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Adams F5 Copper vs Kanstul 1525 Copper


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chiefgearhead
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Joined: 20 May 2017
Posts: 7
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just ordered an Adams F2 from Trent's team yesterday. I've been on the hunt for a flugelhorn to replace my Couesnon, which oozed charm, patina, and "that French sound" but which was a real challenge to slot pitches on, and which needed a good amount of valve work on it.

As a re-entry player I've learned that while vintage horns are cool, modern horns (at least for me) help me focus on the things I need to in order to perform. I play 4th chair in a big band in which I'm only recently beginning to feel like I belong.

I played quite a few flugelhorns and really WANTED to get a Kanstul 1525. This was based on playing one for a few minutes 6 months ago or so, and due to their reputation. Our 2nd trumpet plays one and every time he solos on it I dig the sound.

Unfortunately there were none available in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even shops (including Kanstul) in the L.A. area had very few (if any). By coincidence I found an F2 at a local shop, played it in the store, borrowed it for a few days, rehearsed with it, and was going to buy it until the shop owner reneged on a verbal agreement we had regarding the price. When I first picked it up the valves were very sticky, something I decided was due to inactivity. Oil helped but when I took it to my brass tech he found that the valves had not been de-burred, a disappointing situation for an otherwise great horn. They could have been fixed of course, but it would have taken time and money to do so, and I wasn't going to fork out a lot of money for a "new" flugelhorn and take the haircut on making it right.

Enter the good folks at Austin Custom Brass who set me up with an F2 (in lacquered gold brass) from their inventory for less than it would have cost me to buy the one from the local shop and get it "repaired." Josh also assured me that there would be no issues with the valves. I also learned that the one I'd borrowed as at least 2, maybe even 3 years old, so it was in my opinion "distressed inventory."

I'm extremely excited to get my new flugelhorn. FedEx says it will be here Thursday...not that I'm counting the days or anything.

BTW-among the other flugelhorns I compared (sometimes back to back) with the F2 were; Yamaha 8315, Courtois, Getzen Eterna.

-tj
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GuidoCorona
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Joined: 29 May 2014
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Location: Summerville, SC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, finally I compared F5 with 1525...

Just about three weeks ago, friend AwesomeDad visited me for a day of fiddling with horns, and general merriment... He did not bring along his thundersome Miraphone
tuba.... But his gorgeous customized Kanstul 991 trumpet with blue upturned bell was with him, and so was his totally covetable Adams F5 with 6.3" lacquered copper bell in 0.50mm thickness.
Needless to say, we spent some quality time contrasting his F5 with my Kanstul 1525. Both fine flugels in their own right.
Here are some differences that I hav observed: For sheer fit&finish
And smoothness of valves, The Adams flugel won by a country mile... F5's Lacquer is simply perfect, slides are unconditionally silky, and valves are fast and supersmooth, and most of all, quiet.
There are no issues with 1525 slides... On the other hand, 1525's lacquerwork does show some minute imperfections in the form of what seem microbubbles,
And is in general not as smooth as the F5. Furthermore, as mentioned in my last post, my 1525 valves are a little clacky and noisy. We played with a few different
mouthpieces: F.O. Extreme and Standard, Curry Fl-D, and the rather rare and uberlovely Griego CSFL... Yep, that's the one shipped with Getzen 4895.
I found no particular issues of intonation with either horn. Yet, F5 in general is more nimble and agile than 1525, and speaks more readily than the Kanstul regardless of mouthpiece.
1525 has a robust, broader, perhaps a little more diffuse tone than F5, with a smidgeon less upper harmonics. Conversely, F5 presented a more focused tembre,
with a touch more brilliance, and exposed harmonics, which I often call "harmonic barbules". I did love this additional brilliance, but perhaps I maintain
a slight preference for the 1525's subtly tamer upper harmonics. On the other hand, F5's overall harmonic exposure and complexity is simply enchanting. Excellent tuneful lower
register on both flugels. Conversely, I preferred the openness of F5 in the higher range to 1525's. No problem with either horn in pushing the gas pedal....
Both can sound intimate for a small setting, or belt it out powerfully for a larger band or orchestra.... But once again, I had the impression that F5 might outbelt
1525.

In the end, what struck me, was that the tone of F5 possessed an undefinable grace and elegance that, in spite of all the Kanstul's great merits,
1525 simply cannot match. Yes, I might say that perhaps 1525's tone may be marginally more "robust", but perhaps at the cost of a very slight tonal roughness
compared to the elegiac yet powerful F5.

My final comments to AwesomeDad were something like.... "There is so much to like in both.... The elegance and complexity of F5, and the broad tone of 1525. I wish the two instruments could be melded into one... I wish there were an Adams F5 with a bell larger than
6.3"!" Little did I know that now Adams does offer such a covetable critter in the custom options for F5… While until recently the F5 page on austincustombrass.com did not show any bell size options, go there now, and you will discover that you can obtain this flugel built to order with a maxi bell as large as 6.7".

http://www.austincustombrass.mybigcommerce.com/custom-adams-f5-flugelhorn-build-your-own/

Last but not least, I had learned from Miel Adams early in 2018 that Adams might be now utilizing copper sheets only in 0.60 mm thickness, which is a little heavier than the 0.50 mm gage of AwesomeDad's F5. :

Saluti, Guido
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Euphonium - Wessex EP104 Festivo
Flugel - Kanstul 1525
Trumpet - Adams A4 LB
Cornet Bb - Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
Cornet Eb - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS
MPs: Conn, Yamaha, Jet-tone, Stork, Wick, Curry, F.O, GR, Griego, Warburton
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outskiing
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Joined: 02 Oct 2017
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Location: Idaho

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Great Review Reply with quote

Thanks Guido. Your review was very helpful.
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review/comparison. I have a 1525 atm, and have been going looking (from a distance) at Adams for a while now. A friend ordered one recently, but it hasn't arrived yet, so good to see more articles like Guido's above.
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Harry Hilgers
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Joined: 16 Jun 2015
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazzFluegel wrote:
GuidoCorona wrote:
...........my only complaint for the fit and finish of my 1525..........
Saluti, Guido

.......... the build quality is suspect (flaking lacquer, black spots, sloppy solder, visible weld line.........
gV.

Guido, gV,
What vintage years are your Kanstuls 1525?

Thanks,
Harry
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Trumpets: Kanstul, Kanstul, Kanstul
Flugel: Kanstul
Bugles: Kanstul
Cornets: Smith-Watkins K2 (Kanstul), Bach, Getzen
Pieces: Kanstul, Jim New, XPiece, Curry, Schilke
Baritone Horn: King 625
Tenor/Alto: Kanstul 4-valve
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nieuwguyski
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Joined: 06 Feb 2002
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Location: Santa Cruz County, CA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Hilgers wrote:
JazzFluegel wrote:
GuidoCorona wrote:
...........my only complaint for the fit and finish of my 1525..........
Saluti, Guido

.......... the build quality is suspect (flaking lacquer, black spots, sloppy solder, visible weld line.........
gV.

Guido, gV,
What vintage years are your Kanstuls 1525?

Thanks,
Harry


Kanstul copper flugel bells have always had a visible silver brazing line -- it's an unavoidable result of how they make their copper bells: It's not a bug, it's a feature. My Calicchio Copper flugelhorn has exactly the same brazing line.

Complain about the other issues if you want, but criticizing the brazing line is like whining about how your belly-button mars your tummy.
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Harry Hilgers
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Joined: 16 Jun 2015
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nieuwguyski wrote:
Harry Hilgers wrote:
JazzFluegel wrote:
GuidoCorona wrote:
...........my only complaint for the fit and finish of my 1525..........
Saluti, Guido

.......... the build quality is suspect (flaking lacquer, black spots, sloppy solder, visible weld line.........
gV.

Guido, gV,
What vintage years are your Kanstuls 1525?

Thanks,
Harry


Kanstul copper flugel bells have always had a visible silver brazing line -- it's an unavoidable result of how they make their copper bells: It's not a bug, it's a feature. My Calicchio Copper flugelhorn has exactly the same brazing line.

Complain about the other issues if you want, but criticizing the brazing line is like whining about how your belly-button mars your tummy.


1. I did not complain and will never complain about the 1525 or any Kanstul horn. On the contrary. As you can see on the bottom of this post, Kanstul horns are all I play as I think they are for me the best made and best sounding horns ever produced. I came to that conclusion after trying and comparing many horns over many years. Plus, dealing with Jack Kanstul directly has been nothing but very pleasant.
2. My 1525 also has the brazing line and I consider it part of the “charme” of the horn. As I have said in other posts “the horn practically plays itself”
3. I am simply asking the Vintage year as mine have NO signs of any kind of flaking lacquer, black spots, sloppy solder or any other type of imperfections.
4. Lastly your post is grandstanding, non-constructive, arrogant and completely out of place. It is posts like yours that stifles forum users, gets them pissed off and leave the forum.

Cheers
Harry
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Trumpets: Kanstul, Kanstul, Kanstul
Flugel: Kanstul
Bugles: Kanstul
Cornets: Smith-Watkins K2 (Kanstul), Bach, Getzen
Pieces: Kanstul, Jim New, XPiece, Curry, Schilke
Baritone Horn: King 625
Tenor/Alto: Kanstul 4-valve
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veery715
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my 1525, but I made the mistake of leaving it on a stand for a couple of weeks and the bell is so soft that the weight of the horn deformed the bell. So I always put it away and never use a stand for it anymore (bolting the stable door after the horse has gone).
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Harry Hilgers
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veery715 wrote:
I love my 1525, but I made the mistake of leaving it on a stand for a couple of weeks and the bell is so soft that the weight of the horn deformed the bell. So I always put it away and never use a stand for it anymore (bolting the stable door after the horse has gone).

Thanks for posting this. I was not aware of that.
Now I know what to do: Bolt the stable door BEFOREHAND
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Trumpets: Kanstul, Kanstul, Kanstul
Flugel: Kanstul
Bugles: Kanstul
Cornets: Smith-Watkins K2 (Kanstul), Bach, Getzen
Pieces: Kanstul, Jim New, XPiece, Curry, Schilke
Baritone Horn: King 625
Tenor/Alto: Kanstul 4-valve
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GuidoCorona
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Joined: 29 May 2014
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Location: Summerville, SC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Harry, Randy, and Outskiing, my apologies for late response... Looks like periodically TH unsubscribes me from threads, so I missed your posts.... Oh well, I just subscribed again *Rolls Eyes!*

Harry, I purchased my 1525 new during the Spring of 2014. I do love the instrument.... Until I played on AwesomeDad's F5, I had never even conceived that I might have found it in any way to come in subtly second for some tonal qualities compared to some other flugel. On the other hand, I am still more than keen on the concept of flugels with large bells... Particularly as of late, having taken up the euphonium... So much so, that I have taken to a true liking of my 1525 matched with the uberdeep F.O. Extreme.

Worth pointing out that I am not implying of having developed an absolute preference for F5.... It's just I am so delightfully surprised how both instruments have some unique tonal qualities that enchant me.

Concerning fit&finish of the horns, 1525 valves have never been as quiet as the F5 valves. On the other hand, as I have not replaced felts, they are perhaps a little clackier than when it was new. I do not know if the lacquer has black spots... Being blind I see no spots of any sort, be they black, green, or mauve :) ... Perhaps AwesomeDad can comment. I do not think that 1525 lacquer is flaking off.... The few microbubbles have not changed since the instrument was new. The Adams F5 lackquer work, on the other hand, was totally smooth to the touch. I forgot to mention that I do prefer the Kanstul Gladstone cases to the very fine semi-rigid bags provided by Adams... It is not a matter of one being better than the other... Purely a matter of mild personal preference....

BTW, yes, I always found Jack Kanstul -- as well as Trent Austin -- true class acts, whenever I spoke to them over the phone.


Saluti, G.
_________________
Euphonium - Wessex EP104 Festivo
Flugel - Kanstul 1525
Trumpet - Adams A4 LB
Cornet Bb - Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
Cornet Eb - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS
MPs: Conn, Yamaha, Jet-tone, Stork, Wick, Curry, F.O, GR, Griego, Warburton
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Harry Hilgers
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuidoCorona wrote:
Harry, I purchased my 1525 new during the Spring of 2014.

Guido, I thought maybe the "imperfections" were older vintage 1525's. However, just like my 1525, yours is also a "later" vintage. I think I bought mine in 2015 or 2016.

Anyway, I have zero imperfections on my 1525 as far as I know. But then again, I really never inspected the horn very carefully. Once I received it and played it, it became an immediate keeper.

Your comparison is indeed very interesting. Thanks much for posting it.

GuidoCorona wrote:
... Particularly as of late, having taken up the euphonium...


Interesting. As of late I started doubling on Baritone Horn and Tenor/Alto Horn.

There is an interesting thread going on Doubling-Up. Take a look-see.

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=148374

Cheers,
Harry
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Trumpets: Kanstul, Kanstul, Kanstul
Flugel: Kanstul
Bugles: Kanstul
Cornets: Smith-Watkins K2 (Kanstul), Bach, Getzen
Pieces: Kanstul, Jim New, XPiece, Curry, Schilke
Baritone Horn: King 625
Tenor/Alto: Kanstul 4-valve
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