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B&S Challenger 3137 / 1



 
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napoorsocapo
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Joined: 05 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:33 am    Post subject: B&S Challenger 3137 / 1 Reply with quote

I ask if there is any specialized technician who can answer me. A craftsman horn manufacturer told me that the mechanics (valve pistons) of the B&S Challenger 3137/1 are made of materials that make the sound ugly, not up to the Bach 180. Everything else on the horn is ok, the real problem is the mechanics of this trumpet. Bach's mechanics are clearly superior and greatly influence the sound.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that any overly simplistic statement like that should be discounted on its face.

I personally believe that there are a great many design and fabrication issues that make the typical B&S Challenger what I recently called it here, a "faded xerox" of a Bach. But the material in the pistons has little to do with it.

There is, of course, a shred of truth to this otherwise flimsy statement, and that is that typical B&S horns are built with thinner lighter casings than the typical Bach (notice I keep saying typical). This difference in mass within the system as a whole does impact certain inertias and thus the feel and ease of playing. Tone? maybe, but as a consequence of other issues, not a case like the alloy of a bell having different dampening characteristics.

I have not weighed any, but the pistons feel a little lighter to me too. Perhaps Mr. Becker or some others could comment.

You can, of course, add weighted caps - as many do.

The B&S horns have many design elements that set them apart from Bach, and to my mind, negatively so. In particular, I feel the simplification of Bach tapers found in a B&S horn leaves something to be desired - but that's a subjective opinion, not a fact of physics. It is important to remember that we are all different, and there will be people for whom those (often less expensive) elements of design happen to work out.

The strategy of Buffet-Crampon (the Meinl family) thus far has been to grow market share by buying and killing off superior competitors (Blessing/Sonare, Courtois) rather than by making an exceptional product. Bach, on the other hand, remains true to their namesake's vision of providing diversity in options and individual builds to help each player find the perfect fit. Automation is used today there to standardize those things where it helps of course, but the hand processes preserve that unique element of Bach that makes it a true high-end, and often very individual, horn.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

napoorsocapo wrote:
I ask if there is any specialized technician who can answer me. A craftsman horn manufacturer told me that the mechanics (valve pistons) of the B&S Challenger 3137/1 are made of materials that make the sound ugly, not up to the Bach 180. Everything else on the horn is ok, the real problem is the mechanics of this trumpet. Bach's mechanics are clearly superior and greatly influence the sound.


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Last edited by Crazy Finn on Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son has been on a B&S Challenger for several years and sounds just fine to my ears. When compared side by side he definitely prefers my Bach because he considers it noticeably easier to play.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I better just emphasize:

The OP restated an opinion that had been given him. I stated my opinions on the matter. There will be those with differing opinions based on personal experience.

I encourage everyone to remember that we are all different - Dizzy played best on a horn with a crunched bell after all.
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Vince.Green
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m sure there are as many opinions as players. The Challenger I while made as a Bach style horn is lighter, I’d say right between a standard weight Bach and a lightweight. The Challenger II is more like a standard Bach. I’ve played Bach and Yamaha for years and recently played a B&S Challenger I as my main Bb for 2 years. I found it to be a fantastic instrument. Keep in mind that many great players use these instruments when they could choose any horn they like (Phil Cobb, princ in LSO comes to mind). I think I would take your repair techs opinion as just one of many, certainly not a mainstream view.
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Brianjones
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Joined: 09 Feb 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: B&S Challenger 3137 / 1 Reply with quote

napoorsocapo wrote:
I ask if there is any specialized technician who can answer me. A craftsman horn manufacturer told me that the mechanics (valve pistons) of the B&S Challenger 3137/1 are made of materials that make the sound ugly, not up to the Bach 180. Everything else on the horn is ok, the real problem is the mechanics of this trumpet. Bach's mechanics are clearly superior and greatly influence the sound.

Hi
I’m not quite sure what your “craftsman horn manufacturer” thinks the B&S valve sets and Bach valve sets are made of. My understanding of both is that they both use brass for the lower valve casings (for the most part) and both use Monel for the actual valves. I don’t see how the materials can make the sound ugly, and i don’t think Malcolm McNabb, Chris Jaudes and Phil Cobb sound ugly on their B&S instruments.

Also it is an odd comparison to make. The Challenger 1 Is less than half the price of the Bach Strad in the UK and is priced at less than the Bach VBS 1 model.

I don’t have problem with either of these manufacturers and own and have owned a number of trumpets from both of them.

All the best

Brian jones
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TrptSTP
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tech and trumpet player here. I know exactly what "craftsman horn manufacturer" you're talking about. And, no. The B&S Challenger I is a great horn. The fit and finish, including the valves, are better that the vast majority of Bachs that I've either played or worked on. For the record, I play Bach trumpets. The rounder bend on the Challenger I bell changes the blow (for me).

Also, the Laskey/Pinc trumpets had B&S valvesets IIRC. I don't think that Scott Laskey (RIP) would EVER put out a substandard product. Your source is plain incorrect.
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in B&S country and have never heard anything like B&S valves make the sound muddy. Lotsa people playing their horns over here and I know of at least one boutique maker using B&S valves for his custom horns. My favorite B&S horn is the FBX (in fact, this is my favorite flugelhorn, period) but I don’t play enough flugel to justify buying one.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some knowledge of B&S Challenger trumpets in as much as over a five year period as trumpet tester for Sonare trumpets, the 800 and 900 series Bb were essentially dressed up Challenger 1 trumpets with enhancements. Namely an exclusive Blackburn leadpipe and mouthpiece, patented MicroLok valve guides, cryogenic treatment. As for wall thickness, the slide tubing was thicker than Bach as were the valve casings. The Blackburn pipe and main tuning crook and bell were slightly thinner wall than Bach, allowing for more immediate response.

As for the demise of Blessing-Sonare, in my view was self inflicted. The resources that were put into producing a high end hand made saxophone sunk that ship. But that’s my take.

The fit and finish of B&S, Hoyer and Scherzer brass instruments are top shelf, holding their own to any other.

My two cents.
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