I may have a little different perspective on the Wild Thing trumpet. I am, primarily, a 55yr old lawyer. I practice daily and play with several community bands, a community orchestra that supports a choral group, several amateur theatre company musical or G/S pit orchestras and the occasional Easter service or wedding. I am definitely an amateur musician. My usable range tops out at F above high-C and, unless I get pretty excited during a ride, I don’t play above Eb above high-C in public. I am not looking for a horn that “lets me use my full potential” or that “doesn’t get in the way of what I am trying to say.”
I want a horn that can make a definite contribution to getting me through the program. It needs to have clean and confident initiation of tone because my attacks aren’t always precise. It must have good intonation, even when I get tired and don’t listen as well as I should. I need a lot of dynamic range, without always having perfect support, ranging from playing solos from within the section in a concert band at outdoor concerts to backing Mozart with the church choir. I have played modern, large-bore horns (a Schilke and two Calletts) since 1970, but the Wild Thing is an entirely different experience.
It seems to have all of the advantages of other large-bore horns, such as a lot of projection and great flexibility, but without the problems. With my other horns, I had trouble with clean attacks, intonation up and down the scale, especially when tired, and maintaining sustained piano passages without buzz or breathiness. The Wild Thing just doesn’t have these problems. Curiously, I have reached the conclusion that the Wild Thing avoids some of the large-bore pitfalls by taking the large bore characteristics to an extreme.
The tonal center (by which I mean sub-semitone range over which I have the ability to lip the note up and down without adversely affecting the tone or overstressing the chops) is so large that good intonation is easy. I may have to flat my top-of-the-staff G’s a little when I get tired, but it is easy to do so without sounding like I am lipping-down. I think that the large area of good note production also results in repeatable perfect attacks. Even if my set-up and attack is a little off, the range of conditions within which the Wild Thing will make a good sound is so large that a good result comes out.
I don’t have a theory as to why such a free blowing horn can play such beautiful pianos. On other large-bore horns, playing piano gives me a very “constipated” feel as I create resistance in my air column, trying to keep support up while carefully metering out the air. The Wild Thing doesn’t require that technique. It seems to just accepted the air that comes to it and responds accordingly. I like this Thing. It makes me a better player.