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Bell Size. Does it matter?


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Mattdahtrumpet
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Bell Size. Does it matter? Reply with quote

How does bell size effect sound? (I'm talking about diameter)

I know flare is what really effects sound but if you compared two identical trumpets with the same bell flare but one had a 4.8 inch bell diameter and the other had a 5.5 how would their sounds differ?

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zackh411
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smaller bell = more focused and directional sound, but the lower register gets a bit stuffier
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Matt!

First, I want to solidify some commonality of terms. Let's call the part of the bell that attaches to the valve section the "tail". It is cylindrical for a few inches, then begins to expand in inner diameter at about the curved portion which we'll call the "bow". From there, most bells have a straight section of constant-rate taper. Some have a second, faster-rate section. The Martin Committee is one of these, I think, as is the Holton ST302-MF. The most obvious example of a dual-rate taper bell is the super rare medium bore Benge 1C. Anyway, this is what we'll call the "taper". The end of this section is often referred to as the "throat". Now we arrive at the curved section which is what we'll call the "flare", then the outer edge of flare is called the "rim".

I believe you are asking about the rim diameter and how it affects the sound of a given horn. Zig Kanstul once told me that a Bb trumpet bell requires a fundamental rim diameter of 4-5/8". As the rim exceeds that size, it will gain higher frequencies. So, a horn with a 5" bell will sound a bit more brilliant than the same bell with a 4-3/4" rim. Some also assert that the larger rim will afford more player feedback, but Byron Autrey is of the opinion that it is actually part of the flare that is responsible.

There is more, of course, but that should help out some.
Brian
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Mattdahtrumpet
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply! Lots of great information.
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pinstriper
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, a horn with a 5" bell will sound a bit more brilliant than the same bell with a 4-3/4" rim. Some also assert that the larger rim will afford more player feedback, but Byron Autrey is of the opinion that it is actually part of the flare that is responsible.


Is this maybe why I feel I get better feedback from a flugel than the trumpet ? I sometimes have trouble hearing/picking my note because the leads are so dominant. Doesn't happen (as much) when I'm playing the flugel).
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"So, a horn with a 5" bell will sound a bit more brilliant than the same bell with a 4-3/4" rim."

Well, maybe. Depends on the ax. I've played big belled horns that seem to lose the sound, and have less focus. But I played a very unusual Olds from right at the end of the company's run that had an outrageously good resonance, and the bell diameter was larger than their usual - allegedly made for Bobby Shew.

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connicalman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian did it up real well. I always learn something from your informative posts, thanks!

Working from the edge of the rim of the bell in, recognize that the mass, material density, thickness, shape - and what comes just before it - all affect what happens at the rim.

Witness Conn's 'rimless' Vocabell designs, the difference between rolled, rolled with wire, and rolled with solid filled bell rims, as well as those with kranz rings added on for more weight.

All of those edge effects would function differently if the parts Brian detailed were changed.

The laquer-covered nickle over copper over brass of the Conn Connstellation is very powerful, with a lot of carry even at low volume/effort. It is large, heavy and plays well at all volumes as well as with others but easily stands out.
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gigolaw
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very complicated question. I believe that the sound waves might be carried up to a specific point in a flatter flare, if you know what I mean. From this point on, the sound waves will begin to disappear until there is no sound wave at all. In this case, the rim size will be relevant when closer to the sound waves highest point. As you get away from it, the rim size will loose relevance. Now, if the flare is more conical shaped, then the sound waves will travel farther away along the bell flare and the sound waves highest point will be farther away too. Meaning, that the rim size will be more important when we have a conical flare.

Any ways, i believe that the sound will be affected the most by the extension of the conical and cylindrical areas of the bell, the rate at which the bell opens up, and the flare shape....

So, there are so many variables, that the question can not be categorically answered. Maybe Mr. Kanstul was talking about one specific flare.

It is very hard for me to explain all this in English. I hope you get my point.
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Ktmusic316
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Smaller Bell Reply with quote

Just remember that a smaller bell with have a more focused sound, but I feel like you lose some of your projection and lower range. That being said, you definitely don't want to big of a bell!
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Benge Loyalist
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhere is an article describing experiments by Ren Schilke on bell materials. Included were crystal and lead. If memory serves me, the lead bell had the most focused sound with practically none projecting perpendicularly (to the side) from the bell and almost all projecting out the front. The opposite was true with the crystal bell where the sound eminated from front and sides (but not backward - go figure).
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Adam V
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larger diameters spread the sound out more (less forward projection) and give better player feedback.
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Axelip
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
I believe you are asking about the rim diameter and how it affects the sound of a given horn. Zig Kanstul once told me that a Bb trumpet bell requires a fundamental rim diameter of 4-5/8". As the rim exceeds that size, it will gain higher frequencies. So, a horn with a 5" bell will sound a bit more brilliant than the same bell with a 4-3/4" rim. Some also assert that the larger rim will afford more player feedback, but Byron Autrey is of the opinion that it is actually part of the flare that is responsible.

Brian


That's interesting. I've got several vintage trumpets that look like peashooters - tight flare and small bell diameters. You would expect them to peel paint, but they play pretty dark, if quite focused.
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Dan O'Donnell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the difference between a larger bell diameter versus a smaller bell diameter...During my play testing of Flugelhorns; I encountered quite the opposite from what has been written on this thread.

Specifically, on Kanstul's 1525 (larger copper bell) I heard less feedback while playing than my Kanstul 925 (smaller copper bell).

This might be due to the fact that the Flugelhorn is conical in design versus a Trumpet???

Regarding the brightness and darkness produced based on a bell...I've had several top horn manufacturers explain the diameter of the throat / taper of the bell helps the most.

For example...A Martin Handcraft Committee has a large throat helping to give it that darker sound.

As for projection...I don't have any personal experience testing projection with different bell diameters however, it is interesting to note that when Christian at Edwards was fitting me with a leadpipe for my Getzen Genesis...both himself and Brett Getzen immediately noticed a wider more diffused projection when using the D5 ("O") leadpipe versus some of the smaller diameter leadpipes.

Just sharing MY experiences...
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Axelip wrote:
shofarguy wrote:
I believe you are asking about the rim diameter and how it affects the sound of a given horn. Zig Kanstul once told me that a Bb trumpet bell requires a fundamental rim diameter of 4-5/8". As the rim exceeds that size, it will gain higher frequencies. So, a horn with a 5" bell will sound a bit more brilliant than the same bell with a 4-3/4" rim. Some also assert that the larger rim will afford more player feedback, but Byron Autrey is of the opinion that it is actually part of the flare that is responsible.

Brian


That's interesting. I've got several vintage trumpets that look like peashooters - tight flare and small bell diameters. You would expect them to peel paint, but they play pretty dark, if quite focused.


Remember, I was isolating and only discussing the effect of one aspect of bell design (rim diameter), let alone trumpet design. Your comment about small rim/dark, focused sound is consistent with the idea that there is a minimum size rim for the fundamental tone to resonate. Minimizing the presence of overtones will leave the timbre dark.
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Flip Oakes
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This say's it all..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJ6OiVLX9I
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davidkoch
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not what you have. But how you use it.
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DaveH
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proves the long known truth...Whatever comes out of a horn originates in and with the player.

With the same horn and mouthpiece...all kinds of different sounds.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan O'Donnell wrote:
Regarding the difference between a larger bell diameter versus a smaller bell diameter...During my play testing of Flugelhorns; I encountered quite the opposite from what has been written on this thread.

Specifically, on Kanstul's 1525 (larger copper bell) I heard less feedback while playing than my Kanstul 925 (smaller copper bell).

This might be due to the fact that the Flugelhorn is conical in design versus a Trumpet???

Regarding the brightness and darkness produced based on a bell...I've had several top horn manufacturers explain the diameter of the throat / taper of the bell helps the most.

For example...A Martin Handcraft Committee has a large throat helping to give it that darker sound.

As for projection...I don't have any personal experience testing projection with different bell diameters however, it is interesting to note that when Christian at Edwards was fitting me with a leadpipe for my Getzen Genesis...both himself and Brett Getzen immediately noticed a wider more diffused projection when using the D5 ("O") leadpipe versus some of the smaller diameter leadpipes.

Just sharing MY experiences... :lol:


Actually your experience with the flugel bells makes a lot of sense - they get too big in the throat and you're talking funnel rather than flair. I'm thinking of the most extreme example, which is the Benge 5FL. Messes something terrible with the intonation.
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hammmondbrass
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason Harrelson has some good info here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duJrQIMXf3w
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's a good bet i will never understand the physics of tone production from the mouthpiece to the end of the bell. the answer to any specific inquiry is always, 'not what you would think it is'.
better left in the realm of mystery and magic.
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