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Thread: Bass Trumpet options

  1. #1

    Bass Trumpet options

    Not sure if this is necessarily the best sub-forum for this topic, so mods can feel free to move it if you would like.

    There is a good chance that the university I am attending may be purchasing one or two bass trumpets for use in the trumpet choir. It's something they've wanted for a while, and now might be the time to strike.

    I might have some push in what brand/key of instrument they buy. With the context that this instrument will be used more-or-less exclusively for classical-style trumpet choir and the occasional orchestra piece, what would you all recommend?

    I myself am leaning towards a 4-valve C rotary, with bonus points for Bb slides.
    [I]Frost School of Music (UMiami) - BM Euphonium Performance '21

    Besson Prestige 2052 Euphonium - Greg Black NY 3.75
    Courtois 551BHRA Bass Trombone - Greg Black 1 1/4G
    Olds P-16 "Custom" Trombone - Greg Black NY 3A

  2. #2
    How does one find such an instrument as you have described?

    I'm assuming that they are European.

    I think the most affordable are those by Mack Brass and Wessex, which are based on the old Conn and/or Bach designs or possibly Getzen, I believe. The rotary valve model from Wessex, might be based on a Mirafone or some European model.

    Here are links to those:

  3. #3
    I own two bass trumpets, I have a Thein Alessi model in C with an alternate set of slides in Bb which I see they are now calling the New York model, and I have a 1959 Mount Vernon Bach in Bb.

    I think you're on the right track to be looking at 4-valve rotary instruments in C. I think they are the best playing, with the most trumpet-like timbre and best intonation. For a trumpet choir, though, an American-style piston instrument might be a better aesthetic match to the rest of the ensemble. The Thein is my favorite but it's mega expensive; with the Lätzsch and Alexander both close behind. The Lätzsch has really excellent valves with carbon cores and two tuning triggers for up and down adjustments which is really cool. You can also buy them with a set of Bb tuning slides. They don't work quite as well this way, but it can be handy for certain pieces.

    im a big Wessex fan but I don't think their bass trumpets are worth it-- the rotary is a copy of the Lidl (Czech) instrument which has a nice sound but isn't a very good player otherwise. There is a Chinese rotary 4-valve model which is showing up on eBay but I haven't tried one.

  4. #4
    If your school has the dough, I think Alexander would be the way to go. Dillon has it listed for about $4900, though I'm sure it's a special order.

    The Alexander website states that this horn can be had in B-flat too.

    Here is a video of some stunning playing that I'm pretty sure is on this instrument:

    I own a Getzen Eterna that I like very much, but I'm not sure that these horns are currently in production.

    I tried the Wessex piston on a trial, but found it lackluster. It had a couple of notes that just wouldn't center.


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