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Author Topic: Bass Trumpet  (Read 853 times)
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seanschramm
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« on: May 10, 2017, 08:10AM »

Hey Y'all,

I am considering playing bass trumpet, as per request in some local civic and professional orchestras. However, I don't have the money to buy a crazy expensive one, and most are in Bb. Is there a way I could play the bass trumpet parts that are in Eb and C on a Bb Bass trumpet? Thanks guys!
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HouBassTrombone

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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 08:13AM »

Yes. I played the Rite on a Bb Holton bass trumpet once. I didn't make enough to buy a great Alex or Thein bass trumpet but man do I want one!
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 08:43AM »

Trumpet players learn to read parts in all keys on whatever trumpet they are holding.  You can learn this skill as well.

There are nice used bass trumpets available.  Don't try to substitute a Marching Trombone in a professional setting.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 08:48AM »

You transpose! Even if you have a C bass trumpet, the parts are all over the map in different keys. Even if you had bass trumpets in Bb, C, D, and Eb, switching between them all is not practical and you would need to transpose. It's not hard once you've practiced it a little. I would recommend the transposition studies etude book by Sachse which is used by many trumpet players to start learning.

With regards to budget instruments -- I'm a fan of what a lot of the importers of chinese instruments are doing, but I have yet to try a bass trumpet from any of them that I like at all. I'm not a big fan of the czech instrument that seems to be pretty popular as well.

There is a Japanese player, Hidekazu Okayama, who is having instruments made in China. They aren't readily available here, but you may be able to get one. His bass trumpet looks like a copy of a German instrument and it may be very good. I have not tried one myself.

http://www.euphonium.biz/bass-trumpet-ambt-901
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 10:33AM »

There is a Japanese player, Hidekazu Okayama, who is having instruments made in China. They aren't readily available here, but you may be able to get one. His bass trumpet looks like a copy of a German instrument and it may be very good. I have not tried one myself.

http://www.euphonium.biz/bass-trumpet-ambt-901
There's some China-built instruments on eBay that look very similar:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-4-Rotary-Valve-Bass-Trumpet-Key-Of-C-Gold-Brass-High-grade-Case-/182527468443
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-Level-C-Key-Bass-Trumpet-4-Rotary-Valve-Gold-Brass-Body-PRO-Case-/122450918657

So that begs the question: how different are the eBay instruments from the Project Euphonium "Amuse"? The Amuse seems to offer the option of a Bb extension, for what it's worth. Assuming my currency converter is correct, it runs $2,173.49 (US); the eBay instruments are less than half that.

The variation in bass trumpets is interesting. There's ones like the Mirafone that look kinda "flugelhorn-ish" and others like the Lidl that seem more "trumpety". Bores run from .460" up to .500" or even larger.
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 11:05AM »

Yeah, that looks like his design. I know some of his other instruments have shown up as Dillon-branded instruments, etc, so he must not have an exclusive arrangement with the manufacturing partner.

It looks like a larger bell throat than some;  not having seen one in person I couldn't tell you for sure though. There are indeed a lot of variations on bass trumpet. Some of the biggest ones are actually more like a bass flugelhorn, meant for polka music. Some of the american-style piston instruments sound more like valve trombones. And some of them are meant for symphonic use and have a real trumpet-like sound.
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Matt K

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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 11:06AM »

I'd probably go for the Mack Brass piston Bb in your shoes personally unless you're willing to shell out a lot more for it than you'll ever make.  Last time I looked they were like $550ish in silver. They're known for having good QC and access to parts.  Likewise, that's probably as cheap as I'd go too. I had a rotary one from JinBao (eBay) that was okay but the rotors were not the best.  I sold it to a forum member that - at least last I heard - was pretty happy with it as far as I know.
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 08:50PM »

You transpose! Even if you have a C bass trumpet, the parts are all over the map in different keys. Even if you had bass trumpets in Bb, C, D, and Eb, switching between them all is not practical and you would need to transpose. It's not hard once you've practiced it a little. I would recommend the transposition studies etude book by Sachse which is used by many trumpet players to start learning.

With regards to budget instruments -- I'm a fan of what a lot of the importers of chinese instruments are doing, but I have yet to try a bass trumpet from any of them that I like at all. I'm not a big fan of the czech instrument that seems to be pretty popular as well.

There is a Japanese player, Hidekazu Okayama, who is having instruments made in China. They aren't readily available here, but you may be able to get one. His bass trumpet looks like a copy of a German instrument and it may be very good. I have not tried one myself.

http://www.euphonium.biz/bass-trumpet-ambt-901


The euphonium.biz horn looks drool-worthy!

I have also been thinking about a bass trumpet, and was looking at the Wessex instruments. How do they compare to other budget horns?
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 09:08PM »

Wessex JUST came out with their bass trumpet. I'm playing with a guy that owns one in the next week or so, I'll definitely give it a blow.
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 05:26AM »

Wessex JUST came out with their bass trumpet. I'm playing with a guy that owns one in the next week or so, I'll definitely give it a blow.

there's a new one? they've had two models (a piston and a rotary) for at least the past several years. The piston appears to be a copy of the older bach design, and the rotary appears to be a copy of the lidl.

I like Wessex, a lot, in fact I have a nearly $6000 tuba on order from them, but their most successful instruments seem to be the ones they've designed themselves or extensively massaged themselves and not just adopted from the jin bao catalog. I think both of the bass trumpets they offer fall into that second category. They're probably improvements over the same instruments with schiller/mack/etc nameplates, but, having tried them, I don't believe they are as impressive as the euphonium, the baritone, the small-bore trombones, and some of the tubas are. That said, they probably are the best choices in the $600-new range.
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 05:33AM »

what looks like the same 4 valve C design is available from Jim  Laabs for $1085. Heard very mixed things about them but I would think it has to less chancy than ebay direct from a Chinese vendor.
http://www.jimlaabsmusicstore.com/store/?model_number=8880176
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 05:41AM »

I did a trial on the Wessex piston model last year, and wound up sending it back. I have owned the Dolce euphonium, the British baritone, and a medium bore f-attachment trombone, and thought that all three were/are quite good. But, as previous posts have indicated, those instruments have a higher level of R&D and QA scrutiny. The bass trumpet was not bad, but it had two woofy notes (middle F and the G above) that I just could not center or focus, and this just made it unplayable, in my opinion.

Andy and Jonathan have always been extremely professional and accommodating, and they accepted the return without issue. I would have tried the rotary model, but they did not expect to receive any within six months of my original order.
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Matt Hodgson
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 05:48AM »

Forget about bass trumpet in C. It is a rarity and you cannot be sure how well it is built, unless you get it 5k from a reputable companie.

Most B flat built by a decent companies are good, so are alto trumpets in E flat or F. There are many to choose from and they really work. Why gamble?
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 07:26AM »

Hmm.. I have a Holton bass trumpet I should sell.

(Just thinking out loud here...  :))
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 09:43AM »

what looks like the same 4 valve C design is available from Jim  Laabs for $1085. Heard very mixed things about them but I would think it has to less chancy than ebay direct from a Chinese vendor.
http://www.jimlaabsmusicstore.com/store/?model_number=8880176

I have one of these - it's pretty decent if you find the right mouthpiece to make it work (it likes smaller sized mouthpieces).

Steve Troy
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seanschramm
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2017, 10:02AM »

I'm probably going to get either a piston Wessex bass trumpet, or a Schiller bass trumpet, both in Bb.
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 01:44PM »

I have one of these - it's pretty decent if you find the right mouthpiece to make it work (it likes smaller sized mouthpieces).

The nice thing about the Holton is that it's definitely a trumpet, rather than a valve trombone. Tuning's not too bad, although probably worth adding a valve slide.

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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 02:46PM »

I bought a couple years ago a Rotary valve Selman from a forum member. It plays in tune, everything worksand it gets a nice sound
for $160 I`m not complaining. It has served me well
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