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Harrelson H-Series Horns



 
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Phoenix864
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Joined: 20 May 2019
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:26 pm    Post subject: Harrelson H-Series Horns Reply with quote

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some experiences and/or advice about Harrelson's H-Series trumpets - info on the H-Series specifically seems to be rather spare online.

This past summer I switched the Bach 3C I had been using for the past 6 years for a Harrelson 5mm setup. The Harrelson piece has been working really well for me, causing me to become rather interested in Harrelson's horns. While I know gear doesn't make the player, after my positive experience with the 5mm mouthpiece, I've been wondering if a Harrelson horn might further accentuate some of the improvements I've seen.

Does the SWE leadpipe/tuning slide design offer practical benefits over a more traditional Bach-like design, or is it closer to 'different,' rather than 'better?'

Thanks.
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does the SWE leadpipe/tuning slide design offer practical benefits over a more traditional Bach-like design, or is it closer to 'different,' rather than 'better?'


I haven't played an H-series horn, but did own two Summits -- a 4/7 and then a 1/1 -- so some of my experience may be relevant to you.

Regarding SWE, Jason does seem to be onto something. It seemed to me that both models of Summit offered more sound for less effort. I'll call that efficiency. It wasn't a dramatic difference, but noticeable.

The trade off -- for me anyway -- is that the feedback you get is atypical of traditionally-designed instruments. I found it difficult to adjust to that, particularly as I switched between horns. Ultimately, I decided that the improved efficiency wasn't worth the adjustments I needed to make in my playing to make the Summit work for me.

So, definitely "different," and maybe "better."
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Phoenix864
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Joined: 20 May 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dayton wrote:
Quote:
Does the SWE leadpipe/tuning slide design offer practical benefits over a more traditional Bach-like design, or is it closer to 'different,' rather than 'better?'


I haven't played an H-series horn, but did own two Summits -- a 4/7 and then a 1/1 -- so some of my experience may be relevant to you.

Regarding SWE, Jason does seem to be onto something. It seemed to me that both models of Summit offered more sound for less effort. I'll call that efficiency. It wasn't a dramatic difference, but noticeable.

The trade off -- for me anyway -- is that the feedback you get is atypical of traditionally-designed instruments. I found it difficult to adjust to that, particularly as I switched between horns. Ultimately, I decided that the improved efficiency wasn't worth the adjustments I needed to make in my playing to make the Summit work for me.

So, definitely "different," and maybe "better."


Sorry for responding so late - I must have missed the TrumpetHerald notification email and only saw your reply while looking through my posts from the last year.

I appreciate the info - that feedback is quite useful to me. I spend 90% of my time playing on Bb, so if I can get used to the different feeling to begin with I should be able to get along with the horn. Good to hear that there does seem to be a noticeable benefit to Harrelson's design.

In the end, I decided to give it a shot and put down the 1k deposit for a horn just a few hours before midnight on the 31st (and the beginning of Harrelson's price increase). I recently spoke with Jason about the build and will be going with a 4/11RX. Looking forward to when the horn is ready - probably in about 4 months or so.
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Mercurius
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Joined: 12 Jan 2021
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also decided to jump in before he raised his prices. Here is my experience, for what it's worth:

I have recently returned to playing about 25+ years off. I picked up a Carol Brass 6280L from Steve Dillard, having no real idea at all about the technical specs of trumpets. After two months of dedicated practice, I went from barely being able to get a sound out and struggling to play middle C to having decent sound quality and being comfortable up to F at top of staff. But I am still very, very raw and have very little endurance. In other words, I'm a total rookie.

I share that, because my understanding is that the better the trumpet player, the harder it becomes to notice the variables between trumpets that improve playing. Well, I am not a good trumpet player at this point. My CB 6280 is a solid upper-intermediate level horn, and I'm sure any experienced player could make it sound amazing. I cannot.

Then two weekends ago I went down to Jason's shop and test played some of his instruments to begin getting a feel for which direction I want to go with the horn he's building me. It took some adapting to the different slotting, etc. but when I found my groove with one or two of his horns, I was blown away by how good I sounded and how effortless it felt At the end of the session I picked my CB 6280 back up and played a few notes to compare, and I wanted to cry for having to leave with it. To my undeveloped self, the difference between a very good $1800 horn and Jason's horns was staggering.

For what it's worth, the horn that felt best to me had the #4 lead pipe you are getting.

Phoenix864 wrote:
Dayton wrote:
Quote:
Does the SWE leadpipe/tuning slide design offer practical benefits over a more traditional Bach-like design, or is it closer to 'different,' rather than 'better?'


I haven't played an H-series horn, but did own two Summits -- a 4/7 and then a 1/1 -- so some of my experience may be relevant to you.

Regarding SWE, Jason does seem to be onto something. It seemed to me that both models of Summit offered more sound for less effort. I'll call that efficiency. It wasn't a dramatic difference, but noticeable.

The trade off -- for me anyway -- is that the feedback you get is atypical of traditionally-designed instruments. I found it difficult to adjust to that, particularly as I switched between horns. Ultimately, I decided that the improved efficiency wasn't worth the adjustments I needed to make in my playing to make the Summit work for me.

So, definitely "different," and maybe "better."


Sorry for responding so late - I must have missed the TrumpetHerald notification email and only saw your reply while looking through my posts from the last year.

I appreciate the info - that feedback is quite useful to me. I spend 90% of my time playing on Bb, so if I can get used to the different feeling to begin with I should be able to get along with the horn. Good to hear that there does seem to be a noticeable benefit to Harrelson's design.

In the end, I decided to give it a shot and put down the 1k deposit for a horn just a few hours before midnight on the 31st (and the beginning of Harrelson's price increase). I recently spoke with Jason about the build and will be going with a 4/11RX. Looking forward to when the horn is ready - probably in about 4 months or so.
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Shawnino
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Joined: 27 Jun 2020
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mercurius...

are you going with an H-series horn or something else?
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Mercurius
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Joined: 12 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shawnino wrote:
Hi Mercurius...

are you going with an H-series horn or something else?


No, I decide to go crazy and went for the Muse. I picked up the 5MM modular mouthpiece and just love it. The ability to swap out and explore each component individually to find the perfect set up not only has been huge for my playing, but it's also just darn fun. Then I became really attracted to idea of being able to do the same thing with the entire trumpet. While the cost is greater now, I know I'll be playing for the next 30+ years and evolving a ton over that time. I love that the Muse gives me the ability to tweak every aspect of trumpet functionality. I want to have fun playing with the physics of the trumpet as much I want to find to find a setup that works for me.

I considered going with something less expensive while I'm still get back into it because Jason gives full credit for trades, but I realized that even with full credit I'd still be paying 15% more by the time I upgraded (due to his 2021 price increase). That was enough for me to justify it, even though it is currently way more horn than I can make use of. Plus, I just love the craftsmanship and artistry of it.
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Phoenix864
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Joined: 20 May 2019
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Location: Washington DC, US

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mercurius wrote:
Shawnino wrote:
Hi Mercurius...

are you going with an H-series horn or something else?


No, I decide to go crazy and went for the Muse. I picked up the 5MM modular mouthpiece and just love it. The ability to swap out and explore each component individually to find the perfect set up not only has been huge for my playing, but it's also just darn fun. Then I became really attracted to idea of being able to do the same thing with the entire trumpet. While the cost is greater now, I know I'll be playing for the next 30+ years and evolving a ton over that time. I love that the Muse gives me the ability to tweak every aspect of trumpet functionality. I want to have fun playing with the physics of the trumpet as much I want to find to find a setup that works for me.

I considered going with something less expensive while I'm still get back into it because Jason gives full credit for trades, but I realized that even with full credit I'd still be paying 15% more by the time I upgraded (due to his 2021 price increase). That was enough for me to justify it, even though it is currently way more horn than I can make use of. Plus, I just love the craftsmanship and artistry of it.


Wow, straight for the top. Nice, I can't imagine a much nicer horn than the Muse. Thanks for the info - it does make sense that differences in equipment would be more noticeable when the player is less skilled.

After the Harrelson flame war a decade+ ago on Trumpet Herald, feedback on Harreslon's horns has been rather rare on Trumpet Herald. From what I've found, I've gotten a very positive impression of his horns, but most of that info is about a decade old. It's good to hear impressions from players on recent horns.

Did you by chance try a H-Series along with the Muse? It's probably also worth asking Harrelson directly, but I would be very interested to hear what (if any) differences you felt between horn series - of course, if you'd like to share and had the opportunity to play a few different types.

Thanks.
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Mercurius
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Joined: 12 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately I don't think I'm experienced enough to comment on the specific differences between models, because they also have different lead pipes and other factors. But I don't believe Jason is still building anything he calls the H-series. I want to say maybe that evolved into the Summit? As far as Bb instruments go, I think it's just the Summit and Muse at this point.

But I can tell you that the best playing horn for me that day was a Summit. The Muse was on hand but in the middle of trying to tweak its setup I picked up a couple Sumitts off the wall and had a transcendent experience with one. I couldn't believe how effortless it felt. I also couldn't believe how well it projected. I could totally see how an experienced player might be put off if they are used to vibratory feedback in the instrument itself and feeling encompassed in sound. This experience was like playing a immovable object and the sound seemed to come to my ears from the other side of the room.

Phoenix864 wrote:
Mercurius wrote:
Shawnino wrote:
Hi Mercurius...

are you going with an H-series horn or something else?


No, I decide to go crazy and went for the Muse. I picked up the 5MM modular mouthpiece and just love it. The ability to swap out and explore each component individually to find the perfect set up not only has been huge for my playing, but it's also just darn fun. Then I became really attracted to idea of being able to do the same thing with the entire trumpet. While the cost is greater now, I know I'll be playing for the next 30+ years and evolving a ton over that time. I love that the Muse gives me the ability to tweak every aspect of trumpet functionality. I want to have fun playing with the physics of the trumpet as much I want to find to find a setup that works for me.

I considered going with something less expensive while I'm still get back into it because Jason gives full credit for trades, but I realized that even with full credit I'd still be paying 15% more by the time I upgraded (due to his 2021 price increase). That was enough for me to justify it, even though it is currently way more horn than I can make use of. Plus, I just love the craftsmanship and artistry of it.


Wow, straight for the top. Nice, I can't imagine a much nicer horn than the Muse. Thanks for the info - it does make sense that differences in equipment would be more noticeable when the player is less skilled.

After the Harrelson flame war a decade+ ago on Trumpet Herald, feedback on Harreslon's horns has been rather rare on Trumpet Herald. From what I've found, I've gotten a very positive impression of his horns, but most of that info is about a decade old. It's good to hear impressions from players on recent horns.

Did you by chance try a H-Series along with the Muse? It's probably also worth asking Harrelson directly, but I would be very interested to hear what (if any) differences you felt between horn series - of course, if you'd like to share and had the opportunity to play a few different types.

Thanks.
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Phoenix864
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Joined: 20 May 2019
Posts: 168
Location: Washington DC, US

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mercurius wrote:
Unfortunately I don't think I'm experienced enough to comment on the specific differences between models, because they also have different lead pipes and other factors. But I don't believe Jason is still building anything he calls the H-series. I want to say maybe that evolved into the Summit? As far as Bb instruments go, I think it's just the Summit and Muse at this point.

But I can tell you that the best playing horn for me that day was a Summit. The Muse was on hand but in the middle of trying to tweak its setup I picked up a couple Sumitts off the wall and had a transcendent experience with one. I couldn't believe how effortless it felt. I also couldn't believe how well it projected. I could totally see how an experienced player might be put off if they are used to vibratory feedback in the instrument itself and feeling encompassed in sound. This experience was like playing a immovable object and the sound seemed to come to my ears from the other side of the room.

Phoenix864 wrote:
Mercurius wrote:
Shawnino wrote:
Hi Mercurius...

are you going with an H-series horn or something else?


No, I decide to go crazy and went for the Muse. I picked up the 5MM modular mouthpiece and just love it. The ability to swap out and explore each component individually to find the perfect set up not only has been huge for my playing, but it's also just darn fun. Then I became really attracted to idea of being able to do the same thing with the entire trumpet. While the cost is greater now, I know I'll be playing for the next 30+ years and evolving a ton over that time. I love that the Muse gives me the ability to tweak every aspect of trumpet functionality. I want to have fun playing with the physics of the trumpet as much I want to find to find a setup that works for me.

I considered going with something less expensive while I'm still get back into it because Jason gives full credit for trades, but I realized that even with full credit I'd still be paying 15% more by the time I upgraded (due to his 2021 price increase). That was enough for me to justify it, even though it is currently way more horn than I can make use of. Plus, I just love the craftsmanship and artistry of it.


Wow, straight for the top. Nice, I can't imagine a much nicer horn than the Muse. Thanks for the info - it does make sense that differences in equipment would be more noticeable when the player is less skilled.

After the Harrelson flame war a decade+ ago on Trumpet Herald, feedback on Harreslon's horns has been rather rare on Trumpet Herald. From what I've found, I've gotten a very positive impression of his horns, but most of that info is about a decade old. It's good to hear impressions from players on recent horns.

Did you by chance try a H-Series along with the Muse? It's probably also worth asking Harrelson directly, but I would be very interested to hear what (if any) differences you felt between horn series - of course, if you'd like to share and had the opportunity to play a few different types.

Thanks.


The H-Series is still alive and well (https://www.whyharrelson.com/store/p399/Harrelson_Custom_H-Series_Trumpet_Build.html) - from what I can tell, it's the least expensive custom trumpet Harrelson offers.

I can't drop more than 5k on a horn, so the Muse and Summit are well out of my price range. After configurating my H-Series, I've been a little confused about the differences between a highly upgraded H-Series and the Summit. I've tacked on a SWE leadpipe, SWE tuning slide, high efficiency bracing and valve stems, Saturn water keys, an upgraded bell, and heavier trim - even will all that, my horn is only just over 5k in 2021 pricing. Throw on the Summit A-Series valve casing bracing and it seems you basically have a Summit, for about 1k less than the regular Summit G-Series.

Regardless, it's great to hear that the Summit felt like something special. At first I was going back and forth over whether ordering a little-known horn sight unseen was a good move, but after your and other's comments I think I made the right choice. Really looking forward to when my horn is ready in a few months.
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