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Benchmark Orion Trumpets


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jack-of-all
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:49 am    Post subject: Benchmark Orion Trumpets Reply with quote

Afternoon all

Anyone had any experience with the Benchmark Trumpet line?
Very little in the way of reviews or feedback on the B flat's that I can find .

I find myself intrigued by the Orion model and have made an approach to Ron ( super nice chap and is happy to chat etc ) as it has a slightly wider wrap which I really liked on my Conn Constellation as I have big hands.

But just wanted to ask if anyone has one or has tried them, just to get some feedback on these hooters before I take the plunge. I'm UK based - so popping round to the workshop to try one out is not an option sadly.
If they are new to you - id recommend checking out his videos on YouTube - super informative about how he builds his instruments.

https://youtu.be/a8oBvDfldPc - the Orion model I'm interested in.

https://www.benchmarktrumpets.com/product-page/orion-bb-trumpet


Last edited by jack-of-all on Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of them, (as if that means anything). But . . $5,500.00?
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falado
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I never heard of them either or seen a review of their product. However, i did see and hear a lot of good things about Thane and recently ordered a Performance model for a lot less, I'm sure the quality will be there. Does anyone know if Benchmark was at ITG and can maybe give their opinion. I'm sure (hope) at that price they are exceptional instruments.

Wow, how many gigs would you have to play to pay that off? I considered the Edwards X13 and that that was up there in price for me.

Someone tell us more about Benchmark.

Dave
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delano
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSa5DGnhyY0&ab_channel=AustinCustomBrass
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falado
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="delano"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSa5DGnhyY0&ab_channel=AustinCustomBrass[/quote

Wow, and thanks. Okay and nice, but still. The price of our tools has been getting expensive and I see yet another orchestra going under. I've had Schilke horns and loved them. I guess I'll hold on to my Getzen pic for now, I only seem to use it once a year, and my other horns will have to do.

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Tom LeCompte
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="falado"]
delano wrote:
I see yet another orchestra going under.


Don't think it's trumpet prices that are doing that. Besides, most violinists pay as much for a bow as we do for an entire horn. In some cases, for all our horns.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reading through the website's pages the owner states he has been "a worker in the industry since 1997". The page goes on to say they supply parts to other companies too.

They appear to be located in Illinois, so the labor costs are probably higher than other manufacturers, hence a higher base price.

One thing I found curious, which lead me to see where they are located, is they call the pistons "pumps". I initially assumed that this term was used due to the company being located in another country, but it appears not.

Since I am just some yahoo posting on an internet forum perhaps someone can help educate me. Is the term pump a synonym for piston in the industry?
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Goby
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own a Benchmark piccolo trumpet. It is a fantastic instrument and worth every cent that Ron charges. It is easy to play, has fantastic mechanics, and plays in tune! Unlike Thane and a number of other custom builders, Ron Glynn makes every part of of his instruments in his workshop. No disrespect to the custom builders who import parts and assemble instruments in their shops, but Ron is a cut above the rest when it comes to his skills and craftsmanship. I know that Peter Bond (retired NY Metropolitan Opera trumpet player) has a Benchmark Orion and had some positive things to say about it.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with builder/owner Ron Glynn when I purchased his piccolo off eBay for $2,650 in Nov. 2018. It was a great picc, but I wanted to explore more at the time, so I sold it. He said that the price would be going up to over $4K very soon, and man, have prices EVERYWHERE been going up...except for Adams Brass and Eclipse and maybe a few others. A year later I got a Pujé Pique, which is a 3+1 piccolo, and like many 3-valve piccolos, it has a bigger sound than any 4v I've played, and I prefer that blow. Nevertheless, Ron had concentrated experience at Schilke for a number of years, and, now to be building all aspects of trumpets, including valves and casings, is pretty phenomenal for a one-man shop! You can find some other videos on YouTube with a mere search of "benchmark trumpet." Although he does not claim to be in the best of shape, he's a solid, orchestrally-trained player, and his demoing is with good starts, clean articulation, well-centered pitch, and smoothness of tone.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron worked at Schilke for a few decades.
He is one of the only small builders in the USA that makes everything in house. The only other one that does that is Monette and maybe Don Miles on his top of the line stuff. Very impressive and a TON of skill and work involved. To be honest, $5500 is an incredible deal for something made entirely in house.

There is no official nomenclature for trumpet components. Pump is probably a Schilke term. I have also seen valve stems referred to as "action rods" in the industry.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the terminology explanation.

Also, I think more builders is better for all of us. So I did not intend to denigrate.
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Tom LeCompte
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
They appear to be located in Illinois, so the labor costs are probably higher than other manufacturers, hence a higher base price


Illinois, but middle-of-nowhere Illinois. The sort of place that makes Elkhart or Elkhorn even look like a booming metropolis.

If labor costs drive the price, it probably means he's using a lot of it, not that it is more expensive.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom LeCompte wrote:
LittleRusty wrote:
They appear to be located in Illinois, so the labor costs are probably higher than other manufacturers, hence a higher base price


Illinois, but middle-of-nowhere Illinois. The sort of place that makes Elkhart or Elkhorn even look like a booming metropolis.

If labor costs drive the price, it probably means he's using a lot of it, not that it is more expensive.

Think bigger picture than big city Illinois vs little city. Think China vs US. US wages are approximately 7 times more expensive on average.

The Wage Gap Between the U.S. and China Continues to Narrow (I don’t warrantee the accuracy of this site. Just the first result in my Google search)

Plus the business, even if a sole proprietorship, has overhead and the owner needs to make a living wage.

I guess my poorly made point is that it is expensive to manufacture instruments in the US.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
...I guess my poorly made point is that it is expensive to manufacture instruments in the US.

Point well made!
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jimspeedjae
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rent or buy some space for a workshop
Buy all the equipment and machinery you need
Buy the raw materials
Design and then build your tooling - for multiple types of size trumpet
Build sets of high tolerance valves, draw and bend pipe, spin bells.
Build a horn, re-design, build more tooling and more trumpets
Invest your life in this so you can actually do it and think about how much you need to buy all the stuff, pay your bills and hopefully actually make a living.

I was lucky to get one of his early prototype piccolos for a steal. And like a fool I got rid of it as I didn't need three piccs and wanted to buy something else.
Not just like a fool, I was a fool to get rid of it - it was a fantastic trumpet.

What Ron Glynn does is remarkable for the money he charges.
As a standalone craftsman, the quality of product he produces is just remarkable in its own right.
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Shawnino
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Romance aside, I see no value in having one person craft 100% of the parts himself.

If you want the best, and company X makes what you consider to be the best valve block, buy their valve block. If Y makes what you consider to be the best bell, buy from Y.

McLaren, Ferrari, Learjet, Rolex, and so on all source outside parts. Most three-star Michelin chefs don't raise, slaughter, and butcher their own livestock. It doesn't mean the end product is not of the highest quality.

If someone wants to make every part himself, it's his right. I think some of his time might be better spent on stringent QA of supplied parts from reputable manufacturers.
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I owned a Benchmark C trumpet that was phenomenal. Great response and intonation. Broad sound that was stable and projected well. I sold it when I upgraded my Bb to a Yamaha NYS. I would have loved to keep it but those two horns were incompatible for me. Others might have an easier time.

Regardless, I would say that Benchmark trumpets are great and Ron is definitely top notch. And, FWIW, I don't know of any other small manufacturers in the industry making valves in-house. He even machines his own stop screws... He also has some very unique but practical design features.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevin_soda wrote:
I owned a Benchmark C trumpet that was phenomenal. Great response and intonation. Broad sound that was stable and projected well. I sold it when I upgraded my Bb to a Yamaha NYS. I would have loved to keep it but those two horns were incompatible for me. Others might have an easier time.

Regardless, I would say that Benchmark trumpets are great and Ron is definitely top notch. And, FWIW, I don't know of any other small manufacturers in the industry making valves in-house. He even machines his own stop screws... He also has some very unique but practical design features.
A couple of questions, Kevin:

When you write "... those two horns were incompatible for me...," are you saying that the new Yamaha NYS Bb and the Benchmark C were not compatible, as when you might have to switch back and forth between Bb and C and need the two horns to match more closely in tonation?

Would you have considered keeping the Benchmark C, say, just for solo playing?
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Goby
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shawnino wrote:
Romance aside, I see no value in having one person craft 100% of the parts himself.

If you want the best, and company X makes what you consider to be the best valve block, buy their valve block. If Y makes what you consider to be the best bell, buy from Y.

McLaren, Ferrari, Learjet, Rolex, and so on all source outside parts. Most three-star Michelin chefs don't raise, slaughter, and butcher their own livestock. It doesn't mean the end product is not of the highest quality.

If someone wants to make every part himself, it's his right. I think some of his time might be better spent on stringent QA of supplied parts from reputable manufacturers.



This is true if you're mass producing luxury products, but this is not about mass-consumption, it's about craftsmanship. To use your analogy of watches, Rolex is akin to Yamaha: high quality and industrially produced products that perform reliably. Benchmark is akin to Phillipe DuFour: created from raw materials, in-house, by a master craftsman not purely for profit, but to continue the tradition of building things by hand.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goby wrote:
Shawnino wrote:
Romance aside, I see no value in having one person craft 100% of the parts himself.

If you want the best, and company X makes what you consider to be the best valve block, buy their valve block. If Y makes what you consider to be the best bell, buy from Y.

McLaren, Ferrari, Learjet, Rolex, and so on all source outside parts. Most three-star Michelin chefs don't raise, slaughter, and butcher their own livestock. It doesn't mean the end product is not of the highest quality.

If someone wants to make every part himself, it's his right. I think some of his time might be better spent on stringent QA of supplied parts from reputable manufacturers.

This is true if you're mass producing luxury products, but this is not about mass-consumption, it's about craftsmanship. To use your analogy of watches, Rolex is akin to Yamaha: high quality and industrially produced products that perform reliably. Benchmark is akin to Phillipe DuFour: created from raw materials, in-house, by a master craftsman not purely for profit, but to continue the tradition of building things by hand.

Personally I think the magic is in the fit, finish, and dialing in each individual instrument.

I don’t believe there is value in custom trumpets over mass produced, provided the trumpet one plays is an excellent player for the individual. In other words I wouldn’t pay a premium to add the word custom to the instrument I play unless the instrument is excellent and a great fit for me.

And bringing it back on topic, based on this thread it appears people think Benchmark horns are.
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