Vincent Bach is not a name unfamiliar to the mouths of brass players both seasoned and beginner–and for good reason; quality is guaranteed. Vincent Bach, which was founded in 1918 in New York by the lesser-known Austrian epithet Vincent Schrotenbach, decided to pursue a musical career post-WWI after leaving Vienna. While being a proficient player, Bach initially utilized his engineering talents to begin crafting mouthpieces at the original New York location before expanding to Trumpets and Cornets in 1924, when the now-renowned, “Stradivarius” namesake was born as a byproduct of Bach’s apparent quality. A name that, for all intents and purposes, was chosen to represent an aura of decadency and recognizable sophistication to customers and competing brands alike.
Equipped with the 180S37 model is a Bach Standard Series 7C mouthpiece–otherwise known as the starting point for all trumpet players. Being comprised of Silver, the Bach Standard Series mouthpiece offers the player a comfortable and manageable feel by not getting too warm or slippery, while adding a confident bottom to the tone from the compact physicality of the mouthpiece’s rim.
A #25 leadpipe is a common among trumpets, establishing a fairly-easily centered tone with minimal resistance due to the nature of a standard tapering, which in-turn creates a free-blowing, easy feel. The yellow brass construction of the leadpipe itself allows for a layer of both warmth and brilliance, and even in an upper register with a louder volume, maintains a robust tone favorable among players.
Tying in with the characteristics of the leadpipe, bore size is a highly-contended feature, but for an entirely different reason. When discussing bore size, this refers to the spacing of the valve section, inherently affecting the sound. A Bach ML bore (or .459 bore) which is included on the 180S37 rests at the midpoint of sizes, but tends to be favored because of the balance it offers. While a smaller bore may be easier to control because of less required air support, thus better for beginners, and a Large bore may be preferred for professionals typically playing in upper registers or at louder volumes, the ML offers duality.
A one-piece bell in comparison to multiple or two-piece bells, characteristically, makes more sense for a trumpet–especially a Bach. Sonically, a one-piece bell does not limit the sound to be contained in just the front-end of the bell, but allows the radiance out the fan of the bell, creating the desired and exceptionally bright Bach sound coupled with phenomenal response. Additionally, the one-piece, which tends to be favored and used commonly for professional trumpets, is as the name would suggest; created from one sheet of brass (in this case Yellow or Gold) during production. Its assembly is a more laborious process in opposition to a multiple piece bell which is monetarily cheaper, and sacrifices potential tone.
Hand-hammered, compared to a spun bell, creates an unmatched warmth in the tone with clear projection favored by multi-faceted players looking for a horn that has the flexibility to play multiple genres, and in multiple musical settings.
Like any instrument, a trumpet will not reach its full potential unless properly tuned. Your main tuning slide (or C slide) will be at the end of your leadpipe. Your first valve slide will be facing towards your mouthpiece extending from your first valve, second valve slide will extend outwards and back diagonally from your second valve, and third valve will (mostly) include a pinky ring for easy adjustments extending from your third valve. The latter three are all for fine tuning. The interior of the tuning slides are brass, while the outer hardware such as the slide receiver is nickel, which makes for a pleasing aesthetic contrast, and easy maintenance.
Included on all Stradivarius models are Monel pistons engineered by Bach himself. Monel is a nickel-copper alloy which is non-corrosive, securing a lifelong guarantee of playability. Additionally, the composition allows for quick response, overall smoothness, and minimal chance for air leakage desired and appreciated by players at any skill level.
Current Bach Stradivarius models incorporate a one-piece valve casing made from yellow brass. The one-piece construction allows for the pistons to be properly aligned with ease, minimizing any possible internal wear.
The pinky finger hook on top of the leadpipe adjacent to the third valve, thumb hook attached to the first valve slide, and pinky ring attached to the third valve slide are all comprised of silver to match the finish on the rest of the horn’s body.
As expected, the target customer for the 180S37 can’t be reduced to just one primary demographic. The characteristically Bach sound appeals to all levels of players with all genres, though it would be recommended for intermediate players who are looking to be serious or professional players down the road, to tried and true professionals expecting flexibility out of their instrument in various musical settings. From the easy playability, minimized resistance, ML bore, free-flowing nature from the #25 leadpipe, and composition designed from the best nationally-sourced materials, the 180S37 remains to be a top selling horn because of its all-encompassing essence.