October 2001

Calicchio R37 and RR37 Trumpets

Trumpets, like fashion or hairstyles, are influenced by trends, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon with their own version of the latest thing. These trends are cyclical by nature. Everything comes back around eventually, and is touted as the new great thing. With trumpets the trend these days is with extra weight. Starting with Monette, horns and mouthpieces the last few years have gotten heavier and heavier to the point where you have to go to the gym and lift weights just to be able to hold one of these things up through a concert. The extra weight (within reason) has its merits, and recently Calicchio jumped into the fray with the introduction of its new, heavier horns, the R37 and RR37.

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Calicchio R37 Trumpet

Calicchio made its reputation developing the ideal horn for studio trumpet players. That horn, now known as the Classic 7, has a very consistent sound through all registers and is very responsive. It also has a smooth, even blow and it’s a little on the bright side, ideal for cutting through in any situation. The new horns retain many of these fine qualities and open up a world of new possibilities for those of us who want a horn that might not be as bright as the Classic Calicchios. The new horns are made of red brass, a heavier, softer metal with more copper in the alloy, and also feature a larger bell than the classic models. To balance the extra weight and size, the horns feature a thicker leadpipe and tuning slide, and heavier bottom-valve caps.

The R37, as a result, has a fat, warm sound. The tone is full and even in all registers, and while it’s not as easy to play as the Classic models, you won’t be killing yourself either. Remember, everything about finding the right horn and mouthpiece is a trade-off. If you want a darker, richer sound, you can’t expect to get it with a light horn and tiny mouthpiece. The point is, How much ease are you willing to sacrifice for the big, fat sound you are looking for? With the R37, the trade-off is not so great. But if you are looking for something in between the R37 and the classic horns, then maybe the RR37 is the horn for you. This is Calicchio’s newest model, and it’s basically the R37 with a reverse tuning slide. According to Calicchio, reversing the tuning slide allows you to move the front brace further back on the horn. This allows the bell to vibrate more, opens up the sound and gives the horn a little more projection. This indeed is what the horn does, but the trade-off is that the horn doesn’t quite have the richness and buttery tone of the R37. The other advantage of a reverse tuning slide is that it slightly raises the pitch of the fourth harmonic of the overtone series, making the C sharps, D’s, D sharps, and E’s on the top half of the staff a little easier to play in tune.

These horns make for fine additions to the Calicchio stable, giving trumpet players a wider selection of fine horns to choose from.

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