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Parts of a trumpet bell


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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:01 am    Post subject: Parts of a trumpet bell Reply with quote

Hi All,

I've seen trumpet players here refer to different parts of a trumpet bell by various names. In particular, shofarguy seems to have mapped them out in an earlier post as follows:

Quote:
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 have tried to represent these parts in this diagram to see if I understand correctly (I've also included "stem", which I've heard elsewhere but haven't been able to confirm).

Is the diagram I linked to above accurate? Are there any alternative names for these parts or any parts that I've omitted by mistake?
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trickg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I've ever referred to the bead as the rim, although I suppose that is what it's referred to with bells that have no bead. They seem to be referred to as rimless.

Past that, I don't think I've ever thought about it too much before other than in a general way.

For players, it's kind of ancillary to the act of playing itself. A person may get a specific model bell because it's purported to play with certain characteristics - the Bach 37 and 239 bells for the Bb and C trumpets, respectively, are popular because of that. I don't think anyone is really thinking too hard about the parts of those bells and the specifics or measurements regarding them.

I recently had the opportunity to have Uncle Sam procure me a trumpet, and I had them order a Shires Model B. I picked the B because the B bell is supposed to be similar in playing characteristics to the Bach 43 bell - supposedly it's a broader, more malleable sound. I could be mistaken but somewhere the 43 bell is supposed to be bigger than the 37, but I don't really know where, nor do I really care that much. What I do know is that I like it. In my hands it's rounder and warmer than what I had been getting from my Jupiter 1600I Roger Ingram signature horn.

Getting back on topic, you seem to have the bell sections correctly labeled. I don't know if for this you'd want to think about the different kinds of bell beads, or if that's not pertinent to the subject at hand.
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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
I don't think I've ever referred to the bead as the rim, although I suppose that is what it's referred to with bells that have no bead. They seem to be referred to as rimless.

Past that, I don't think I've ever thought about it too much before other than in a general way.

For players, it's kind of ancillary to the act of playing itself. A person may get a specific model bell because it's purported to play with certain characteristics - the Bach 37 and 239 bells for the Bb and C trumpets, respectively, are popular because of that. I don't think anyone is really thinking too hard about the parts of those bells and the specifics or measurements regarding them.

I recently had the opportunity to have Uncle Sam procure me a trumpet, and I had them order a Shires Model B. I picked the B because the B bell is supposed to be similar in playing characteristics to the Bach 43 bell - supposedly it's a broader, more malleable sound. I could be mistaken but somewhere the 43 bell is supposed to be bigger than the 37, but I don't really know where, nor do I really care that much. What I do know is that I like it. In my hands it's rounder and warmer than what I had been getting from my Jupiter 1600I Roger Ingram signature horn.

Getting back on topic, you seem to have the bell sections correctly labeled. I don't know if for this you'd want to think about the different kinds of bell beads, or if that's not pertinent to the subject at hand.


Thanks. I might look at different bell beads as well. Not too sure yet.

Yeah, the parts of a bell aren't often specifically named. But I sometimes see specific parts referred to during discussion about differences from one bell to the next, especially when discussing bell diameter, throat and taper. So I'd just like to know which specific parts of the bell are being referenced in these cases.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenny,

I learned from Zig Kanstul that there is a fundamentally correct rim diameter for each length of horn. The length establishes the key of the horn, like Bb or C. For Bb trumpets, the fundamental diameter is 4-5/8". He told me that adding diameter to the rim adds high frequency overtones. Contrarily, the 4-5/8" rim produces the purest fundamental tone.

Back when they were in business, Zig kept a gallery of photographs on the wall of the reception room. One of his professional player customers had him build a trumpet for studio use with a 6" rim. I don't know what mandrel that would have been spun on, but it was one of the typical trumpet tapers.

I guess the idea was that the added highs in his sound would "get on tape" better with the large diameter rim.

The old Benge pocket trumpet and Kanstul 905 pocket had the #5 Benge bell with an undersized 4-1/2" rim, presumably because of the tight wrap, or to fit in a small case.

One of the ideas that surfaces now and again here is that the diameter of the rim correlates to the taper and flare of the bell, which it does not. Some have said something like, "It had a 5" bell." Well, lots of different bells are made with a 5" rim. The rim diameter is a separate design decision and specification when a horn is built, just as is the bell bead the previous poster mentioned.
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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
Back when they were in business, Zig kept a gallery of photographs on the wall of the reception room. One of his professional player customers had him build a trumpet for studio use with a 6" rim. I don't know what mandrel that would have been spun on, but it was one of the typical trumpet tapers.

I guess the idea was that the added highs in his sound would "get on tape" better with the large diameter rim.


That's interesting. I didn't know they made trumpets with bells much larger than 5-1/2" or so in diameter.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenny Lee wrote:
shofarguy wrote:
Back when they were in business, Zig kept a gallery of photographs on the wall of the reception room. One of his professional player customers had him build a trumpet for studio use with a 6" rim. I don't know what mandrel that would have been spun on, but it was one of the typical trumpet tapers.

I guess the idea was that the added highs in his sound would "get on tape" better with the large diameter rim.


That's interesting. I didn't know they made trumpets with bells much larger than 5-1/2" or so in diameter.


I've played a few calicchios with 6" bells. Monette, Inderbinen, and a few others do larger than 5.5" as well. I built a TARV with a 6" bell, as well as a piston trumpet with a 5.75" bell.

In terms of how the larger flares are made, usually the mandrel for the bell doesn't stop at the planned size of the flare. It continues the shape further so there is space to spin out the extra material needed to roll the bell bead. A 4-⅝ bell flare might need 5" of bell so the final ⅜ can be rolled back on itself to create the bead and hold the rim wire.
My bell mandrel goes to 6", and I can trim the bell at any diameter I want below that.
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should it include things such as spelter lines, yards, and Kranz?
I am sure there are many obscure references that could potentially be applied to bell construction.

I originally typed "spelter" and the autocorrect changed it after I looked. Those are the brazing lines.
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Last edited by huntman10 on Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a diagram with the differing names, as different people use different words. Neither bell has a "Garland" or "Tone ring", but that would be an applied strip of brass trapped by the rim bead and extending back a short distance over the flare - sometimes bonded to it, sometimes hovering above.

Notice that the MEHA bell has what Brian described, 2 distinct, fairly linear tapers in the bell stem, changing rate of taper about where the "D" arrow is located. The Llewellyn bell, which appears to have contributed to Committee design (this particular one was found in Benge's personal workshop after he died, so it was probably one of Schilke's) also changes rate of taper at about the same mid-point, but instead of a faster second linear taper, it is more of a parabolic taper leading toward the flare. On the MEHA bell, the transition smoothly accelerates rate of taper from stem to flare, while the Holton bell shows an abrupt transition to the flare taper, which has a second noticeable inflexion approaching the rim - much like a Committee.


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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
Here is a diagram with the differing names, as different people use different words. Neither bell has a "Garland" or "Tone ring", but that would be an applied strip of brass trapped by the rim bead and extending back a short distance over the flare - sometimes bonded to it, sometimes hovering above.

Notice that the MEHA bell has what Brian described, 2 distinct, fairly linear tapers in the bell stem, changing rate of taper about where the "D" arrow is located. The Llewellyn bell, which appears to have contributed to Committee design (this particular one was found in Benge's personal workshop after he died, so it was probably one of Schilke's) also changes rate of taper at about the same mid-point, but instead of a faster second linear taper, it is more of a parabolic taper leading toward the flare. On the MEHA bell, the transition smoothly accelerates rate of taper from stem to flare, while the Holton bell shows an abrupt transition to the flare taper, which has a second noticeable inflexion approaching the rim - much like a Committee.


Thank you for so clearly pointing out these distinctions. This image is very helpful.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! I have an earlier Carol where it looks like about the first 15 inches of the bell was welded near the end of the stem before the crook. I never knew how to describe this, and I've always wondered if other trumpets are made the same way.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

huntman10 wrote:
Should it include things such as spelter lines, yards, and Kranz?
I am sure there are many obscure references that could potentially be applied to bell construction.

I originally typed "spelter" and the autocorrect changed it after I looked. Those are the brazing lines.


I wouldn't include any of those since spelter is used mostly by European shops, yards are only on natural trumpets, and Kranz are fairly rare these days.
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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again all for your feedback.

It helped inspire this article on trumpet bells that includes the proper naming of parts.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree as far as lighter weight bells suffering from poor intonation. They do often make the horn more flexible and thus easier to conform to the player's inputs, but the intonation, if off, is still the player, not the bell.

Also, for any aspect of the instrument to "require more air" is factually incorrect. The volumetric flow of air is regulated by the throat of the mouthpiece which acts a a venturi and anything downstream of that lives with the volume the mouthpiece lets through at a given delta pressure vs ambient.

I am not sure how the word "tighter" fits with a faster taper, as at any point along a fast taper it is more open than a corresponding point along a slow taper.

Nit-picking now: under materials 80/20 tends to be gold brass and 85/15 rose brass - and you missed the bronzes.

Overall though one of the better such essays I have seen.
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Eliot
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenny Lee ...

Thank you for raising this subject. And thanks to those who contributed to the comments.

I've just checked out Jenny's write up and found it interesting and informative. Not being into the repair and/or manufacture of these things I can't comment on the accuracy, but the descriptions and pic/s provide, for me, ample information to know that little bit more regarding the instrument I'm trying to play.

Thanks again for the efforts and contributions involved.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
I have to disagree as far as lighter weight bells suffering from poor intonation. They do often make the horn more flexible and thus easier to conform to the player's inputs, but the intonation, if off, is still the player, not the bell.

Ron,

The quoted statement does not mention that there are hardware/instrument related reasons for poor intonation. For instance if the valve crooks aren't the appropriate length that can lead to intonation issues with notes involving the incorrect length crooks.

I have personal experience with the gap changing the way the partials lie. This made the D above high C almost impossible to hit on my strad. Mike Thompson helped me figure that one out with sleeved mouthpieces.

Also, I seem to remember that the bell taper can lead to intonation issues. I don't remember the specifics however and might be wrong.

Anyway, this is just to point out that it isn't always the player. Although, in my opinion, with movable slides the player should be able to compensate and play any horn in tune.

Edit: I do agree that based on all I have personally experienced and all that I have learned, on here and talking with other players, bell weight has never been discussed as having an effect on intonation.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
The quoted statement does not mention that there are hardware/instrument related reasons for poor intonation.


This is the statement in the article: "Thinner bells give the player more feedback and offer a more piercing quality but are less efficient and have worse intonation."

We can debate efficiency as the indeed more energy is lost from the front of the horn in terms of leak-back, but with lower inertia, less energy is also required to speak generally - but I left that one alone. The last phrase, "have worse intonation", is simply not true - all other things being equal.

Yes, the bell can influence intonation. The issue with tapers you are remembering is that there exists a complex relationship between the taper of the leadpipe and the taper of the bell within the context of the nodal map. A thinner bell alone does not alter that relationship as the interior of the bell remains conformed to precisely the same mandrel shape as a heavier one. If there were a concentration of mass in one case and not another, that too would could have an influence - but that is not what was said.

The statement was thinner bells harm intonation and was not true. The easier response of a lighter bell may make it easier for the player to mess up intonation, but the bel weight does not alter the geometry influencing native intonation of the instrument. If it is on with a heavy bell, it should be with a light. If it was out with a heavy, it will be out with a light (but easier to correct).
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
...
Also, for any aspect of the instrument to "require more air" is factually incorrect. The volumetric flow of air is regulated by the throat of the mouthpiece which acts a a venturi and anything downstream of that lives with the volume the mouthpiece lets through at a given delta pressure vs ambient. ...

--------------------------------------
I don't think that quantity of air passing through the instrument is the concern regarding the material for the bell.
It's more a matter of how much physical effort is needed to produce the desired loudness - primarily as indicated by the conductor (not the player's feedback judgement).
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Tony Scodwell
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:21 am    Post subject: Bells Reply with quote

Two interesting things to relate here. Reynold Schilke once made a trumpet with an extremely large diameter bell (can't remember what diameter) but when I was studying with him he told me he made it "to hide from conductors".

As for light weight bells, Doc Severinsen prefers super thin bells these days. When I traveled with him I would go down front exchanging eights on "Jumping At The Woodside" and even though I set the microphone and monitors for him, I always came back to the trumpet section saying how much easier it was blowing down front. Doc's hearing was marginal in his right ear and virtually non-existent in his left ear. As Conte said to me, "Doc hasn't sat in the back row for many years".

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Jenny Lee
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for checking the article and giving your feedback.

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
I have to disagree as far as lighter weight bells suffering from poor intonation. They do often make the horn more flexible and thus easier to conform to the player's inputs, but the intonation, if off, is still the player, not the bell.


Jason Harrelson has written: "Thin bells are responsible for poor projection, intonation and efficiency."

But I suppose Harrelson's statement left a bit up to interpretation. We've updated this part to read: "Thinner bells give the player more feedback and offer a more piercing quality but are less efficient and make maintaining proper intonation more challenging for the player."

Quote:
Also, for any aspect of the instrument to "require more air" is factually incorrect. The volumetric flow of air is regulated by the throat of the mouthpiece which acts a a venturi and anything downstream of that lives with the volume the mouthpiece lets through at a given delta pressure vs ambient.


I think you're referring to this statement from the article: "Smaller bells tend to have a more focused projection, rather than wider. They also require less air and, therefore, less effort allowing for more endurance."

Would it be more accurate to write "...They also present less resistance and, therefore, require less effort allowing for more endurance"?

Quote:
I am not sure how the word "tighter" fits with a faster taper, as at any point along a fast taper it is more open than a corresponding point along a slow taper.


We've seen some sources use the terms "faster taper" and "tighter taper" interchangeably. But we have updated this point to refer to this simply as faster taper.

Quote:
Nit-picking now: under materials 80/20 tends to be gold brass and 85/15 rose brass - and you missed the bronzes.


Here we followed information from Yahama's website on brass compositions. I've seen "rose brass" defined differently by different sources. But ultimately I asked the question directly on TH here and received this feedback from user Divitt Trumpets: "Rose brass is not a real alloy name, but in the metals industry brass alloys with over 70% copper are known as red brasses. Actual Red Brass is 85%Cu 15%Zn."

So are "rose brass" and "red brass" used interchangeably, or are they two different alloys?
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops hit submit by accident.
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