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Selmer Radial



 
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Winghorn
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Joined: 07 Apr 2006
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Location: Olympia, Washington

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:28 pm    Post subject: Selmer Radial Reply with quote

Hello everyone-

I have tried just about every brand and model of trumpet over the years, but have yet to sample a Bb Selmer Radial trumpet.

To those of you who have had experience with this instrument, how would you describe its sound and playing characteristics?

Obviously, I would ultimately need to find and try a Radial for myself, but I am trying to determine just how hard I should look.

Thank you.

Steve
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OldSchoolEuph
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not really spent much time with my Radial, but I was seriously impressed by it. The looks of the horn, even before considering that the valve block looks like it had a terrible accident, is, to be blunt: cheap. So, despite my hard work training myself to go into any play test without bias, let's just say this was a case where Dale Olson was right and I was expecting the worst.

I was stunned by what an excellent horn it is. Even throughout the range. A bit of resistance, but less than a standard Bach. Clearly a French trumpet sound, not an American (Bach) sound, but not overly bright. Response was light and easy. Intonation was quite good. I have told a number of friends in the business that I consider radials to be real sleepers in the market.

There are some negatives for me - beyond a student-horn aesthetic that really stands out on a pro horn - but they are perhaps not serious. The first is the "ergonomic" orientation of the valves. A half century of training myself to press valves straight and this design is awkward for me. Second, it wont stand out, but it does not blend smoothly with Bach/Xeno sections - its a gray area in that. Third, its not going to work for anyone looking for a real screamer/power horn. This is a serious symphonic/chamber/solo horn and ill-suited to dramatics.

Now I am not much a a French trumpet sound guy despite who I seem to hang with, and it is possible I like the Radial more because it is not aggressively French sounding - hard to say. In the end, how a horn interacts with a player is half the equation so really, you just have to try it for yourself.
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2017 Austin Winds Stage 466
1962 Mt. Vernon Bach 43
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Last edited by OldSchoolEuph on Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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stumac
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 641
Location: Flinders, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

I have 4 Selmer Radials,Bb ,C, D and Eb. They are my go to horns for the community symphony orchestra I play in, I use a period Selmer 4 mouthpiece in them.

As for sound I would say slightly lighter French sound, although I sound like me pretty much which ever horn I play. I consider they are among the best horns ever made.

The C was my first,bought new old stock in 1986 when I was playing a lot of Church, sight reading and transposing into F# was not my forte, the others bought second hand in excellent condition.

They are now around 50 years old and getting harder to find ones in excellent condition.

Regards, Stuart.
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Winghorn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Ron and Stewart!

Good stuff!

Steve
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Brassnose
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Joined: 07 Mar 2016
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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely disagree with Ron on the looks. I think this is one of the coolest looking horns there are. Also it does not look cheap, just look at the original engravings on the spit valves etc. I do however agree on the playing. My teacher plays one and he says that it does not work well in loud environments and I have also found this myself when I played his horn - it’s hard to really push it compared to my Bach. The Radial is among my top „want“ horns.
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2018 Prisma Bb bass trumpet - Couesnon 3
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Winghorn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brassnose-

Many thanks!
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1969 Selmer Radial 99: http://www.trumpet-history.com/Virtual%20Museum_files/newpic106.JPG
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Ron Berndt
www.trumpet-history.com

2017 Austin Winds Stage 466
1962 Mt. Vernon Bach 43
1927 Conn 22B NYS
1957 Holton Model 27 Stratodyne
1985 Yamaha YEP-621
1975 Yamaha YEP-321 Custom
1965 Besson British Baritone
1975 Olds Recording R-20
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LaTrompeta
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Joined: 03 May 2015
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played mine for years. Personally, I'd rather use it in a small ensemble rather than large. A Bach will project much further. However, the sound is very rich.
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Voltrane
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 474
Location: Paris (France)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Stumac

Stumac,
with my Selmer Eb/D Radial, I play very sharp in the high register (let say around the High C on a Eb horn, ie the high concert Eb).
I do not know if it is me, the mouthpiece, the horn and so on (but I suspect it does not like shallow mouthpieces).
How is it for you? Is your Eb Radial ok intonation wise?
Many thanks
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Winghorn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My continued thanks...
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Crazy Finn
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Joined: 27 Dec 2001
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brassnose wrote:
I completely disagree with Ron on the looks. I think this is one of the coolest looking horns there are. Also it does not look cheap, just look at the original engravings on the spit valves etc. I do however agree on the playing. My teacher plays one and he says that it does not work well in loud environments and I have also found this myself when I played his horn - it’s hard to really push it compared to my Bach. The Radial is among my top „want“ horns.

I agree on the looks. The picture linked looks a lot like mine in condition, except I had a ring soldered on the 3rd slide as the adjustable one is terrible.

I think it's a matter of taste. I like the slightly unique and understated look of the Radial. I think OldSchool likes the aesthetics of the Bach/Olds style.

I really like how it plays, though I've tended to play my Benge more, for quite a while. I wouldn't trade for many things, certainly not any Bach 37 I've ever played (and I've played some pretty good ones). Of course, that should be surprising to anyone familiar with my tastes.
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LaTrompeta
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will find consensus that the valve piston action is one of the best out there. They just feel great.
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stumac
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Voltrane,

I have not spent much time with the Eb, only have used it once in Orchestra when we played Beethoven's Wellington"s Victory, I played the French Call and symphony, blended fine with the other players. From memory the part did not go over a written 4th space E for Eb trumpet, I use a period Selmer 4 mouthpiece in all my Radials.

Regards, Stuart.
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Voltrane
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
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Location: Paris (France)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Stumac.
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Je m’empresse d’en rire de peur d’avoir à en pleurer (Beaumarchais)
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jimspeedjae
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Joined: 05 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an Eb/D..actually on my second one.
Regretted getting rid of the first one, it was in amazing condition. As often with these things you start chasing another one straight away!

My current one is in nowhere near the condition of the first one but still plays well. I love the look of them, the way they play and the sound it makes. I'm fond fo the tuning bell Eb's, but they never come close to the character of this horn. I've only ever used it for small ensemble/solo work.

I don't recall having any tuning issues on either of them, but I haven't played it in a while...and to be honest, whatever I pick up right now probably has tuning issues! I'd suggest trying a different mouthpiece.
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Ozzbo
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Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selmer Radials are very underrated horns. Find a good one that has not been beaten to death and you will have a great, versatile vintage horn for all situations.

Ozzy
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