Wessex Rotary & C trumpets

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Pauli Walnuts, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    Anyone here have any experience of the Wessex Rotary and C Trumpets?

    cheers!
    Andy
     
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Can't help, but I would also be interested in any feedback on the rotary.

    Now, if they were to offer a rotary in C, then I would be seriously interested ...
     
  3. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    I have played rotary trumpets a lot and I have also played the same Chinese one they supply, but not with their name on it.

    Basically to answer your question you need to differentiate between the two types of rotary trumpets.

    #1 Designed for use in fanfare bands, marching bands etc.

    #2 Designed for use in orchestras. These are heavier weight instruments. Traditionally the first trumpet normally plays a C trumpet and the others Bb.

    There are a further two subdivisions by bore size. Most traditional rotary trumpets have a bore size around 11mm. Many of the more modern designs are 11.2-11.5 which might make them more compatible feeling with piston valve trumpets.

    The Chinese one I played on which looks identical to the Wessex one had quite a small bell flare and is quite light weight. Definitely in the #1 category, but so are B&S and Mirafon. Scherzer are pretty light too. I used to play one of their Bb trumpets and it was just not a big enough sound. The Lidl and Cerveny models are on the light side, but probably as good as the Scherzer. The chinese one benefited from having a brass washer fitted under the cap of the third valve tuning slide.

    The brands that orchestral players are buying are Yamaha, Lechener, Monke, Schagerl, Thein, Dowids (one of the successors to Ganter) etc.
    Some of these are one or two man operations and you have to special order the instrument. If I were buying today I would order a Lechner. But we are talking tuba money.

    If you go for a C trumpet you will need to custom order at least one "Ɯberblasklappe". These help lock the notes in. The water key usually has long lever and this locks in the D above top C (i.e. concert C). On a Bb trumpet this would lock in the top C in the C trumpet part of Also Sprach Zarathustra and similar parts. However, on C trumpet you would need the "C key" to lock this in. This is fitted about five centimetres from the end of the tuning slide near the bell. This locks in the top C on the C trumpet. Some players have additional "klappen" for A and Bb. What these do is open a vent in the tubing, accoustically shortening the tube slightly and helping the note to lock in tune and clearly. You operate the levers with your right pinky.

    The other issue is mouthpieces. Because the bore of these instruments is rather small they respond better on mouthpieces with larger throats. I play Breslmair G2 but with a 1 1/2C bach rim on it. This has a more conical cup than a piston trumpet mouthpiece and a bigger throat.

    I hope someone finds that helpful. Rotary trumpets are interesting, and closer in feel to a cornet than a piston valve trumpet.
     
  4. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for this useful info Gordon.
    Living in Germany now, I have also noticed the greater use of C Trumpets - not so common in UK where most are happy to transpose.
    As my use will be orchestral, I'll check some of those brands out too. Interestingly, one of the guys over here suggested Yamaha too.
     
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I'm not convinced transposition has much to do with it, given that so much of the core c.19th orchestral repertoire is written for F trumpets ... of course a certain amount is written for E trumpet, and transposition from E to C is certainly a bit more straightforward than for Bb.
     
  6. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Transposition to C trumpet is generally easier overall plus the added security in the sharp keys like D.
     
  7. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    My personal experience in the UK does of course have a heck of a lot of F trumpet but also a lot of C. E I have found to be rare - may be the repertoire my Orchestra played is different to your experience (I perfom only as a semi pro and gave a day job!). Also, some of the intonation on C trumpets is so awful rhat even guys who own them pull out a Bb. (Happened in a performance of Pictures not that long ago).
    For E, I tend to use a D -easy enough transposition.
     
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    That is a very common scenario in the UK, using the D to cover odd keys. I used to use a Bach C trumpet, but it had a full size Bb leadpipe cunningly accommodated through a reverse leadpipe arrangement and a finger hook on a bridge sticking out over the tuning slide. Didn't sound like a C trumpet though.

    I have seen a lot of Trumpet in E parts over the years in orchestras, mainly in the romantic period. I am doing Beethoven 3 next week and it is trumpet in Eb and trumpet in C. Playing it on Bb (of course). I used to use a Schilke 4 valve Eb which covered a lot of these keys surprisingly easily, but it wasnt getting used so I flogged it.
     
  9. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Actually, my C (a Schilke C3L) has the best intonation of any of the trumpets I own, and I tend to use it more than any of my other instruments if I have a free choice. It's quite a lightweight sound, though, so if I have to play anything that requires a big broad sound I have to go back to my Strad Bb. I sometimes wonder if the intonation issue isn't more to do with not playing the instrument often enough to really get used to it. All the trumpet players in the major US professional symphony orchestras use C trumpets almost exclusively, and they wouldn't do that if the intonation wasn't good enough, I suspect ...

    That's certainly true, although the D trumpet isn't really the right sort of sound for some of the "heavier" romantic repertoire that is written for trumpet in E (Strauss "Don Juan" springs to mind)
     
  10. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I am very lucky that my D, a Benge, is a lovely instrument with a great sound. So much better than the Getzen I had before. My focus now is on the rotary Bb as I am getting into the orchestal scene over here. It would take an excellent instrument to consider not using my Selmer Paris Bb over a C trumpet - plus, wont be getting the 1st gigs here for a while!
    A good discussion gents, appreciate your contributions.
     
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  12. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I now have my Wessex Rotary and gave it a good runout this evening at an Orchestra rehearsal.
    Very impressed with the build and the sound - for the money, this is an excellent instrument.
    Only issues are for me! Have to get used to how to hold it - feels unnatural to begin with. Also, a tad sharp on bottom C# and D - as you can't set the 3rd slide tuning, use of the trigger is pretty constant. And of course, that is affected by sorting out how to hold it!
    I will get used to it I'm sure though.

    In this orchestra, I am on 3rd - the sound on this to me seems to be much better below the stave too.

    I am impressed enough to take a look at their C now.
     
  13. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    TBH, I've had a Cverny Bb rotary for around 15 years now, and I still haven't found a comfortable way to hold it ...
     
  14. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Ring finger in the hook. Thumb on trigger. Index and middle finger over the bell. Little finger usually resting on one of the tubes. I use a leather bell guard which gives a lot more grip. You might find that helpful. Reduces the feeling of death grip.
     
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Yeah; the Cverny doesn't have a trigger, so that kind of leaves the thumb spare. The bell guard makes sense; but I can't see that that would stop the cramping I get because the joint between the ring and middle finger is uncomfortably stretched. I have fairly small hands, so that probably doesn't help ...
     
  16. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    I have small hands too and I do have that problem too. The bell guard does mean I don't have to grip as tight and I have found this effectively resolves it. On my piccolo trumpet my thumb is round the rear brace and it os a much more comfortable hold. I got my bell guard from Leather Specialities, but there are other easier makes to get hold of in Germany or you could easily make your own. It is triangular shaped and has a velcro on the edges with a cut out for the finger hook. See photos below:

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