In January 2010 I started working with the team at Schagerl in Austria to create a new line of instruments. The work continues, so check out the latest at www.schagerl.com.
The Schagerl instruments basically fall into two categories – the ‘Meister’ series – which are custom, hand made horns and the ‘Academica’ series – which are what they refer to as ‘intermediate, professional’ models.
There are two JM Academica trumpet models (JM1 and JM2) that are both available in Lacquer or Silver plate. The JM1 is a lighter, brighter horn that suits jazz and lead work. The JM2 is heavier and a little darker in sound, more for orchestral work. Both of them have superb response and are very ‘free blowing’. (See the video on this page.)
The ‘Academica’ trombone is next, I’m playing the third prototype at the moment and it is just wonderful. No firm date on when that will be available but I’ll definitely be tweeting when it is.
Meanwhile the JM ‘Meister’ trumpet was the first to be done and I’m playing it a lot. This horn is a regular piston valve trumpet and the first of two ‘Meister’ models. The second is a rotary valve trumpet that breaks some new ground design-wise, it’s called the ‘Raven’ and looks a little bit like a cornet – but it’s definitely all trumpet. A warm sound when played gently turns into a weapon when you put some air through it. (See the video on this page.)
Of course the bass trumpet is a beautiful instrument that I’m using on most of my gigs now. This is a second version with a new valve mechanism to increase the speed and fluency of the valves and a totally different look. see bass trumpet video here
My new ‘Meister’ Flugel Horn is done and I’m using that on my gigs now also. It has a very warm, rich sound but unlike many flugels, is very free blowing and maintains great intonation in the upper register. (See the video on this page.)
I’m also using a full range of the Schagerl saxes and they are great. In particular, the curved soprano is a gem. Unlike many instruments of this type, the intonation is excellent and the sound is beautiful.
Finally there’s the Meister ‘Superbone’, this is the most radical design of all. Robert Schagerl really stretched the boundaries here and made a valve and slide trombone that can be played simultaneously with either. You’ve never seen a bone like this! (See the video on this page.)
If you’re interested in taking a look at my time with Schagerl, please visit this page for photos.