Due to my house rule of "one horn in, one horn out," I'm listing my Martin Handcraft Imperial #3 Bore Cornet! It is an absolute stunner in playing and looks. This horn is a unicorn!
I've never seen a horn like this before. The Handcraft Imperial cornet is very rare, and this one has bottom-sprung valves. It was made in 1937. This horn has the #3 large step bore; a trumpet with the #3 bore would be worth $5000 or more due to rarity.The bell on this horn is solid nickel. I had a #2 bore with a nickel bell before, but I had never seen a #3 with the nickel bell. It's also a two-piece bell with a seamed flare!
The sound has such a full, rich creaminess. Nickel is a really interesting bell material, sometimes it can get pretty bright but it works really well with this horn. Between the wrap and the larger bore size, it all comes together in a great sound.
I paid a (very fair) large amount of money to have this horn restored by IMO the best in the business. Robb Stewart handmade a brand new nickel leadpipe for this horn. The results are tremendous, I'm certain it's better than new. Robb took this horn from "might make a nice lamp" status to one of the jewels of my personal collection. Check out Robb's incredible website here: https://www.robbstewart.com/
There are a couple things that may take some acclimation. The valves are very close together. The metal guides are built in and they're pretty loud, at least to my ear as a player.
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