A Visit From Kruspe

kruspe

Jim Becker, Jim Engele, Katsushi Sakaino, and Bob Osmun check out the new Kruspe “Horner Philadelphia” model double horn.

This morning, Osmun Music welcomed Katsuchi Sakaino, the owner of Ed. Kruspe Metallblasinstrumente. Mr. Sakaino is in the US showing his new horn to interested players and dealers all around the country.

The firm Ed. Kruspe has been in existence since 1833. It was bought by Katsushi’s father Tatehiko in 2012 and they continue the tradition, building all brass, with an emphasis on horns, in their workshop in Bavaria.

You can read about the history of the company on the Kruspe website.

The new Kruspe “Horner Philadelphia” horn is a direct descendant of the horn Kruspe developed for legendary Philadelphia Orchestra hornist Anton Horner, in 1904. The Horner model was the first successful wide taper horn and was a big part of the “Philadelphia sound” made famous by Stokowski. In the late 1930’s it was copied by Conn and became the Conn 8D.

Contact the shop if your interested in more information, and be sure to check our new and used horns, accessories, and mouthpieces at osmun.com.

Blueprinting

Why Are Some Trumpets 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. Now days it’s pretty much a moot point. The economics of the music business make carrying a large stock of instruments a losing proposition. Continue reading

Just another service we offer…

Douglas Yeo

Douglas Yeo

Boston Symphony bass trombonist Douglas Yeo is one of our favorite customers. When he’s not working with the orchestra or maintaining his gigantic web site (yeodoug.com), he’s a devotee of early brass, specifically serpents and ophcleides. Ohecleides are like the bass version of keyed bugles, sort of like a saxophone with a cup mouthpiece. Berlioz wrote a lot of ophecleide parts, including a comic duet for ophecleide and bass drum in Benvenuto Cellini.

Original on the left, our wider copy on the right.

Original on the left, our wider copy on the right.

Recently, Doug asked us to build him a special mouthpiece for his ophecleide.  He had gotten one he liked from an Australian maker but it was too small for him.  We copied it and then enlarged the dimensions to Doug’s standard 28mm inside diameter. The outside of the piece had to be modified as well to accommodate the wider cup. It’s important to maintain the wall thickness so, after redesigning the cup, we carried the same contour to the outside.

Copying a complex outside shape can be a challenge. It’s possible to make a cast and digitize the outside the same way we do the cup and rim but unless there is a need for absolute accuracy it’s usually more satisfactory to do it the old-fashioned way, by measuring and making a drawing. (Of course, once the drawing is made it’s converted to a computer file so the CNC lathe can cut it.) In this case the fact that we were making major changes to the contours made drawing the obvious choice.

This picture clearly shows the difference in diameter between the original and the copy.

This picture clearly shows the difference in diameter between the original and the copy.

Old Euph Gets New Voice

When Dan Ryan brought his Conn double-bell euphonium in for repair, it needed more than the usual TLC. Somewhere in the far distant past, before Dan had acquired it about thirty years ago, this euph had lost its second bell.

Dan ryan and Osmun Repair Tech Jim Becker examine Mr. Ryan's 1923 Conn Double Bell Euphonium

Dan Ryan and Osmun Repair Tech Jim Becker examine Mr. Ryan’s 1923 Conn Double Bell Euphonium

Double bell euphoniums enjoyed a vogue during the early years of the last century (this one was made in 1923). In addition to the regular large bell a smaller, trombone sized bell, controlled by a piston valve, made it possible for a skilled soloist to make it sound like he was playing duets with himself.

Jim Becker did a major restoration of this instrument to return it to good cosmetic and playing condition and was able to locate, in our vast collection of spare parts, a Conn alto horn bell of the appropriate size and about the same age, as evidenced by the engraving,  as the missing one. The original bell faced forward and this one is bell up so the sound was not as directional, but we felt that this was acceptable. It would have been possible to construct a 70 degree elbow to match the original direction but it would have been, we felt, a very expensive solution to a minor problem.

Jim cleaned up the bell, tested it and trimmed it to length, and made a new tenon ring to attach it to the body of the instrument. Play testing confirmed it’s pitch and sound quality and now it’s ready for the next hundred years.