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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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Hi All,

Been wanting to do this for a while, finally got around to it... At the moment I have access to an interesting variety of horns, and thought it might be fun to do a little side-by-side comparison video.

I included a Buescher Top Hat and Cane, a Couf Superba II, a Yani 990, a "The Martin", a Conn Pan-Am, and a Selmer MkVI.

I used a good mic and sync'd the audio with the video and evened the levels between my speaking and the horn playing.

Interesting as always, the differences are really subtle when listening to a recording (reinforces the point that it's 95% the player, right?), but perhaps that's worthwhile in and of itself...

Anyways, here's the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz5SA2aGicA

Eager to hear people's thoughts/comments/perceptions.

Cheers,

Pete
 

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Hello Pete...Let me just say that I think you have such a great tone!
For my tastes after listening to it is that I really like the Buescher Top Hat and then the Martin.
You sound great on all of them actually! I envy you that you have so many horns!

Yeah we all have our sound and it will essentially be relative no matter what horn/mouthpiece/reed we play. But a different horn can make certain things easier like altissimo or the action can allow for easier agility.

Nice to hear you play man!
 

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Hi Pete,
This is really cool. It shows well how the difference is subtle, but perceptible.
I also liked the buescher best for it's nice tone accross the board. I just think it has more character than some of the modern horns you played.
The Conn sounds very good too, in a cool sort of way. The Martin is close to the Buescher, but maybe less consistently characteristic accross the range.

Thank you.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Nice job Pete. Thanks for taking the time. Out of them all I love the sound of the Conn stencil. Live and very full. The Martin also had a certain quality to the bottom end that I liked too.

Overall makes you realize... it is the player.

Great job
HUTMO
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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Thanks for taking the time Pete, very enjoyable,particularly using the same set up.
The T&C ,The Martin and IV stood out for me.

You played all of them well.
I could very well listen again and come up with a different impression.

The edge would go to which horn you are most comfortable with and play mostly.

Edit: Listened again, I like 'em all.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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Discussion Starter #6
They all have their pros and cons from a player's perspective.... the Yani is probably the easiest horn overall to play, the VI has the "Selmer sound", the Conn has the big sound, the Martin rocks, the Couf is nice overall.... but from a pure tone perspective, and I've heard a number of other people play on these horns in person, the Buescher wins the holy moly tone award hands down (at least in person, with a variety of players, to my ears). I've heard three separate very talented players (Keith Ridenhour and Bill Bua from SOTW, and another local pro) play this horn and without an exception I thought they sounded better on the Buescher than on their own horn (sorry guys!).

Thanks for listening guys, keep the comments coming! Interesting to hear what people's ears tell them...
 

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Thanks for the demo. Unfortunately, it was a bit hard to hear on my computer- volume wise. I turned up my system volumes all the way and it was still kind of soft. They all sounded nice and the differences were noticeable but not so different that you couldn't use any one on a gig. I prefer the The Martin, Selmer and Buescher. The Martin had a nice, big tone, The Selmer sounded very classy and prettier sounding to my ears, the Buescher also had a nice classy tone , the Conn stencil was a surprise- very 10m-ish, the Couf was nice and focused to my ear and the Yani had a nice tone as well, just not as projecting (reminds me of my Yamaha YTS 61).
 

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Hi -

You sound great on all of the horns! I'm not too sure I have a preference, but I did notice that to me the Selmer and Yani sounded similar. Thanks for doing the comparison.
 

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First...you certainly don't suck! Really, really nice sound.

Every single one of the horns (save one) sounds like I'd want to listen to you play them. They're different, but nice in all cases...except the Yani. It was the only horn I didn't care for at all. To me, it had absolutely no character whatsoever. It would be hard to pick my favorite, though. But I must admit the Martin made quite an impression...to the point that I'd like to try a few of them.

Thanks for taking the time to put that up...really nice comparison!
 

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very nice, and very nice presentation. I thought they all sounded good but just gotta love that VI sound...

next up were the Buescher and the Couf.

In my limited experience with switching mpc's between horns though , I have noticed that the (neck) bore has a large effect on the resistance and tone, so i was just wondering how that varied across your test group?
 

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Hey Pete i am disappointed (not in you or your playing, you always sound great) in me. i liked the Selmer the best and i wanted so much to prefer one of the other horns. All the horns sounded nice but the VI sounded the best to me. The Conn Pan Am was my second favorite. i suspect that hearing them live could change everything, maybe there is something about Selmers that makes them record well. Thanks for taking the time to put this up.
 

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Good job Pete (you look like an adult Peter Brady there :mrgreen:) I was really impressed with the tone of the Top Hat & Cane and for me it wasn't beat till you picked up the Mark IV -just a lovely tone! I would still choose the TH&C as best all-around since she's also a rocker.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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The TH&C was killing on the low end man...so easily you got the sound out....The VI sounded very easy to play, but just not as much life as the TH&C.....The Martin sounded a little finicky...Couf and Yani were my least two favorites.

TH&C
VI
Conn
Martin
Yani
Couf
 

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Going strictly on sound (which is all we really have to go on if we discount any preconceived biases we have about other aspects of playability from personal experience), I would rate them as follows:

1. Buescher 400
2. Couf Superba
3. Conn Pan Am
4. Mark VI
5. Martin
6. Yani

I actually don't think the VI sounds like a great VI, just a good one (and not that much different from the Yani really) and sounds more focused and predictable like you would expect from a late model example. To me the great '50s and '60s examples have more of that deep, buzzy, "vintagey" WOW factor--like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RczWDmf9res

Now your 400 has more of that vintage WOW factor, as does the Martin, and to a lesser extent the Conn. I just don't care for the basic core sound of Martins so I didn't rate it as high.

In a way the Couf sounds like it actually gets closer to sounding like a great earlier Mark VI, if that makes any sense--deeper in the low end but still focused like a Selmer.

If I had to sell one, it would be the Yani since it seems like a lower quality version of what you already have in the VI. After that, I would sell the Martin.
 
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