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LefreQue Tone Bridge


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roccotrumpetsiffredi
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry wrote:
roccotrumpetsiffredi, Can you hear any difference in sound in Steve's YouTube video, with and without the LeFreque?


I hear a slight difference in the color of sound between the different metal lefreques, but it is not an amplification of sound or nothing Steve can't do by changing how he blows.

The better the trumpet player, the more suspect I am that they can intentionally manipulate their sound in a certain way, to sell a product.

Has anyone tried a lefreques on say middleschoolers?

If this were such an improvement in sound, why wouldn't these be standard issue for marching bands and bugle corp?

I'm not a believer!

I say all this with no ill will at those trying to make a trumpet buck (I want to sell the greatest mutes one day;)) but I think this and most all other trumpet enhancements are total bs.
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Voltrane
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But RoccoXXXedi,
Why on earth would you make things simple when they can be complicated ad lib?
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Denny Schreffler
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

roccotrumpetsiffredi wrote:


Has anyone tried a lefreques on say middleschoolers? .


You're missing the point of this (and, really, all) tweak(s).

If the player is not already optimizing the sound of which the instrument is capable, tweaks are not going to make any difference.


Give a middle schooler with a poor sound five of the best horns on the planet and they'll all sound pretty much the same as whatever marching-band beater they're already playing.

I thought that I had posted this story fairly recently but I didn't see it in a quick search -- a friend and I were chatting with Cliff Blackburn at an ITG at IU in the mid-'80s during a lull in the activity in his booth. A college kid came by to try some Louisville pipes. He played his own setup and didn't sound great. Then he went thru three very different leadpipes and sounded the same on each one as he had sounded on his stock pipe.

The kid said that he couldn't tell any difference and he was going to stick with his stock pipe.

He was hoping to improve his substandard sound with a better leadpipe but that wan't going to help until he was able to play up to the potential of his instrument.

Cliff was very gracious in telling the kid everyone had their own preferences and that he needn't worry about replacing his leadpipe.

The kid was playing four very different pipes but sounded the same (mediocre) way on each one -- He didn't have a finely/fully developed sound, so even basic equipment changes -- let alone tweaks -- did nothing to improve his bad sound.

Most tweaks, like the LefreQue and like tweaks in other, sophisticated pursuits, are aimed at seeking improvement in the last 1% (just an expression) of performance possibility.


-Denny
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has any horn, mouthpiece, add-on, gadget or other invention created since 1950 made it possible to do anything acoustically on the trumpet that wasn't possible and wasn't happening in 1950? If not (and I can't think of anything) what's all the shouting about regarding new "miracle" stuff?

If someone invents a "clam trap" (a device you could install in your trumpet that would automatically and instantly replace bad notes with good notes) THAT would be a big advancement. I haven't seen one of those yet but one can still hope. Short of that the trumpet is a wind instrument requiring skill and proficiency (and skill and proficiency are provided by the player, not by equipment).

Mendez would have sounded amazing on even the most basic student trumpet in good condition. All the equipment in the world won't make me sound like Mendez if I don't have his level of skill and proficiency.

Equipment may be able to tweak some element (whether the "tweak" is an "improvement" is another matter) but it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. One of the biggest impediments to the advancement of students is their belief in the fallacy that equipment can solve all or at least most problems, that equipment is "holding the student back."

Back in high school (50 years ago) I had a friend claim that his Mt. Vernon Bach Strad was "holding him back." In fact, this guy couldn't blow his nose, he just didn't want to let the conversation go in that direction. Yet, his attitude is common even today.

Equipment creates interest, which is a good thing, and it can also have psychological benefits. So, the focus on equipment is not necessarily negative if kept in accurate perspective. The problem is that the perspective is often stretched to the point that expectations are inflated to "miracle" proportions.
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone looked deeper into the spectrum analysis?

They try it on and off for 1 piccolo player, using one example, and the results could be the difference between warming up and not warming up.

If practice is still free, I'd give that a go.
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Denny Schreffler
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BraeGrimes wrote:
Has anyone looked deeper into the spectrum analysis?

They try it on and off for 1 piccolo player, using one example, and the results could be the difference between warming up and not warming up.

If practice is still free, I'd give that a go.


Hi, Brae,

In my experience almost 30 years ago, some subtleties of a trumpet spectrum were not easily discernible by Fast Fourier Transformation.

Although human listeners could always identify (single blind) the difference among three conditions – bottom caps off, bottom caps on, weighted bottom caps on (CG Benge) – by a human player, the FFT analysis of mechanically generated pink noise for those same conditions showed subtle but consistent changes only at two or three harmonic peaks far above the accepted range of human hearing.

I have no knowledge of LefreQue’s testing intentions or procedures but I could offer a guess that their testing might show similar sorts of results, which could be considered inconclusive or confusing.

Practice is still free but if a player is already getting the most out of their instrument, subtle tweaks can affect changes in certain areas.

Some of what Bob Malone and Wayne Tenabe were doing as tweakers decades ago might now be considered standard practice.

When mouthpiece weights (and eventually heavy blanks) first showed up, lots of just-practice-more naysayers poo-pooed that tweak as black magic and "the Emperor's new clothes" effect but that type of tweak has made its way into the mainstream, don't you agree?


-Denny
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denny Schreffler wrote:


I have no knowledge of LefreQue’s testing intentions or procedures but I could offer a guess that their testing might show similar sorts of results, which could be considered inconclusive or confusing.

Practice is still free but if a player is already getting the most out of their instrument, subtle tweaks can affect changes in certain areas.

Some of what Bob Malone and Wayne Tenabe were doing as tweakers decades ago might now be considered standard practice.

When mouthpiece weights (and eventually heavy blanks) first showed up, lots of just-practice-more naysayers poo-pooed that tweak as black magic and "the Emperor's new clothes" effect but that type of tweak has made its way into the mainstream, don't you agree?


-Denny


While I do agree with you, I wouldn't claim that the LeFreque is a 'tweak'. I run on the principle that small changes make big differences (some of the differences Bob has changed in the Gen 1 and Gen 2 YTR9335NYS and YTR9335CHS are fairly subtle, but have a big impact). I have experienced this myself when tweaking trumpets for the orchestras in NZ; small changes make a big difference in the hall and to the player. The difference being that these changes are either moving things that are soldered to the instrument (I actually didn't have to do any of that luckily) or screwed onto the instrument. I really think an elastic band with a couple of contact points of metal will make a psychological difference (as a placebo) and possible resonate with the frequencies travelling through the leadpipe a little creating feedback to the player - but is that good or necessary?

This is all my opinion, and I'd love to be proven wrong. If you're already getting the most out of your instrument and you think you need more, maybe clean it. Maybe get it serviced. Maybe get it tweaked by Tanabe or Bob. There's heaps of things I'd try before a bit of brass on a hair tie.

We'll never truly know what the capabilities of an instrument are with conventional use (of course, because trumpet has the capability of being a baseball bat...), we'll only ever know our own capabilities as musicians. LeFreque won't help you play Mahler 5 better, or double-tongue, or play quintuplets in grouping of 3, or connect double Gs to pedal Cs...
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
Has any horn, mouthpiece, add-on, gadget or other invention created since 1950 made it possible to do anything acoustically on the trumpet that wasn't possible and wasn't happening in 1950? If not (and I can't think of anything) what's all the shouting about regarding new "miracle" stuff?


While I fundamentally agree with you, I would say that there are modern horns and mouthpieces that achieve a different sound than older gear. Monette comes to mind...
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BraeGrimes wrote:
HERMOKIWI wrote:
Has any horn, mouthpiece, add-on, gadget or other invention created since 1950 made it possible to do anything acoustically on the trumpet that wasn't possible and wasn't happening in 1950? If not (and I can't think of anything) what's all the shouting about regarding new "miracle" stuff?


While I fundamentally agree with you, I would say that there are modern horns and mouthpieces that achieve a different sound than older gear. Monette comes to mind...


Differences do not automatically equal "improvements." Exactly what was wrong with the way Mendez or Miles or Chet or Clifford sounded or, for that matter, Herbert L. Clarke?

Personally, although some things may be "different," I don't think there have been any "improvements" in trumpet or mouthpiece design significantly affecting performance capabilities since the early 1930's. As for horns, maybe a little more even scale (very little) but that's about it.

A player can be a world class virtuoso in classical or jazz on an instrument and mouthpiece that predates 1950. The idea that it's "easier" or "better" exclusively on modern horns and mouthpieces is speculative at best.
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:


Differences do not automatically equal "improvements." Exactly what was wrong with the way Mendez or Miles or Chet or Clifford sounded or, for that matter, Herbert L. Clarke?


I was just responding to your question:

HERMOKIWI wrote:

Has any horn, mouthpiece, add-on, gadget or other invention created since 1950 made it possible to do anything acoustically on the trumpet that wasn't possible and wasn't happening in 1950?


and my response is, "yes, there are and is" - I did not say they were improvements or better, I just said they were different.
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think that part of Wynton's sound is the Monette trumpet. Just like the Martin Committee was part of Miles' sound. Is it everything there is to their sound? NO! Their approaches to music, their mouthpiece, their addictions (or lack thereof), their education, etc. But it'd be hard to argue that it doesn't play any part, or else we wouldn't have progressed past 1950s technology! I play a 1939 King Master Cornet as my every day horn and it has woeful intonation. Part of the character of that horn is playing it in tune - but switch to a modern horn and they are (for the most part) easier to play and that affects the sound. They all project better, and the scale is (generally) pretty damn good! The valves feel better, the slots are more defined. All these things have an impact on sound. It's not necessarily good, I still prefer the sound of my King over 99% of the modern horns I have played.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BraeGrimes wrote:
I really think that part of Wynton's sound is the Monette trumpet. Just like the Martin Committee was part of Miles' sound. Is it everything there is to their sound? NO! Their approaches to music, their mouthpiece, their addictions (or lack thereof), their education, etc. But it'd be hard to argue that it doesn't play any part, or else we wouldn't have progressed past 1950s technology!


Does Wynton sound different on his Monette than he sounded on his Bach? There are, no doubt, subtle differences. Does Wynton sound better on his Monette than he sounded on his Bach? There are a lot of conflicting opinions on that point.

Certainly the different characteristics of different horns and different mouthpieces affect the tonal characteristics of a player's sound. However, to me it's quite a stretch to say that "new technology" has created the ability to produce new acoustical sounds from a trumpet that were impossible to produce with the technology and equipment in use in 1950.
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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I play a Monette mouthpiece, will the LefreQue help? The Monette is already a heavy mouthpiece
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BraeGrimes
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:

Does Wynton sound different on his Monette than he sounded on his Bach? There are, no doubt, subtle differences. Does Wynton sound better on his Monette than he sounded on his Bach? There are a lot of conflicting opinions on that point.
However, to me it's quite a stretch to say that "new technology" has created the ability to produce new acoustical sounds from a trumpet that were impossible to produce with the technology and equipment in use in 1950.


Again, I never said better. I said different. Different does not mean better or worse. And yes, he sounds way different (partly because of age and maturity, but there's no way he has the sound on a Bach even now that he does on the Monette - whether it is better or not is an aesthetic argument, nothing to do with acoustics).

Depends on what you mean by 'acoustical' as well and whether you believe that is driven by technology or the player and whether either influences the other. If you take a spectrum analysis of every horn from 1950 and every horn from today the results might be profound.

Heavy horns certainly seem to be in vogue, and different manufacturing techniques mean great improvements in consistency of material (consistency of taper, consistency of material thickness, being able to control mills and lathes within microns, better methods of plating and lacquering... it all makes a difference). The science in bell taper manufacture between now and 1950 alone should be enough to convince you - is there a trumpet with a 5.25" bell flare pre-1950??? Don't think so. What about nylon valve guides, when did they start appearing? What about the study of the gap between the mouthpiece and receiver? Simply playing an instrument in tune yields a different tonal result - you have to adjust less which makes a lot of different techniques more possible.

I get your point, but it's hard to prove it. It's also hard to prove my point, but I'm at least providing pragmatic and considered reasons as to why it MIGHT be the case.
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ScottA
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite the discussion going on here. I'll throw in my 2 cents. Being the ever curious gadget guy I bought a set. Used it once and put it away. I couldn't tell much difference and for me it was a pita to put on and not worth the effort.

However....my wife is an outstanding full time flute player and as anti-gadget as you can get yet she finds a distinct positive difference when using hers. And she feels somewhat vindicated each time we watch the Berlin Phil and see their astounding principal flutist, Emanuel Pahoud using one. I have also seen the tuba player for Berlin using one. Players of that level rarely go for the gimmicks.
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Bstradivarius
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have owned a Red Brass lefreque for 2 years and recently got a sterling silver one. So far, I have found numerous belpful applications on my horns. I prefer the Red Brass in cathedrals and quintets because it softens the tone. It also works very well for my cornet, both for intonation and sound, and playing lyrically. Furthermore, the Red Brass makes the delicate upper register more secure with some applications, particularly if playing lyrical. But if I need power, the Sterling Silver really helps make the upper register rock solid, and with horns that sound tinny. There may be other applications.

So far, NEITHER help with the French solos, flexibility, and articulation. I may change my mind. Nevertheless, these are a great tool folks!
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