The Benge is back.
tjveloce last edited by
In 1982 my father bought me a Benge MLP for my 16th birthday. We flew to a music store in Burbank and I played a few different models before settling on the MLP. I played it throughout high school and college, and then it slept in storage for the lost years where I wasn’t playing.
When I returned to the trumpet it was the one I started with, but a number of circumstances led me down a path that brought other horns in to my collection of “daily weapons,” most notably my Yamaha Miyashiro which has been my big band/ensemble horn of choice.
A couple years ago I took the Benge to Denver with me, so I’d have a horn to play when I was out visiting my Mother In Law, but then the pandemic happened and I’ve not travelled to Denver since. When Mom came to spend the holidays with us she brought my old Benge with her and the reunion was an unexpectedly fantastic one.
The horn has always been a very good one but I forgot how good it is. After 4 years of mostly being on the Yamaha (and 2 or so on the Committee) it’s more like the Martin than the Miyashiro. That was a big, and welcome surprise. I’m really quite surprised that the Benge has a more compact and softer core sound to it, one which I absolutely love. I spent all day getting to know it again, and promptly put the Miyashiro in its case. I’m going to use the Benge in big band rehearsal tomorrow night and see how I do with it. As far as ease of play, intonation, and dexterity, it gives up little (if any) to the Yamaha.
BTW-it’s a Los Angeles built example, most likely made in 1980 or 1981.