UMI Produces is the Conn Vintage One. For that one horn, they destroyed quite a few great lines (Kings, Benges, the True Conns, etc.). Quite a shame. I gave the horn a thorough looking-over today. It had a double brace, ala Bach Strad, an adjustable 3rd-valve slide stop, and the Gold Trim as discussed before. On the bell was engraved "Benge LTD", though I still swear the the Pro-Tec Style Case it came in said "Benge Limited Edition". Playing it again, it didn't seem quite as stuffy (Still, not very open at all), but the tone sounded just as dead to me. Overall, I'm utterly dissapointed. As you pointed out, the horn really isn't worthy of the Benge name.
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plankowner110
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Joined: 12 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Benge trumpet you played might be the 65B, a step down horn from the 90B Leonore, which is IMO a fine playing instrument, generally. The Benge 90B was designed by Chuck Ward at UMI in the mid eighties as a symphonic trumpet along with the very fine symphony Benge trombones. It is quite a heavy instrument, heavier than a Strad, and very solid, with a very focused tone. The 90B, of course, is not at all like an X-series Benge. And yes, UMI used the Benge name for their, at that time, top line of symphony trumpets and trombones. But UMI is no more!!! Enter Conn-Selmer with truly GREAT brass instruments with new instruments in the "Vintage One" line on the horizon.
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donovan
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Joined: 23 May 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Benge Limited Edition is basically the Benge 65B but with some upgrade cosmetics (engraving, gold plating on the horn and mouthpiece, CKB mouthpiece, and pro-tec case). It's a good trumpet for what it is - an intermediate trumpet.
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OldKid
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Joined: 04 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried that horn when I was shopping for a trumpet. It seems that the former UMI marketed A horn that it dresses up differently and then puts either the Conn, King, or Beng name on. I compared the horn you mentioned to the King Flair and other than the gold accents and the thumb trigger on the King, they were exactly the same horn. The horn I played was selling for $800.00 or so and for that kind of money I think it is a nice step up horn. The gold accents are just a little too flashy for me, but thatís me. Jmho.
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Trptbenge
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Joined: 15 Feb 2002
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Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember, it is a Benge in name only and as Donovan says it is an intermediate trumpet. It does NOT measure up to the Burbank and Los Angeles Benges. They were much better - professional horns. When UMI moved the production from Anaheim CA to Eastlake Oh. in 1981 they did not take the bell mandrels or tools with them. Zig Kanstul bought all of those.

Mike
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