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Advice on buying a Vintage Cornet


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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Conn 80A is more like a trumpet. It won't do for what you want."

I have a Conn 80A and use a Curry VC mouthpiece and it works just fine for me in trad music. I will qualify it by saying that by "trad", I prefer a more Bix Beiderbecke-type sound. I don't consider that "trumpety". But it is, well, "Bix-ish")

The OP is not looking for a cornet to use in a BBB but for trad jazz.
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Last edited by kehaulani on Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Arnold
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an Olds Ambassador from the 1950's that plays very well and was recently serviced for sale.
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Dennis78
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bach cr310 is not a cheap horn! It’s actually a fantastic horn. The Olds Ambassador is also a fine cornet. The Conn 80A will do close to anything you need it to do, I feel though it’s not really cornet enough and I can’t articulate on it as well as a normal wrap cornet. I can’t get along with any King instrument and have heard mixed reviews on the old Directors-more good than bad.
Sure better deals will come along but probably not till after you’ve already bought a different cornet.
Just choose one and roll with it
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a few different ones
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my take on some of the cornets mentioned:

Olds Ambassador - an ok cornet, sort of middle of the road, but the older ones need a special mouthpiece (or an original Olds) to fit the receiver correctly. The later ones (from about 1957-up) have a standard mouthpiece receiver, but aren't regarded as highly.

Conn Director - good instrument, fairly thin brass construction (easily dented), plays really bright. I've always said it was a better trumpet than the real Director trumpet.

Conn 80A - sort of a cross between a cornet and trumpet, plays well, but has a mouthpiece size problem similar to the Olds Anbassador. Any that are older than about 1960 will need a custom mouthpiece (or an original Conn) to fit the receiver correctly.

King Master Model - plays very well, but is a really bright-sounding instrument. Sounds more like a trumpet than a cornet.

Now, before anyone says you can use a big, deep, open cornet mouthpiece to richen the sound of a bright cornet, yes that works fine. Here's the glitch in that approach...the bigger, deeper, and more open mouthpiece you use for "that sound", the more demanding it will be to play. If you're used to playing average size trumpet mouthpieces, your endurance and upper range will be greatly diminished and a lot of correct practice is required to reach a comfort level with it. It's much better to buy a cornet that naturally has a big, rich cornet tone with a less radical mouthpiece than to try to tame a really bright cornet with a big mouthpiece you're not comfortable with.
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adc
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Location: Elizabethtown PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale Proctor wrote:
It's much better to buy a cornet that naturally has a big, rich cornet tone with a less radical mouthpiece than to try to tame a really bright cornet with a big mouthpiece you're not comfortable with.

This!!!!!
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dladore
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale...what would you recommend in the $250-$300 range? I do like the idea of a Getzen. There are two 300's available in my price range.

Dan
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dladore wrote:
Dale...what would you recommend in the $250-$300 range? I do like the idea of a Getzen. There are two 300's available in my price range.

Dan


Well, I spoke of some of the cornets I’ve had experience with. The Getzen isn’t one I have played enough to really have a solid opinion of. The one I played recently seemed to be a decent instrument, though. Too bad I just sold my Conn 76A - it was a really good intermediate cornet in great condition and it went for just $125...
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"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away ." - Sir Thomas Beecham
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A helpful resource when choosing a vintage cornet is the information available when you search “player/horn combination” on the web and you can see which players preferred which horns.

Not saying you’re going to sound the same as those guys because everyone’s sound is unique, but knowing what cornet Wild Bill Davison or Warren Vache ad others played will point you in the right direction.
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