Should I buy a Bach Stradivarius or a vintage Martin Committee Trumpet?
I'm going to buy one of these two off of eBay, but can't decide which I should get. I've tried a Strad before and loved it, but haven't tried a Committee. I will be playing Jazz, Swing, and a little bit of Mariachi. What's your two cents?
My advice is not not limit yourself to two names based on what you have heard. It is always best to play before you pay. The connection between a horn and the player is individual. I'd recommend going to trumpetmaster.com or trumpetherald.com and asking your question there, and browsing through their forums. There are many more brands of trumpet out there than just Bach and Martin. In general it is better to buy a used pro trumpet in good condition than a newer (shinier, whatever) beginner model. Botth the Strad and Committee are pro models but have many differences. The Bach Strad has been in production for many decades. You can seach for history and opinions yourself and probably find that there are some periods of Strad that are not as well considered as others. The Committee was only made from the late 30's until the early 70's, with the earlier models being considered better. This means that you could be comparing a relatively recent Strad with a vintage Committee - hardly a fair comparision. With the Committee's you have to watch out for red rot in the leadpipe. With any older trumpet the valves and slides may not (probably will not) be as smooth or perform as well as a newer trumpet.
The Bach Strad is the quintessential modern symphonic trumpet sound. But that doesn't mean it can't be played in other genre's. They have been described as being a bit brighter, and having a dense core to the sound. Many (most?) college students (and many high school) students get a Strad (or a Yamaha these day) so there are plenty available and it is the reference sound of trumpet for a lot of people. For many people the Martin Committee holds a certain mystique. It was famously played by Miles Davis, as well as Dizzy Gillespie, and Chet Baker. It is usually described as having a dark, smokey tone, but a lot of this is the player (Miles and Dizzy hardly have the same tone). The 'slotting' is a lot looser allowing the player to bend notes easily (but also making it more slippery to play in the center of the pitch). They are both good trumpets. I have a Committee and like it. But I actually prefer my Olds Recording for most playing. There are a lot of other current and vintage brands of pro trumpet you can think about: King, Olds, Conn, Reynolds, Getzen, Yamaha... to name a few. Good luck.
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