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    BachLoyalist.com - Trumpets Trumpet Evolution

Vincent Bach Trumpet Evolution

Through the years, various modifications have been made to the "original" Bach design.   This list of the evolution of the Bach trumpet model is our best summary of the various features and how they each evolved.  We are always looking for additional, or corrections to this information.  Use our "contact us" button at the top of each page.

Valves | Bell | Slides | Leadpipes | Bracing | Shop Cards

Vincent Bach - Valve Variations

Valve Casings

It is generally understood that prior to S/N 121,7XX (approx. 1977), valve casings were made from 2 pieces.  The top part was made of nickel silver.  We're still trying to narrow down this serial number range, please contact us through the header link.

However, it was recently brought to our attention that prior to S/N 121,XXX some valve casings may have been one piece, and out of the same material.

Serial number #597 actually appears to have both the top and bottom valve casing to be made of nickel silver.


In addition, Johan serial number #3112 (1935) has a one piece valve casing (brass). 

(Images courtesy of Johan Åkervall)


Valve Guides

The metal (brass) valve guides were replaced with nylon plastic guides during the 1980's.  This was done for further cost/performance reasons.

Valve Serial Number - Casing

The serial number of the trumpet were stamped on the 2nd valve barrel, until in the late 49XXX, in which it was replaced by engraving.

NY   Horizontal Serial Number above Bore Size on Upper Right side of valve casing
Mt Vernon Elkhart 2XXXXX's Bore Size above Horizontal Serial Number on Upper Right Side of valve casing
2XXXXX's 3XXXXX's Horizontal Serial Number on Upper Right side, Bore Size on Lower Right side of valve casing
4XXXXX's 5XXXXX's Vertical Serial Number on Lower Left side, Bore Size on Lower Right side of valve casing
6XXXXX's Current Vertical Serial Number above Bore Size on Lower Left side of valve casing

Valve Serial Number - Actual Valve

Also, the instrument serial numbers were also stamped on each valve as shown in this photograph.  Some more insight to when this stopped (1970) was discussed on a recent discussion forum. 

If you have updated information on this, please contact us.  We're trying to narrow this down, as there seems to be inconsistencies in this.

On valve 49889
On valve 502XX
Not on valve 50782
On valve (Mt. Vernon Cornet) 139XX

Valve Cap Serial Number - Finger Button

In addition the valve caps also had the matching serial numbers applied to the underside.  The time period these were applied appears to be different than the matching serial numbers on the valve itself.


On Cap 1816X
Not on Cap 198XX
Other Variations (can not verify if these were original Bach)  
Caps marked I, II, III 34xxx

Thanks to users from TrumpetHerald for this narrowed down serial number list on valve caps.


Valve Stamping

Throughout the Mt Vernon period, the second valve was stamped just below the center bell brace as follows as shown in the photograph below.

V. Bach

Vincent Bach - Trumpet Bell Variations

Bell Construction - Bending

Selmer around 1973 changed the filler material in the bell crook to a frozen soap type filler from the previously used, confidential alloy of pitch type materials that had been developed through the 1950-1960's.

Bell Construction - Blank

Instead of the traditional funnel shape or fan pattern after 1965 the Selmer Corp. used a newly developed flower "blank" shape that simplified the forming process and required a completely different approach to shaping the bell flair.  We are looking for an example of this difference, if anyone has photos of this manufacturing process difference.

Bell Construction - Bracing

Early Bach trumpets used cast braces to attach the bell to the lead pipe, valve block.  Today forged S braces are used instead.

Bell Construction - Logo

Similar to the valve serial number engraving, bells today are etched, where earlier Bach trumpets were roll stamped to get the logo applied.  This was switched over around 2000/2002 to a computerized laser based system.

Bell Construction - Logo registered Trademark

Serial: 75534
R above Vincent
No Corporation

Serial: 47312
No R above Vincent

After some helpful comments from fellow Bach loyalists (David, Tim), wanted to add some examples in this section.  It is unclear when both the registered trademark, and the Corporation was added/removed from the Bach brass related bells.  Here is a table which summarizes different examples.

Serial Bell ® Corporation
33937 239(C) No R Corporation
37302 311(F) No R Corporation
42160 37 No R Corporation
46422 37(181) No R Corporation
47312 37* No R Corporation
50782 37 No R Corporation
51622 37 No R Corporation
55746  37  No R Corporation
61081 236(D) No R Corporation
61824 37 No R Corporation
61855 239 No R Corporation
63003 37 No R Corporation
66953 37 No R Corporation
67184 72* No R Corporation
68278 37 R No Corporation
68400 37 R No Corporation
69168 229L No R Corporation
70424 37 R No Corporation
75094 37(LT) R No Corporation
75534 37 R No Corporation
76005 37 R No Corporation
81719 72* No R Corporation
83544 43 No R Corporation
854XX 43* No R Corporation
85744 304 No R Corporation
86766 25 No R Corporation
87675 229 No R Corporation
101647 37 R No Corporation
108090 37 R No Corporation
108735 43* No R Corporation
114917 236(D) No R Corporation
115945 72 No R Corporation
121192 37 R No Corporation
123404 37 R No Corporation
123887 37 R No Corporation
142397 229(C) No R Corporation
145843 229(C) No R Corporation
146373   R No Corporation
150018 239(C) No R Corporation
164284 239(C) No R Corporation
166706 72* No R Corporation
171892 37 R No Corporation
173912 43 No R Corporation
176291 43 No R Corporation
186493 37 R No Corporation
197405 43 R No Corporation
388483 43 R No Corporation
409696 72* R No Corporation
426673 (184) R No Corporation
474985 65G R No Corporation
478532 43 R No Corporation

It is important to note the major events during this same time.  For example, Vincent Bach Corp. was sold to Selmer in 1961, and was part of the Selmer Musical Instrument company.  (That would have been around serial number 21,000.

Another way to look at this is by the bell type.  Perhaps the differences were related to the fixturing for stamping the logo on different bell mandrels.  Same list as above, but sorted by bell type.

37 Type Bell

Serial Bell ® Corporation
47312 37* No R Corporation
55746  37  No R Corporation
61824 37 No R Corporation
63003 37 No R Corporation
66953 37 No R Corporation

68278 37 R No Corporation
68400 37 R No Corporation
70424 37 R No Corporation
75094 37(LT) R No Corporation
75534 37 R No Corporation
76005 37 R No Corporation
121192 37 R No Corporation
123404 37 R No Corporation

43 Type Bell

Serial Bell ® Corporation
83544 43 No R Corporation
854XX 43* No R Corporation
108735 43* No R Corporation
176291 43 No R Corporation

197405 43 R No Corporation
388483 43 R No Corporation
478532 43 R No Corporation


Bell Construction - Indiana, USA

Similar to the registered trademark/corporation above, there are variations to the State marking from IND. to IN, and also from U.S.A. to USA.

Serial State USA Other
412786 IND. U.S.A. Vertical Serial Numbers
 (Bottom Right)
Bore Sizes
 (Bottom Left)

IN USA Bell Font Changed
Vertical Serial Numbers
 (Bottom Right)
Bore Sizes
 (Bottom Left)

Please send us your notes on what serial number this changed also on your Bach brass instrument.  Help us narrow down the serial number range.

Bell Construction - Model 182

In 2007, Conn Selmer started making the mdoel 182 in their Eastlake, Ohio facility, and changed the bell engraving to the following:

in the U.S.A"

Serial State USA Other
17735X None U.S.A.

in the U.S.A.

Bell Construction - Rim

The Elkhart bells (>1965) have full round bell wire, versus early Bach trumpets which had a more traditional French half round bead.

Bell Construction - Seam

Early Elkhart, Mt. Vernon bells have the seam running towards the valve section. 

Bell Seam Example
Serial Number 48765

There have been different variations through the serial numbers. Some other examples include
(looking into the bell).  Thanks to Chris Kase for these additional examples.

Serial Number Seam Position
117XX (NY 37ML) 6 o'clock
188XX (MtV M Bore) 7 o'clock


Bell Construction - Thickness

On older Bach trumpets the bell thickness is tapered as the bell flares out.  Today, through modern manufacturing techniques, the bell thickness is much more uniform, allowing for similar sound vs. daily manufacturing variations.  This is one reason why older Bach trumpets often have a different sound to them.

Vincent Bach - Master Tuning Slide Variations

Tuning Slide - Wrap

The master tuning slide crook in the early 50's was made wider on later instruments made in the Mt. Vernon shop after approximately 1955.  This difference is about 0.25 inch.

NY Bach - Tuning Slide entry 3rd valve
Serial Number #4117, courtesy of Jeff Dacks

Note how the tuning slide entry into the 3rd valve goes down at an angle.  Newer Bach tuning slides go "straight" into the 3rd valve.

Also it is very interesting to see the change in the wrap during time with early Vincent Bach trumpets.  Also, note the relative position of the spit valve and drain with respect to the main tuning slide.  Here are some great examples:

5,8XX (Mercury)

Other Examples of Bach Wraps on early Bach trumpets.

Bach MtV (#30XXX/1964) vs. Bach MtV (#15XXX/1956)

Bach Mercury (#58XX/) vs. Bach MtV (#15XXX/1956)

If you are looking for the original style concept tuning slide crook, you should look into Dave's classic tuning slide here.


Tuning Slide - 1st Valve Slide / Saddle

"The first slide was changed to the reversed construction in the mid 1970's. It was done because the old style had to have an extension arm made to solder on the 1st slide tuning crook. By reversing the slide tubes, the slide action was greatly improved and (2) by eliminating the soldering of the hook to the slide crook, it helped the response of notes associated with that valve."
from Tedd Waggoner (Vincent Bach Brass Product Manager)

The first valve saddle became standard in the 1970's.  Before that time, this was an option.

Tuning Slide - 3rd Valve Stop Rod

Before 1940, the stop rod bracing was hexagonal in shape.  Here are good examples of this style from a pre 1940's Bach.  Mt. Vernon Bach's had the stop rod guide facing the 3rd valve. Sometime in the mid-late 1960's (1967 example shows this facing the bell), the stop rod was reversed to face the bell.  We are looking for additional examples to narrow down this serial number range.

Vincent Bach - Lead Pipe Variations

Lead pipe - Finger Hook Design


New York Style
Serial Number #4117 (1937)

Mt. Vernon Transition Style
Good example of the "transition" finger hook between the
New York and later Mt. Vernon styles


Mt. Vernon Style - 1959


Elkhart Style - 1973


Lead pipe - Labels/Style

Some recent lead pipes (>1970) have the label applied to the mouthpiece shank, and many early leadpipes were labeled.

Lead pipe - Mouthpiece Receiver

"The mouthpiece receiver was shorted by Vincent Bach himself back in the late 1950's before he sold his company to the Selmer Company. I don't know his reason for doing this. We simply kept his designs."

-Tedd Waggoner
Vincent Bach Brass Product Manager


Vincent Bach - Bracing


"Early differences are the nickel hex braces, this changed in around 1940
to what we are familiar with today."

Thanks to Marco Rippert who provided the concept and initial measurements of key bracing locations.  Note the potential variation required to get the fullest sound from your Bach trumpet.


Serial (Year) Model A B C D E F
      measurement (mm)
250XXX 1985 180LT72 9 80 136 127 114 210
510XXX 2000 180LT72 12 75 137 125 101 192

Add your measurements by using the contact form at the top of the page.


Vincent Bach - Shop Cards / Invoices

Shop Cards

Bach used simple note cards for his shop card records of each horn.  During the years, the same basic information was recorded, however the format slightly changed through the years.  Original color was pink.

(Serial # 1314; May 1929)


(Serial # 4117; November 1937)
courtesy of Jeff Dacks


(Serial # 15096; June 1956)


(Serial # 30017; October 1964)



Bach invoice for 6 Bach Mercury trumpets from August 1955 to Kitt Music Company.  (Still in business today, click here)

Registration Card

Registration Card example (1964/1965)
Serial #: 25662

Vincent Bach Warranty Certificate (1955)


© Conn Selmer, Inc.
© Various Images courtesy of Erik Veldkamp
© Early Bach Images courtesy of Jeff Dacks
© BestBrass.jp
© TrumpetHerald.com; various discussion threads (BobXX)
© various users (Fukushima, Dacks)
© Bracing Measurements provided by
Marco Rippert
© various corrections, additional serial number ranges from Chris Kase.



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All information and images copyrighted by the respective owner.
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