Osmun Music Trumpet Specialist Jim Becker
Jim Becker, our ace trumpet tech, just got a nice shout-out from a happy customer on the Trumpet Herald (Here’s the link):
Hi All — Last year I had Jim Becker at Osmun do a valve job on my 1968 Olds Special. He turned a “Special” into a “Fantastic.” This past week, he did a valve job on my 1954 Olds Recording, with the same result. The horn is the off-the-map good. In my view, for a vintage horn, there’s no bigger bang-for-the-buck than a valve job, as long as the rest of the horn is sound. Jim also goes the extra mile, always finding other things to correct along the way (my Recording came back with the bell straightened out and with O-rings on the third valve slide). He’s an expert’s expert, fair in pricing, and a nice person to boot. Thanks, Jim!
Be sure to check out the Trumpet Services page at osmun.com.
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
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
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.