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Trumpets

Specifications on all student model trumpets are all fairly standard, however when choosing a professional level instrument there are a number of specification choices you need to make to ensure your instruments fulfills your own exact requirements - for the type of player you are, and style of playing you do.


Bell Type


Bells can be described as "One Piece" or "Two Piece" - dependant on the number of sheets of brass used to make the bell.

To create a one-piece bell a pattern is cut from a brass sheet, then the brass is folded, heated, and hand hammered into a gradually recognizable form. The rough form is then spun to an exact tolerance, and the rim is added prior to bending. This creates a single axial (lengthwise) rather than lateral seam, making it a continuous extension of the instrument's material.

The result is a consistent sound, an even feel, and a responsive instrument, which is far superior to a two piece bell in terms of resonance and unrestricted vibration.

Bell Flair

The shape of the tapered surface, or rate of bell flair, determines the characteristic sound of the instrument. Bells with fast tapers produce dark, warm sounds, while slow tapers yield bright tones. Bach offers a number of bell flair options with their Stradivarius trumpets - the most popular being the 37 (fast), 43 (Medium) and 72 (slow) flairs. These numbers refer to the mandrel (tooling used to shape the flair) number, not any diameter or measurement.

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Bell Material

Brass is basically an alloy of copper and zinc, but different blends of these materials offer different tones when used in bells. Gold brass for example, softer and redder than standard yellow brass due to a higher copper content results in a warmer tone. The thickness of bell material also effects the playing characteristics. Lightweight bells respond quickly for a lively sound. For situations involving high dynamic levels without distortion or dark qualities, choose a heavyweight bell (in either yellow or gold brass).

Leadpipe

The venturi (constriction) and rate of taper in the mouthpipe effect the trumpet's characteristic sound. Like the bell, leadpipes with fast tapers result in warm tones, while slow tapers produce bright sounds. Some players opt for the "reverse leadpipe" construction option. By eliminating a step where the pipe connects to the main tuning slide, the air moves more freely. Reversed construction results in a longer pipe maintaining constant taper for improved intonation.

Main tuning slide

The shape of a tuning slide contributes to the resistance of the overall instrument. A rounded tuning slide (usually an extra option) provides a consistent gentle curve for smooth airflow and therefore, less playing resistance. Most players however, prefer a "D" shaped tuning slide as it provides a balanced resistance, which contributes to the security of the instrument.

Bore

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the bore size determines an instrument's tone quality. While the bore does play a role, primarily the rate of taper in the mouthpipe and bell section influence whether the sound is dark of bright.

A trumpet bore is measured at the inside diameter of the second valve slide. While large bore instruments may have greater volume of sound and carrying power, they require more effort to play. Consequently almost all players opt for the medium - large bore.

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Valves

The material used on the valve casing is very important to avoid corrosion and leakage. Most professional level brass instruments come with Monel valve casings with the exception of Besson sovereign instruments, which have stainless steel casings.

Monel is a special alloy - mostly nickel and copper - which is both extremely hard and resistant to corrosion.

Valves that are hand lapped after automated honing also ensure the right balance between air tightness and smooth action.

Weight

The weight of a trumpet depends primarily on the thickness of the brass in its tubing and bell. The thicker the brass, the heavier the instrument and the darker the sound. A number of manufacturers offer heavyweight, medium and lightweight models to suit a wide range of tonal requirements.

Choosing your Stradâ

Bach offer a huge array of options for their Stradivarius range of trumpets incorporating most combinations of the various specification options discussed. However, by far the most popular models are the following:

180ML37 Medium large bore with 37 bell flair, standard configuration lead pipe and "D" tuning slide. Medium weight, yellow brass bell.
LR180ML43 Medium large bore with 43 bell flair, "reverse leadpipe" and "D" tuning slide.

Medium weight, yellow brass bell.

A more free blowing alternative to the "standard 37"

We keep a good choice of these popular models in stock at all times, however we can supply you with a custom instrument to match your exact requirements.

Customised options including bell engraving can also be arranged at the Bach factory "custom shop" in Elkhart - but can often take some considerable time...


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