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Burbank vs. LA Benge


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cavwilli
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Burbank vs. LA Benge Reply with quote

Hello tpters,
I'm new to the world of trumpet herald. Can any of you educated gear-buffs explain the difference in LA versus the Burbank Benge models?
Thanks!
Will
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dallasmusic.org/gearhead/Benge.html
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Burbank vs. LA Benge Reply with quote

cavwilli wrote:
Hello tpters,
I'm new to the world of trumpet herald. Can any of you educated gear-buffs explain the difference in LA versus the Burbank Benge models?
Thanks!
Will


Elden Benge moved from Chicago to Burbank around 1950. This started the Burbank Benge era that saw the rise of the Benge reputation and the further development of its line of trumpets. During the decade of the 1950s, Elden changed to an over/under configuration of the first valve slide and the addition of a thumb saddle, plus the development of the 2x, 2x+, 3x+ and 5x models. The original ML became the 3x and the large bore became the 6x

Elden was killed in 1960. His son, Donald, continued to build horns with the help of Zig Kanstul and (according to his own account) Bob Reeves. About 1969 the factory was moved to downtown Los Angeles and the Burbank era ended.

In about 1972, Donald sold the name and business to King. Zig was hired to run the new Fullerton factory. He stayed until 1979 and the purchase by UMI, who moved the factory to Ohio in about 1982.

The greatest Benge horns are generally those built by Elden in Burbank. Many more great ones were built in Chicago. After his death, more very good horns were built. Some early LA horns I've played we're equal and even superior to some of the Burbank horns, particularly those built in the 1960s.

Not until the move to Ohio, though, did Benge start to lose its "Bengeness". Now owned by Conn-Selmer, the once great name is stuck producing bottom feeder garbage, IMO.

Brian.
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Bruin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian, maybe the next logical question to ask is, "What about the Kanstul Burbank model" still being produced?

I've seen these at Steve's (Horn Trader) website and they look gorgeous. Just wondering if you or anyone else here has had an opportunity to give any of them a play-testing.
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.musicbyjoelill.com/benge/

Joe Lill's website is a trove of Benge information. Check it out.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruin wrote:
Brian, maybe the next logical question to ask is, "What about the Kanstul Burbank model" still being produced?

I've seen these at Steve's (Horn Trader) website and they look gorgeous. Just wondering if you or anyone else here has had an opportunity to give any of them a play-testing.


I have not ever played a Burbank trumpet.

Brian
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mcgovnor
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: THE DIFFERENCE Reply with quote

I have found the Burbank Benge Trumpets have a brighter sound, and a sing throughout the upper end that is hard to find, in any trumpet, ever. Mechanically, I've found them somewhat inconsistent. But a good one is about the best it gets. I believe, it is in the working of the bell, and the time that was taken in both Burbank and Chicago, in working the bell, that is responsible for the response and sound. The early LA horns are also VERY good. Some are even better, in the 10000-13500 range..some very bright with the Burbank response..lightning fast..pliable..cant turn on a dime. I find the LA horns have a more transparent sound than Burbank Benge trumpets.
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cavwilli
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: The "difference" Reply with quote

Thanks all for the helpful info and interesting history lessons. But more specifically, I'm interested in the different playing characteristics- the Benges I've tried all have that nice "singability" in the upper register (some more than others) but, would you say the Burbank is a more desirable horn, for reasons other than it just being older and thus more rare? What is the difference in sound and blend between these horns?

Mc Govnor (or anyone else who wants to answer) what do you mean by "transparent" sound?
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some manufacturing differences, but Benge trumpets didn't change that much between factories. Play before you buy, always.
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Venturi
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your questions are good ones, and entirely understandable.

That said, they are very difficult to answer. We all throw about our learned vocabulary as experienced players (core, presence, projection and so on) and we all give our opinions. We're all "experts," right? The real truth is that there's just no substitute for blowing these horns yourself and seeing what you think of them in your musical world.

Some LA Benges are great. The vast majority of Burbank Benges, in my experience, are great or even better -- some are stellar. Why? I don't know. But I'm glad to have been able to play a bunch of them. As always, considering fine horns, what YOU get is the most important factor. Totally agree with "play before you buy" in yourbrass' post just above.

The Burbank Benges are simply unsurpassed in their ability to color sound as you wish -- from touching and mellow to searing and hot, they respond to anything you put in. Lead? Section? Church? Combo? Quintet? Funk? Rock? Pick a piece that's appropriate for the job ----- and you are ready to COOK.

But this is my experience. Your mileage may vary.
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DavesTrumpet
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Re: THE DIFFERENCE Reply with quote

mcgovnor wrote:
I have found the Burbank Benge Trumpets have a brighter sound, and a sing throughout the upper end that is hard to find, in any trumpet, ever. Mechanically, I've found them somewhat inconsistent. But a good one is about the best it gets. I believe, it is in the working of the bell, and the time that was taken in both Burbank and Chicago, in working the bell, that is responsible for the response and sound. The early LA horns are also VERY good. Some are even better, in the 10000-13500 range..some very bright with the Burbank response..lightning fast..pliable..cant turn on a dime. I find the LA horns have a more transparent sound than Burbank Benge trumpets.


I tend to agree. I've played quite a few Burbanks that belong to friends and have compared them to my own Benges and Kanstul. They seem to have an improved response and have a potential for louder volume you just don't often get with LA Benges. I think too the bells might be a little thinner (and thus, probably the reason they play the way the do!). Having said that, you can't beat a decent LA Benge, it's what Timofei Dokshizer played.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found inner tubing wall changed sometime during the Burbank era. Chicago Benge and some Burbank Benge ML trumpets had .012" wall inner tubes, presumably later changed to .0165" wall. So far I have not run across any LA Benges with the thinner wall slides. FWIW I've also seen two Chicago Benges with nickel inner slides.

Wall thickness and material will impact response and tone quality.

Generally the thinner the wall the quicker the response and your sound will brighten much sooner as you play louder. Only significant down side is greater susceptibility to chemical breakdown. We're currently working on brass replacement inner tubing for these earlier Benges to replace badly etched and broken tubes. Nickel tubing is much more resistant to chemical breakdown but will change the tone quality.

Nickel inner slides tend to produce a "harder" sound with more highs, to some this is a harsher sound than yellow brass. I fitted a CG mouthpipe on my good friend Dan Teager's Chicago ML trumpet that has nickel inner slides. For him it's his ultimate Salsa trumpet, it's like a weapon capable of destroying anything in it's path!

We currently have nickel inner slide tubing availble for Bach LT180ML should anyone be interested in stepping up the brightness of their Bach LT or LR trumpet.

I hope this is helpful.
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EdMann
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the early 70's while in hi school, a lot of Benges came through the section and the fun was seeing who could make a firm finger make the bell ripple. These were all early LA and Burbank horns as I recall, perhaps a CG in the batch, which had very thin bells and ridiculous response. I remember the bright sound even now, and my brother still plays an LA. From everything I heard, and remember, anything from 10000 or less had that sound and response that mcgoverner was talking about.

ed
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cavwilli
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this has been a great discussion. I had no idea Dokshitzer used an LA Benge....pretty interesting if that's true.

What's up Jim Becker! You worked on my Selmer K-mod trumpet a few years back while a student at NEC.

Cheers to all
Will
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DavesTrumpet
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cavwilli wrote:
Wow, this has been a great discussion. I had no idea Dokshitzer used an LA Benge....pretty interesting if that's true.


Sure it's true, an early 1970s MLP in lacquer. Made many recordings with it too.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With expansion of the Benge line to include Medium Large Plus, Large bore and Extra large bore the increased inner slide O.D. makes this possible.

For example MLP at .464" would result in a wall of .0145". CG 6X Large bore at .468" would result in .0125" wall. With introduction of the extra large bore 7X at .470" would end up with .0115" wall. This all makes sense, you surely wouldn't want to go much thinner.
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Jon Arnold
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Burbank Benge 3X and it is a fantastic trumpet.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an eight year old thread but talking about Benge trumpets is always interesting.

I have a Chicago Benge large bore, a Chicago Benge medium large bore, a Burbank Benge 2X, a Burbank Benge 3X, a Burbank Benge 5X, a Burbank Benge 6X and a Los Angeles Claude Gordon (CG) Benge.

One thing I'd like to correct from the posts above relates to the first valve slide. The configuration is the same on all my Benge trumpets. It didn't change from Chicago to Burbank or from Burbank to Los Angeles.

One thing that did change was the angle of the second valve slide. The second valve slide on my Chicago Benge trumpets is angled closer to the valve block than it is on my Burbank and Los Angeles Benge trumpets.

The concept that this, that or some other horn is "better" than some other horn is so subjective and so personal that opinions stated based on "comparisons" should be considered questionable. What I like and the characteristics I think I observe may not match up very well with your likes and the characteristics you observe.

That being said, certainly there were design changes between the Chicago Benge trumpets and the Burbank Benge trumpets. I can see that clearly when I compare my Chicago Benge trumpets to my Burbank Benge trumpets.

When the factory moved to Anaheim (the bell stamp was "Los Angeles" but the factory, at least early on, was in Anaheim) it's my understanding that the design and tooling remained the same as it was for the Burbank Benge trumpets. So, certainly for awhile, I would think that the Los Angeles horns were the same as the Burbank horns in both design and quality.

Ultimately, when Benge was acquired by UMI, the design and quality of the horns changed a lot, so the UMI Benge trumpets are not really the same as the Chicago, Burbank and Los Angeles Benge trumpets.

The Chicago and Burbank Benge trumpets are legendary. That being said, my Los Angeles CG Benge may be the best of the horns I own. It is the easiest (for me) to play and it gets the classic Benge sound (lots of core, overtones, resonance and projection). Disclosure: My Los Angeles Claude Gordon (CG) Benge is from a very early part of the Los Angeles production.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:53 pm    Post subject: Burbank vs. LA Benge Reply with quote

I had an LA Benge 5 serial number 104xx and it compared equally with the Burbank model I played in the 80s. The day I bought the Benge I tried it and three Bach Strads. Two 37s, and a 43. They were all good horns but I never rergretted buying the Benge.
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Yamahaguy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
This is an eight year old thread but talking about Benge trumpets is always interesting.
Completely agree! I really enjoy talking all things Benge- models, history,
and playing characteristics.
Reminds me of many fond conversations with Byron Autrey and his time in
Burbank. He said those trumpets were the most consistent and were some of
the best ever made! Some LA's were very good also, and I have a few that are
really special. They are are lighter than my Burbanks and tend to have a bit
more shimmer. But there is such wonderful range of colors in just about all of
them, including the Chicago!
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