Courtois Balanced Model...


  • Global Moderator

    I visit Votruba's shop in Vienna on a regular basis. Mostly to have small things on my horns seen to - waterkey corks and springs, a new bottle of oil, perhaps some new corks to a mute. But I always keep a weather eye open on their "pre-loved" window... and today I got lucky. They had a Courtois Bb, a Balanced model, silver plated, for a mere € 300. True, about one third of the plating has been played away; but there are no dings or holes, no red rot, and the valves go plop! and move as they should. A narrow kranz on the bell, very like a Selmer K-Mod. Serial no. 10xxx. Does anyone here know more?



  • Looks like one on US ebay at the moment asking $499 plus $45 shipping that looks to be in decent condition. Sold listings are scarce but one took best offer that was offered originally for $599 in unknown condition.

    Did you get a chance to play it and actually get a feel for what kind of condition it is in?


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    @Niner I played it before I bought it. Typical Courtois which is what I like. Somehow, every Courtois I ever played was an instant hit for me. I've tried several styles on it - Haydn, 2nd movement, Mahler 5 beginning, Stormy Weather, a few Arbans, some Big Band charts. Suitable for everything. Strong sound in the low range, can be mellow and really sing everywhere, and if you give the horn some beans, you can peel paint with it. Interior condition is mint - clean, tight valves, perfect compression. Outside - well, about one third of the plating is gone at the usual places. No dings or dents. I'm very, very happy (and my wife is happy that I did not spend all her hairdresser's allowance! 😉 )



  • Obviously, you did the right thing in buying it and it is worth all of what you paid for it. Merry Christmas early.



  • @barliman2001 said in Courtois Balanced Model...:

    no red rot

    Are you sure this is a vintage Courtois 😄



  • @barliman2001 said in Courtois Balanced Model...:

    They had a Courtois Bb, a Balanced model, silver plated, Serial no. 10xxx.

    I have the same horn, 164xx ... I think they're quite nice! There's not a lot of serial number info out there but I think mine is from early seventies so I'd guess that you'd be in the early-ish '60's??

    Also have a cornet (50's I believe) that I love and also a Flugel (that I believe is late 30's) and I get along pretty well with that one too!!!


  • Global Moderator

    @Dirk020 Yes indeed. And I've seen video footage of the endoscopic inspection Votruba are doing on every instrument they take in for resale.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrhappy I've got a C trumpet marked Gaudet (with original Courtois valves) and the 154R flugel.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrhappy Actually, mine should be late 1950s.



  • Congrats on your new Courtois! 10XXX puts it around 1960. 164XX is around 1970. I don't have any Courtois in that period but the Leblanc horns were made by Courtois and share serials and I have a 707 in the 13XXX range which is a very nice horn. The best deals out there, too -- a Leblanc by Courtois went last week for about $250 on eBay.



  • @barliman2001 said in Courtois Balanced Model...:

    @Dirk020 Yes indeed. And I've seen video footage of the endoscopic inspection Votruba are doing on every instrument they take in for resale.

    That is odd, I've never seen an old Courtois without red rot. Except of course for my 1971 C-trumpet mod. R. Delmotte (great horn!)


  • Global Moderator

    @Dirk020 There is a rule about old Courtois horns. All have red rot, except your own. 😉



  • I have .. lets see .. 7 Courtois trumpets and none of them have any red rot. Most of mine are very old ones, it could be in some more recent periods they were more prone to red rot.


  • Global Moderator

    All I know is you got one heck of a deal. Nakariakov plays Courtois. Doesn't seem to hold him back any, either.


  • Global Moderator

    Yesterday - first band rehearsal with the Courtois. Very enlightening, and was very happy afterwards. It all happened as always in my relationship with Courtois horns - the trumpet seemed to know in advance what I wanted to do, and simply did it. Mind you, I had to hold back a bit because it is such a loud horn... with any other horn I was always in perfect balance with the other guys (two Strads - 37 and 43 - and a B&S Challenger II). Yesterday, I was always in danger of blaring out... very easy upper register, with a sonorous lower register to boot.


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