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Trumpet/Selmer versus Bach Cornet

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Question
Hi Mike,

I'm considering a cornet purchase. I have recently played on a Bach Strad 184SML cornet. I really liked the way it slotted, played in tune, and it's open-ness in the upper register all the way down to the lower. I am also looking at a Henri Selmer Paris cornet from the 50's - 60's that is in spectacular condition. I cannot make out the model from the pictures, but the serial number in the ad is 11xx with no further clarity. He states it's a 50's-60's horn. It is in Europe so I have no chance to try it out. Both horns have shepherds crooks. Both horns are similarly priced. A little about me - I am a lead player and currently possess a custom Marcinkiewicz that I had made for me 20+ years ago, and a Marcinkiewicz Rembrandt Flugelhorn. 2 questions, what can you tell me about the playing characteristics of the Selmer versus the Bach. Second question - given the serial number, can you accurately date this horn and possibly provide model information / level of horn / or point me to a place that can?

Regards,

Gerry

Answer
Gerry, I am not sure what model the Selmer is, since I can't see it. However, all Selmer cornets were pro models at that time. The Bach and Selmer will both have good intonation and sound. The serial dates the Selmer to 1952 so it might have some valve wear. I would ask to see detailed pictures of the valves out of the casing to see the wear patterns on them. Also returning a horn overseas is not cheap if you decide you don't like it. Bottom line is to beware the Selmer and do the research on the horn to make sure it is in top shape. The Bach is a good horn and should provide you with a solid player for many years. Have you also played the Yamaha 63XX line? I believe they sound more like a true cornet than the Bach models and are similar in price.  

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Mike Pawul

Expertise

I am familiar with most trumpets, cornets, and flugelhorns. I can answer most questions about playing and musicality. Best of all, if I can't answer it directly I play regularly in several bands and have many "old timers" that are familiar with most things that I am not. I collect, repair, and refinish old and new horns and have sold over 1700 with more than 900 on ebay

Experience

I have played since 1965 and studied with many directors and trumpeters. I have been collecting since 2002 and have over 150 horns in my personal collection. I have done repair and refinsh since 2003 and have done work on over 2500 horns.

Organizations
Kosair Shrine Brass Band and Dance Band, The Notables, The New Tones, Bourbon City Brass Band, River Cities Concert Band, Derby City Brass Band, University of Louisville Community Band, Member of Trumpet Players International Network (TPIN), Bugles Across America (BAA), Member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT)

Education/Credentials
I played at Brunswick High School. I played through college and have a BS in Business Administration from Trinity College. Of course, I am still learning from all my friends that play and work on trumpets around the world.

Awards and Honors
Without being vain, numerous awards and have played in several honor bands.

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