Bach Pocket Cornets

This cornet was constructed as a design exercise and to keep my focus on what I enjoy amongst the more mundane work.  Vincent Bach probably never would have been interested in building a pocket cornet or trumpet, but if he did maybe it would have looked a bit like this.  I wanted to be able to demonstrate how a good design and careful work can produce an extremely compact instrument without compromising the acoustics of the original design.  This was a Vincent Bach Stradivarius model 7-10-62 (7-10 bell with a .462" bore size) with a 112mouthpipe.  This was a very popular model for Bach cornets as well as trumpets (usually with a 6 or 7 mouthpipe) in 1935 when it was built.   When I purchased the cornet about 10 years ago (photos below), my plan was to restore it for resale, but it quickly became clear that it would be a loosing proposition, so it became a "parts" horn.  Fortunately, I never had the heart to scavenge parts for other restorations and it occurred to me that it could have another fate.  

The valves were extremely loose, so they were plated and refit.   Somebody had cut the tops off of both the top caps and stems, so I silver soldered nickel silver pieces on to restore original dimensions.   The two existing buttons were also cut down, so I used a new set that look pretty close.  I reused as many original braces and pieces of tubing as possible and remade missing pull knobs etc.  The tuning slide assembly and return crook with water key were not changed other than shortening the lower inside slide tube to allow the mouthpipe to extend further inside the outside tube.  The replacement mouthpipe is not a Bach 112, but is very close in dimensions.  The bell bend is also a replacement part.  For this I used a section from a more modern Bach 25 bell which is very close in design.  That piece was bent first and then brazed to the original straight section of the original bell.  This had to be as "seamless" as possible, although there is a seam there of course.  I was able to make the total length only 8", compared with the Benge and other full size modern pocket trumpets which are about 9 1/2" long.   The branch or tapered crook that attaches to the new bell bend is the original bell bend, once again using as much of the original cornet aspossible.  The last photo to the left shows the newly remade cornet next to all the original parts that were not used.

This cornet has been played by a number of our top studio and Philharmonic players and all have judged it to be a superior playing cornet, not compromised by its compact shape.

The last photo on the right is another, made several years later, for Mark Ponzo.  This one started as a 37ML cornet made in about 1977 and is about a half inch shorter, but otherwise the same design.  It is also an excellent playing instrument. 

For more pocket cornets and trumpets be sure to check out