Bach Centennial Mouthpieces @ Osmun

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The year 2018 represents a milestone in the history of Vincent Bach manufacturing. Having started his business in 1918, master craftsman Vincent Bach created a legacy that has continued over the last 100 years. Bach Brass is celebrating the Centennial with two limited edition mouthpieces.

The Trumpet mouthpiece is a 3C Cup with a 27 Throat, 10 Backbore, and Gold-Plated 100th Anniversary Engraving.

http://osmun.com/bach-centennial-trumpet-mpc/

The Trombone mouthpiece is a Gold-Plated Large Shank 5G with the 100th Anniversary Engraving.

http://osmun.com/bach-centennial-trombone-mpc/

Made in the USA. The Centennial Mouthpieces are made to order by Bach and are in limited production. Get yours before it’s too late!

Osmun.com Under Construction!

We have been working on a new web site for a few months now and we will be making the switch to the new site over this Easter weekend. Our new site will be more fluid and easier to order mouthpieces (with modifications), set up service appointments, ask technical questions, and browse & purchase products.

We apologize if you have recently been on osmun.com and it’s been a little glitchy. We hope to clean up all the bugs over the next week once the new site is up.

Any questions about products or if you need to place an order for something, please don’t hesitate to call 978-823-0580 or email us at sales@osmun.com. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-5pm and Saturday 10-2pm EST.

 

Osmun Music’s Visit to the Northwest!

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Osmun Music will be headed west for the Northwest Horn Symposium at Pacific Lutheran University on March 23-25th. Bob Osmun and Taylor Allen will be on hand with the Osmun Horn Mouthpieces along with a few Finke and Engelbert Schmid Horns. Please stop on by to try out our standard, replica, and signature model horn mouthpieces. Bob Osmun will be available for horn repair estimates and mouthpiece consultations.

The Symposium will feature three days of intense horn presentations, performances and pedagogy. Guest artists include Leelanee SterrettBernhard Scully and the horns of the Seattle Symphony. These artists will work with master class participants, share their expertise and perform in special concerts. Regional artists and scholars are invited contribute their special projects and music making. All horn players and enthusiasts are welcome. This year, there will be a horn quartet competition for any non-professional groups, with cash prizes. The event will also feature vendors for many of your horn, music, and gear needs.

This Symposium is open to the public. The following link has all the info. Hope to see you there!

https://www.plu.edu/northwest-horn-symposium-2018/

Why do some trumpets play better than others?

As far back as I can remember, it’s been an article of faith for trumpet players: To get a good trumpet, go somewhere where you can try a lot of identical instruments and pick out the good one. That used to work, sort of. Years ago, large stores and even some smaller ones carried multiple samples of the same instrument which they would dutifully roll out to be tried. The problem was that, unless you happened to be there when a new shipment arrived, you could safely assume that the trumpets you were trying had already been picked over by numerous players. Plus, it can be very difficult to access small differences in a short time span and in an unfamiliar acoustic. Nowadays it’s pretty much a moot point. The economics of the music business make carrying a large stock of instruments a losing proposition.

So, what makes some trumpets good, others just OK, and a few real “dogs”? How do you pick out the best one? On the face of it, shouldn’t they all be the same? After all, they’re made in the same factory, out of the same parts, and by the same people. Why are they different? And what steps can you take to make sure you get a good one?

Every maker begins a product line with a prototype instrument or two. These instruments are made by hand, by the finest craftsmen available, and are tweaked and adjusted until they’re as perfect as they can be. It’s not surprising that they are very good trumpets. The question is: what happens when these instruments move from prototype to production? Do they maintain the same quality and if not, why not?

If the factory instrument differs from the prototype in its playing qualities it seems reasonable that it must differ in its specifications as well. The closer the instrument is to the original design the more likely it is to play as the designer intended.

There are a lot of places for an instrument to go wrong in the construction process. The bore can be obstructed by solder or burrs or constricted by a too-tight assembly, slides and valves can be too loose or too tight, valves may not be in perfect alignment. There are other, more subtle issues as well. The bell bow may have become flattened during the bending process, the mouthpiece receiver may not be concentric, or the venturi may be too small or large. Carefully measuring and correcting these defects restores the craftsmanship component to factory-build instruments and makes them play the way they were designed to.

We call this process Blueprinting, after the process used by racing engine builders. Blueprinting means bringing the instrument as close as possible to the specifications the designers intended. Obviously, it varies instrument by instrument, but a Blueprinting process might include:

  • Precision Valve Alignment
  • Rounding out the bell bow
  • Checking for and removing burrs in the valve cluster and water keys
  • Checking for and removing obstructions at the solder joints
  • Checking slides for fit and alignment
  • Checking and adjusting mouthpipe venturi and mouthpiece receiver

When we get your instrument Jim will examine it and recommend the adjustments that he thinks will make the most improvement. Usually, the work can be done in a day or two.

Same Day Service

 

Engelbert Schmid Double Horn In Stock!

Osmun Music just received an Engelbert Schmid Double Horn in stock configuration*. Here’s a quick video of it. It’s here in the shop for anyone to try out. These horns are amazingly easy to play. If you were thinking about getting an Engelbert Schmid double, this one is available without the wait.

*Lacquered Yellow Brass, Two Water Keys, & Hand Rest (Bell is currently a medium spun yellow brass)

If it’s not Baroque…

We recently set out on the task of copying a unique style of mouthpiece. This particular piece is for use on a baroque trumpet. When copying and producing a custom mouthpiece, we create a digital image of the rim and interior profile. We save that image as a file that our machines can read and work from. This process is called digitizing. Once a mouthpiece is digitized, that file can be used to make any number of copies.

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The exterior is somewhat of a different story. Typically we use one of our blanks, a raw brass mouthpiece with its interior profile yet to be defined. But with this particular mouthpiece, there’s so much character in the exterior that we had to copy that as well! It may have required a little extra work, but the end result came out exactly how we wanted.

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The price of duplicating the exterior on a custom mouthpiece varies on a case-by-case basis. So if you have a unique looking mouthpiece you want copied, including the exterior, bring it by the shop or email us some pictures and we would be happy to give you our assessment.

 

Measuring Rims

Measuring Rims
Here’s a Lawson B23G705 rim. Its inner diameter is either .705″ or .683″, depending on where you measure it.

We’re often asked to compare the diameters of rims from different makers. Whether a rim measures 17.5 or 18 mm depends on where it’s measured. There’s no “right place” to measure a rim and unless the maker tells you where a rim has been measured it’s impossible to compare.

The Lawson rim shown above was measured at a point .025″ down from its high point (crown). That’s where the “705” number comes from. We think that’s a less-than-ideal place to take a measurement because it’s in the middle of the curve.

Osmun mouthpieces are measured .050″ down from the crown because at that point the rim blends into the cup. So, in our measuring system the diameter would be .683″.  That’s .022″ (.56mm) different.

Other makers may use different measuring points and unless they tell you where they’re measuring, it’s impossible to compare.  So, take rim measurements with a large grain of salt.

 

 

 

Lawson Replica Horn Mouthpieces

Since releasing our line of Lawson replica mouthpieces, we’ve received a number of questions from customers trying to order these components. So I would like to take a moment and dispel some of the confusion surrounding these Lawson mouthpieces.

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For starters, the Lawson cups and rims are not on the same thread pitch as the rest of our standard mouthpiece line. That means that a new R10G700 rim will not be fitting on your beloved Osmun Chicago cup, but, our Lawson replicas will fit with any original Lawson mouthpiece components that you may already own. We have, in the past, done custom work for customers looking to use a Lawson rim on one of our cups and vice versa. So it can work but will require a bit of custom work to be done. If you’re looking for something that will fit a standard cup but don’t want to get into custom work, the P1 and P1+ are copies of Lawson’s P10G and are made in both standard and metric threads.

The second major point of confusion is rim size and their cup compatibility. The cups come in two different styles. Lawson cups come in two different sizes. The narrower .660 cup and the wider .670. The .660 cup will fit the .690 and .695 sized rims and the .670 will fit with .695, .700, and .705

This should clear up any major points of confusion, and if not, we’re only a call or email away.

Keeping Your Horn Clean at Home

Recently, we’ve had quite a few customers asking what they can do at home to keep their horns clean. One trick that comes as a surprise to most brass musicians is to oil your valves after playing your horn. Of course, it is important to oil your valves before you play so as to keep pistons and rotors moving smoothly and quickly. But the little-known secret of oiling after play helps to coat the instrument in oils protecting the inner-workings of your horn from corrosion. After a session of playing, empty all spit from the instrument and put a few drops of oil on pistons, rotors, and even down the mouthpipe. This should help coat and protect the instrument before going back into its case. This is especially beneficial if you plan to leave your instrument for an extended period of time without playing. Oiling before being put in the case will help to prevent taking out your horn weeks later to find frozen valves and slides. casings-before

The next thing you can do to keep your instrument in top shape is to use a snake tool to remove dirt and other gross objects from your instrument. Most snakes have a brush or sponge-like object at the end of a bendable tube, for getting around corners and bends in your instruments tubing. One thing you want to be certain to do before using a snake tool is to remove your valves from the instruments before snaking. We recently encountered a situation where a customer left the valves in while snaking and the brush section became lodged inside a valve piston. In order to remove the foreign object, the trumpet had to be dissembled. It was not pretty. brush

Another simple and easy trick you can do at home is to give your horn a bath. Fill your bathtub up with warm water (not hot!) and use a little bit of dish soap. We prefer the blue dawn dish soap. Use your snake or other cleaning equipment to wash out the inside of the instrument. This will remove any bio-film (the food, plaque and other gross stuff left behind while playing). Cleaning your horn in the bathtub will not remove any corrosion, that will have to be removed through chemical cleaning treatments. But this method should help remove any undesirable crud inside your horn. After the bath, be sure to dry out your horn and oil it up before putting it back in the case.

The mouthpipe of a trumpet is generally the first place we begin to see red-rot occurring. This makes sense as it is the closest component of the instrument to the source of moisture (your mouth). After playing, try using a leadpipe swab to remove moisture and other liquids built up in your mouthpipe. These tools are similar to the swabs you may see a clarinet player or other woodwind friends using to clean out their instruments. They generally feature a soft cloth, sometimes made of silk attached to a weighted string. Pull out your tuning slide, drop the weight down the leadpipe and pull the cloth through. continue the process until the mouthpipe is sufficiently dry.

Through proper care, you can keep your brass instruments sounding great and playing awesome for many decades. As always if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.

Introducing the Osmun Visualizer

Use your own rim! Our new embouchure visualizer features a Giardinelli-compatible thread so you can use it with your regular rim. It fits our rims as well as Giardinelli, Moosewood, Houser, and most other American screw rims. Also available: models for Paxman Halstead-Chidell, Lawson, and others.

 

Allergies a problem? We can duplicate your rim in Delrin or Lucite. Call 978 823-0580 or email for more information.