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Martin Committee Trumpet

The black-lacquered Martin Committee trumpet from Leblanc is a pretty horn. Right from the start I was impressed with its craftsmanship. The horn has extensive engraving on the bell that runs almost its entire length. It is well-constructed and feels good in the hands; of course, this is something that is expected from Leblanc. While the horn’s distinctive look commands respect for the instrument, the true test is how well it plays.

Upon playing the horn, I noticed that the face-to-valve distance was much shorter than the more traditional length (i.e., Bach standard). When I measured the distance, it was almost two inches shorter. This is because the valve casing is set closer toward the mouthpiece receptor, and the end of the mouthpiece receptor is lined up to be even with the end of the horn rather than having a half- to three-quarter-inch offset from the end of the horn. I’m not sure of the reasoning for this, but I did feel a closer connection with the horn because of it; maybe it is due to my hands being closer to me than I’m accustomed to. In any case, it took a little getting used to but was not a problem at all.

The Martin Committee handles well throughout all registers. I did not find any intonation problems or anything else that I had to make major adjustments for. The tone itself was clean and very focused. It sometimes seemed that the horn allowed me to zero in on the note a lot easier.

The Martin’s tone was not overly bright but had good body to it. I prefer a little more body in tone, but the Martin was not thin by any means. To put this in perspective, I play on a Bach 1C mouthpiece and my horn is handmade by Tony Scodwell of the Las Vegas Trumpet Company. It’s very open and very full, and matches up well with me. I have been on the horn for many years, and have grown attached to it. The Martin took some time for me to get used to, but that’s true for any instrument change. Compared to my current setup, the Martin was fairly tight to blow, but it was more focused.

I like to be able to push my instrument to its full dynamic range. Upon pushing the Martin, it wasn’t as open as I would have liked it to be, but it still handled well. The Martin is well-suited for players who perform in more controlled environments. Of course, the true test is how well it performs on the gig. I was only able to take the horn out with me twice. Each time out, the horn felt a little more comfortable. I’m sure that given some time, the horn would work well for anyone looking for a focused sound with good control.

Overall, the Martin Committee is a very nice instrument that performs well. With its distinctive look and feel, it would be a great addition to any trumpet player’s arsenal.

Originally Published