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Bach vs Yamaha vs Monette


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snichols
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:
snichols wrote:
dstpt wrote:
I know of at least one NY Phil audition won by a player on a Monette in the 1990s


Hmmm, was it Thomas Smith? Just guessing based off his education and early career in Boston...


I bought a slightly used Yamaha Chicago C from George Coble (over 10 years ago) through TH Marketplace, and he told me his story of winning his position with the NYP on a Monette, but had to switch to a Bach in accordance with his contract. He said one customization he had done to the Bach was to have the 3rd slide cut down slightly, that the 2-3 combination was a little too "tubby" in pitch for his taste, particularly the low A-flat as at the end of the opening of Mahler 5. He came from Schenectady, NY, and went back there after 1.5 year (as I recall), because he missed being able to walk off his front porch and go deer hunting in the woods. Jim Wilt won his position in the NYP on a Yamaha. As I heard, he was there about the same amount of time, but didn't see raising his young family in NJ. He had taken a leave of absence from the HSO (Houston) with permission from then artistic director Christoph Eschenbach and went back to the HSO and eventually landed his present job in the LA Phil. Both great players. Both won their jobs on different equipment and switched to satisfy their leadership's preference. All perfectly understandable given the circumstances.

If you've watched the most recent Monster Oil interview with George Vosburgh, you know how strongly he feels about using Bach trumpets, that there are qualities of timbre and musical expression that he feels one can obtain on them over any other. It appears that Mr. Smith felt the same when he played in the NYP. On another side of the coin, those orch sections as well as classical/jazz/commercial artists that are now using Yamahas are finding playability aspects worth using those instruments, just as the pros using Monettes or any other brand. When I sent that Yamaha C off to Wayne Tanabe to have "tweaked," he told me that Yamaha's philosophy is that if they can make a change that will improve an instrument only 2 percent, then they will forge ahead and make that change. I think that's a pretty cool approach (although admittedly I don't presently own a Yamaha).

Some manufacturers do not have that philosophy. In fact when one local band instrument store salesman (and freelance commercial trumpeter) went to the Bach factory a couple of years ago, he asked what it was with their flugelhorn and why he personally did not like the ones he had played. The factory rep told him that the company has a certain part of their process tied to honoring some of the original design concepts of Vincent Bach, himself, which would explain why maybe some things have not advanced as we would have expected. What is neat is to see some of the changes they have done with some of their line in recent years, like with the lightweight B-flat, using a 2nd slide pointing toward the 3rd valve instead of 1st (as you would see on a Benge), Amado water keys, and no tuning slide brace. To me those seem like huge changes from their traditional designs and begs questions like, “What did it take for the company to get to that point of making those ‘dramatic’ changes?”


Interesting stuff. Personally I go for function over anything else. I don't care for mysticism, and that goes both ways, for Monettes and Bachs. My most recent Bb and C were Bachs, but if I were to spare no expense on a new Bb and C they would probably be Yamahas or Spencer UKs. I don't care for the Smith/Vosburgh notion that "Bachs have a special sound only achievable on Bachs". Because when it comes down to it, all trumpets are hunks of metal hammered out on a work bench. I have found that Yamahas and Spencers sound and play as good or better (for me) than Bach, Monette, and a number of other brands, so I personally think that their more "technical" approach to horn design is working. Also, while I mentioned earlier that I think blend is overrated, I will say that the exception is with high-level professional playing, so I understand a certain degree of conformity at the highest levels, but I still don't know that I would mandate an entire section play on Bachs...
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited
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kerouack
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody tried that Monette MB-111 ?
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
Somebody tried that Monette MB-111 ?


Only people who have visited the shop - I don't believe Monette has signed off on the first run of (five?) these 'limited production' 'retro' horns. I have, however played several MB-111, and other vintage Chicago horns, and I have no doubt that these updated/retro versions are an improvement over those already-famous/beloved designs in every way.

But, in answer to your question, it's pretty doubtful anyone on this forum, minus folks who work in the shop, have been in the same room as these horns.

-DB
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Daniel Bassin
Conductor, Composer, Trumpeter, Educator

I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette 937; Bach 229 Sterling Bell, Monette pipe
Various Bb, D trumpets.
Picc: DEG Signature 4-Valve
MPCs: Monette Prana Resonance 1-1 series.
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kerouack
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sound from the Monette videos seems quite different than the one from the Monette chicago Austin brass is selling.
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
The sound from the Monette videos seems quite different than the one from the Monette chicago Austin brass is selling.


With risk of quoting Dave Monette, "Horns don't have sounds, people do!"

Trent Austin is a wonderful musician, very fine player, and a businessman doing good for the state of our art. I'll have to look up the video you're talking about, as I always enjoy his playing, but I imagine that any 25-30 year old horn would have a bit of wear-and-tear from use, which can push a horn in certain directions...

Most importantly, as Dave mentioned on the roll-out videos for the 'retro' limited production MB-111 horns, these are the first horns Monette has produced in a batch, rather than a custom horn, made for a specific player. What this means is, even if all things were equal, the 'retro' MB-111 is built to have the positive qualities of vintage Chicago horns, plus some of the design innovations Dave and Co. have learned over the past 35 years. The vintage MB-111 that Trent has at his shop was built FOR someone - maybe they were a jazz player who wanted a dark sound, or a lead player who wanted a fiery sound, or a symphonic player for classical solos...any of those factors would make for a different sound.

Happy practicing!

-DB
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Daniel Bassin
Conductor, Composer, Trumpeter, Educator

I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette 937; Bach 229 Sterling Bell, Monette pipe
Various Bb, D trumpets.
Picc: DEG Signature 4-Valve
MPCs: Monette Prana Resonance 1-1 series.
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kerouack
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, i saw the video of the 10 employees playing the horn, and all of them sound kind of bright, so its ten people... i get your point and it is true, it is 50% right, but other 50% i think is the horn.

You are right, could be a very different chicago monette.
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TrentAustin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
The sound from the Monette videos seems quite different than the one from the Monette chicago Austin brass is selling.


I agree with you but also think the Monette Corp should at least invest in decent recording equipment and turn off the machinery in their videos... at least a decent mic (my setup for informal vids at the shop or the new mini-lessons is under $1500) as it's quite a challenge IMO to really hear what the instruments sound like when they are recorded in the shop. I think the videos and subpar audio resolution really skew the end results.

FWIW I have always loved the late STC horns at the end of the Chicago period until the early Portland horns. That era of horns played incredibly well and sounded great with a bunch of diversity in the sound while still maintaining a very distinctive vibe! All of the other Monette horns I have personally owned (maybe 10 of differing models) always played well but IMO had some key harmonics missing in their sound shape. Behind the horns (player's perspectice) they sounded incredible but in front of the bell (audience perspective) I never really dug them. At this point in my playing life I have found a company I love so much that I am not going to switch from so it doesn't really matter anymore to me.

YMMV,
T
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrentAustin (edited) wrote:
At this point in my playing life I have found a company I love so much that I am not going to switch from so it doesn't really matter anymore to me.

YMMV,
T


This is what business is about. Good relationships are of the highest importance. Even products that are mediocre can be compensated for, but bad relationships will stump any success. If you have good relationships (like Trent and Miel) plus great products (like Adams instruments), it's easier to be a success.

Trent, you and Miel have obviously benefitted from the relationship you mention. It's a good thing.
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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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TrentAustin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
TrentAustin (edited) wrote:
At this point in my playing life I have found a company I love so much that I am not going to switch from so it doesn't really matter anymore to me.

YMMV,
T


This is what business is about. Good relationships are of the highest importance. Even products that are mediocre can be compensated for, but bad relationships will stump any success. If you have good relationships (like Trent and Miel) plus great products (like Adams instruments), it's easier to be a success.

Trent, you and Miel have obviously benefitted from the relationship you mention. It's a good thing.


Agreed but I do not want this thread to sway off topic. Hopefully we can steer back to the middle of the lake
Cheers,
T
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trumpet56
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit that I have only played a Monette C (early Chicago) once for 30 minutes. Wow it could take as much sound as I could put through it. However I found it difficult to change the tone colors and it was a sound that I was not familiar with. At the time I thought what a huge core of sound it would provide for the section on 2nd trumpet.

I like the flexibility of the Bach Bb and C in terms of sound, and the ease of playing the smaller Yamaha horns give me.
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kerouack
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamaha artist models are not smaller or lighter than bachs, right?
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
Yamaha artist models are not smaller or lighter than bachs, right?
Do you mean physically? Or do you mean the sound that they produce?
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jhahntpt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
Yamaha artist models are not smaller or lighter than bachs, right?


Yamaha trumpets have always felt smaller in my hands, but that's because of the shape of the valve block more than anything else.
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