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ACB Doubler's Piccola Trumpet


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thecoast
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:26 pm    Post subject: ACB Doubler's Piccola Trumpet Reply with quote

My impressions:

--If you "like" the horn on Reverb, it will make you an offer for less. I think it was a floor model because the condition was mint rather than new. --Customer service was pleasant, but kinda dragged their feet in sending the horn 3 business days after it was paid for. However, Reverb policy allows for this. Read the fine print.
--They send you a video of your horn with somebody playing it before it's sent. Not quite sure that's a good thing or a bad thing.
--When you open the case, it smells like a Chinese horn. Cause is obvious.
--Valves looked misaligned upon close inspection from the side. As in the second one was sitting a little higher than all the rest. Which made it look like a Chinese horn.
--Valve action is great!
--Looks nice.
--Plays in tune when you get used to it.

I wanted a perfect horn so I returned it because the second valve looking wonky.
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puzzleheadedcow
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend has one and likes it a lot. I can't play that small horn at all so I cannot comment but I have played some of their floogals and they are really good I think

For $900 what are you expecting?

It's made in China. What are you Expecting?

And to be weird about a video they sent you? What other company does that for their customers. Seems like you were expecting a miracle or a Schilke for $900 (or probably less).

To summarize:
Sounds good, looks good, plays in tune... sends back for an imperfection. Got it.


Good luck

-PHC
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F.E. Olds Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to reevaluate your expectations. ACB is one to the best in the business and they go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service.
The ACB Doubler Piccolo is priced to be accessible to everyone.

Like the poster above, were you expecting a $3000 Schilke or Scherzer?
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Rwwilson
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trent Austin left this forum a while back because of posts like this that maligned his business for no good reason.
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poketrum
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“When you open the case, it smells like a Chinese horn. Cause is obvious.”

I can’t even begin to fathom what this is supposed to mean.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poketrum wrote:
“When you open the case, it smells like a Chinese horn. Cause is obvious.”

I can’t even begin to fathom what this is supposed to mean.

I was curious about that too. What does a Chinese horn smell like? I am pretty sure that isn’t a thing but I have been wrong before.

I’m also surprised that the horn was shipped with the valves at a different height. I understood that Trent believes that his normal process of going over the horns he imports and sells is a major part of his business’ value add.
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mike ansberry
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes when you align the valves perfectly the finger buttons don't quite line up. Especially on less expensive horns. So the hight of the finger buttons does not necessarily indicate bad valve alignment. How it plays is what is important.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mike ansberry wrote:
Sometimes when you align the valves perfectly the finger buttons don't quite line up. Especially on less expensive horns. So the hight of the finger buttons does not necessarily indicate bad valve alignment. How it plays is what is important.

Good point. I initially read the OP as stating the ports didn’t line up, and then realized it was only the buttons. And then promptly forgot again in my above post.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At these prices I'd never expect perfect. But I have little doubt that ACB would address the problem if given the chance.

FWIW my son's ACB doubler flugel has been terrific. And I really appreciated the TLC for the transaction including the video play test they sent.
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thecoast
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fellas, fellas. It's OK. It is a given that we will not always see eye to eye. Here or anywhere.

I'm glad I tried the horn. It was a good experience. I'd do it again.

FWIW, I ended up buying a Getzen 940S instead. Good price for a pro horn made in 'Murika.
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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rwwilson wrote:
Trent Austin left this forum a while back because of posts like this that maligned his business for no good reason.

It's probably because I'm not a native speaker that I'm missing something; but could you explain what makes this comment malign rather than simply someone sharing their experience?

--Customer service was pleasant
--Valve action is great!
--Looks nice.
--Plays in tune when you get used to it.

And a apparently a good return policy too.

That's a lot of positives for ACB right?
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thecoast
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've bought a number of Chinese instruments over the years. The only Chinese horns that haven't smelled like that are the Condor flugel and the John Packer tenor horn. I've never had an odor complaint about an American-made or Japanese-made horn. Not to say they don't have their own idiosyncratic odors--mainly dependent on the lubricants they use--but it's just a peculiar Chinese chemical fragrance. Not saying it's necessarily bad, but definitely strong.

It's nice when a few people see I was expressing my mostly good impressions about Mr. Austin's picc. Just wasn't for me. Something musical doesn't feel right? I gotta go with my gut. 'Tis all. I do admire the loyalty to Trent. Very nice to see that.
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—Yamaha 631G flugelhorn w/ Warburton 1FLX
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—King 627 “baritonium”
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poketrum
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst smelling new horns I’ve owned, in no particular order:
Getzen Eterna II 700S
Phaeton pocket trumpet (Hoxon Gakki a.k.a. Carol)
Kessler pocket trumpet (same as Phaeton)
JP Rath alto trombone
Jinbao alto trombone
Mack (Jinbao) tuba

I’ll let the reader determine the country of manufacture, if that’s important.

In each case, the case was the culprit due to chemical odors emitted from resin, foam, glue or lining material and had to be isolated, bagged and later discarded as soon as it was determined the horn would not be returned. The horn had to be cleaned thoroughly and lubricated before use.

No offensive or discernible odor:
Thomann (Jinbao?) calvary trumpet
Carol Brass soprano trombone (2 of these)
Yamaha trumpet, made in, wait for it… China. I played it right out of the case, which I still own.

It’s possible the cases were made in countries different from the horns themselves. I don’t know and don’t care.

It’s nonsensical to make generalizations about anyone or anything based on country of origin, including manufacture.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poketrum, it sounds like the cases you are talking about were all related to offgassing, maybe because they were new instruments in new cases. I've bought a number of Carol/Taiwanese instruments, but most were new old stock or second hand, and they didn't have an odor. I also have a Mack Brass euphonium that had no smell (at least by the time it got to me).

I did buy a mystery piccolo from reverb once that was supposedly of Korean origin but I am guessing was Indian. It had a petroleum/oil smell to it and showed signs of rust. I returned it.

Piccolo is a tough one to get right. I hope the Getzen works out for the OP. I do find the small piccolos harder to play.
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poketrum
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off gassing indeed, which contaminated the horns. I made the mistake of keeping a Sshhmute in one of the Carol pocket trumpet cases and it was ruined.

My point (such as it was) was that ascribing a “chemical fragrance” to an instrument’s country of manufacture is ridiculous.
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thecoast
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poketrum wrote:
Off gassing indeed, which contaminated the horns. I made the mistake of keeping a Sshhmute in one of the Carol pocket trumpet cases and it was ruined.

My point (such as it was) was that ascribing a “chemical fragrance” to an instrument’s country of manufacture is ridiculous.


It is indeed ridiculous. Which means laughable. As I evidently failed to point out clearly, each manufacturer has their idiosyncrasies. American manufacturers just have different ones. And though I attributed the peculiar odor to lubricants, I am indebted to the poster who suggested the aromas originated in the cases. Either way, I’ve not encountered elsewhere the specific chemical effluvium of most of the Chinese horns I’ve tried. Maybe John Packer uses different lubricants (mine came with an American brand lube), and different case manufacturing techniques (my tenor horn case is one of the nicest I’ve owned and had just the “typical new” smell). But I only described *my* experience, and the chemical emanations of specific country of origin is part of that experience. I haven’t tried any Indian horns. I bought two Czech (Amati) instruments: their top of the line flugel; and their pro trumpet which was stenciled by Giardinelli. They smelled different, new, but nothing like the majority of the Chinese horns I’ve bought. Nothing necessarily wrong with any of those things. Just my experience.
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—Yamaha 631G flugelhorn w/ Warburton 1FLX
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—King 627 “baritonium”
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also bought a lot of the lower priced Chinese horns about 12 years ago, when one seller would put horns on auctions starting at a penny. Most were obtained for less than $40. I found if a horn I was curious about was ending well after midnight, it was possible to get it very cheaply. I tried a lot of pics and flugelhorns and Eb's. But I digress.

They all had the same style of expanded foam (Styrofoam) case with a nylon shell. The worst olfactory offending horn was a piccolo trumpet. My wife accused me of being part bloodhound, so I sniffed around the case until I tracked it to the removable straps, for what it is worth.

I have a glassed in back porch that gets really hot in the Texas summer, and hung the strap on the wall for a long time. I left the case open on the back porch for about a week, and it became more bearable. Besides the carrying strap, there are reinforcing straps and zipper reinforcements on these cases, as well.

I assume the worst of the smell on these cases is a result of some type of sizing applied to stiffen the strapping material.

While I did find a few somewhat more tolerable pics and quite serviceable flugelhorn, the Eb's C's etc were awful. The only horns I kept from that safari were a C cornet (as a novelty) and a Db trumpet (an awful contraption that was an Eb body with a C bell attached). I rolled them off on eBay, or to other curious players. There were a few that were unplayable, due to wrong parts and getting replacement parts took months!

As a result of my safari, I think ACB offering upgrades and quality control service is worth more than the cost in time and frustration, not to mention mouthpiece guidance. BTW, my current flugelhorn is the ACB doubler. When I got it, I sold my Yamaha 632 gold brass bell horn.
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thecoast
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

huntman10 wrote:
BTW, my current flugelhorn is the ACB doubler. When I got it, I sold my Yamaha 632 gold brass bell horn.


Sold the Yammy flugel. Impressive statement about the ACB flugel.

A buddy of mine bought the ACB flugel and he let me try it. I love the mellow sound. I'm sorely tempted to sell my Condor to get one of those. I want to sell it before buying the ACB, so that might take some doing. The Condor is actually a really decent horn, but it is brighter than I like. More so from about C on the staff on up. But it works well in a flugelhorn trio piece where I'm playing lead. For the curious, the piece is called "Adoramus Te, Christe" by Gasparini, and we play it in E minor. Beautiful piece. It's a quiet, meditative composition, so the flugels do it justice. My lowest note is the F# on the space and the highest is an A above the staff. But I think the warmer sound of the ACB would be even better.
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—Yamaha 631G flugelhorn w/ Warburton 1FLX
—John Packer JP272 tenor horn w/Denis Wick 3
—Yamaha YTS-354 trombone
—King 627 “baritonium”
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a specific case that the Bach tr300h2 came in that always reminded me of the smell of uncooked macaroni.
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thecoast
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Divitt Trumpets wrote:
There is a specific case that the Bach tr300h2 came in that always reminded me of the smell of uncooked macaroni.



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—Yamaha 631G flugelhorn w/ Warburton 1FLX
—John Packer JP272 tenor horn w/Denis Wick 3
—Yamaha YTS-354 trombone
—King 627 “baritonium”
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