View Full Version : Martin Committee Little Brother!

10-08-2011, 05:32 PM
I just added another horn to my collection - a 1951 Martin D trumpet. It looks like a shrunken version of my 1946 Martin Committee with a few things different. It was actually made as an Eb/D trumpet. I only have a D slide, but I have access to the Eb slide, so I will have one made. The valve block was specific to the higher key horn. The valve ports are tiny compared to the Committee. The bore is only .370 inches. The shape of the valve block and top caps, receiver, slides, and bracing are all almost identical to the Committee. The water keys are different and the bottom caps are not original. The lacquer is the typical vintage Committee dark color and is more than 95% intact with only a few defects. It has nickel trim on some slides and on the valve casings.

When I first played the horn I was not too sure about the slotting and tuning. The typical tuning issues with C and D trumpets were there, requiring alternate fingerings, but more pronounced than usual. Then I tried the horn with a Wedge short shank (for C trumpet) which shortens the mouthpiece by about 3/16". It was much better, but the shank did not quite seat properly due to the shoulder where the shank meets the upper backbore sections. So after a few minutes on the lathe I had modified the shank so the mouthpiece would seat a little and everything lined up much better.

Being a D/Eb horn the 1st and 3rd slides are Eb length and designed to be pulled slightly in order to bring those valve combinations better in tune when playing on the D side. In order to deal with that I took the D spacers that came with my Blackburn Eb / D and went back to the lathe. I had some brass tube stock exactly the same diameter as the Martin D outer slides, from which I made some new spacers based on the length of the Blackburn ones. I put these on the horn and along with the extra short D length mouthpiece the horn played bang on in tune with a nice brilliant, but somewhat small sound. Wanting something slightly fatter sounding I switched out a heavy Large upper backbore section from the ML I had been using (with a 25 throat), and suddenly the horn opened up. It sounds just great now! I have 3 other D trumpets, (Ganter rotary, Blackburn, 1964 Scherzer rotary), and they all have their own personality and voice. This one is a excellent addition and might even become my favorite. I pan to use it for our October 29th concert in which Dance Macabre is scored for trumpet in D.