Back in June, I wrote a blog post talking about John Ericson’s sabbatical project – rebuilding several different 19th century-style single F horns.
As the summer draws to a close, it looks like he’s finished getting them all back into playing shape, and he has some very interesting comparisons in his latest “Sabattical Series” blog post at Hornmatters.
Every serious horn player knows about some of the common comparisons in horn equipment. Kruspe vs. Geyer, brass vs. nickel, cut bell vs. fixed, etc. are all well-worn territory in horn Facebook groups and horn mailing lists. However, I never really thought about the wide variety of single horn designs.
In John’s wrap-up post, he not only has a picture showing the (admittedly subtle) differences in horn design and wraps, he also talks a bit about how they differ in terms of overall playability.
He also has a video featuring pictures of each of the 4 horns in various stages of modification, along with his design thoughts, and some playing examples of each horn. It’s really surprising to me (although it probably shouldn’t be) how individual each of these instruments sounds. I imagine the wide range of crook options (including a G crook, Bb crook, and an ascending valve) contribute to each horns personality, and it’s a slightly sad reminder of how homogenous everything has gotten with the vast majority of people playing on double horns.