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Restoring my first cornet



 
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agroovin48
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Joined: 07 Feb 2014
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Location: Goodyear, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:13 pm    Post subject: Restoring my first cornet Reply with quote

In 1958 the grade school I was going to decided to have a music program. Music store employees brought to the school various instruments that would be used in the band. Starting with 5th graders, we lined up to see which ones we could make a sound on. Naturally, mine was the cornet. I started taking music lessons and doing band practice with a rented cornet. By the spring of 1959 my parents decided to quit renting and bought me my Roth cornet.

I loved it and practiced religiously and played second chair then second first chair in the band. My teacher though, was short on patience and less strong on constructive coaching. After a couple years of watching him knock the music stand over in fits of anger or throw his baton or the music books across the room or holler at you if the lesson was not perfect, I finally had enough of it and quit. Too bad because I always came back to playing years later, but the break stopped what might have been a passion for a career.

My sister played the cornet after me and then my youngest brother had a hand at it. Unfortunately, he had the same bad habits as my music teacher, but instead of throwing a baton he slammed the cornet around. One of the last times I saw it in the 1960's it was really beat up. It had dents in the lead pipe a big dent and crease in the bell near the bow and the bell was crinkled from repeated blows opposite the second valve. After that, I never saw it again until September 2020.

My sister died in September and it was discovered that she had kept it all those years in it's very beat up case. There it was, the horn that started a life long, off and on love affair for me with the cornet and trumpet. Nobody else played or had any interest in it so I loaded it up in my car and took it home, not sure what I would do with it.

It didn't take long to decide. I sent it off to J Landress Brass for a full restoration. The cost was ridiculous for a student horn, but this had a lot of sentimental value to me. I sent it off in late September and got it back on February 2nd.

The transformation is fantastic, much better than I had hoped for. They did a beautiful gold tinted lacquer over polished brass and it looks incredible. They replaced the lead pipe with a new one and the crinkled bell is so beautifully straight that it is hard to imagine it being the same horn.

It was really a treat to play it for the first time in nearly 60 years and it sounds wonderful too. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate the great job that J Landress did for me. Thanks again J Landress! You guys are the best.

Here's some before and after shots.

https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6h/Roth_Cornet_003.JPG
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6k/Roth_Cornet_004.JPG
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6p/Roth_restoration_001.JPG
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6o/Roth_restoration_
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6l/Roth_restoration_003.JPGs:
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6q/Roth_restoration_004.JPG
https://www.udrop.com/file/dm6n/Roth_restoration_006.JPG
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agroovin48

Alan Cahill

1933 Conn Victor 80A Cornet
Yamaha 8335 II Neo Cornet
King Legend 2070
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II RGS


Last edited by agroovin48 on Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:29 am; edited 3 times in total
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story!

A good way to post photos here or anywhere is use a service like smugmug.com
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Bethmike
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Location: Crystal Lake, il

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:28 am    Post subject: Restoring old cornet Reply with quote

Old horns have a story to tell. Your horn has your story to tell, and you have your horn back in your hands. That is really wonderful.
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bworth
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked your story. I had a music teacher just like the one you described, in high school.
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RUenvsci
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Joined: 28 Dec 2020
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful post! Also glad to hear J Landress Brass doing such a great job. The shop is not far from me and I’d love to visit once the pandemic is over!
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had more than 30 teachers, directors, people in charge. Most have been generous and helpful. Only one had a habit of throwing chairs at the drummer.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The horn looks great! There are things that have personal value to a person which cannot be measured in dollars and cents. To have the cornet restored clearly brings you joy far in excess of the cost of the restoration. Good for you!

My father started me out on a garage sale cornet. When I showed progress and a commitment to learn and improve he traded in the cornet on a new Olds Recording trumpet. That was in 1962.

Although I switched to a Burbank Benge 3X in 1966 I kept the Olds. My daughter tried to learn to play trumpet in elementary school and played the Olds. It didn't work out. The other kids teased her about the fact that her trumpet wasn't silver and the case was beat up. She showed no aptitude for trumpet and she switched to vocal music (and ultimately got her college degree in vocal performance and theater performance).

In about 2000, when I started collecting trumpets, I had the Olds restored. The Olds has so much sentimental value to me that I wanted to bring it back to "like new" condition. I don't perform on the Olds, it's just on display with the rest of my collection but I love the horn and what it means to me and I'll never sell it.
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agroovin48
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Location: Goodyear, Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:46 am    Post subject: Restoring my first cornet Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
The horn looks great! There are things that have personal value to a person which cannot be measured in dollars and cents. To have the cornet restored clearly brings you joy far in excess of the cost of the restoration. Good for you!

My father started me out on a garage sale cornet. When I showed progress and a commitment to learn and improve he traded in the cornet on a new Olds Recording trumpet. That was in 1962.

Although I switched to a Burbank Benge 3X in 1966 I kept the Olds. My daughter tried to learn to play trumpet in elementary school and played the Olds. It didn't work out. The other kids teased her about the fact that her trumpet wasn't silver and the case was beat up. She showed no aptitude for trumpet and she switched to vocal music (and ultimately got her college degree in vocal performance and theater performance).

In about 2000, when I started collecting trumpets, I had the Olds restored. The Olds has so much sentimental value to me that I wanted to bring it back to "like new" condition. I don't perform on the Olds, it's just on display with the rest of my collection but I love the horn and what it means to me and I'll never sell it.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and story of your first horn Hermokiwi. Yes, the personal satisfaction outweighs the cost on many things that bring joy into your life. Those things can't be replaced.
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Alan Cahill

1933 Conn Victor 80A Cornet
Yamaha 8335 II Neo Cornet
King Legend 2070
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II RGS
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always wished my grandfather's horn had been saved. It wasn't so I got a 1952 Olds Recording, the horn I like to think he would have loved and had it beautifully restored by Rich Ita.

https://jimhatfieldpix.smugmug.com/Olds-Recording-Trumpet
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jrpbrass
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great story that you had your first cornet restored and they did a beautiful job. Very few old horns are worth the money that a restoration costs but sometimes you just need to do it. I have two old trumpets that I had valve refits done on which cost more than the trumpets were worth but I am saving a piece of history.

My first cornet in grade school was a well-used and unmarked one in a larger trumpet case. I saved that for many years then finally found out who made it once I started researching brass makers. Turns out it was a William Frank Co American Prep model. Not very pretty and built like a tank but it did the job for a few years.

Enjoy your cornet!
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cgaiii
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story. Thank you for posting. Great choice to pick J. Landress Brass. They are among the best. Beautiful restoration.
As others have said, the horn has a story, your story, your sibling's stories, and you have the horn. Wonderful.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:10 pm    Post subject: Restoring my first cornet Reply with quote

As I read your story and look at the pictures I am showing a young lady at the group home I am here to relieve. Your story nearly makes me cry it is so good.
I didn't have a music teacher who threw things around. My h.s. football coach used to beat us in various areas or smack us in the head. It very nearly made me give up on it in h.s. but I didn't quit. Later as a non-traditional student I played college football and was team captain and all conference. I didn't enjoy the coach's treatment or attitude but there was a positive result. Your sister is a wonderful lady. Keeping it for all those years. And now, you can play and enjoy your cornet! I thank my lucky stars that none of my music teachers were negative in any way. It's a beautiful horn, sir. Enjoy it very much. Brian
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agroovin48
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:07 am    Post subject: Restoring my first cornet Reply with quote

Thanks to all who enjoyed the story of my cornet restoration. I know that it resonated with you and there is a sequel to this story.

It begins in about 1977 when my playing hiatus ended after about 16 years. I kept thinking about playing again and was encouraged in this by my soon to be wife. I bought a Martin student model trumpet that was on sale and got some music books and started out on my own. It soon became apparent that I needed a teacher so I found one and started lessons. The teacher was disenchanted with my choice of trumpet as he claimed it was out of tune. I sold it and got a new silver plated Bach 180 43. It was a huge expense for me at that time, but a great horn.

About this time, our land lady's sister's husband died. The sister found out that I was playing trumpet. I pity my land lady and the neighbors of that small duplex. Anyway the landlady's sister brought her late husband's 1933 Conn 80A cornet with her when she came to visit and gave it to me. I have had that horn all these years.

It was in very good condition, no dings or dents, just a very worn finish from being played a lot. The original owner had been in a jazz band when he was younger. The valves were bright and shiny with plenty of compression. It obviously had not been played in a long time because it had taken on a distinct odor that permeated it and the case. Several good chemical cleanings got rid of most of the odor.

Over the decades I have always thought about getting it refinished to bring it back into new condition because it is such a great player, but always put it off because of the cost. After biting the bullet on restoring my childhood cornet I made up my mind to get the 80A done too.

I had been talking to Mark Metzler about doing it for a couple of years so that is where it is now, in his hands. It is getting the works, a new silver plate with gold wash bell, a complete valve job, an added pinky hook on the lead pipe and removal of the tuning mechanism attachments for aesthetics.
I don't have the mechanism and would never use it anyway.

When it comes back I will share some pictures of the completed job.
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Alan Cahill

1933 Conn Victor 80A Cornet
Yamaha 8335 II Neo Cornet
King Legend 2070
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II RGS
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