About Burbank Trumpets
Burbank Trumpets are in many ways the continuation of the formative work done by Elden Benge, begun in the 1930s, to design and manufacture truly special high brass instruments for professional players, based on the unique qualities of the early French Besson.
Elden Benge hand-hammering a bell in his Burbank, California factory in 1954. Principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1928–1933, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1933–1939, Benge began building his own trumpets in Chicago, based on measurements from his personal French Besson. He moved his factory to Burbank in 1953.
The story of Elden Benge and his work involves many other notable figures in the history of American brassmaking, including Renold Schilke, Irving Bush, Bob Reeves, and Zigmant Kanstul, who moonlighted for Benge while working at F.E. Olds & Son in the 1950s, after Benge moved operations from Chicago to Burbank, California. Zig formed a close and lasting association with Elden and his company, and following Elden’s death and the eventual sale of the company to King Musical Instruments, was hired to run Benge operations for King.
Upon King’s later sale of the company, Kanstul acquired the Benge tooling, and in cooperation with Elden’s son, Donald Benge, set out to manufacture a line of instruments that would continue the legacy left by Elden and his famous Burbank-era horns. These are the Burbank Trumpets of today. They are handcrafted exclusively for the Burbank Trumpet Company at the Kanstul factory in Anaheim, California.
The Burbank Trumpet is different
We strive to replicate the original Burbank Benge Trumpet as closely as possible. The original models made in Burbank were the following: 3X (.460), 5X (.460, balled out at the tail), 3X+ (.464), and The 6X (.468). However, down through the years, circumstances demanded changes in material, tooling, machines, and most importantly, the philosophy of trumpet making technicians.
The Burbank Trumpet has been designed with a straight through valve cluster (i.e. off-center drilled piston holes), a 4-3/4" bell flair (5-1/4" on the model 3XS), and a lighter feel in the overall weight.
This is what makes The Burbank Trumpet different!
For more, this article, "A Tale of Two Burbanks" by Brian Douglas, is both a review of the Burbank Trumpet in a comparison with a Burbank-era Benge, and a great history of these iconic horns from Elden Benge’s time to the present.