Other items vaguely musical:
My big tuner: Stroboconn 6T
My little tuner: Yamaha TD-1
Some interesting stuff about musical instruments and physics: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music
My mom bought this used horn for me, on a rent-to-own plan in sixth grade, for about $160 in 1972. (Probably at Korten's in Longview, WA. I think she got 'taken', as you usually do on any rent-to-own plan.) My brother got one too, his didn't have the copper bell making it (probably) a 15B—I (eldest) got first choice and I thought the copper looked cooler. Such is the extent of the selection criteria when in grade school! The choice of trumpet as my instrument in the first place can be laid squarely at the feet of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. (Loved that stuff. Also fairly influential was Graham Young's playing on The Waltons. [There is some conflicting information about who this was, I've also heard that it was Uan Rasey, Greg Wing, Jay Daversa, Ray Crisera... Perhaps there was more than one over the years? Whoever did it first gets the credit here.]) After I got a Jet-Tone Custom 4B mouthpiece in high school (here you see Maynard Ferguson's influence, and indirectly, Mic Gillette's, along with a generous helping of ignorance) I tried cutting down the rim of the original Conn 4 mouthpiece to make it more comfortable to play. That worked, sort of, but the result was in no way superior to the Jet-Tone and it looked like crap so mostly it just sat in the case. I never played it enough to determine if the raw brass would be a problem for me or not. (The Custom 4B's specs are JT505: 4 ['deep' cup, 21/32" diameter] B [A–D, flat to rounded] rim. List price was $18, I'm pretty sure I paid my bandmate $20 for it.)
I played this horn for my entire school music career, through college. In college, during a very cold outdoor marching band rehearsal where I had the horn tucked under my arm and my hands in my pockets, I managed to drop it on the Astroturf and bent the rim of the bell in about half an inch, which I later pounded out myself using a rubber-handled tack hammer. (I held the head and tapped away with the side of the handle. An hour or so of gentle effort put it back pretty good.) When Jill was playing this trumpet, our extra, for alumni band we bought a used Bach 10-½ C mouthpiece for her to use, which is what's in the case now. (She picked it from the store's tray as being the most comfortable of the available choices, she hated the cut-down Conn which was the only other mouthpiece we had at the time.)
I never play it anymore, but when we were in a parade recently I decided that it would be handy to have a lyre, which the Martin (below) doesn't have. Hey, it's a parade so I don't really need my good axe, and the sacrificial Conn is much tougher and has a lyre. (When I first got the Martin, in the throes of a comeback, I couldn't notice much difference in sound between the two horns, though I certainly noticed [and had much difficulty with] the Martin's longer [16.5mm vs 15mm] valve throw—but I sure could tell the difference in the parade. The Martin is a much better horn! That was hard to tell at first as a comeback player.)
While it was 'in play' (so to speak) for the parade gig, what should drop out of the case but the long-lost mother-of-pearl button insert for #2, which had been missing for some thirty years! I remember when it fell off during a rehearsal in high school and I tucked it into the case for safekeeping, figuring that I'd glue it back on at home. Later, when I went to do this, I couldn't find it; I scoured the case with no results, and later, the band room. I looked in the case a few other times over the years but with no luck, I figured it must have fallen out of the case and gotten lost, though I couldn't see how. I had always meant to get a new button for it, but matching the original might have been difficult and it never seemed quite worth the trouble, though that little metal ridge left on #2 was always mildly irritating. Well, now I don't need to! Naturally I had again put the insert carefully back in the case for gluing on later, since it turned up (predictably) at a time that wasn't convenient for the repair, and of course when I went to fix it I again couldn't find the insert. But now having some idea as to its one trick I looked much harder this time and eventually found it: it's amazing how quickly and well that little disc can get wedged into a case corner. The rough shell edge on the bottom was very happy to mate with the fuzzy velour of the case interior. A bit of cleaning and a dab of cyanoacrylate glue and it was, at long last, good as new again.
Update: Monday, May 4, 2009. I got the trumpet back from a week in the shop. For the princely sum of $32 I had the ripples in the bell rolled out, thus removing almost completely all evidence that I'd dropped the horn on its face back in college. Since I had it with me, for fun I played it in band after the mid-rehearsal break, complete with the same Jet-Tone I'd used all those years. Umm, yes, it's not as good as the Martin! Sure easy to tell the difference now, even my section mates noticed. It'll go back into hibernation, I think. I'm happy to have it 'restored', nonetheless, and I do want a spare B♭ trumpet on hand.
During the Benge 3C evaluation session it became quite clear that the best place for the cut-down Conn 4 mouthpiece was back on this horn, so it came 'home'. That's where it sounded best, if you can even use that term. (It now resides in the storage bay.)
Monday, October 4, 2021 I loaned the horn to my standmate, Betsy. She'd found the 12B I loaned her intriguing, but really didn't like the valve action. (Clickless my ass!) I hadn't either, and mentioned that this horn had pretty decent valves, if a bit heavy. The result was that I loaned her this one too, so she has two copper-belled Conns to play with.
Monday, October 11, 2021 I got the horn back. She didn't like it at all, though did prefer the valves to those of the 12B. Wednesday, November 3, 2021 I cleaned it and returned it to storage.
My main horn, and unique. (The goofy picture is from a concert where I was warming up this horn and the Flugelhorn at the same time, I had one in each hand. Here are