Bach Trumpets – Bells

Bach Trumpets – Bells

Vincent Bach designated his first bell the “T” bell also known as mandrel number 1. It was designed for Bb trumpets, as was his second bell, the “B” bell. Through 37 years of making trumpets and cornets, Bach considered a very large number of bells for them.

Bell Example Serial #: 1905 Model 7-10-62 In this example, it was described to me as: 7-10 = Hybrid Bell combining both mandrels; 62 = 0.462 Bore

There were seventy-two (72) designs for Bb bells alone, and each has a number code. The numbers range from 1 through 73, but number 15 apparently was omitted.

He apparently experimented a lot in the early days with different mandrels, later on 6 and 7 became more or less standard for ML and L, 38 became standard for M bore. A trumpet stamped “Model 7-59″, for example, would have a number 7 bell and would be a medium large bore instrument with a bore size of 0.459 inches. One stamped “Model 10-62″ would be a trumpet with a number 10 bell and a bore size of 0.462 inches, in Bach terms, a large bore horn. If bell have the number 67 stamped on it, this means the old NY postal zone of the Bronx !

At the end of the Bronx period and the beginning of the Mt. Vernon period the leadpipes (25,43) and bells (37,38 (M) and 43,72) became more the standard. The difficulty is that the markings on the bell and receiver are not there so it’s only possible to verify the exact leadpipe and bell by shop cards.

This list of bell types summarizes the different bell components in a simple list for easier comparisons. We are always looking for your feedback on your experiences with each of the bell, and leadpipe combinations. Email us through “contact us” on each page.

Trumpet Bells

Bell Sound Type Styles Positives Negatives
Bb Bells
1/T  Cross between the 37 and 72 bells
6
7 Slightly brighter than the 37 bell. Jazz
(Lead)
25 Sharper, slightly tighter and more focused projection than 37. Similar in characteristics to the Benge 3X bell. All Styles
(Tighter)
Tight, focused sound. Great for lead type playing in night clubs, etc. Can be too cutting of a sound in a large group.
37 The “Standard” Trumpet Sound with a rich, compact sound of great projection All Styles Easy To play, blends in with many trumpets I found that the 37 bell doesn’t project as well as some others and the sound can be dull
38 Similar to the 25, but a little warmer sounding.Compact, fluid sound Jazz
(Smaller Combos)
Nice warm sound Doesn’t have great projection, doesn’t quite cut in a full jazz band
42 Warm, lighter French sound
43 Broader, brighter, more open than 37 Jazz
(Lead)
Nice Projection, Great for jazz Might be too bright for some strictly classical players who play in symphony orchestras
46 Bugle Bell?
65 Big, dark, Teutonic sound Classical
(Dark)
Can be big, cornet sounding, but rather dark sounding. Really only used in symphonic type settings. Does not work well for lead type playing.
72 Strong, powerful sound, darker tone than 37 All Styles
(Lead)
Nice projection, probably the fullest sounding bell Bach makes. High range sparkles. Does take more effort to play. Harder to play at soft dynamics with. You will probably find your endurance is better with the 37 or 43 bell
C/D Bells
211 Slightly tighter and brighter than 236. Classical Can be a little bright for a D trumpet.
229 Tighter and brighter sounding than the 239. Sound doesn’t spread as much to the sides and the 239…the sound is more direct and focused.Tends to be slightly broader than 239(Similar to 43) Classical Nice sound, really cuts through the orchestra. High range can sound pinched if you don’t fill this bell up with air!
236 More focused than the 229. Bright and it projects!! Standard for “D” trumpets.(Similar to 25) Classical It projects !!! To bright for C trumpets, nice though for D’s.
238 This bell is often used with a Vindabona bore. Sounds both big and dark.(Similar to 72) Classical If dark is what you want, this is even darker than the 239 Doesn’t project…tone can be airy in low register.
239 Big, Dark, Sound. Considered the “37” bell of for C and D trumpets. The so-called “Standard.”Rich, big, dark sound.(Similar to 65) Classical Standard, has a big sound that is big and, yes, “FAT” sounding! None really…if this is the kind of sound you want you can’t go wrong. For those who need a negative comment, it takes more endurance to play this then the 229.
244 Original bell configuration used on Vindabona D trumpets. Classical
256 Very large, similar to a Bb bell. Gibber darker sound than the 229 or 239(Similar to 38) Solo
Quintet
Chamber
Sounds very much like a Bb bell. Can be stuffy in the upper register. Can be stuffy in the upper register. Can be tight, and hard to play in tune.
Eb Bells
229 Tighter and brighter sounding than the 239. Sound doesn’t spread as much to the sides and the 239…the sound is more direct and focused.(Similar to 43) Classical Nice sound, really cuts through the orchestra. High range can sound pinched if you don’t fill this bell up with air!
239 Big, Dark, Sound. Considered the “37” bell of for C and D trumpets. The so-called “Standard.”(Similar to 65) Classical Standard, has a big sound that is big and, yes, “FAT” sounding! None really…if this is the kind of sound you want you can’t go wrong. For those who need a negative comment, it takes more endurance to play this then the 229.
High Key Bells (Eb, F, G, High Bb)
311 Bright, crystalline clarino sound. Larger numbers tend to be bigger, darker in sound characteristics. Intonation can be less sure with larger bell throats Classical
314 Classical
316 Classical
318 Classical
320 Classical
325 Classical
Cornet Bells
37 Rich, compact sound of great projection Concert
Band
43 Broader, brighter more open than 37 Concert
Band
72 Strong, powerful sound, darker than 37 Concert
Band
25 Sharper, slightly tighter with more focused projection than 37 Concert
Band
31 Compact, fluid sound Concert
Band
184 Only one flare available for Model 184. British Band Dark
Flugelhorn Bells
183 Only one flare available for Model 183

 

 

Bell Characteristics – Eb Trumpet

Bell Description

229

Tighter and brighter sounding than the 239. Sound doesn’t spread as much to the sides and the 239…the sound is more direct and focused.(Similar to 43)
Pro: Nice sound, really cuts through the orchestra.
Con: High range can sound pinched if you don’t fill this bell up with air!

239

 Big, Dark, Sound. Considered the “37” bell of for C and D trumpets. The so-called “Standard.”(Similar to 65)
Pro:  Standard, has a big sound that is big and, yes, “FAT” sounding!
Con:  None really…if this is the kind of sound you want you can’t go wrong. For those who need a negative comment, it takes more endurance to play this then the 229.

 

Bell Characteristics – Flugelhorn

Bell Description

183

Only one flare available for Model 183
Pro:
Con:

 

 

 Standard Bb Bell/Bore Combinations [1]

Bore M ML L XL MLV n/a
Bell 38 37
43
72
25 43 72 65
Lead Pipe 25 25 25 25-O 43 n/a
Bore 0.453 0.459 0.462 0.468 0.453
0.459
n/a

[1] This table was compiled from the most common combinations of Bach Stradivarius trumpets.  Other combinations are/have been available from Bach.  It is more common in early Bach instruments to find many more unique combinations.

 

Bell Sound Characteristics [2]

Sound Bright Std. Bell Dark
Bb Bell 25 43 38 37 72 65
C Bell 236 229 239 238 256

[2] This table was compiled from various members experiences from various trumpet discussion forums.  Obviously when combined with the player, mouthpiece, bell combinations users experiences may be different.

 

 

 

Sources:

© Conn Selmer, Inc.
© TrumpetHerald.com; various discussion threads

5 Comments so far

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  1. Francis Pigeon
    #1 Francis Pigeon 15 February, 2014, 13:28

    Is it possible for a Mt Vernon trumpet to have the mandrel number stamped on the bell? (i.e. Model 37 or 43)

    Reply this comment
    • Bach Loyalist
      Bach Loyalist Author 15 February, 2014, 13:54

      Yes, a model stamp on the bell is common. A model 37 was sometimes not stamped onto the bell later in that era.

      Reply this comment
  2. Ben Benjamin
    #2 Ben Benjamin 5 March, 2014, 19:56

    Cornet serial 2532; Model 7-10-62

    What does the 45, between Vincent Bach and CORPORATION, represent?
    thanks

    Reply this comment
  3. Steve
    #3 Steve 6 August, 2015, 10:14

    Where in your comparison of bell characteristics does the 26 fit?

    Reply this comment

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