View Full Version : "Bad" Strad years?

09-01-2011, 12:06 PM
I am looking to buy a used Model 37 strad for my HS age son. I remember that there are some "bad" years, but I don't know what they are/were. Advice, anyone?

(I have a 1972/3 horn that I love. I am considering giving it to him and getting myself a new - or new used - one, but only if it is worth it).

09-04-2011, 04:45 PM
KNTrpt. I replied to this earlier but it doesn't seem to have "taken." Pardon if this is a repeat.

Bach went on strikeon April 1 2006 and the strike lasted until July 31, 2009. The plant was kept running by supervisors and bringing in other nonunion employees. This means, the trademen that normally built the horns were NOT building them -rather someone who had never done the job before. I definately would avoid this time period. The serial number of the the last Bach made before the strike was 644207. Also, I doubt there were many happy employees right before the strike, so you may want to consider eliminating those too.

Many consider the Mt veronon horns (pre 1965) the very best. Next best are early Elkhart horns. Yours is one of those. When I got ready to get my son a pro horn, I hunted for months and ended up with a 1967 Strad in like new condition. It is the best playing horn I have ever played. Beats my own 2 other strads (1970, 1974). Many think quality really dropped off in the 80s and 90s so I would never buy a Bach from the 80s on without trying it out. Variability was the problem. Some were great, some terrible.

You might also want to look at a Kanstul. If you don't know, Ziggy Kanstul was a head at Olds for many years and most of those horns are now greatly sought after -selling for far more than they originally did. Kanstul later went to Benge, and those horns during that time are now considered top horns-collectors. Kanstul eventually opened his own shop. He makes many different horns -often replicating to some degree a famous collector horn of the past -but adding his own improvements. For instance, the Conn Connstellation (played by Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson etc.) he recreated as his Kanstul 911. He has done the same with Bach Strads. The Kanstul 1537 is a copy with improvements of the Bach Strad with 37 bell. His 1500, 1503 are also strad copies/improvements (the 1503 is the strad with 72 bell -lightweight-and 25 leadpipe). All are great playing horns. I have all mentioned. The 1537, 1500, and 1503 outplay 2 of my strads--only my sons 1967 beats them.

Hope this helps.

09-04-2011, 05:36 PM
That's really helpful, thanks!