15 Jan 2009 08:06 #223 by Martin Künkler
Replied by Martin Künkler on topic Re:Horns
In Germany we have a proverb: "Dont compare apples with pears".
A Alex and a Conn are so different, like a big bore Perinet trumpet and a Vienna C-trumpet with rotary valves. You can not expect a Hollywood- sound from a german horn. Exceptions: Hoyer 7801 and the original Kruspe-Horner.
I think, it is attractiv, that serval orchestras, regions or countrys have their own soundcolour. But that situation will go off, alas! The eastern german Bb-horn tradition is gone away and nowadays almost all orchestras have the same sound. Thats not funny. We, the players, have to watch out, that regional soundcolours dont die. For the most conducters, the sound doesnt matter, the main thing is, that you make no mistake. So the players have a ceque blanc for the sound. The best example for this are the Vienna Philharmonics.

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03 Aug 2009 12:53 #308 by Hope Evans
Replied by Hope Evans on topic Re:Horns
I'm looking for a new horn myself as mine is old and will probably "die" in a few years. I play a Holton right now, which was used and inexpensive. It gives me a good range right now and I am enjoying the tone quality. I was just hoping for some opinions about what kind of horn to buy, whether used or new. Perhaps somebody started on a Holton and found another make that suited them as well or better?

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04 Aug 2009 01:15 #309 by Erik Vigesaa
Replied by Erik Vigesaa on topic Re:Horns
If that horn works, that is, it plays 4 octaves, in tune, people like your tone, who cares how old it is? Good factory horns are becoming more rare all the time. I tried to like a brand new Conn screwbell and it really doesn't play as well as the ratty-tatty King I wanted to replace it with. A Conn rep I spoke with said horn players, above all other brass players, tend to sell their horns! They've all had beautiful horns that got sold and wish they had them back. If this horn plays well, you will regret selling it
Having said that, horn sections will play better if they have similar instruments, i.e., all conns, holtons, schmidts etc. The tuning on chords will be more compatible. I don't think I would cross that bridge until it is obvious that the tone of the section needs for you to have a change.

You are the instigator of the tone and you play the horn. The source of the music comes from you. Don't get too carried away thinking that changing out horns will produce a grand difference-it really won't (unless you're playing a Getzen compensator!). And of course, make sure you're in tip-top shape before you shop, if you must.

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04 Aug 2009 04:03 #310 by Martin Künkler
Replied by Martin Künkler on topic Re:Horns
Well Erik, thats correkt, what You say. I have a 50 years old single F with additional E-/Stopvalve and I like it very much. But now I must replace it, because the valves are too bad. So I am looking out for a new on, but no horn is as good as my old one.
Buying a new horn always is a little bit tricky. May be, it works well in the store and after some weeks, you find out, that it wasnt the right one. Most new horns will be better if they are some years old. So, one solution can be, to buy a used horn.

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01 Feb 2010 11:59 #356 by Marnix van Ammers
Replied by Marnix van Ammers on topic Re:Horns
I have been going through this searching-for-a-good-horn process for the past 3 months, looking for a good 2nd horn. I'm a "returning" player, not having played for 40 years and now, after retiring, picking it up again. My old horn (a rare "Meister Karl Dressel" compensating F/Bb double given to me by my parents 47 years ago) could use some cleaning up and I've always wanted to choose and buy my own horn. Anyway, I thought I would buy a good 2nd horn and get my old horn cleaned up.

After having tried perhaps 10 horns over 2 months, I could not find one that played better than my old horn. Two horns seemed like a close match. I have come to realize that I have probably molded my playing to fit my old horn and that it could take months for me to mold my playing to another horn. So what to do? No way I can sit in a store and judge which horns, if any, I could mold/adjust my playing to such that it would be my favorite horn 3 months later.

From what I've read two horns of the exact same model may play differently. So I can't simply go out and order a particular model of horn simply because some excellent horn players play them or say great things about them. The one I order could have an intonation problem. But is this even true? Shouldn't two horns, built exactly the same way, play just the same?

I also can't depend on what other horn players say about a particular horn, because, I've heard, and I believe it's probably true, one player may play better with one horn and yet another player plays worse with that horn. So the horn has to match the player. And the player has to adjust to any particular horn. Good grief. It seems to be nearly impossible to find the right horn. I'm nearly ready to give up this search.

Is there no independent, scientific way of testing horns? Has no one developed an artificial embouchure that can blow and buzz against a mouthpiece, along the way measuring air flow resistance while trying to play various notes, lipping them up and down to see how the pressure is affected (to see how "notchy" each note is), all the while monitoring the sound at the bell? This is what I/we need!! It wouldn't solve all the problems of finding the right horn, but it would sure be a big help.

I will continue my search for a while, but I'm very close to just giving up. Maybe a great horn will just happen to come along somehow someday someway.

It would be great to hear from anyone who has any kind of "system" for finding a horn that is right for them.

Marnix A. van Ammers
Benicia, CA, USA

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01 Feb 2010 12:30 #357 by Dan Phillips
Replied by Dan Phillips on topic Re:Horns
The best "system" I know is to attend one of the big workshops and try everything there. Check out the list of regional workshops on the menu above at About-->Symposiums. The best place is the big international symposium, if you can make it to that. Link to that is above the search box.

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