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More advice on vintage trumpet



 
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Kevinbs
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Joined: 13 Sep 2021
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:14 pm    Post subject: More advice on vintage trumpet Reply with quote

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Very-Rare-and-Fine-John-Heald-Bb-Trumpet-Made-In-Boston-Original-Case-Ex-/224464127290?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m2548.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

Looking at picking up a vintage trumpet and wondering if someone can help me put a value on this one. The serial number puts this one in the 1927 range. Is this a good trumpet or not worth the time? Anything I should ask the seller or look for? What are the concerns when buying a trumpet almost 100 years old? Would really appreciate any tips or advice as I have never bought a vintage trumpet and this one caught my eye.

Thanks
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Goby
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Joined: 11 Jun 2017
Posts: 345

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a John Heald trumpet. Heald was an American manufacturer in the late 1800s. His instruments are extremely niche within the world of collectors. Many of the older ones don't play in modern A=440, although the instrument in question is from he late 20's so it might be fine. If you're not after a John Heald trumpet for the sake of owning a John Heald, don't buy it. There are better horns for the money. at $700 plus tax and shipping, you're into modern professional trumpet territory.



OP if you're interested in collecting old trumpets, the first thing to do is read as much as you can. Check out Robb Stewart's website, BrassHisitory.net, Olds Central, Bach Loyalist, Conn Loyalist, and even old threads on TrumpetHerald.



With vintage horns, condition and collectability are key. Originality is prioritized over aesthetics to 99% of collectors. Lacquer condition, provenance (which famous player used that make/model of trumpet), repair history, valve compression, modern playability, and additional accessories (cases, mouthpieces, booklets, mutes, etc.) are also taken into consideration when determining the value of an instrument.



The Heald trumpet you posted is in great shape, but Heald horns weren't used by many famous musicians (at least, ones people listen to today), nor are they highly sought after by the average collector, so they are rare, but not particularly valuable (as evidenced by the ebay Heald sitting unsold at $700). A Martin Handcraft Committee, on the other hand, the trumpet used by Dizzy Gillespie and Chris Botti, usually sells for $4-6k depending on condition, and they seldom last more than a week on any platform.
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Beyond16
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Joined: 07 Jan 2020
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Location: Texas Gulf Coast

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that much money, you could buy a more well know vintage pro horn model that has a good reputation. If money is tight, a vintage Olds Ambassador trumpet or cornet is a good bet. For the price of that ebay trumpet, you could buy a pro model vintage trumpet such as Olds Super, various Selmer Paris models, King Silver Flair, etc.
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Crazy Finn
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Joined: 27 Dec 2001
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of them, but did a bit of googling and apparently it's reasonably well known maker around the turn of the century and into the WWI years (when the US wasn't involved).

Question for the OP - are you looking for something to play regularly or something old to have?

That's a lot of money for something that not well known and/or highly collectable and might need some work.

Regardless of what the eBay seller thinks, the horn is over a hundred years old and usually horns that old have issues with leaky valves at the very least.

Heck, even old Olds horns from the 1950's are around 70 years old (or more) by now and often have that issue.
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Heald still has a very good reputation as a builder of high-end, professional cornets in the late 19th and early 20th century, and they are sought after by collectors. I have no idea if his trumpets carry that same reputation, though.
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huntman10
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Joined: 30 Aug 2017
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Location: Texas South Plains

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, it seems you have signed up today and are asking our opinions on random old junkers without any clarifications about your situation with regards to trumpet knowledge or goals in purchasing horns.

As far as I can see, you are just seeing how easy it is to distract us all, like yelling "squirrel" to a pack of dogs!
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huntman10
Collector/Player of Fine (and not so fine) Brass Instruments including
Various Strads, Yammies, Al Hirt Courtois, Schilkes,
Selmer 25, Getzen Eternas, Kanstuls (920 Pic, CG)
Martin Custom Large Bore, Lots Olds!, Conns, etc.
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Kevinbs
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Joined: 13 Sep 2021
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone (except huntman10) for the feedback and advice. Just getting back into the world of trumpets and playing. Appreciate the direction you have provided.


Huntman10……..squirrel
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royjohn
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 2232
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Kevinbs,
A few things you need to be aware of if you are buying a vintage horn to play...vintage horns from the early 20th century generally have a much brighter sound than those from about 1940 onwards. At that point trumpets were competing in bands with electrically amplified instruments and got bigger in bore and sound and also darker in tone. So you'll need to consider whether you want something with a more modern sound profile or not.

Also, as some have already indicated, something 100 years old might have been in a closet somewhere and be pristine, but is likely to have been played a lot and possibly have leaky valves. A valve job will cost you about $600 these days, so you will have to pick up a vintage trumpet that is very desirable cheap to make the valve job worth it. I bought a gold plated 1928 Llewellyn model Holton about 20 years ago...paid about $250 for it and then had the valves done, the receiver replaced and the horn spot plated for $700. I sold it this year for $1000, so I got my money back, but that was all and it took 2 years to sell it.

If I were to buy a vintage trumpet, I would get a return privilege if I couldn't evaluate it in person. It is important to learn a few tests for leaky valves...then you need to know something about vintage horns, how they are reputed to play, which are bright vs dark, etc. I would stick to horns from the 1940's and later. Conns like the 2b and 22b are reasonably priced, and some of the Holtons and Bueschers are undervalued for the pro horns that they are. If you look for a Committee or another landmark horn, you are going to pay possibly more than it is worth.

All the above said, occasionally you run into something great. I bought a 1928 Buescher from one of the famous trumpet merchants in the NYC area for $60. The intonation was way out on their play test and they thought the valves were shot. I bought it for parts, but found a half inch thick felt washer in one of the valve casings. Once this was removed, the horn played fine and the valves were as tight as a new horn. The outside was pristine silver plate. So the folks at the store had missed something...they test out a lot of horns and were going fast...I also got a very nice Art Deco King Liberty from a local pawn shop because it had sat so long in the case for about $150...really nothing wrong with it, in great shape. I have been burned a few times, but you learn as you buy and research.

Have fun looking for vintage horns and I hope you learn to play again and have fun doing it.
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royjohn
Trumpets: 1928 Holton Llewellyn Model, 1957 Holton 51LB, 2010 Custom C by Bill Jones, 2011 Custom D/Eb by Bill Jones
Flugels: 1975 Olds Superstar, 1970's Elkhardt, 1970's Getzen 4 valve
Cornet: 1970's Yamaha YCR-233S . . . and others . . .
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huntman10
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Joined: 30 Aug 2017
Posts: 203
Location: Texas South Plains

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevinbs wrote:

Huntman10……..squirrel


Where? Where?

Well, at least we got back on "target."

Check out the marketplace here! And not just because I listed there!

Good luck with the "quest"! Many of us here have been seeking our own Grail. In fact, I have a room full. And 3 in the mail to me as I type this!
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huntman10
Collector/Player of Fine (and not so fine) Brass Instruments including
Various Strads, Yammies, Al Hirt Courtois, Schilkes,
Selmer 25, Getzen Eternas, Kanstuls (920 Pic, CG)
Martin Custom Large Bore, Lots Olds!, Conns, etc.
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TrumpetHippy
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Joined: 24 May 2021
Posts: 11
Location: Topeka, KS

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

huntman10 wrote:

Many of us here have been seeking our own Grail. In fact, I have a room full. And 3 in the mail to me as I type this!


I'm a young guy who started getting into the vintage horn game to make some money but now I have a room full of weird horns. My SO is finally catching on that "oh this will be a easy flip" just means "I've always wanted to try this horn out." Might need some advice on how to keep her off my tail hahah

Maybe we should start a 12 step program for the more ravenous collectors on the forum.

"My name is TrumpetHippy, and I'm a hornaholic"



Back to OP I'd agree with the rest of the crew here and avoid that horn, for that price there are a ton of sweet vintage horns with cool features. The HN White co, Conn, Reynolds, Holton and York (to name a few) were all making funky stuff at the turn of the century. I was in your position not too long ago and have learned so much from this forum and the loyalist websites. If you find something that peaks your interest id ask the seller for pictures of the valves and slides and if theyre not worn or red-rotted go for it! Have fun on your new addiction.
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JazzFluegel
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

royjohn wrote:
Conns like the 2b and 22b are reasonably priced, and some of the Holtons and Bueschers are undervalued for the pro horns that they are.


+1; I play a Conn 12B, aka NY Symphony Coprion, mint, 1948; I owned plenty of different horns & it is one of my few 5-stars rated; I got it for $500.
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