We are excited to officially announce...
THE NEW MONETTE TRUMPET BELL DESIGN!
This new bell is the biggest single improvement in Monette instruments since we retooled our valve casings and pistons using our new, in-house CNC machines back in 2006. And this bell redesign is even more dramatic, since the results are as obvious to the listener out front as they are to the player behind the horn. After all, the bell is about half the overall length of a trumpet!
It's been a year since we made the prototype RAJA 3 STC Bb with the new bell for our friend Ben in California... and now a year later we have produced every model of Bb and C trumpet we make with this new bell.
How did the new design come about?
The seed for this new design was planted a few years ago, when Dave Monette decided it was time to replace our old bell mandrel. About this time, Dave visited Dizzy's Club in New York City to hear Wynton play with his small group. Wynton sounded great as always – of course! But as Dave listened, he used his imagination to "hear" a new sound and response that would allow Wynton to experience more of everything desirable in how he sounded and in what he felt - with less work. Even in the first tune on the first night, Dave "heard" what to change to make the new design. And he knew immediately that the improvement would benefit all our clients... regardless of the style of music they play. After all, more resonance is more resonance!
The goals for the new design were a sound that was cleaner, more present, more complete, more consistent and better defined. And a response that takes less work to keep things together on the extreme softs - and was even more expressive at all dynamics. As if that wasn't enough, Dave also wanted the sound to be more consistent in shape when listening at all distances - and from many angles. The key here is how every aspect of resonance - the sound, intonation and response - could be improved by designing a new, updated bell that would make everything easier!
How to design a bell!
A lot has changed in machining since the 1980’s when Dave Monette designed and made the previous old bell mandrel. Now that we are in the age of computer assisted design and computer controlled machinery, designs can be fine-tuned and tolerances dialed-in to a degree not possible or even imagined in the past.
We started the bell design process by having a scan made of the old, existing bell mandrel. We went to a shop with a million dollar, state-of-the-art Zeiss scanning machine. We then plotted the points from the scan of this old design on the computer in points and arcs, which was no small project! Then the real work began: Looking at what could be changed in a new design that would keep the sound and response Monette trumpets are known for... while making everything better!
Laying out the new design in the computer was a time consuming and somewhat grueling task! Dave kept jokingly asking others in the shop, “Hey – is that new bell design done yet???” When Dave was finally satisfied that we had a winner, he ran the new design by Dean, John and Jason; showing them the new shape superimposed over the old design in the computer. He explained in detail how the design changes would improve the sound and response. This all follows perfectly from our previous instrument design experience, and also from the extensive mouthpiece design innovations for which we are known.
Everyone in the shop agreed the new bell was the way to go. We cut the new mandrel on our large CNC lathe, and then formed and spun the first new bell. It seemed to take forever to get the first one fabricated, bent, prepped and installed in a new trumpet. When it was all said and done, the results were just spot on!
We all thought it would be good – but WOW! It was so validating to actually hear what Dave had described as his goals in improved sound, intonation and response filling our shop as we played the first notes!
Here is a list of improvements:
More projection and clarity to the sound
More pleasant and consistent shape of sound when listening up close as well as far away
Bigger, more forgiving “targets” on each note – but with cleaner and more precise articulation
Freer upper register
Register extremes more consistent in sound and response to the rest of the instrument.
Check out videos of the bell in action:
You can hear and play our instruments in person by appointment at our shop, or in hundreds of informal videos on our Facebook page and website. For any questions you may have on anything we make, please contact Jason in our office: Jason@monette.net