We had no content here since about forever. That's tragic because it's fun to tell the story of this excellent bass trumpet.
Some time ago I was at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. The Messe is a big gathering of instrument makers and music industry people. Though I was doing sales for Kanstul, I had time to walk around and meet other vendors.
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to attend that show. I met some of the great makers of this era: Franz Straub, Peter Hirsbrunner, Gerhard Meinl, Rudolf Meinl, Jurgen and Helmut Voigt, Josef Klier, Francois Kloc, Meil Adams, Dietrhch Kleinehorst, and Heribert Glassl. Max & Heirich Thein, Iain Muirhead, Franz Monschau, Zig Kanstul, many more that elude me at the moment. It was a Who's Who of boutique brass makers at The Messe.
There also was this little booth in the corner from the Czech Republic. They were mostly showing a bunch of double French horns. What caught my eye was the bass trumpet. We know that bass trumpets in general aren't a good idea. However, many brass players think these are cool and they must_have_one. This looked like a decent horn and was very fun to play. It's tricky to find the right bass trumpet.
If the bass trumpeter likes orchestra music, they always want one with 4 valves and in C with a trigger and conversion slides to Bb. Those cost a fair amount of money and rarely seem very good anyway. But Michael Mulcahy slays on one. The Brothers Thein, Alexander and several Meinls make these.
And if the bass trumpeter likes bebop music, there are 3-piston Bb bass trumpets, which sort of American style and they bebop ok and have more valve-tromboneness to them. Frank Rosolino played one of these. These are made by Bach and Kanstul.
And if the bass trumpeter likes beer garden music, maybe a big bass trumpet in Bb should do it for the first Kaiser Baritone part and such. It should probably have rotary valves to match the B.A.C of the tubist and the oval baritone players. Miraphone and Jurgen Voigt make these.
But maybe you can't get those in time, and you need a travel and jazz horn so you grab a flugelbone or a marching baritone and play it all the time. Kanstul, King and Conn make these.
Since nobody's really buying 3 bass trumpets we go to war with the army we have, not the one we wish we had.
So what do?
For your pleasure we wanted to reintroduce this Josef Lidl Bb rotary bass trumpet, handmade in Brno, Czech Republic. The Lidl has 3 rotary valves and is pitched in familiar Bb and it plays great for a bass trumpet. The Lidl outplays many others and will do a little of every job for you. This has a traditional small .460" bore, a small bell (it's no baritone horn), it's a bit more resistant especially down low like a trumpet, but it's fast and centered and on pitch and it has that French-horn tone we love and expect from a traditional bass trumpet. You can flare the Lidl's tone to blast through Stravinsky or you can whisper and play melodically. You may present your Lidl with pride in both Polka Bands and orchestra pits.
So we were about the only store to buy these and it's been about 5 years since we ordered. Recessions and things got in the way. Then Lidl had to move, so they were closed for a while as a new building was remodeled and a new factory put together. In the meantime somebody stole the bass trumpet bell mandrel.
"The mandrel is stolen. The bass trumpet is discontinued", they said. it sounded like the end.
As of June 20017, there's good news...
An offer to order 10 bass trumpets to finance a new mandrel was accepted.
Also Steve Kreissel, who has purchased Glenn Cronkhite Cases, has begun production on new cases from his Minneapolis shop. Since Lidl shipped these in a paper bag, we always sold them with a Cronkhite bass trumpet case in leather. After Glenn Cronkhite retired we couldn't get the cases. Until now.
Does this mean that bass trumpets will again proliferate in 2017? Maybe.
To get this rolling we're looking for 10 bass trumpet reservations. We ask for a small deposit and will ship to you upon arrival in late 2017. See the drop-down menu on this page for options. Please contact us directly with any questions.
More info coming soon...