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Flip Oakes Wildthing
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100% of reviewers $2,468.04 9.1


The design of these trumpets is very unique, unlike others made. Flip Oakes Wild Thing Trumpets are designed to enhance whatever style or sound YOU, the player, chooses to play.

These instruments are very well balanced as to openness of blow and the size and quality of sound. These are the most open, free blowing trumpets ever made. With the fastest response, wonderfully strong slotting, and superb intonation, it maintains an incredible ease of flexibility and movement.

With carrying power that is unsurpassed, the Wild Thing Bb Trumpet's exclusive design produces a sound that is very open and dark with a huge core when played with a symphonic mpc..

In addition, it can also produce a very bright and vibrant lead sound when played with a lead player's set up; and yet its sound retains its shape! Rather than closing-down, these trumpets open up as you play higher and higher!

This trumpet is a "Chameleon" in the sense that it produces a variety of sounds, depending how you approach it. Players of all different musical styles and playing situations are now playing the Flip Oakes Wild Thing!
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Bore (inch): 0.460/0.470
Bell (inch): 5.000
Website: http://www.flipoakes.com
Keywords: Flip Oakes Wildthing
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Review Date: 1/21/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Reasonable weight, great rich tone in all registers, various tuning slides available
Cons: using mutes is a problem

This is an excellent trumpet. (y) Rich tone in all registers, and is very responsive. The valves are some of the best I have ever experienced, and the slides work very well.
Mine is gold plated, and is very easy to maintain.
The only down side is the shape of the throat of the bell requires a special set of mutes.
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Review Date: 3/15/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Rich Tone and very easy to play.

For me, the Wild Thing has really proved to be the Best horn I've played. The horn has a rich tone and slotting is excellent. Thanks Flip.
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Review Date: 6/19/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: It is untouchable in every respect
Cons: intonation on low D and C# is difficult (for me) GET OVER IT! (lip down)

Its really quite simple. Buy a "Wild Thing" period. Go to "POPS" for a lesson. Go all day and dont be cheap. Buy ALL HIS BOOKS . PLAY EVERYDAY, Buy a "WILD THING" FLUG to complement your weapons, get over the mute thing (extra cork is cheap) its all it takes. Buy a Mark Curry mouthpiece or see Flip on the ones that Mark is building to now go with the "WILD THINGS".
Enjoy sounding the best you have EVER sounded.
Start working on your air capacity now cause youll need it for this one.
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Review Date: 10/11/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly easy to play
Cons: It haunts me in my sleep because I don't own one

Easiest trumpet in the world to play for me, particularily for lead. My endurance had never been better than the days I used this horn.

Sound is not as fat as my Lawler's, but it's a fat sound nonetheless.

Very good quality horn and definatley recommended.

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Review Date: 12/24/2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great Tone, Great Intonation, Comfortable Feel
Cons: NONE!!!

I've had my Wildthing for about a month now. And I've put it through the paces. Playing classical, jazz, lead, and Funk - it's never let me down!!! It's very comfortable to play in all registers, very responsive and forgiving, and the intonation is second to none. Using a "Best Brass" harmon mute, I was amazed at what a brilliant sound I was able to produce in the studio! Flip has created an absolute WILD HORN!!!

My hat's off to him!!!
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Review Date: 4/2/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful tone quality, easy to play, slots beautifully
Cons: Absolutely none

It took me three notes to hear and feel the amazing difference in this trumpet. First, all of the registers are even and matched. Second, it's very easy to lip in tune pitches that normally are a bit out of tune on all trumpets. The sharp low C# and D are also easy to adjust with very smooth first and third valve slides. Third, the workmanship and quality of parts is second to none. I'm telling you, Flip is a genius. He has approached his design and tweaks to the instrument with every musical consideration in mind. Fourth, his valve action flies. They are smooth and quiet. They are a few other wonderful small details that I should mention. Because of the consistency of tone throughout all registers, fast tongue articulations are easier on this instrument than any I've played including Monettes. Also, his slides are literally like buying another horn. I just bought a large jazz slide and a bit smaller "legit" one. You get the same great sound with subtle differences. I'm using the smaller slide in a brass quintet and the large jazz slide for playing jazz in either a large or small ensemble. Finally, I'm stoked with the mouthpieces that Flip designed being made by Mark Curry. Wow, are they comfortable. I sometimes play all day and it takes a lot to completely lose my chops. Hats off to Flip who is a wonderful trumpet player in his own right. Check out his MP3s on his web site. He has built the best trumpet I've ever played.
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Review Date: 9/3/2005 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: $2,500.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: nice looking horn
Cons: intonation, valves, third valve slide

I was really interested in this trumpet for several months before I purchased it. There certainly is a lot of "hoopla" surrounding this horn and I bought into it.

The first thing I noticed about the horn was the dark sound in the lower register. I wasn't sure I liked it but decided to keep playing.
The valve's were noisy from the start. I did a few recording sessions with the horn and you can hear the valves. I had to keep adjusting the valve caps.
The third valve slide was not smooth like what you would expect a professional line instrument to be. I thought that with time the wear and tear of constantly playing would eventually break it in but it never did.
The biggest issue I found with this trumpet was intonation. Open G's in the staff were ALWAYS sharp. I would have to use a 1-3 combination to bring the pitch down into the color of the tone. That really bothered me. The second valve F#'s were also very sharp so I would have to pull the second valve slide out about an eighth of an inch to get them in tune. Of course the low "D's" were sharp like in all horns however, in order to tune that pitch the first and third valve really needed to be kicked out far. Too far in my opinion. I had the horn looked at by two different repairman. They each said that the valves were perfectly adjusted.
Was it me? Maybe the horn was too much for me to handle? Alan Chez sounds great on the horn. But others I've listened to have poor intonation with this trumpet too. Maybe they just don't realize it. Intonation problems are especially obvious on slow ballads and lower register playing. A musician can never play musically if he/she is constantly worrying about the instrument. There was just too much busy work going on with this instrument during my playing. I had to let it go.
I realize that there are MANY great musicians in this world who understand what it is they are looking for in an instrument. On the flip side, there are others who try to uphold their importance by what they thin they know and want to be recognized in the 'trumpet community' by how they phrase something on a forum. I am not trying to start trouble with anyone. I just thought it would be good to hear the other side of the story for once and for those who are considering paying a lot of money on a trumpet to really look into what their buying.

Flip Oaks IS a WONDERFUL person that stands behind his product! I never had a problem with him. The horn was just not what I expected.
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Review Date: 1/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,500.00 | Rating: 5 


this is a very big trumpet, very loud.
It's too loud. I have to use 3rd and 1st valve slide to correct intonation, it will not change intonation with a blow like vintage horns will do. it's way overpriced, top price should be 1200 tops
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Review Date: 1/25/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, dynamic range, tonal range, power, response, range
Cons: it came out 20 years too late

I teach trumpet.
I see pros and semi-pros from all over the world.
I have played just about every horn made and even some 1 of a kind models.

The Wild Thing is the best horn I have ever played.

The sound is velvet down low and has a wonderful quality up high.

Every student that has played mine has been able to play in the upper register just a little easier. They have all also had a better sound in every register.

Many of them go on to buy one and a couple of the posters here are students of mine and first played a WT at my house.

You owe it to yourself to try one.

Maybe it will be the magic horn for you like is was for me.

Clint "Pops" McLaughlin
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Review Date: 3/8/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful sound, very flexible in different situations
Cons: They were not available years ago!

I borrowed a Wild Thing from a friend to use on a CD I was recording, as my had horn rusted away. I had played it before and fell in love with the ease of playing and the versatility of this instrument. I get hired to play a lot of lead trumpet and very high-note solos. the horn sings in the upper register. When I need to bring the range and volume down but, maintain a high level of intensisty, the horn can whisper or purr like a kitten. Of coarse it plays in tune, (after I switched to a Mark Curry mouthpiece) and slots into the notes great! Right before I started the CD, I got a call to record a movie sound track. I took the Wild Thing along and ended up with a series of featured solo's (To hear those solo's, check out Sharkskin 6, the movie).Thats when I knew I had to own one. And now I do. I have never looked back and yes, I switched to a Curry mouthpiece. If you are curious why, either go to Mark Curry's website and click on the sound samples of me or go to my website and hear cuts from my new CD.
Rex Merriweather
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Review Date: 3/8/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Flexibility, Full tonal quality, intonation

I play lead trumpet in various types of groups in the Omaha area. This horn works well in each setting. From a full concert band, to 18 piece dance band, to brass quintet, to solo work. I feel that I can blend with other musicians or extend out past the end of the stage for solos. I can make it brassy or mellow.

I like it so much that I recommended it to two other players in our concert band. They both ended up buying one for themselves after trying mine.

My previous horn was a .468 bore so I was used to a large bore trumpet. This horn is probably not for the faint of heart (or breath). To get the best tone you need to have good, solid breath support. But having said that, it is very free blowing and easy to play. It's the best trumpet I've ever owned.
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Review Date: 7/25/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great intonation, projection, tonet

This horn is for players who use an closed aperature embouchure, ( Costello stevens, Super Chops, Screamin). It requires a precise, relaxed lip control with proper air control. Players who don't create a strong and delilberate buzz will over blow this horn and have intonation problems. This horn is for the specialized player, who has developed an unstressed enbouchure and relaxed body style. Players who use can't free buzz, will find this instrument does not give them enough feed back to get their lips vibrating, therefore they must over blow to get a sound. Hence, Intonation problems. Please
check the Monette web site for Dave's Acclimation Points.
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Review Date: 8/7/2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: $2,700.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Good looking horn
Cons: Intonation as noted above, overpriced, can't use regular mutes

I was sold on the hype of this horn. I've had it almost two years and I still regret the purchase. This horn has very poor intonation. Despite the claims of the maker, the horn WILL NOT adjust and conform to any style of playing. As stated in another posting, you end up over-blowing this horn. It also goes out of tune alot. Then there's the issue with the mutes... you have to buy them from the manufacturer or you're out of luck. Avoid this horn unless you can get it for $1000 or less.
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Review Date: 9/30/2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: $3,000.00 | Rating: 0 

Pros: Alan Chez owns one
Cons: alot of hype -poorly designed and poorly engineered

My Dream horn was to own a gold plated Wild thing -I sold my Schilke B1, Olds Opera , Olds Recording to buy this horn . I read all the ads and saw the bell shape thinking this was going to be a great horn to ad to my collection.
Flip is a nice person and his company will bend over to accomodate you, but the horn is simply not anything special. The basic nodal points in the design seemed to have been overlooked. I am a professional player for 33 years and have played more horns than most from all the major makes also I am a qualifield acoustical engineer that studied vibrational harmonics through computer aided interaction so I have a little of both the arts and science in my opinion of this horn. I like to not only play as many horns as possible but im always searching for the holy grail of horns . I have yet to find one , I do own a monette 993 and my least expensive horn is an olds amabassador.
I will say that the ambassador in terms of intonation , slotting and sound as well as graphical nodal point bell true sine wave representation through a program I wote to measure the different nodal points at what vibrational levels the horns resonate scored actually higher than the Wild thing on a true chromatic scale comparison. On the musical aspect, the Wild thing's color is bright up top and somewhat open down below the staff with an airy feel to it. I attribute this to the bracing and the large immediate flair to the bell. If one were to experiment with the bracing placement and let the true harmonics resonate at each nodal oscillation point the intonation of this horn could greatly improve. I fortunately do not care to have to re-egineeer a horn I paid $3000.00 for . I will offer this suggestion , If you have to deviate from your normal routine of using your horn as you would an arm or your speech and think about it each time and how it really needs correcting then maybe the horn your using is not really doing what its designed to do. I suggest stick with the tried and true names from builders of horns that have made all the previous errors and continually refined their product , its hard to improve upon the wheel if it has already come to fruition. I will say this I am not a rep from any particualr company but some of the finer horns I have played are - of the course the Monette 993(yes but it was also $7000.00),
Bach Strad pre 1980--and New York as well as Mount vernon (excellent horns) ,Reynolds Contempora Trumpet 59 , Destino for Doc- (Mines on order but I played a fellow musicians and loved it ), Conn 22 B, Prewar Besson Meha, - I could go on but these are some of the best that I have actually measured both in playability , and graphical nodal point representation through CAD. I am keeping the WildThing but more as a collector than a player . I hope this helps in you assessment
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Review Date: 10/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very easy to play, high and low

I stumbled onto this site and felt compelled to address some the concerns that people have expressed abut the WT. I played through college and hope to start playing again soon. My son is a non-music major sophomore in college and plays marching, concert and brass ensemble on a Wild Thing.

He is a pretty good player and before trying the WT played Strads, Schilkes, the Conn V-1, all the Kanstuls (including at the time the Wayne Bergeron model) and several Yamahas over a period of two weeks. He played several of the horns more than once. We live close to a great music store in Anaheim, California and the Kanstul showroom.

The Schilke S22 was a standout, but nothing came even close to the WT for sound and ease of play in both low and high registers. The WT plays effortlessly, is very quick to respond and is extremely even from one note to the next.

He played sharp at first until he relaxed and let the notes just come out. He previously played a Kanstul Chicago and was unconsciously making continual adjustments to get an even sound from note to note. With the WT you have to unlearn old habits and trust the horn. You are not changing the way you play so much as you are letting yourself play naturally. If you relax and try not to make it sound like your old horn the WT has excellent intonation. My son acclimated in just a few days and now won’t go back to the Chicago.

Yes, the WT is loud if you blow it as hard as most other horns. It is a very efficient design and takes less air for the same volume level than a horn with greater resistance.

I think some people feel it is too big for them because in loud situations they will blow hard enough to feel the same resistance as they felt on their old horn.

My son’s high school trumpet teacher loved the horn and she plays Schilkes. His college prof and teacher plays a Benge he got when he worked for Donald Benge and he said the WT “was a very fine instrument”.

Flip Oakes owned an instrument repair shop and the WT was developed over a period of years when he would take prototypes of his designs to the gigs he played.

This is a great time to be looking for a horn as there are so many new and exciting horns out there besides the “tried and true”. Try them all, it can be a lot of fun.
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Review Date: 12/14/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatile, free-blowing, great valves/intonation, supurb support!
Cons: none (recork your mutes, it's worth it!)

I have had WT #50 for about eight years now. After playing pro in HS/college and then putting my treasured Bach 37 down for twenty years, when I picked it up again I remembered pretty quick what I did and didn't like about it. Gorgeous midrange, stuffy high end, decent low end. OK valves. Not terrible, a good horn, I just wanted something a bit better. After playing again a few months, time enough to get some range, technique, endurance and most importantly decent sound back, I started looking again. A lot of research, a few call and emails, and finally a call or two to Flip got me a new WT.

I did have an adaptation period of a few days, but the sound "out of the box" was incredible. My wife (also a musician) and church MD (ditto) commented immediately how much better it sounded -- before I realized it myself (I had not recorded with it yet and wasn't sure myself how it sounded "out front"). The numerous comments I got from all sorts of musicians (singers, keyboard/organ, trumpeters, etc.) as I was going through my trial period, A-B'ing it to my Bach, left no doubt the WT was the horn for me.

It was a bit later that I learned better how to play it, that I did not need to blow hard to project and fill a hall, that I could shift gears from ballads to rock, blend in an orchestra and play lead for a show. It is sensitive to the mpc, but for me that's good as it lets me dial it in for different situations. The numerous slides really do change its character, more so than I had thought. (I'm a sound-based guy and tend to discount, though not neglect, the "equipment factor".) With a couple slides (standard and J), coupla' three mouthpieces for different sounds, and a WT, you can can cover it all.

Flip is incredible, by the way. A kinder, more attentive guy you won't find. He'll work with you to make it right, do all he can do and provide anything he can, to help you transition. And if it does not work out, gracefully take it back to find somebody better matched. I'm biased, of course; Flip has become a good friend over the years. And, if you haven't heard him, he's quite a player, too!

Two thumbs way, way up.

Don Herman
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Review Date: 1/11/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: powerful projection
Cons: somewhat stuffy

Great valve action with Hetman #1.

I added some solder spacings to tighten
up the rotational valve tolerance.

Slotting, pitch is wonderful.

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Review Date: 5/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: slotting, response, consistent sound in all registers, well concieved and made, the pleasure of dealing with Flip
Cons: not a fan of the Amati spit valves

I was looking for a free blowing horn and man did I find one. The one thing I didn't list above under positives is versatility. The WT can be what you need it to be. An important thing to note is something that one other reviewer touched upon... you need to trust this horn to do the work. Forget the crap you needed to do with other horns (I previously played on a Mt. Vernon Strad). With the WT, just fill it with air and point it in the right direction. It sizzles in the upper register when you need to cut through, and mellows out when you need to play ballads. In a brass quintet I find that making the sound tight and focused is easily done due to the incredible responsiveness of the horn. Some here have complained about intonation. I don't see it as a problem in my WT. The low D and C# are high - don't we expect that? The very low F# and G are also a bit high. All are easy to compensate for. With my Strad, everything below the staff and everything above the staff was high. At some point you just learn to blow it in tune.
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Review Date: 5/23/2007 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

Pros: Some like it
Cons: some don't

Good reviews. The more descriptive reviews dealing with how it plays in relation to how you play, were the most helpful.
Don't think it's the horn for me.
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Review Date: 7/11/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great Response, Flexible Horn

This horn is great! I have played several horns over the past 13 years. Starting with a Holton, then a Blessing ML-1, then a Stomvi Combi, then finally to the Wild Thing. My trumpet instructor was a bit sceptical at first, but also found that the horn was of the highest quality. I never played a horn of this size, but it served me well throughout the majority of my college career and still serves me well today.

The horn has great response and slots well. However, above all else I love how this horn allows you to blend in a section, soar above the band or even allow a more delicate approach for special situations. I have played this horn in marching bands, symphonic bands, jazz ensembles, trumpet ensembles, brass choirs and quintets, church, weddings and various other ceremonial situations. It works wonders for all.

I am now in my third year as a Band Director/Music Educator and continue to use the horn on a daily basis. You can't go wrong with this horn! Durable and a real treat to play!
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Review Date: 8/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sound, ease of playing, flexibility
Cons: Having to change cork on mutes and cost

Some of the reviews of the Wild Thing are interesting. There are reviews of reviews and some by people who have not played the horn - how bizarre is that.

Anyway, to pretend that the Wild Thing is for everybody would be misleading. No one single brand of horn is for everybody. Each of us must find the horn that works for us.

I am a comeback player and a couple of years ago when I played the Wild Thing I liked my sound on it but I found that I just couldn't handle the bore size. Now, two years later and a more efficient and stronger embouchure I find that I love the Wild Thing. I played the exact same horn that I played two years ago and now find that I have no problem with it. I find that the intonation is very good with the horn and the notes really lock in. The horns flexibily is one its strongest attributes. My ability to do lip trills, intervals and skips is improved when I play the Wild Thing. The valves are smooth and quiet - even though it has the brass valve guides which are noisier - but tend to give horns a better focus to their sound.

I would before buying any horn you need to try the horn that you are going to buy. I wouldn't spend this kind of money unless I knew that the horn was just like I wanted it. You cannot be passive in a purchase like this. It is a big investment.

I play the horn in our Jazz band and find that it works very well for me in that setting. I can play loud and soft on it without any problem. It is true for me that since I have developed a more efficient embouchure and a relaxed demeaner that it is an advantage playing this horn. But being more relaxed and less tense would help almost anyone.

Again, this horn is a great trumpet - definitely a pro-level horn. The cost is higher then many other pro-level horns (but with horns going higher it doesn't seem outrageous with Bachs around $2,200 to $2,300). Like any horn you need to find the right mouthpiece set-up that works best with the horn. Also, if you buy the horn you will need to change the corks on your mutes to fit the bell.

I would recommend the horn but you need to spend some time playing it to make sure it is right for you. Arturo Sandoval is now playing the Wild Thing and he is not getting paid for playing it so that says a lot about the horn. Give the horn a try and you never know you may really like it.
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Review Date: 8/24/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: everything
Cons: does not clean its self or walk my dog

After 3 years I decided to revisit this site just to see what else was being said. Interesting that a rating can range from a 10 to a 0. Speaks volumes for some players. I myself have switched up to the GOLD about a year ago. Since then my quest to be a lead player in a hot Latin band has been filled.
When I asked why the decision was made to de-throne others with a Gringo the answer came back every time by many "YOUR SOUND". Everywhere I play I get comments of "YOUR SOUND". 3 years later its still the same combo for me.......Wild Thing and a Mark Curry mouthpiece ( 70M and 70S for xtra sizzle)

Thanks once again to FLIP!!!! (and friends)

Andre Levasseur
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Review Date: 9/17/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: All
Cons: None

When a comeback player I tried many horns, thanks to ebay and other sources, and only a few remained with me for more than a couple months. Now that I am no longer a comeback player and consider myself a player again, I must say the Wild Thing is still with me for two years now. I am not going to make the mistake of giving it up for that would be a costly error.

I use heavy caps for "classical" playing and this is one horn that I can actually tell a difference. I thought heavy caps were a myth or only slightly significant until I used them on this horn and now I believe they actually do make a difference. I don't use them for my jazz work however.

Thanks Flip. I wish I had had this horn way back when for I would have moved beyond the high level I achieved and maybe had been able to continue to make a living playing the horn rather than having to trade music away for real estate.
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Review Date: 10/19/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $2,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid Core, Even Blow and Easy High Range
Cons: None.

What a hoot it is to play this horn. Responds very well at all dynamic levels, slots well on all playable partials, (i.e. if you can play the note to begin with, the horn will do the work for you), Large bore horn that works extremely well with an efficienct mp set up, this horn also works well with traditional mouthpieces. The #1 slide gives you more power and edge. The #2 acts like a step bore horn, but a step bore that you cannot overblow. Thanks, Flip!
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Review Date: 10/24/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $3,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: slotting and tone
Cons: none

I absolutly love this trumpet! I have owened ; 2 calichhios1s2 and 3s9, yamaha 6445, olds mendez, conn 38b constellation, martin comitte, olds recording , and more.
This horn is the best....no contest
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