Dearman Trumpet…unusual question

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by B.Portas, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    Right, I might get shouted at for bringing up trumpets/jazz in a predominately brass band themed website, but I figured some of you may know about this.

    My fiancee has got hold of a Dearman Master trumpet (mainly for our jazz/swing band, that I play guitar in) from a clueless eBay seller - didn't know what it was and assumed it was broken, but it plays great - awesome sound and lightning fast valves.

    Problem is, with all the tuning slides in, when she plays open, the harmonic series is B natural, but slightly flat. Pulling all the slides out as far as they will go makes the open partials into the harmonic series of C, but quite flat.

    It won't get anywhere near Bb or C…so we're a bit clueless to what key its actually supposed to be in - no mention of them on the internet anywhere and B natural is a silly key for any instrument to be pitched in.

    Should we try and find some kind of adapter, to make the leadpipe or main slide longer, to put it in C, or get a repairman who knows what he's doing to chop a bit off (I'm a bit clueless if this is possible…having an Imperial Eb tuba, I'm familiar with the Fletcher cut)?

    Any help/information would be massively appreciated.

  2. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    maybe the seller wasn't as clueless as you thought....
  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Something doesn't quite add up...

    If the main slide fully in gives you a flat-B-natural, you could also call that a sharp-B-flat... pull the slide out a bit (not the full way) to flatten that note and you're at Bb.

    When you lengthen the tubing, you make the instrument pitch lower - not higher (as you're suggesting - pulling it out won't get you to a higher/sharper pitch than you started at, in this case you will not get from a sharp-Bb UP to a C by pulling out, it'll go the other way).

    Whether the instrument will play in tune with itself or not (especially with older and well-used instruments) is another question entirely... And whether the player has the correct pitch/tuning in their ear will have an affect too (if you're "picturing" an off-note in your head, trying to produce that note can counteract that slide position).
  4. Tam O Shanter

    Tam O Shanter Member

    Could it be an old high pitch Bb instrument from the early part of the 20th Century? A=452 or thereabouts?
  5. Mental note: Don't buy untried from ebay.
  6. Tam O Shanter

    Tam O Shanter Member

    I've personally bought 7 instruments from ebay and most have been bargains. Only 1 gave me any problems and this one was correctly desribed in the listing - I took a gamble with it. It may be more risky than buying a tried instrument but it can give bargains.
  7. My experience is the complete opposite. Many parents of pupils have bought something totally worthless in their pursuit of a "bargain."
  8. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    Apologies - I wrote it the wrong way round. All slides in = sharp B natural (nowhere near a C really), Main slide out = very Flat B natural (almost a Bb but not quite).

    I've bought a fair few instruments from eBay (around 5 guitars, a trombone, a tuba and this trumpet), untried, not been disappointed with one. If not for the pitching issues, this would be perfect - seems well intonated with itself and great sound, as well as been pretty free blowing and (to our surprise) in almost perfect working order.

    Besides, I didn't want to say, but we won it for just under £20, including postage. Can't get much fairer than that! We expected a lot of work to be done, i.e., valves, slides etc, but no need, other than a cork/felt change.

    I've asked around and it seems that a shorter cornet mouthpiece might get it down to Bb, and an old style tuning shank, plus the long trumpet mp might get it to C.
  9. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

  10. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    Uh ... no.

    If the thing plays sharp to begin with, using a shorter mouthpiece will make it play sharper, and using a longer mouthpiece will make it play flatter.

    You need to ADD length to get the pitch down to Bb or SUBTRACT length to get the pitch up to C.
  11. tromboneyone

    tromboneyone Member

    Hello all,

    Can I ask a question: Are the notes you are referring to concert or brass band pitch (Bb). If the later, then this could easily be a trumpet with an A tuning crook as the poster above said it does look like the trumpet originally comes with two different tuning crooks.

    If so, it is easy to solve by getting a good repairer to either alter the size of the tuning crook (chop a bit out) or slides or manufacture a new Bb tuning crook. This obviously will come at a cost, but might be worth it. I'm not sure that altering the mp shank length will give you good results as it is likely to impact on the intonation of the instrument. Also one would think that shortening the tubing (with different mouthpieces) would make the instrument sharper, not flatter as you have suggested.
  12. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    I already said - I made a mistake and just carried on with it.

    What we're doing is getting an old tuning shank and using a longer mouthpiece to see if it'll go into Bb.
  13. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Pure curiosity... have you given it a damned good clean yet?

    If it's fairly old and hadn't been cleaned for quite some time you may find that there's a serious amount of gunk lining the inside... cleaning it out thoroughly may lower the pitch a touch.

    Quite aside from which, if you're thinking of having it modified (I wouldn't until you know what it's supposed to be playing in, get a second opinion and ensure that its not something silly causing your problems) it makes sense to get your impression of where the instrument stands when its in its best possible condition - a good clean is a good place to start.