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best years for vintage Strad



 
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bent tubing
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:24 pm    Post subject: best years for vintage Strad Reply with quote

Howdy y'all would any of you Vintage Strad owners no what the best approximate year or years of the vintage Strad would be? Any standard generic answer will do no right or wrong answer no judgement here? Thanks guys and gals? I realize the opinions might be subjective and case by case. Have fun!
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rockford
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: best years for vintage Strad Reply with quote

bent tubing wrote:
Howdy y'all would any of you Vintage Strad owners no what the best approximate year or years of the vintage Strad would be? Any standard generic answer will do no right or wrong answer no judgement here? Thanks guys and gals? I realize the opinions might be subjective and case by case. Have fun!
After the 1961 redesign to ‘64.
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NY/Mt. Vernon Bach Bb, C and D trumpets and cornets. Bach Artisan C, Bach C cornet, Schilke G, Yamaha Eb and piccolo A/Bb, flugelhorn, Monette and Hammond mouthpieces. Peavey Cirrus Bass Guitars. Genz-Benz amps. Embraer 170/175/190
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are probably going to get responses favoring every period.

I have high regard for the Mt. Vernon 180s Bill just answered with which were built Nov. 1962-Dec. 1964 and are quite similar in design to the Early Elkharts built at Main Street in Elkhart from Jan. 1965- some time in the 1973/74 ballpark (there appears to be overlap starting late 1972 with the more modern Elkhart Bach's and their one-piece casings.) Early Elkharts have a steel rim wire unlike the brass rim wire of the Mt. Vernon 180s. The 190s today are intended to resemble Early Elkharts.

But for me, I prefer the so-called "true Mt. Vernon" Bachs, built ca. 1954-Oct./Nov. 1962. The bell is what would be considered a lightweight bell today (which changed with the 180 design) and the length is a tad short, requiring about an inch pull to play in tune. For some reason this loosens (only slightly) the normally strong Bach centering (which comes right back if you push in) which I like, but many others looking for that exact Bach feel will not like.

Then there are those who like the assorted versions of New York Bachs, mostly the post 1933/34 settling on "type E" valves versions with either the really tight wrap, or the significantly-post-WWII wrap that introduced the second brace. These are built of a variety of brass thicknesses - all lighter than the standard today. They respond easier and brighter as a result. Some folks prefer that - especially the Benge crowd.

It can even be argued that the best period for Bach is today (read my piece on recent happenings at Bach at www.trumpet-history.com) as the variety of options offered has never been wider (via Build-a-Bach), and quality has recovered dramatically from its lows at the end of the last century. How you build a Bach will drastically alter how it sounds and feels for you, so finding the best Bach is arguably a matter of choosing correctly from the vast menu.
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jazzvuu
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
You are probably going to get responses favoring every period.


But for me, I prefer the so-called "true Mt. Vernon" Bachs, built ca. 1954-Oct./Nov. 1962. The bell is what would be considered a lightweight bell today (which changed with the 180 design) and the length is a tad short, requiring about an inch pull to play in tune. For some reason this loosens (only slightly) the normally strong Bach centering (which comes right back if you push in) which I like, but many others looking for that exact Bach feel will not like.


I just acquired a bach that is either a 1959 or 1960 Mt. Vernon. I was telling a peer that has a mid 60s 37 that mines felt lighter than his.

Definitely true about the slide pull. I did not mind the feel but the intonation is very off (extreme sharp anything above the staff). I have it at Charlie Melk getting a Blackburn 19 pipe install and other work done. I know it is going to be a great horn that will give me variety to my Yamaha Vizzutti.
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grune
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are your criteria?

Long ago, to join the pro orchestra in my city, ca 1972, I was required to have a Bach Strad, in C and Bb. Then, any Bach horn had to be "mail ordered". I was strongly advised NOT to purchase a used, pre-Elkhart Bach. Reason: the "pre" horns were highly variable, so we had no way of knowing what we were getting used.

So I ordered new from Giardinelli [the purchase problems are a different story]. The Bb Strad arrived first and was thoroughly examined and played by the senior orch trumpeters. I can say honestly, with a Bach 1.5C, this horn sounded and played much better than the older NY and MtV horns those seniors owned. [qualification: when brand new, the valves on my horn were very stiff, and needed additional honing and polishing].

Also, I have always wondered if the brass itself was a different formulation from the "pre" horns. Apparently, Vincent experimented with many formulations and gauges. Post-Selmer takeover, seems Selmer used a grade of brass different from the "pre" horns, and is rumoured to have changed again since 1975.

I am not saying the NY and MtV horns are less than the current ones: only to say the "pre" horns are rumoured to be "variable". Over 40 years, I have compared my horn to many other Strad's, and venture to say mine has a tone and projection few others can match. It's a mystery why.

I think the Bach brand would make a good history project for a college student.
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rockford
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I’d explain why, in general, I personally prefer the last design period before Selmer moved the factory to Elkhart. When Selmer bought the company they “fixed” the short leadpipe issue and settled on the 37 bell as standard. This greatly improved the inherent intonation and tone quality when set to A 440. Standard bell thickness was .020 which is considered lightweight today. This, combined with a standard body, gives a more ringing sound over the previous design. I’m not sure exactly what changed with the valve section but they play more open than previous designs. These are just a few of the changes that Selmer implemented at Mt. Vernon to create the “Superstrad”. Vincent Bach was still a “consultant” in all this. My inference from reading several unpublished letters and documents is that VB was becoming a little difficult and ornery in his old age and didn’t adapt well to not being the final authority on everything. That’s one of the many reasons for moving to Elkhart. Anyway, there are nice instruments from all eras of Bach production and there are some dogs. It’s also important to recognize all the possibilities of what can happen to instruments after they leave the factory. One person’s custom “improvement” can ruin the instrument for someone else.
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Justin_Smith
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of great V. Bach horns from all generations. Try them out and pick the horn that speaks to you.



rockford wrote:
One person’s custom “improvement” can ruin the instrument for someone else.

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James Becker
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rockford wrote:
Anyway, there are nice instruments from all eras of Bach production and there are some dogs. It’s also important to recognize all the possibilities of what can happen to instruments after they leave the factory. One person’s custom “improvement” can ruin the instrument for someone else.


If so called "Monday morning Bachs" or "dogs" exist, why is that? After decades of measuring many samples of Bach trumpets I think we've discovered the answer. Factory oversights and failure to address irregularities in the bore are the source. I doubt very much Vincent Bach ever intended his valves to be misaligned to the degree we've witnessed, or burrs and solder blobs, or severely out of round bell crooks. Faithful execution of the original design rather than swapping components can render a "dog" into a much better instrument, just ask Tom Cupples. http://www.kennedy-center.org/NSO/MTM/Musician/4726

You can read more about our blueprinting service here https://blog.osmun.com/2014/02/01/blueprinting/

The positive feedback we've received from customers has confirmed the effectiveness of our service. Sharing their satisfaction with friends, colleagues and students has resulted in greater requests for for this service.

And Bach trumpets are not he only brand that benefits from our service. Last week I aligned the valves of a high end piccolo trumpet with one valve requiring correction of .040" in the up position. The result of correcting valve misalignment was striking.

I'd like to thank our faithful customers for their continued support.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bach trumpets from the post-WWII period are really variable - to a degree far greater than in the 50's and 60's.
I don't know why, but I have struggled with correcting factory errors from that period to the extent that I know it to be true.
That being said, one of the best Bach trumpets I've ever played came across the bench. After much work, it was pretty amazing, and from the post-WWII era.
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am always amazed at how much people know about a single instrument or brand, but here is my question. As a 27 years Bach player I had always liked my 1992 43GH. However, it became a much better instrument after a massive overhaul in 2015 and one of the posters above just suggested that end-of-the-last-century Bachs may be among the worst Bachs produced and today's instruments are much better again. Is there such a massive difference?

Reason I ask is that I recently played a Martin Schmidt Potsdam Professional Line Bb and this thing is heads and shoulders above the Bach. Playability, sound, intonation, and response are so much better. Of course I now wonder if the same would be true with modern Bachs. Modern as in "from the last few years".
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amzi
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I opt for the early Elkhart horns (65-69). I've played quite a few and still own three--the MLV since it was brand new in 1969. It was and remains the favorite Strad I have played. Of course when I bought it I was told it wasn't as good as a Mt. Vernon and was advised to buy one. Trouble is, I didn't like any of the Mt. Vernons I played. I didn't even like any of the new Strads I played until I played the MLV. Having said this I advise people to buy a new Strad or Artisan (I like the new Artisans better than the new Strads, but that's as much about aesthetics as anything). In 50 years you'll be able to tell people why your Artisan or Strad was built during the best era of Bachs history.
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rockford
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Becker wrote:
rockford wrote:
Anyway, there are nice instruments from all eras of Bach production and there are some dogs. It’s also important to recognize all the possibilities of what can happen to instruments after they leave the factory. One person’s custom “improvement” can ruin the instrument for someone else.


If so called "Monday morning Bachs" or "dogs" exist, why is that?.
Over time, especially over the 100 years since Bach started manufacturing and the 55 years since Bach moved to Elkhart, valves wear down, pads compress, instruments are damaged and repaired, customparts are installed and removed, slides loosen over time, mouthpiece fitting wears down and, of course, manufacturing defects as well as some of the normal design compensations for wear can take effect. Player proficiency and mouthpiece selection can also play a role. Details that matter greatly to a professional level player may be irrelevant to or a hindrance to students and recreational players. Knowing how good a NY or Mt. Vernon Bach trumpet played when it left the factory is tough to determine. I had Charlie Melk fix up one of my short leadpipe Mt.Vernons with his custom reproduction leadpipe semi round tuning slide and longer lower tube as well as fresh pads that restored the valve tolerances to proper specs. No formal alignment was required. I got lucky on that one. It plays well. You, Charlie and a few others do great work restoring these old horns to make them useable again. Keep up the good work!
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NY/Mt. Vernon Bach Bb, C and D trumpets and cornets. Bach Artisan C, Bach C cornet, Schilke G, Yamaha Eb and piccolo A/Bb, flugelhorn, Monette and Hammond mouthpieces. Peavey Cirrus Bass Guitars. Genz-Benz amps. Embraer 170/175/190
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