Before you purchase a Double French horn, learn about the pros and cons about the Detachable bell. Read our guide for more facts and information...
The first step in buying a new French horn is to decide whether to buy a single or a double French horn. If you decide to purchase a double French horn then the next step is to consider whether you want a detachable bell or a fixed bell.
Many a times the Companies and brands will offer models in both varieties. While in some cases certain models are only available with either a fixed or a detachable bell.
A detachable bell is preferred over a fixed bell due to many reasons:
The detachable bells allow greater portability as the horn can be easily carried in any compact case or easy to carry carrier. This makes it an ideal choice for any one who travels most of the time. You can easily store in the airplane overheard compartment, carry with you ride in congested and crowded buses or during busy subway rides.
The detachable bell also reduces the damage to the horn. You can take off the bell which prevents any damage from falling or hard knocks as the small bell does not have to support the weight of the valve. The ring also reinforces the bell from where it is the weakest.
Add flare to your horn
Another advantage of having a French horn with a detachable bell is that you can add different bell flares. This means you can modify the instrument by choosing from the different flares.
The flares come in different weights, hardness, sizes, alloys and features such as garlands may be added too. This change can have a significant effect of the feel and sound of your double horn as the flare has 75%of radiating surface for the horn.
You can choose to customize your horn with a fixed bell to a detachable one as well. You can take your horn to an instrument repairing shop. They will convert your horn by removing the bell for you. The major dents are removed, bell rim and throat is rounded to allow the bell ring to be attached. Then the lower half of the bell ring will be slid over and soldered in place. The flare is cleaned up and the bell is cut.
The upper part of the ring is attached to the bell tail and finished. The process also includes the reinstallation of the tail to the horn, fitting and trimming the bell brace. You may also choose to get the flare and tail relacquered and polished if desired.
This customization may be expensive yet it involves significant work on hardening of the metal which means there is high chance that the sound may change.
If you already have a horn with a fixed bell then you can go ahead and get in customized. But be sure to go a reputable and reliable shop so that your horn is in good hands. But if you are buying a new French horn then keep these pointers in mind to save the cost of converting the horn later on.