What options excist for customising the instruments?
To honour personal preferences, wie can take various wishes into account. These might be ergonomic adjustments (such as finger hooks, pressure mechanisms, additional hand rests, hand straps etc.) or adjustments of tone (tuning slides, bell, leadpipe).
If you would like to individualise your instrument in a particularly special way, by all means ask us about the possibilities of engraving!
How long ist the delivery time for a new instrument?
Delivery time for a new instrument is approximately 6-7 months from the time of the order . In individual cases, however, it may be that a model is available sooner, or takes longer.
Which accessories are included with the purchase of an instrument?
Each of our instruments comes with a comprehensive range of accessories . These include a maintenance with suitable lubricants, a microfibre cloth, a pencil holder with pencil and our detailed care instructions . Our maintenance set also includes a matching storage bag with the Gebr. Alexander logo. In addition, you will receive a mouthpiece to match your instrument and a horn-shaped case tag .
With the purchase of a new horn, we also supply a leather handguard for the grip area .
Each instrument comes with our certificate of authenticity , which confirms that your new instrument was made in our musical instrument workshop.
How much do the various instruments cost?
On our website in the instruments section you can configure any instrument in our catalogue according to your own wishes, without obligation, to see the total price including all extras. There you can also request a non-binding offer for your instrument .
Care of our instruments
How do I care for my instrument properly?
For the care of your instrument, we have prepared comprehensive care instructions , which you can download here. Basically, regular oiling of the upper and lower bearings (with rotary valves) or running surfaces (with Viennese pump valves) is necessary to prevent limescale deposits which cause the valves to stick. The surface of the instrument should also be wiped after each playing session with the microfiber cloth provided . And an oft-forgotten hint: the instrument should always be dry before being put into the gig bag. Otherwise, a damp climate will form in the closed gig bag which promotes corrosion on the instrument. We also recommend that you have your instrument professionally serviced every one to two years .
We deliver your instrument with a comprehensive maintenance set. Should you need additional care products over time, we recommend taking a look at our selection of care products.
What does the professional maintenance involve?
After an inspection of the instrument, all moving parts (slides, keys, valves, etc.) are removed and placed in appropriate cleaning baths. This removes dirt and limescale residues.
Then the condition of the valves is carefully checked: height clearance, play in the bearings, movement characteristics. If needed, the valves are overhauled to restore proper function with free, centred movement. As dirt is produced in this process, the body and valves are degreased yet again. During the final re-assembly, the valves and slides are oiled or respectively greased and the parts that wear such as springs, rubber stoppers and water key pads are checked and replaced if necessary.
Finally, technical function and air-tightness are checked again.
The time required for an overhaul can vary according to the instrument, depending on respective condition and age. With our experience we can choose the appropriate necessary measures and will be happy to provide you with a cost estimate on request.
How does my instrument get to Mainz for maintenance?
If you would like to have your instrument serviced by us and it is possible for you to travel here in person, we will be happy to welcome you to our manufactory. We will discuss together what work is neccessary or advisable on the instrument. Please make an appointment in advance.
Of course, it is also possible for your instrument to travel by post. We have specially prepared shipping boxes with prepared padding in which your instrument will arrive safely. In this case, please contact us and we will discuss the possibilities and procedure.
How do brass and gold brass differ?
The only technical difference between the two metals is the copper content . Both metals are alloys of copper and zinc, whereby the copper content in gold brass is about 10% higher than in the brass alloy. The change in copper content has an influence on color, durability, sound and response . While brass has a yellow-greenish color, gold brass appears reddish. Gold brass is more resistant to corrosion from the inside, so-called zinc corrosion . This is the reason we always use gold brass for the leadpipes of all our instruments. In terms of sound, a gold brass instrument is often described as warmer or darker. The response is somewhat heavier compared to brass.
What types of bell flares are available?
Our standard bell is made using the spinning process that is common today. In this process, a large circular sheet metal disc is pressed with a tool against the rotating bell mould on a lathe until the sheet metal lies evenly against it. During this process the metal must be annealed again and again so that it changes form. Finally, the rim is flanged and a brass wire is inserted for reinforcement. The initial thickness of the sheet metal disc is 0.6mm.
In addition to the standard bell, we offer several options:
The blank of this bell is manufactured in the same way as the standard bell. This is followed by an additional operation in which the surface of the bell is pressed twice on the spinning mould under high pressure with the help of a steel ball. This selective pressure changes the material structure and the bell emerges with a higher tension. The effect is similar to that of the hand-hammered bell throat. The hard bell vibrates faster, has somewhat more sheen and better projection.
This bell is also made using the standard process, but is made from a stronger base material (sheet brass 0.7mm). It has more mass and stabilises the sound. At the same time, it is also 'heavier' to play.
This bell is made from a thinner brass sheet than the standard bell. We offer it in 0.5mm or 0.55mm starting material. The bell offers less resistance, but the sound begins to blare much faster.
This bell is made from a sheet metal blank that is soldered together (similar to making a bell throat). After soldering, the seam is forged and the soldered blank is hammered into shape. During this process, the bell is repeatedly annealed to allow it to be formed. The final step, as with the other bells, takes place on the spinning lathe. A soldered seam can be seen on this bell on close inspection. We offer it in two different wall thicknesses (0.45mm and 0.5mm starting material), whereby the thinner 0.45mm variant is more common. The soldered bell changes the response of the instrument and the sound is somewhat less robust. Because of the original cut, this bell has a more even thickness of sheet metal across the entire flare. As a consequence, even the lighter soldered bell is similar in weight to the standard bell.
What does the expression "hand-hammered" mean?
When we speak of a hand-hammered bell , we are speaking of the bell throat (stem or tail) . This is the part of the bell that is firmly built into the horn body. In hand hammering, after bending and calibrating, the throat is again cast using a bending filler. When the filler has hardened, the entire throat is hammered evenly, which changes the molecular structure of the brass . The filler is then melted out again. Because the melting point of the bending filler is very low, the structure of the brass no longer changes.
The hand-hammered throat has an influence on the response of the horn. In addition, the sound remains “compact” for longer. Consequently, the horn only begins to blare at a louder dynamic.