Vincent Bach is a name that is very familiar to brass instrument players of all levels, one synonymous with quality. The company was founded in 1918 by Vincent Bach, born Vincent Schrotenbach, a Viennese-born immigrant who had decided to pursue a music career upon leaving Vienna after World War I. Vincent had actually played violin until he first heard the trumpet’s majestic sound and changed instruments. He became a very proficient player and also held a degree in engineering, and combining these two experiences, he started out crafting mouthpieces in the original Bach factory in Mt. Vernon, NY, and in 1924 (the same year Sam Ash Music first opened its doors), production expanded to include trumpets and cornets. His professional line, the Stradivarius, premiered that year and has continued to be made in several incarnations to this day, becoming the world’s best-selling professional trumpet line. The 18037 series of Bb Stradivarius trumpet is, by a large margin, the most popular and most requested model of high end trumpet worldwide, an industry standard, and as Conn-Selmer (Bach’s now parent company) say themselves, “often imitated, but never duplicated.”
That may sound like an exaggeration but in the court of popular opinion and sheer volume, it is certainly not. Many instruments on the market have design features that clearly are based on the 18037, but none truly capture the sound and craftsmanship that make Bach the industry legend it is today. Sam Ash and Jerry Ash (our company’s Founder and Chairman of the Board respectively) were personally invited by Vincent Bach himself to tour the Mt. Vernon factory at one point, and were wowed even then by the amount of precision work and hand crafting that goes in to each and every horn. The 18037 has two main variant models, the 18037 and 180S37, the difference between them being that the 18037 has a gold lacquer finish and the 180S37 is silver plated. The silver plate, aside from the obvious visual appeal, does add a bit more brightness to the sounds, while the lacquer is often known to have a slightly mellower tone. Construction otherwise is the same, so saying one is better would be unfair, it really all comes down to player’s preference between them.
The masterful crafting of Bach’s #37 one-piece, hand-hammered yellow brass bell found on both instruments is of a quality that can only be attained through the collective experience of nearly a century of specially-trained Bach craftsmen. This bell bestows upon the instrument the unique timbre of warmth, tone, and projection that has made the Stradivarius a modern-day legend. Starting with a single piece of stamped brass, a master technician creates each bell by hand. This single-piece construction allows the bell to vibrate without constriction, allowing for the clear and resonant sound Bach is known for. A hand hammered bell adds clarity to the instrument’s projection and warmth to the tone in all registers, characteristics favored my multi-faceted players looking for a horn with the flexibility to play and sound great in any genre or musical setting, from classical to jazz, and from the marching fields to symphonic concert halls, to small-venue solo events.
Monel pistons are featured on all Stradivarius models and were originally designed by Vincent Bach himself. Monel is a non-corrosive nickel copper alloy that allows for quicker response, a very smooth feel, and very tight seals that prevent any air leakage for the best possible playing experience and adding to the longevity of the instrument.
The 18037 Stradivarius trumpets incorporate a one-piece valve casing made from yellow brass. This innovative construction allows valve pistons to be aligned more easily and tightly than on multiple piece constructed models. It also greatly reduces internal wear on the horn.
The 18037 series sport a Bach #25 lead pipe, found on many Stradivarius models, has a .459” Medium-Large Bore, and offers an just the perfect amount of airflow and resistance while maintaining an even, centered tone. The yellow brass construction (same metal used on the valve casing and bell) helps to increase the resonance and timbre and adds a robust quality to the sound in all registers and dynamic ranges.
Both the 18037 and 180S37 come as a complete package, including a deluxe Bach Stradivarius case and a genuine Bach 7C silver-plated mouthpiece, the most popular size of all trumpet mouthpieces on today’s market. If you are in the market for a professional instrument, this is everything you need. Come see me or any of my colleagues here, or if you’re not located near a Sam Ash Music you can call 800-472-6274 or go to samash.com and see why the 180 Bb Stradivarius model by Vincent Bach continues to be the go-to choice for professional players around the world!