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Opinions on buying a custom horn online

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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
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Location: Virginia USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting discussion and I thank the contributors for the informative comments.

The one thing I would add to this is that a custom horn can be an option is some special cases, particularly where what you want is not on the market. In the case of Bb trumpets, there are so many possibilities out there, it is hard to imagine that something cannot be tweaked a little to meet your needs. You would need to have very special needs and know a lot about trumpet making to be able to order a custom horn outside of what is made and how it can be tweaked. But it is certainly not out of the question.
Another point is defining exactly what a custom trumpet is. Most custom makers already have a basic design or design parameters for numerous different variables that customers want. They change some parts, some parameters, etc., but rarely do they make a totally unknown horn. There is definitely a blur between boutique (which I would consider a horn made by a maker using his/her own parameters) and a custom horn in which the buyer has input (which can vary greatly in degree).
Case in point is my natural trumpet, which was custom made for me. The maker had come up with a very good replica design for a very highly praised 18th century instrument, working the dimensions, etc., precisely and coming up with an affordable way to make it (leaving off some expensive decorations). Then comes my input, key of the corpus and other playability and sound qualities I wanted. My ideas were incorporated without compromising the qualities known to the maker. (If you need a natural trumpet I can highly recommend this young maker, Nikolai Mänttäri Morales. https://www.mmhistoricbrass.com/ though it will be a bit of a wait.) So I see the custom process as one where the maker, using his/her knowledge creates a special horn for you that will play the way you want. Each horn is made to order, but there is definitely some basis for the horn. Working with a maker like this can be a very rewarding experience. Perhaps this is not custom as some people define custom.
Bb: Schilke X3L AS SP, Yamaha YTR-6335S
C: Kanstul 1510-2
Picc: Kanstul 920
Bb Bugle: Kanstul
Bb Pocket: Manchester Brass
Flugel: Taylor Standard
Natural Tr: Custom Haas replica by Nikolai Mänttäri Morales
Baroque Tr: Altenburg
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