Played trumpet for several years in elementary school and switched to valve trombone, baritone (euphonium if you must) and tuba while wearing braces in high school. After that I lost interest in music and did not play a lick for about 14 years. An interest in the church orchestra led me to get out the old King Tempo trumpet and give it a go. In a matter of weeks the King was not meeting my needs. Under the advice of a music professional, I purchased a Bach Strad ML180/37.
Looking back now, I really wish I would have looked around and shopped for the RIGHT horn for me. Anyway, I continued to play the Bach, but was never really pleased with my sound on it, the responsiveness, the feel, or much of anything. By the way, I’ve had the Bach played by several knowledgeable musicians and they all comment that it is a good playing Bach, mine was not a dog or one of the bad ones you some times hear about.
Finally, after about 6 years on the Bach I began a search for a suitable replacement. After trying several different type of horns, heavy vs. light, small through large bore, etc., I learned that the right type of horn for me is a std. or light weight with a large bore. Now that the search was narrowed down, half the battle was over.
I was finalizing my decision and was leaning to a large bore with large bell combination offered by a fine reputable company, but then had the opportunity to try one more horn, the Wild Thing. The first trial was in Flip’s living room and I was a little nervous playing with a business associate and Flip sitting there, but I fell in love with the horn anyway. That was it, I had to have it!
COOL DOWN PERIOD:
I did not buy the horn on the spot, mainly because I did not have the money lined up yet and had not had the chance to play it in the environment I would be performing (mostly Church group and solo stuff with some sporadic Community Band as time allows). The months passed by and eventually did purchase a Wild Thing.
Shortly after I received the horn, I had my wife go to the church with me and do a blind study hearing test. It is a fairly large sanctuary that gives a beautiful echo effect without the audience and accompaniment music. The first tune I played was on the Bach. Wife’s feedback – that’s pretty, which horn was that? Of course I did not tell her. Then I played the same tune with the WT and she said, before I even finished, “That’s the new one, that’s the new one. The sound is richer, I haven’t heard you sound like that before”.
Test after test, with different styles of music, the conclusion was the same, the WT simply sounds better. One way of describing the sound difference is that the Bach was very focused, while the WT “filled the room”. My wife is not really musical, but that was the best way she could describe it. To me, what I am hearing is that the WT has more overtones which add a richness and uniqueness to the listening experience. The icing on the cake is that the WT plays easier. Yes, it’s true, it is easier to sound better with the WT! As you can imagine from my limited background, I was apprehensive about the need for a different horn. After all, I’m not making a living with this or anything.
I was also concerned that an amateur such as myself may not be able to “fill the horn” or tap into any of the benefits of such a high quality horn. Believe me, every time I get the chance to play the WT, I am happy I made the switch. I am recharged to strive for even more personal improvement and see just how far I can take this beautiful instrument.
One last endorsement, my range has improved from C above the staff to E and an occasional F above the staff with this horn. I’m really not into stratospheric playing, but the increased range greatly improves my confidence in executing those Cs and Ds in performance.
Finally, sorry for being so long winded, but I would like to ensure that everyone truly understands my motive for providing this testimonial. It is simply that I get such enjoyment out of this horn and was becoming so frustrated with my previous horn and my slow development that I would like to help someone avoid that situation. If you do not feel your horn is working for you, then TRY SOMETHING ELSE. And I heartily recommend that you try the Wild Thing.
Larry Woods, Orange, TX