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J. H. Darby USA (custom made by Blessing) Darby Model 45
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100% of reviewers $600.00 8.0


Modeled after the largest-selling professional trumpet in the world, the Darby Model 45 trumpet, priced at under $800, is easily the best buy in a trumpet on the planet. Jim Darby, who designed this extraordinary trumpet, believed that it was possible to manufacture a trumpet with the desired features of a professional trumpet and offer it at a much more affordable price. The oldest family-owned band instrument company in America manufactures the Darby Model 45 trumpet for Capitol Music.
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Bore (inch): .460
Bell (inch): 5"
Valves: Monel with Delrin valve guides
Website: http://www.capitolmusicusa.com/darbytrumpet.html
Keywords: Darby Blessing Model45
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Review Date: 9/10/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great value to quality, good sound, many pro features

The horn was designed by Darby –who also designed the Bach TR-200 many years ago. He is now 80 and runs one of the largest music stores in the South. At some point in his past, he decided to try and manufacture a horn that would be considered in the professional line but within the price range of a student. It was modeled after “the largest selling professional trumpet in the world." (Obviously the Bach Strad).

The horn is silver plated, has a first valve saddle, stop rod and nut on the third valve slide (like a Bach). The 2 brace posts on the leadpipe and tuning slide are like a Strad, as are the bell braces. The valves are monel with plastic guides –I’d prefer metal, but that varies person to person .460 bore, 5 inch bell, nickel silver outer slides, brass inner slides. It is a nice sounding horn. It is very open compared to a Strad and has a bright, clear sound (not a Strad sound). Welds look good and the overall finish is clean. He even numbered the valve casings on the outside-1,2,3. The 3rd valve slide does not separate at the very end as Strads and some other horns do –however with 2 spit valves there is no need for the end of the third slide to pull out. One thing I didn’t like was the feel of the valves caps screwing in –maybe not as good of a machine job on the threads as pro horns.

In the hand, the horn seems light. I have a collection of pro horns (Strads, Olds, Kanstuls) so that is what I am comparing the Darby to in my rating. I'd give it an 8. However, these sell new for just under $800 -not $2-3K like my others. This would be a great horn for any HS player who needs something approaching the pro level but is limited on funds.
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