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Rudy Mück Citation

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:55 pm    Post subject: Rudy Mück Citation Reply with quote

I have the opportunity to buy a Rudy Mück Citation. Would this be a horn worth buying? The starting bid is pretty cheap. I've seen them sell for a decent amount on Reverb.

Sam G.
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Christian K. Peters
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:55 pm    Post subject: Rudy muck Reply with quote

Welcome to the TH. Do some research on Ridy Muck. I believe the 4 digit serial number horns were made in the same building as the Early Bach trumpets with some Bach parts. Some are pretty good players for the day.
Christian K. Peters
Schilke Loyalist since 1976
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muck horns are an interesting and little understood topic. While Muck started out building horns that closely resemble New York Bachs, one important distinction to note is that at a time Bach was building very light bells, Muck chose to make them heavy. He and Bach had very different concepts in that regard.

Here is an excerpt from "A Timeline of Trumpets" pages 181-182:

Rudy’s father, J.R. Mück was an immigrant from a Moravian family that had been building brass instruments since 1875. Rudy himself had been born in Moravia in 1907, coming to the US with his family in 1911. Rudy played professionally in New York City as well as his work in the shop that opened sometime in the 1920s. The cushion-rim mouthpiece business launched around 1932, with the hand building of trumpets having already been underway as an extension of the instrument repair and customizing business. But when J.R Muck retired in 1936, Rudy set out to significantly expand as a maker.

With knowledge of the Bach design, as well as access to some of the craftsmen and all of the parts suppliers, Muck was well situated to build his “Citation” model trumpets as New York Bach clones. What is interesting is the variety of parts sources Muck employed. The valves of most appear to be from Blessing, as Bach also used on some of his horns, and the detailing of many of the casings is a stylized abstraction of the Bach appearance. Many horns feature the Bach stop rod on third with Bach posts, which to the present day are made in the Bach factory, suggesting that Bach actually supplied Muck parts at times. In the same location however, one can find distinctive Blessing posts or a third maker’s short ball posts, without any pattern other than the horns seemed to be built with what was available that day.

It appears that Muck assembled horns rather than making them. Blessing played a key role as a parts supplier throughout the time Rudy Muck owned the business. There are, however, also horns, particularly the “M” series models that have strong indications of being partially or completely assembled by Monke in Germany. While a few even have distinctive Monke valve casings, most still show the same stylized Bach turning. What is interesting is that Blessing valves, Blessing posts, two different styles of valve cap, and many other elements appear mixed-in randomly from horn to horn on these otherwise strongly Monke horns. It is possible that some were stencil and some were built in New York from parts – but equally plausible that Muck was shipping Blessing and Bach parts to Germany for their supplier to use, preserving both the look, and the random hand-built feel, of their product.

Muck serial numbers have baffled all who have tried to make sense of them. Muck instruments appear with no numbers, with 4-digit numbers, with 5-digit numbers and with two groupings of 6-digit serial numbers. However, the known sale dates of many of these horns all overlap. This is particularly true after Rudy Muck sold the business to Carl Fischer around 1950. Fischer already owned JW York in Grand Rapids Michigan, and that immediately added another parts supplier to the mix. While nothing can be proven conclusively, the 4-digit sequence seems to span the duration of the Muck Company under both owners and is likely the “core” serial number sequence. The 5-digit numbers align with Blessing part numbers during the period and may have come along with the valves, or perhaps, as can be seen in a handful of obvious Artists and Super-Artist stencils, with completed horns built under contract. The first block of 6-digit numbers aligns with York serials after the Fischer sale. The second block, appear to exist primarily on some of the “M” models, which also have 4-digit numbers routinely, and may be connected to Monke, though Monke does not seem to have had a rigid numbering system for their stencil work.

Thanks to the recollections of Niles Eldredge regarding his high school trumpet, a 4-digit 1959 Citation with the more elaborate but far rarer valve caps, we know that Fischer was procuring some Muck parts in the 50s from its York operation and Mario Marcone was assembling the finished product in New York at a Fischer facility. The York sourced valves are visually indistinguishable from Blessing sourced product, but York had a long history of making precise stencil product when contracted to do so.
Ron Berndt

2017 Austin Winds Stage 466
1962 Mt. Vernon Bach 43
1954 Holton 49 Stratodyne
1927 Conn 22B
1957 Holton 27 cornet
1985 Yamaha YEP-621
1975 Yamaha YEP-321 Custom
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends. The only worth-while Citations are the 4 digit NY Strad copies but then again, their value has declined over the recent years...
Sure, I've got a few horns...
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Location: Wurtsboro, New York

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:37 am    Post subject: Muck Trumpets Reply with quote

Muck trumpets really are a difficult subject. The earliest pre-WWII ads show trumpets that look like Blessing Super Artists and a number of them have been found with five digit serial numbers that would match with this time for Blessing. I also was told by Rudy Muck, Jr that his father was friends with Carl Blessing.

Unfortunately, he was too young to know anything about the origins except that in the late 1950s, his father had to fly to Italy to take care of quality problems. My guess is that these were the less expensive models that Fischer advertised like the Academy. With Carl Fischer involved there are probably Italian and German origins to these horns. I found one Orsi trumpet marked with Fischer's name so that could be his Italian source.

My own experience is that the four digit Bach copies are really well made and nice sounding horns but no relation to Bach products unless he used some parts like valve caps and finger rings. I have had two Citations in the 2k range from the late 1950s that played well and look a lot like the York 75th anniversary models. At least the valves look like they came from the same source. Even the Bach copies have the same valve block with two rings and don't look anything like the real Bachs.

I have no experience playing the less expensive models
Soli Deo Gloria
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