Does a large bore horn take more air?



  • I've read a bunch of threads on this and they all devolve into other factors. All I want to know are the playing differences between medium and large bore horns, i.e. flexibility, tonguing, and most of all, does a large bore horn actually require more air.

    This question does not ask for any technical info like measurements, and does not ask about tone differences. Only, does a large bore take more air and are there any differences in articulation. Thanks a lot.



  • I have never done a direct comparison, I will when I get home from holiday next week, can compare Bach Mt Vernon Large bore with a Bach Model 38 Medium bore.

    However without some standards of measurements the results can be only subjective.

    Regards, Stuart.



  • A friend of mine played an Olds Opera trumpet (.468" bore) for years. He said that it sucked the air out of his lungs. Judging by the way he played, it didn't seem to affect him at all.

    I had one for several years, but I didn't have the same perception that he did; it seemed fine to me. No articulation difficulties other than that of the mismatch of a 5C with my embouchure. The problem I had with it was getting a dark enough sound out of it, as its timbre was bright with the Bach 5C I was using at the time. With the Bach 2 mouthpiece I had, it made the most luscious sound I ever heard from a trumpet. Unfortunately for me at the time, I had difficulty in the upper register with that mouthpiece, and as I recall, endurance suffered slightly as well, a shortcoming I did not have with the 5C. I finally sold it, a move I sorely regret, as it played better than other Operas I've tried before and since.



  • Comments based on past ownership of a Holton MF st307, Wild Thing, Inderbinen Alpha C trumpet and a good blow through a Schilke s22 (which only confirmed what I felt about the other instruments).

    The first time I switched from a standard bore instrument, and attempted to play it as I would the standard bore, it was an awful lot louder and pulled significantly more air. Just as the mythology says. But after a while, I wised up and eased off on the oral pressure to better match the volume of the standard (then as now, the Yamaha 6335H II). The physics tells me they should still draw a little more air for a given note, but not so much as I could notice the difference. The difference I did notice is that they became distinctly more mellow in sound (which those of you familiar with my postings will know is not a good thing in my books - I don't play cornet).

    I rather unenthusiastically tried to brighten the sound with a smaller piece, but, as with J. Jericho's experience, ran into problems with mismatching between cup size, throat and bore resulting in a more 'strangled', less resonant sound. Not good.

    Best compromise piece I have found is the Wick 4C, which has the added bonus of being a little less punishing on the lip than the birdbaths I used to play. But you do lose something of the full force of these instruments played through a proportionally large throat. Hypothetical anyway - I just can't do that anymore.

    What I ended up doing is splitting my repertoire. The stuff which called for a brighter sound like baroque classics etc, I played on the ML Yamaha or Severinsen - the more mellow (or just louder) stuff - I played on the Wild Thing.

    I do find the Wild Thing remarkably easy to play. Ideal student trumpet in my view. And that is not a criticism - just an observation based on playing it for nearly 20 years. When I'm working on tonguing and flexibility, I reach immediately for the Wild Thing because that's the instrument I'll crack the problem with. But I don't think this has much if anything to do with bore size - more the resonant design. The stronger slotting instruments like the Yamaha are for me much less helpful in problem solving. They're maybe more for those whose technical issues are behind them. But I digress.



  • @Kehaulani said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    does a large bore horn actually require more air

    If you notice having to dispense more air playing a large bore over a medium bore, you'd probably bust a gut playing a sousaphone. Don't think the bore has much to do with it. I've always understood it was air through the lips not the air through the horn........ but I'm not presenting myself as anyone more than marginally knowledgeable.



  • Just simply because it's large bore? I would say not always. I have a Holton ST-302 that will suck the air out of you and a Blessing Super Artist that won't. Both are .468 bores. My Olds Pinto with the flow-through design will suck the air out of you despite being a medium bore .460. The 302 and SA both have big full sounds and articulation is the same on both for me. The Pinto has a bigger sound than most .460's but the sound isn't focused and is more "duck-like". Articulation is okay, I don't play it that much though. It's an oddity and was cheap, so I bought it.



  • @Kehaulani said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    I've read a bunch of threads on this and they all devolve into other factors. All I want to know are the playing differences between medium and large bore horns, i.e. flexibility, tonguing, and most of all, does a large bore horn actually require more air.

    This question does not ask for any technical info like measurements, and does not ask about tone differences. Only, does a large bore take more air and are there any differences in articulation. Thanks a lot.

    No, they do not. The blow of the horn is something much different. A vintage medium bore Bach Vindabona takes a LOT more air than my Bach CL229H ever did.

    I never noticed any additional requirements for articulation.

    There are easy blowing medium and hard blowing large bore horns and vice versa. I think that the major difference for blow and articulation is how we hear ourselves - which is a function of bell thickness and bracing.



  • The old 1960s Conn Director cornet has a huge .484 bore and is a student-level cornet. It's really easy to play.


  • Global Moderator

    Well, at some point it does (think tuba). However, I doubt the difference between .438 and .444 is a matter of air volume. Seems to me that the whole horn has an effect, and changing the bore size will contribute to that effect. To some, it may seem like it takes "more air," but this is often an issue of perception and not reality.



  • @administrator said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    Well, at some point it does (think tuba). However, I doubt the difference between .438 and .444 is a matter of air volume. Seems to me that the whole horn has an effect, and changing the bore size will contribute to that effect. To some, it may seem like it takes "more air," but this is often an issue of perception and not reality.

    The tuba needs more air because it is a far less efficient system which starts with the large mouthpiece throat and less efficient embouchure due to the low frequencies.

    In theory, the trumpets are already full of air. We only need air to sustain the buzz and modulate it for sound quality and volume. Some horns are more efficient than others (speak more quickly and give the player more feedback). Those are not functions of valve block size (where the bore is measured). Artisans can pack any sonic features into a reasonably sized bore instrument.



  • @ROWUK said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    @administrator said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    In theory, the trumpets are already full of air. We only need air to sustain the buzz and modulate it for sound quality and volume.

    But doesn't a smaller bore instrument require less air to do that and wouldn't a smaller bore horn make putting the air into the horn more resistant, thereby requiring less air to put the embouchure into motion?

    Giving the phrase, forgetting the scientific reasons, that the smaller horn requires less air and a large bore horn more?



  • @Kehaulani said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    @ROWUK said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    In theory, the trumpets are already full of air. We only need air to sustain the buzz and modulate it for sound quality and volume.

    But doesn't a smaller bore instrument require less air to do that and wouldn't a smaller bore horn make putting the air into the horn more resistant, thereby requiring less air to put the embouchure into motion?

    Giving the phrase, forgetting the scientific reasons, that the smaller horn requires less air and a large bore horn more?

    Actually, no. The smaller bore does not need less air. The artisan building the horn can dial parameters in - almost at will. Less air is a function of a more efficient embouchure AND/OR a more efficient instrument/mouthpiece/embouchure. Roughly, the greater the difference between the mouthpiece throat and the bell size, the greater the efficiency. More efficiency means the instrument does more of the work BUT it may not feel easier to play if the player does not hear themselves as well or has the impression that air is backing up.



  • @ROWUK That may be scientifically true, but don't most manufacturers make a difference in air/resistance in their construction based on bore size? I believe this is for for marketing and classification reasons?



  • @Kehaulani said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    @ROWUK That may be scientifically true, but don't most manufacturers make a difference in air/resistance in their construction based on bore size? I believe this is for for marketing and classification reasons?

    Well, I don't know of many companies making small and medium bore instruments except as a specialty. In the case of Bach, the valve cluster on the ML and L are supposed to be the same. I consider the largest bore Yamahas to be the easiest to play efficiently (compared to the ML bore instruments). My "largest bore" Monettes used far less air than my ML instruments.



  • Here as a large bore Harrelson Summit compared to a Martin Committee (not sure bore size used in this comparison) Hard to tell the difference.

    https://trumpetgear.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/summit-vs-committee_2.mp3

    This has been my experience in playing my Summit. My large bore Harrelson so close to my Medium bore Committee and with the Harmon mute in... they are scary identical! The Harrelson plays SO MUCH easier than the Committee.... almost effortlessly, especially when going above the D above staff. And you can play so quietly to double high C with amazing control and little effort. While I can do a similar range with the Committee on my Kanstul G2 mouthpiece, it does take a lot more concentration to do the same work once above the D above staff.


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    @Dr-GO said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    Here as a large bore Harrelson Summit compared to a Martin Committee (not sure bore size used in this comparison) Hard to tell the difference.

    https://trumpetgear.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/summit-vs-committee_2.mp3

    This has been my experience in playing my Summit. My large bore Harrelson so close to my Medium bore Committee and with the Harmon mute in... they are scary identical! The Harrelson plays SO MUCH easier than the Committee.... almost effortlessly, especially when going above the D above staff. And you can play so quietly to double high C with amazing control and little effort. While I can do a similar range with the Committee on my Kanstul G2 mouthpiece, it does take a lot more concentration to do the same work once above the D above staff.

    D

    The Harrelson was a ML.460 bore , LP 1 and Bell 7. It was setup with that sound profile in mind. The Committee is a 46 Medium(Step) bore.

    Wow, that was seven years ago aleady. I have neither horn these days. I finished playing around with the Harrelson and am now mostly Martin. (I have one Taylor Chicago).



  • How much air does this thing take to play? The most amazing thing to me is that these Alp Horns have music holders and apparent different written parts.

    alphorn.jpg



  • My Claude Gordon Benge (.468/.464 bore) was one of the best-playing trumpets I ever encountered. A truly exceptional horn. After it was stolen from me, I could not find another, which prompted me to pick up the Olds Opera I mentioned above.



  • @Kehaulani What do you mean, "take more air"? Technically, yes, a larger bore is a larger diameter, which creates a larger volume of air.



  • @grune said in Does a large bore horn take more air?:

    @Kehaulani What do you mean, "take more air"? Technically, yes, a larger bore is a larger diameter, which creates a larger volume of air.

    The volume of air in a horn is static. Large bore, medium bore or small bore. We do not replace that air when we blow into the mouthpiece, but are vibrating the air that is already there. So it takes no increase in air (more air) in a large bore horn if the efficiency in the vibratory freedom of that horn moves the sound wave through the medium filling the horn.


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