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Bach 184ML is a chameleon



 
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Louise Finch
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 4:01 am    Post subject: Bach 184ML is a chameleon Reply with quote

Hi

I decided to take my Bach 184ML cornet to my jazz band last night, which is a slightly smaller than big band set up, in which we play light jazz and American songbook classics, swing and latin.

I used to use this cornet as my primary horn, and I had forgotten how versatile it was. It sounded nice and cornet like for Misty, but it has plenty of power, in fact a huge dynamic range. This is a surprisingly powerful cornet.

I'm using a James R New modular top copy of the cup end of my favourite trumpet Bach 3C (a 2005 version that is larger in terms of cup diameter than a lot of Bach 1 1/2s), in a Kanstul modular mouthpiece system style blank, which has more mass at the bottom of the cup, combined with a Kanstul B10 backbore.

I'm using the same on trumpet, but instead a sleeved James R New backbore, which is Jim New's version of a standard Bach 10 backbore (Most likely it is the same as a Kanstul B10 trumpet backbore), with a James R New 6.5 sleeve.

My opinion of my Bach 184ML when I used to play it in concert bands, was that it was cornet like enough for traditional cornet solos, but plays like a warm, rich trumpet when pushed.

My opinion remained yesterday. I brought my Yamaha Neo to my jazz band once (along with my trumpet), and apart for playing a few ballads, it did not work at all. The sound was naturally too broad and cornet like, and I had to work hard to get sufficient brightness and core to the sound. This was not the case with the Bach 184ML.

I've often wondered what the Bach 181ML is like, as I feel that the Bach 184ML is the most trumpet like short model cornet that I've ever played.

Take care and best wishes

Lou
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Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Christian K. Peters
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 8:25 am    Post subject: Bach 184 Reply with quote

Hello Lou,
I would imagine that the 181ML would be mouthpiece sensitive enough to sound more trumpety. The Schilke A1 I had, could be that way also. A friend of mine who played in Hawai'i for a number of years, told that one of the symphonie players there played an A1 for all the shows that came to Honolulu. I would think that the A2, which is also a long model would do the same. My point being, that American long model cornets, ended up by being compromising instruments, in their construction. Whereas the British short model instruments kept the original cornet features of the late 19th century.
On a coinciding note, the instruments and players on either side of the pond have a very different concept of sound, which may have had some bearing on a change of construction, through the 30's-50's, here in the states. Just a personal thought, as I have developed over the last 20 years, playing in a brass band here on the west coast.
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou,

I begin to feel I know you from your posts.

I "made my bones" on a Strad 181 37 ML back in the 1960's. I traded it off for a Getzen 4 valve flugelhorn back in 1971, in my years of deluding myself that I could make a living on my limited musical prowess! But I loved that cornet so much, I still remember it was serial number 31580 (within the first few months of the move to Elkhart). My playing abilities never panned out but my horn trading and testing have been a pretty good "side hustle". As a result, I have owned and enjoyed a lot of cornets and trumpets, and have never been without a 181 Strad for more than a month since (with a penchant for the very earliest Elkhart or late Mt Vernons).

My current 181 serial number is in the 70,000's, making it "early Elkhart" by any definition. It is a bit brighter than some I have had (probably due to the apparent heavy buffing the bell got before I received it). I have held on to this for about 15 years, and treated it to a nice silver plating.

I play in a large municipal band of up to 100 players. For about 10 years, our band has played "Sleigh Ride" for our concert, and though I usually play 2nd trumpet stand (an all trumpet section, BTW), I have always played the trumpet lead on the arrangement. Although I usually rotate through several of my trumpets in band, I always pull out my 181 for that concert, and it will play right through the band. I usually use either my 1B Bach with Reeves 43.5 rim, or an old 1 1/2 C mouthpiece.

So my first point is, the 181ML has the same 37 bell as your 180, albeit with a longer lead pipe and shorter bell tail. Vincent Bach was a cornet soloist of some renown in Europe before emigrating to the US. I feel his goal in the development of his cornet (the 181 classification was part of the Selmer merger) was to create an instrument that could negotiate the highly technical solos of the time with grace, clarity, and great flexibility, while playing over a large band. A departure from the British cornets

I think my point is that my 181ML plays pretty close to your 180 ML 37. Perhaps with a bit of what Bach wrote of as a "compact tone", depending more or less on mouthpiece. I will say I have never liked short shanked big orifice mouthpieces like most Wicks in the 181's I had.

I have owned and played the model 184 and 184G ML (admittedly not in anything more that section playing with trumpets) and agree totally with your assessment of its character. So I suggest you might keep an eye out for the 181 25L or 181M31, both of which I have had brief "flings" with. The L bore has a wee bit of "beast" to its tone and projection, perhaps due to the fact that Bach created his large bore by simply using thinner wall (lighter) tubing. The M bore seems to have a bit of a vocal like "lilt" to its character (similar to the good old King brass bell Master models). I recently had an M bore Mt Vernon the local university jazz teachers just had to buy from me, BTW.

My tuppence worth!
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huntman10
Collector/Player of Fine (and not so fine) Brass Instruments including
Various Strads, Yammies, Al Hirt Courtois, Schilkes,
Selmer 25, Getzen Eternas, Kanstuls (920 Pic, CG)
Martin Custom Large Bore, Lots Olds!, Conns, etc.
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Oncewasaplayer
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I have a 181ML (37 bell) and a Schilke A1. Both are mouthpiece sensitive. I have set them both up with mouthpieces in order to play traditional New Orleans jazz. That means I am encouraging a trumpety sound. Blow and you get some edge; back off and you'll find more cornet richness. If you keep the cornet sound dark and buttery, it is lost in a noisy band in a club. So adding some edge can be helpful, allowing you to to survive three hour gigs. (I'll note that trad players on the West Coast tend to play cornets and in New Orleans they tend to play trumpets.)

If I use the Curry BBB mouthpiece, I do get a nice, dark sound on both horns, perhaps more so on the A1 horn. Would that sound blend in a BBB? Not sure. Your mileage will vary.
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Louise Finch
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Joined: 10 Aug 2012
Posts: 5464
Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Bach 184 Reply with quote

Christian K. Peters wrote:
Hello Lou,
I would imagine that the 181ML would be mouthpiece sensitive enough to sound more trumpety.

Hi Christian

Quite likely. My Bach 184ML sounds like a warm, rich trumpet when played like a trumpet, so I imagine that the 181ML is like this and more so.


The Schilke A1 I had, could be that way also. A friend of mine who played in Hawai'i for a number of years, told that one of the symphonie players there played an A1 for all the shows that came to Honolulu. I would think that the A2, which is also a long model would do the same. My point being, that American long model cornets, ended up by being compromising instruments, in their construction. Whereas the British short model instruments kept the original cornet features of the late 19th century.
On a coinciding note, the instruments and players on either side of the pond have a very different concept of sound, which may have had some bearing on a change of construction, through the 30's-50's, here in the states. Just a personal thought, as I have developed over the last 20 years, playing in a brass band here on the west coast.

All very interesting, thanks very much.

Obviously the Bach 184ML is a short model cornet, but it is in my opinion very much an American style short model cornet, and pretty different from a typical British Brass Band short model cornet, such as the Bessons and Yamahas.

Take care and best wishes

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Dale Proctor
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Joined: 26 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all the Christmas trumpet playing was over, I’ve been practicing my Bach 184G with a Bach 10-1/2C mouthpiece lately (Oh, the humanity!). I’m shocked how easy it is to play with that mouthpiece. I played trumpet on a 10-1/2C back in the 1970s and early ‘80s before switching to larger sizes, so the mouthpiece is still somewhat familiar to me.

Ever with that smaller mouthpiece, there’s still a richness to the sound on the large bore 184G, but I can push it to the point where there’s an edge to it, too. The C cup on the 10-1/2C is fairly deep, so that’s a plus. I haven’t tried it with a group yet to determine if the intonation jives with the other players in the section, but if the roads aren’t too icy tomorrow, I may get my chance. As insurance, I’ll be bringing along my Bach 3, which is a known quantity.

EDIT: The intonation on the 184G was a little squirrley with the 10-1/2C today. I’m sure some of it can be attributed to the guy sitting next to me though… . Anyway, the combination is workable, but I’ll have to get a little more comfortable with it to use that setup, which is mainly suited to playing the cornet on trumpet parts in a mixed trumpet/cornet section.
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Louise Finch
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Joined: 10 Aug 2012
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale Proctor wrote:
After all the Christmas trumpet playing was over, I’ve been practicing my Bach 184G with a Bach 10-1/2C mouthpiece lately (Oh, the humanity!). I’m shocked how easy it is to play with that mouthpiece. I played trumpet on a 10-1/2C back in the 1970s and early ‘80s before switching to larger sizes, so the mouthpiece is still somewhat familiar to me.

Ever with that smaller mouthpiece, there’s still a richness to the sound on the large bore 184G, but I can push it to the point where there’s an edge to it, too. The C cup on the 10-1/2C is fairly deep, so that’s a plus. I haven’t tried it with a group yet to determine if the intonation jives with the other players in the section, but if the roads aren’t too icy tomorrow, I may get my chance. As insurance, I’ll be bringing along my Bach 3, which is a known quantity.

Thanks very much Dale. The Bach 10 1/2C is indeed a really nice sounding mouthpiece, but I can only play it for around 30 mins before normal lip swelling makes it that bit too small, and I suddenly struggle to come in cleanly and have clean articulations.

EDIT: The intonation on the 184G was a little squirrley with the 10-1/2C today.

I'm surprised to hear that to be honest.

I’m sure some of it can be attributed to the guy sitting next to me though… .

Lol.

Anyway, the combination is workable, but I’ll have to get a little more comfortable with it to use that setup, which is mainly suited to playing the cornet on trumpet parts in a mixed trumpet/cornet section.

I used to use a 3C for this. Have you compared the 10 1/2 C to a 3C?

Take care and best wishes

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Dale Proctor
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 9343
Location: Heart of Dixie

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise Finch wrote:


I used to use a 3C for this. Have you compared the 10 1/2 C to a 3C?…

Lou


Yes. I normally play a Curry 3C. on trumpet, which is slightly deeper and more open than the older Bach 3C I used to play. Last year, I had Mark Curry make a cornet 3C. for me, which isn’t in his catalog. It plays well in tune for me on the 184G, but is a bit more tiring to play than the Bach 10-1/2C. For demanding brass band playing, I have a Curry 3BBC., and for back row use, a Wick 4, which are, of course, more demanding to play.

Mouthpiece choices always seem to involve compromises, and I try to balance tone, comfort, ease of play, endurance, and intonation when selecting one. A mouthpiece that gives me great intonation with minimal compensation is pretty important, because that makes the other factors much easier to achieve. Given that, I think I’ll probably put the 10-1/2C back in the spare mouthpiece case. 😉
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Louise Finch
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale Proctor wrote:
Louise Finch wrote:


I used to use a 3C for this. Have you compared the 10 1/2 C to a 3C?…

Lou


Yes. I normally play a Curry 3C. on trumpet, which is slightly deeper and more open than the older Bach 3C I used to play. Last year, I had Mark Curry make a cornet 3C. for me, which isn’t in his catalog. It plays well in tune for me on the 184G, but is a bit more tiring to play than the Bach 10-1/2C. For demanding brass band playing, I have a Curry 3BBC., and for back row use, a Wick 4, which are, of course, more demanding to play.

Mouthpiece choices always seem to involve compromises, and I try to balance tone, comfort, ease of play, endurance, and intonation when selecting one. A mouthpiece that gives me great intonation with minimal compensation is pretty important, because that makes the other factors much easier to achieve. Given that, I think I’ll probably put the 10-1/2C back in the spare mouthpiece case. 😉


Thanks very much, Dale. Have you thought about trying a Bach 3C for playing situations in which you were considering using a Bach 10 1/2C, since you say that the Curry cornet 3C you have is slightly deeper and more open than the older Bach 3C you used to play, and more tiring to play than the Bach 10 1/2C? I am wondering whether although a larger cup diameter than a Bach 10 1/2C, that being slightly shallower and tighter than the Curry 3C, may be a good compromise.

Take care and best wishes

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Dale Proctor
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 9343
Location: Heart of Dixie

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2024 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise Finch wrote:

Thanks very much, Dale. Have you thought about trying a Bach 3C for playing situations in which you were considering using a Bach 10 1/2C, since you say that the Curry cornet 3C you have is slightly deeper and more open than the older Bach 3C you used to play, and more tiring to play than the Bach 10 1/2C? I am wondering whether although a larger cup diameter than a Bach 10 1/2C, that being slightly shallower and tighter than the Curry 3C, may be a good compromise.

Take care and best wishes

Lou


Thanks for the reply, Lou. Every time I try the old Bach 3C on my cornet, I remember why I had Mark Curry make a 3C cornet mouthpiece for me. I detest the sound I have on the Bach 3C…lol
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale Proctor wrote:
Louise Finch wrote:

Thanks very much, Dale. Have you thought about trying a Bach 3C for playing situations in which you were considering using a Bach 10 1/2C, since you say that the Curry cornet 3C you have is slightly deeper and more open than the older Bach 3C you used to play, and more tiring to play than the Bach 10 1/2C? I am wondering whether although a larger cup diameter than a Bach 10 1/2C, that being slightly shallower and tighter than the Curry 3C, may be a good compromise.

Take care and best wishes

Lou


Thanks for the reply, Lou.

You are very welcome, Dale.

Every time I try the old Bach 3C on my cornet, I remember why I had Mark Curry make a 3C cornet mouthpiece for me. I detest the sound I have on the Bach 3C…lol

lol. Actually I've found something rather useful, or useful lol in my opinion. As I keep saying, I use a James R New modular top copy of the cup end of my favourite trumpet Bach 3C. I have modular tops in four blank styles, Denis Wick cornet, Bach cornet, James R New standard (pretty much like a Bach trumpet blank) and Kanstul (I have both Kanstul and James R New tops in this blank).

The Bach cornet, James R New standard and Kanstul have an increasing amount of mass at the bottom of the cup. I find that this darkens the sound. A 3C in a Kanstul modular mouthpiece style blank sounds great in my opinion for orchestral trumpet playing and on cornet. This is what I generally use. Anyone who has tried my 3C, this top combined with a Kanstul B10 backbore, is shocked how rich it sounds and how well it plays for what is effectively a Bach 3C. I would really recommend it.

Take care and best wishes

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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kerouack
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2024 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lou,
Where can we see recordings of your band with you playing that cornet ?
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Louise Finch
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Joined: 10 Aug 2012
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2024 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kerouack wrote:
Hello Lou,
Where can we see recordings of your band with you playing that cornet ?


Hi

You probably can't. I only returned to my brass band in August, and this cornet in September. The CD the band made does not contain me, as it was made before I rejoined. There used to be plenty of recordings about of me on my Xeno cornet when Principal for my last but one band, as the trombone player videoed every concert, and put them on Facebook.

Take care and best wishes

Lou
_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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