Lately I’ve chronicled my search for a new instrument – feel free to read my previous posts on the topic here, here, and here. These posts have generated some terrific comments, and I want to thank everyone who commented for their honest, helpful advice. I am glad to report, however, that my search is now over, and I decided to go with an Engelbert Schmid double horn. So far I am very happy with the Schmid, and I look forward to many years of playing on it. There are a number of reasons I decided on this particular instrument, and here are a few, in no particular order.
- Evenness throughout the range on both sides of the horn: This is something I was never completely satisfied with on my previous instrument (Yamaha 667v), and something that was missing on other horns I had tried before this one. With this horn, the difference between F and B-flat sides is pretty minimal, and both sides center very easily in the low, middle, and high register.
- Lightness and flexibility: Schmid horns are known for being light, but I was still surprised at just how light these horns really are. Every bend and brace seems to resonate at both soft and loud dynamics, and I am slowly getting used to not working as hard for slurs, articulations, and lots of other things.
- Bell Size/Alloy Combinations: Schmid markets three different flare sizes and four different alloys, so there are lots of options available should I want to experiment with some different tone colors.
- Resale Value: As a frequent visitor to Hornplayer.net and other online retailers, I’ve noticed that Schmid horns tend to hold their value quite well. I’m not planning on selling it anytime soon, but it’s still nice to know.
There are a couple of other features on Schmid horns that are worth mentioning, and I’ll be discussing them in more detail in future posts. If you’d like to hear the horn, check out the two latest Kopprasch videos on my YouTube channel. I’m still settling into things on this horn, but I can already hear some positive differences in my playing. Finally, I’d like to thank Dennis and Katie Houghton of Houghton Custom Horns for making the trial and purchasing process straightforward and very convenient.