Summit Trumpet In-depth Overview
The Summit model is where I spend most of my time developing, building and answering questions. On average, I take over a dozen orders for some version of the Summit trumpet every month. This includes variations designed for Jazz, Orchestra, Big Band, Solo, Symphonic Band, Commercial, Lead, Latin and Brass Quintet. Today, I will discuss the advantages of the Summit model, the various options available and I will make comparisons to other trumpets available from within my own offerings and those of other manufacturers. This is your opportunity to discover the incredible potential available to you in the form of an instrument I named after the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. I continue to invest my life into this ever-evolving expression of trumpet design, which may well be one of my life's greatest achievements.
Is the Summit Trumpet truly a custom horn?
Yes! In fact, every Summit is custom built to your exact specifications. And the Summit model offers more custom options than all other trumpet builders combined. This is a true statement and I've done the math. If you take every custom option available from every single company worldwide, you are left with a fraction of options when compared to the Summit.
A personal consultation is included with every order
Almost every client has a conversation with me directly to clarify options and expectations. This ensures that I build exactly what YOU want in terms of playability, tone, projection and aesthetics. We also discuss the model variations to find a balance between efficiency, price and wait time. The more efficient models like the Summit SWE and Summit One require more time and machining whereas the standard Summit is usually the quickest build time available.
Which line of Harrelson Trumpets is right for you?
I personally recommend the Summit line of my instruments over the HT, Bravura and Gravity lines for the following reasons:
What is the difference between the Standard, Jazz and Lead models?
There is no difference in build or overall design when ordering these three variations. The real difference is only the way you configure the leadpipe, bell, tuning slide and trim options. The Standard Summit IS exactly the same as the Jazz and Lead versions. I have given them different names since trumpet players are accustomed to seeing these words in the model descriptions. I could generalize by stating that most Classical players use a specific leadpipe and bell, but in reality that configuration may be the perfect setup for a Jazz or Lead player. So I refer to all of these models as the "Summit" trumpet.
What is included on a Summit trumpet?
Just about every option is included on all Summit models and here's the list of choices:
What is not included?
There are a few items you may consider adding depending on your preferences. These may include custom finishes, extra text, graphics, art, special bell bends, custom bracing shapes and just about anything you can imagine.
What are the prices of the various Summit variations?
The entire Summit line is the most reasonably priced instrument available today when you consider our custom options, service, playability, energy efficiency and quality. There is no competing model available anywhere in the world and thus the Summit is in its own class.
How does the Summit compare in price to other brands trumpets?
Comparing the price of other brand trumpets has always been a lesson in advertising. The general rule most corporations follow is to maximize profits while maintaining or gaining market share. This means charging as much as possible, while reducing production costs. Corporations are focused on convincing people to buy a product, which makes sense since they are in business to make money. All of the major manufacturers do this by advertising endorsed artists heavily regardless of the fact that you do not play the same as the person pictured in the advertisement.
I am also in business and have employees to pay, machines to maintain and numerous expenses. But the major difference is that I have devoted my life to the design, manufacture and performance of trumpets. My heart has been in this since I was 16 years old. My goals are primarily to offer the very best solutions to musicians at an affordable price while making the process and products extremely fun and rewarding for all. I have built this business from the ground up with no investment capital, just my own two hands, my mind and complete dedication to my own very high expectations.
Investing $4695 in a custom Summit trumpet is a very different experience when compared with other manufacturer options. You could purchase a Bach or Yamaha from a discounted online dealer for less than a Summit. Or you could purchase two or three Summit trumpets for the price of one Monette!
And purchasing your Summit trumpet is easy with flexible payment options. After your initial $500 deposit, you have the option of making monthly payments in any amount. We require 50% of your balance when your order is ready for final assembly. And your final payment is due when your horn is ready to ship to plating, lacquer or you in the case of a raw brass finish. Considering the build process is normally 4 to 6 months, you can create your own payment plan that fits your budget or simply make two payments at the end of the build process.
Here is a short list of other brand trumpets and current prices:
How do we compare value?
This is entirely up to you as value is subjective. You may want to consider factors such as who designed the instrument and when. Almost all manufacturers' trumpets were originally a copy of the French Besson, which was designed over one hundred years ago. There was some really cool experimentation happening throughout the 40's-60's, but the vast majority of options today are almost identical to one another and not much different than what was offered in 1970.
I have re-designed the trumpet using the latest technology including Computer Aided Design and Analysis, Ultrasound and Spectrum Analysis while incorporating Standing Wave Efficiency technology. Being a professional trumpet player in all genres for most of my life, I have built and played over one thousand different configurations within my own line of instruments. And I have owned, disassembled, carefully measured and re-built over 300 of the most popular trumpets available today. I have first-hand knowledge of almost every trumpet designed in the past 100 years that is not locked away in a museum. This includes the latest designs by the most advanced builders in the business. I have owned, measured and tested seven Monette trumpets and dozens of horns from the best current European manufacturers. What can I say? I like to do my homework.
You could also compare value within the manufacturing processes. This topic brings many manufacturing techniques into question as consistency and accuracy are usually sacrificed for speed and a mirror-like silver finish. I have devoted a great deal of my blog to addressing the issues prevalent in mass manufacturing today so feel free to discover these on your own. My manufacturing processes included extensive use of CNC machinery with glass scales to ensure consistency and high accuracy. I personally build every trumpet from the programming and running every machine down to hand fitting every single piece by hand before I solder and test all components. My name is on every horn and I want you to be proud of my work.
Where do we start with all these options?
At first glance, the sheer number of options available may seem overwhelming. I assure you, this is more fun than you think. There are no right or wrong answers when choosing components and I will guide you through the entire process. It's almost like designing a custom home and the goal is for your horn to feel like coming home. The following is a brief overview of every option included on all Summit trumpets including links to resources within the HT website.
There is a leadpipe and bell configuration to meet the demands of every player. I will walk you through the options that will best fit your needs helping you make the final selection.
Understanding Bell Options
This in-depth overview will help you determine the bells that will best fit your needs.
The latest SWE tuning slide options include styles A, D and R. Style R designates the "Ripples" design that matches the new SWE Bell Crook available on all Summit trumpets ($600 option).
Finishing your trumpet in silver, gold or lacquer may be preferable if you want a clean appearance. Mixing brushed and polished accents in any combination is common except in raw brass. Adding clear lacquer preserves the original finish preventing tarnish. Silver will tarnish over time, but much more slowly than raw brass. Adding carnauba wax to brass and silver finishes will also prevent tarnishing. Gold plate never tarnishes and looks great in a brushed finish, but the price is considerably higher.
5MM Modular Mouthpiece
With over a million modular configurations, the 5MM will allow you to play dark to bright, soft to loud, broad to focused and it is included with every Summit trumpet.
Your choice of tapered or cylindrical shapes in two diameters, the AGR Receiver is available plain or with text and/or model logo engraving.
A full set of 9 AGR Inserts is included with every Summit trumpet. After you have had a few weeks to acclimate, we will send you 9 more inserts in your choice of venturi and size to continue fine tuning air flow, flexibility and slotting.
Including with every Summit, your name or a small graphic may be engraved or milled into the receiver, top bracing or trim kit. In addition, you choose what will be milled into the top bracing. The standard setup includes the Harrelson logo, Leadpipe and Bell designations on the top and the build date and Denver, Colorado on bottom.
We now offer 4 water keys including the Saturn, Harrelson, Pollard and Amado designs.
Ergonomic finger rings are pictured in most photos on this website. Variations include the pinky rest with or without an open ring, cylindrical rings in 1/3" and 1/2" and the following custom styles; Flames, Summit One, Skeletonized and Ergonomic Arch.
Top caps are available in standard recessed 1/2", classic 1/2", tapered and low profile versions. Updated photos will be added to our website soon. See our Facebook pages for a sneak preview!
Bottom caps are available in standard cylindrical and classic styles in sizes ranging from 1/4" to over 1". We also offer numerous designer options including tapered, tapered groove, grooves and the new organic curves styles that will debut this coming summer. Updated photos will be added to our website soon. See our Facebook pages for a sneak preview!
Finger buttons are now available as a solid one-piece brass design in two sizes and two shapes and two modular variations. Updated photos will be added to our website soon.
Finger Button inlays options include everything from vintage dimensional glass to shells and semi-precious gemstones. We literally offer over 200 inlays and we perform extensive lapidary work in our Minneapolis shop. Updated photos will be added to our website soon. See our Facebook pages for a sneak preview!
Third Stop Mechanism
We now offer 4 options to keep your third slide from falling onto the floor. The spring ball stop is the most popular allowing you to set a tension screw once. Then you simply pull the slide with extra force to remove for cleaning or greasing. The screw stop is a much improved version of the industry standard. The latest design is a black delrin plunger allowing slide removal with one simple pull. The last option is the black band, which is requested from time to time, but not recommended.
Every new Harrelson Trumpet includes a full 12-month guarantee. You may exchange your trumpet for full credit towards another new Harrelson Trumpet based on your original invoice amount, allowing you to upgrade to a more efficient or different configuration without risking any of your investment.
How will you set up your Custom Summit trumpet?
Feel free to share your ideal Summit trumpet configuration by leaving a comment. I also encourage you to check out my Facebook pages "Harrelson Trumpets" and "Jason Harrelson" where you can share ideas with current Summit trumpet owners.
3/19/2014 08:45:48 am
Excellent overview...I'm speechless and can hardly wait for my "September-ish-delivery-date-Summit", I'll probably have this overview memorized by then.
6/17/2014 12:39:02 am
I like the h3-5 series. You state you like building the summit, but you would put the passion into the h series,and from time of consultation to delivery , how long will this process take.
3/24/2015 04:41:56 am
Looking FWD to visiting Shmitt and your New Brighton location
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Inventor, Musician, Educator and Founder of Harrelson Trumpets, Trumpet Momentum and Harrelson Momentum.