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JuanLCZ
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Joined: 22 May 2024
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 8:40 am    Post subject: Advice for a newcommer Reply with quote

Hello everybody.

I am a beginner trumpet player, lover of vintage instruments and new to the forum.

I want to purchase my first vintage trumpet from the list below and would apreciate some advice as I know very little about collectible trumpets.

Provided all were in good condition which is the best horn?

1929 Holton Revelation
1947 King Liberty
1949 Conn 12B Coprion
1950 King Liberty
Postwar F. Besson Brevete

Thank for your attention.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can find one: Postwar F. Besson Brevete

all day every day and twice on Sunday.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reality is that in most cases trumpets that old have worn valves and may require a rebuild. If you are willing to shoulder that cost, then continue with this discussion.

I have an affinity for any King Liberty. I have an early one and it indeed needs a complete valve rebuild. For me it is hard to justify spending that much money. But most of my trumpets were less than $300 to purchase and most are pre-1950.
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JuanLCZ
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Richard and Kalija.

How would you sort the list from best to "worst"

How much could a valve rebuild be?

Apreciatted
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but considering the ages you're considering, there is a great range of inconsistency one horn to another. To really answer your question you either have to rely on a really honest and reliable seller or try the horn for yourself.

Regarding a Precision Valve Alignment (PVA), I think they're about $600.00. I have found that, while a horn may optimally benefit from a valve job, some respond well to the use of thicker valve oil.
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Provided all were in good condition which is the best horn?

1929 Holton Revelation
1947 King Liberty
1949 Conn 12B Coprion
1950 King Liberty
Postwar F. Besson Brevete


Welcome to trumpet playing! I can't offer advice on any of those specific trumpets, and "best-worst" is somewhat relative. I will offer a few thoughts for your consideration, however, in hope that they might be useful.

First, given the age of those instruments you might find that they require some work to bring them into good playing condition. Some of that work could be rather expensive. A few things to look out for include valves that do not move quickly, smoothly and with good compression. A valve overhaul would probably cost you over $600. The second big thing to look out for is corrosion in the leadpipe or tuning slide crooks. Those can also be expensive repairs as the leadpipe and slides are no longer stock items a repair technician can order. They'd have to be fabricated, potentially at considerable cost.

Second, I'd just note that a modern student/step-up trumpet such as the Getzen 300/400/500-series trumpets would likely play better that most of the trumpets on that list. You can find them used for under $500. Perhaps you'd consider a good trumpet to learn on, such as the aforementioned Getzens, and then make your vintage purchase based on whatever appeals to you most from a "collectability" perspective.

Good luck!
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ldwoods
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Sorry, but considering the ages you're considering, there is a great range of inconsistency one horn to another. To really answer your question you either have to rely on a really honest and reliable seller or try the horn for yourself.

Regarding a Precision Valve Alignment (PVA), I think they're about $600.00. I have found that, while a horn may optimally benefit from a valve job, some respond well to the use of thicker valve oil.


Just clarify terms, a Precision Valve Alignment without replating the pistons should be much less than that. A brand new horn could benefit from PVA, which is basically shimming the valve stroke to match the piston ports with the valve casing ports. My guess is just the PVA would cost in the $100-150 range. A complete valve rebuild, which will most likely include PVA, will cost $700-800.
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JuanLCZ
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. Thank you to you all who shared your views. Really apreciatted.
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jondrowjf@gmail.com
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 1:21 pm    Post subject: Vintage trumpets Reply with quote

I am a comeback player, came back end of February after a hiatus of three years. When I started playing eleven years ago, I bought many inexpensive vintage trumpets or cornets. I have owed conn directors, old ambassdors etc, and they held my playing level back.
Probably have owed over 300 trumpets/cornets in a eleven year period. Yes I should have spent more money on lessons and not bought some many student horns.
I have owed Getzen 390, 490, 590, 700 trumpets. I would start at the 700 series. The two professional trumpets I have owed were Getzen 900 and Getzen Canadian Brass.
When I decided to buy modern instruments I noticed a vast improvement in my ability, flexibility, easy of playing and sound quality of the instruments. Then I bought professional trumpets, the sea parted.
I found as other posters have stated a modern trumpet is an improvement over most vintage trumpets.
One of the advice that I wish that I would have listened to is to buy a modern professional trumpet as soon as possible.
Buy the most expensive modern professional trumpet you can buy.
.
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DAVIDTHEWRITER
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Vintage trumpets Reply with quote

jondrowjf@gmail.com wrote:
I am a comeback player, came back end of February after a hiatus of three years. When I started playing eleven years ago, I bought many inexpensive vintage trumpets or cornets. I have owed conn directors, old ambassdors etc, and they held my playing level back.
Probably have owed over 300 trumpets/cornets in a eleven year period. Yes I should have spent more money on lessons and not bought some many student horns.
I have owed Getzen 390, 490, 590, 700 trumpets. I would start at the 700 series. The two professional trumpets I have owed were Getzen 900 and Getzen Canadian Brass.
When I decided to buy modern instruments I noticed a vast improvement in my ability, flexibility, easy of playing and sound quality of the instruments. Then I bought professional trumpets, the sea parted.
I found as other posters have stated a modern trumpet is an improvement over most vintage trumpets.
One of the advice that I wish that I would have listened to is to buy a modern professional trumpet as soon as possible.
Buy the most expensive modern professional trumpet you can buy.
.


+ 1
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DAVIDTHEWRITER
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Joined: 23 Apr 2024
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allison Balsam endorses plastic trumpets.

It's amazing what technology is capable of making these days.
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mike ansberry
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you are just starting out, I would suggest getting a more modern horn. Collecting horns is something you might want to get into after you can play a little bit. A bad or worn out horn can make learning trumpet nearly impossible.

I have a small collection of vintage horns and love them, but I was very experienced when I bought them and still wound up buying a worn out one. It sits in the closet collecting dust. Maybe I'll make a lamp out of it someday.

I also run a brass repair shop, so I have played a LOT of horns. I would encourage you to start with a beginner trumpet. New ones are still a rather large investment. Please, please, please stick with a reputable name brand. There is some seriously junky stuff you can get for $250. Run away from that!

Yamaha and Getzen make very fine beginner instruments. New they are still quite an investment. If you are looking for something less expensive, I would recommend a used Getzen 300 trumpet. I have played many of them. They play exceptionally well. I have taken one that was in my shop on a gig and had no problems playing well on it.

I was also a middle school band director for 35 years. I've seen a lot of kids struggle and become discouraged when they are saddled with a horn that is of very poor quality.

Do you have a teacher? If so, have them play the horns you are interested in purchasing. They can be a big help finding the right horn.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a collection of over 50 vintage trumpets going all the way back to 1913. Not one of them needed a valve overhaul or had any mechanical issues when I acquired them. The only issue has been deteriorating lacquer or plating wear.

Most vintage trumpets have been sitting around not being played for decades so they haven't been suffering mechanical wear for most of their life. A lot of them were never played much at all. Not that you can't encounter a horn that needs work but, overall, good, solid, reliable vintage horns are very plentiful.

Any of the horns on your list can be fine. To me, the least desirable would be the 1929 Holton Revelation. That's because in my experience 1920's and prior horns get a very dated sound.

The Kings would both be H.N. White manufactured horns and that was a very reputable manufacturer. I have several H.N. White King trumpets: A 1933 Silvertone, a 1938 Silvertone Model No. 2, a 1953 Silver Sonic and a 1957 Super 20 Symphony Silver Sonic. The 1933 horn especially is based on the Liberty design except with a sterling silver bell. Wayne Bergeron was at my house and played that horn and said "This plays like a modern horn."

I have a pre-War French Besson Meha and it is a great horn. The post-War French Bessons are not the same as the pre-War French Bessons and I've never played one so I can't express an opinion.

A 1949 Conn Coprion would have been a pro level horn in its day. I have several vintage Conn trumpets but the one that would be closest in design to a 1949 Coprion would be my 1939 New York Symphony Special which is an awesome horn, very fun and very easy to play. Of course the Coprion has the seamless electroformed copper bell while my New York Symphony Special has a conventional yellow brass bell.
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Andy Cooper
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are a beginning trumpet player, you should make your first purchase a reliable modern trumpet with an appropriate mouthpiece.

Your vintage trumpets are then interesting instruments you collect to appreciate the sound and playing properties that were popular in different years. For some of the vintage trumpets you will either need to find mouthpieces from that period or be ready to have the shanks of your mouthpieces altered to fit the receivers properly - mainly the Kings.

You might want to give a little thought to a long term "theme" for your acquisitions - year - brand - etc.

Take a look at this website.
https://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/manufacturer/56/museumType/0
You will find, in some cases, 100 years of publications from Conn, Holton, and King. Perhaps you might want to purchase horns that have the most documentation.
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Halflip
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: Advice for a newcommer Reply with quote

JuanLCZ wrote:
I am a beginner trumpet player, lover of vintage instruments and new to the forum.

I want to purchase my first vintage trumpet from the list below and would apreciate some advice as I know very little about collectible trumpets.

I have a collection of over 50 trumpets, cornets, and flugelhorns, but before I give any advice, I have some questions for you.

First question: Do you already have a trumpet on which you are learning to play, or do you plan on learning using one of the vintage horns that you plan to buy? (Some of the replies you have received so far seem to assume the latter, but after rereading your initial post, I think that could be a false assumption.)

JuanLCZ wrote:
Provided all were in good condition which is the best horn?

1929 Holton Revelation
1947 King Liberty
1949 Conn 12B Coprion
1950 King Liberty
Postwar F. Besson Brevete

Thank for your attention.

Second question: Why do you list these particular choices? Is it because you have heard good things about them, or do they happen to be currently available on some marketplace?

You may find the following thread helpful:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=161637
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JuanLCZ
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Joined: 22 May 2024
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your interesting views. Thank you Halflip and Andy Cooper for the links.

I been taking face to face weekly one hour lessons with a teacher for one year here in Europe.

The trumpets listed on my post are there because It is what it is available in what seems a trustful online selling company.

My trumpet is, I am embarrassed mentioning, a Thomann. Cost me 180€ There is a reason for that; when I started I wasn´t sure i was going to either like it or have the ability to play. I turns out that I like it a lot although I am of average skills! Besides my teacher, a clasically trained orchestra player, does not mind it at all. The idea of changing it is only mine

If I were a sensible man I would follow the wise advice from John Drowjf and Mike Asberry i.e buy a modern trumpet ot even a professional trumpet I could afford, spend all the time I "waste" looking for the ideal trumpet practicing instead, remind myself that the trumpet is only a tool to make music and comunicate with others which is the truly important thing.....,

And yet, I draw an inmense pleasure from taking a vintage instrument refurbish it, play it, make it my own and keep it alive a few more years.

To me an intermediate production Yamaha, Getzen, etc is a fine instrument but has not have the "soul" of an vintage trumpet. I rather have a fully refurbished vintage even if I have to spend more monety on it than on the average models of productionn brads which are the ones I can afford.

I would not mind replacing original parts for more modern ones to improve its playability as long as the frame remains.

This is only true for average instruments. Of course I would love owning a brand new Taylor, Resonance, or even a top Yamaha, Getzen.

It turns out that I am not a sensible man and I am certain I will pay for it!
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JuanLCZ
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at this website.
https://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/manufacturer/56/museumType/0
You will find, in some cases, 100 years of publications from Conn, Holton, and King. Perhaps you might want to purchase horns that have the most documentation.[/quote]

Dear Andy Cooper: wonderful link. THANK YOU !!
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JuanLCZ
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Advice for a newcommer Reply with quote

You may find the following thread helpful:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=161637[/quote]

Very interesting thread. THANK YOU Halflip.
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Halflip
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Advice for a newcommer Reply with quote

JuanLCZ wrote:
Very interesting thread. THANK YOU Halflip.

You are very welcome, JuanLCZ. And thank you for replying with answers to my questions.

I now have a better understanding of your situation -- you have a cheap trumpet that you have been using for lessons, but you would like to buy a quality vintage horn and switch to using that as your main horn once you acquire it.

Because of this, I would encourage you to seek a professional level vintage horn, but one that compares reasonably well with modern pro horns in terms of playing characteristics. In this way, it will be unlikely to hinder you as you continue developing your trumpet skills. Focusing on vintage pro horns from the 50's and 60's might be a good strategy for you.

JuanLCZ wrote:
The trumpets listed on my post are there because It is what it is available in what seems a trustful online selling company.

It sounds like you are limiting yourself to what is available right now from one particular source. I suggest that your broaden your search and be patient enough to wait for other horns that might be even better for your needs.

Some horns I would suggest that you consider:

Conn 22B Victor (1955-1971 -- not to be confused with the 22B Director)
Conn 6B Victor (1956-1969)
King Super 20 Dual Bore
King Silver Flair (model 1055T from the 60's)
Getzen Eterna Severinsen Model
Olds Super (from the 50's or 60's)

As far as the horns you list in your initial post, I'd probably lean toward one of the Kings or the Conn.

Since you have a classically trained orchestra player for a teacher, ask your teacher which horns they would recommend from among the ones you are considering. Even better, have horns sent to you on approval and ask your instructor to play test them and pick the best one (I realize that this is an unlikely option when you are buying vintage horns through an online marketplace).

I acquired most of my horns through eBay, and I pretty much assumed that most of my purchases would require a full restoration regardless of what the sellers promised in their descriptions. Full restorations including valve rebuilds typically set me back $1,200 - $1,500; you might want to take that into consideration when making a vintage purchase. (If you aren't so fussy about the cosmetic appearance of an instrument, you can probably save money by foregoing lacquer jobs or silver plating.)
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"He that plays the King shall be welcome . . . " (Hamlet Act II, Scene 2, Line 1416)

"He had no concept of the instrument. He was blowing into it." -- Virgil Starkwell's cello teacher in "Take the Money and Run"
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it can be a lot of fun to browse websites and ponder trumpet models I have a different suggestion. It looks like you have a qualified teacher (smart move) — you could ask him if he has people around him who are considering selling a horn. Lots of pros (or students around said teacher) may sell horns after a while and there may be an interesting candidate or two in there (still waiting for my teacher to sell his 52B ).

Edit: just saw that you are located in Europe (which country?) so you might consider buying used from a shop with a good reputation and a return policy (maybe call ahead to discuss options). Those are solid shops with a good reputation in Germany.

https://www.eppstore-instruments.de/
https://www.gebrauchte-blasinstrumente.eu/
https://brassmarket.de/
https://musik-gillhaus.de/Gebrauchte-Instrumente/Gebraucht-Blech/
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1992 Bach 43GH/43
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15 flugel
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