I will continue to expand this page as your questions come in. Email me anytime:
What is the correct pronunciation for 'Callet'?
The correct pronunciation has a hard T at the end. It rhymes with pallet and mallet.
What is the correct pronunciation for 'SIMA'?
The correct pronunciation is Sih' - ma.
Is the SIMA a step-bore horn?
The SIMA is NOT a step bore. I believe there is a lot of agreement that the best step bore ever was Jerry's Jazz trumpet and its last incarnation, the Stratosphere. But as Jerry points out, step bores, by their very nature, distort the focus of the center core and this is heard in the intonation as well as register changes. Jerry's goal with the SIMA was to keep or improve the ease and response of the step bore while eliminating the drawbacks in sound. As a former owner of several Jazz and a current Stratosphere in addition to a SIMA, I think he reached his goal and quite a bit more. As so many current SIMA owners have moved from the Jazz, I know the feeling is shared by others.
Who makes the SIMA?
Every SIMA is handmade by Kanstul in California. But, the design features of the SIMA are exclusive to Callet Trumpets. They are not shared by any horn in the Kanstul line. Jerry has worked very closely with Kanstul for more than 20 years and he emphatically reports that the construction quality of the SIMA surpasses everything he has seen before. After thoroughly testing more than a dozen SIMAs I can report the same. The slides and valves are as perfect as any I've ever seen. And apart from the added brightness of the silver finish versus the gold lacquer, I have not been able to detect any differences from one SIMA to the next. I've now owned 3 SIMAs. Without the serial numbers, I could not tell you which is which.
What is the bore on a SIMA?
The leadpipe is straight .453 throughout. And, the slide at the second valve is also .453. The rest of the very special design is locked in Jerry's noggin, but I'll have the blueprints in the future so the design will never be lost.
Can I special order a SIMA with traditional water keys?
Before finalizing the design, Jerry tested countless bracings, slide nib combinations, water keys, etc. The final version is the design that gives the best sound. Therefore, Jerry is not permitting any changes, not even to the little bits and pieces. Customizing is nice, of course, but Jerry is intent on guarantying that every SIMA sounds as great as possible.
Can I special order a SIMA with a 1st valve tuning hook?
After countless experiments, Jerry determined that the function of the 1st slide tuning hook was to correct the intonation problems caused by the 1st valve tuning hook! For that reason, Jerry is not offering the hook even on a special order.
Why is the 3rd slide tuning ring "upside down"?
Jerry was encouraged by a long time craftsman from French Besson to experiment with the design. It was believed that the design was an essential feature of the legendary pre-war Bessons. As Jerry tested it, he found that the improvements in slotting and intonation were audibly significant. The design was added as a running change to Jerry's Jazz and Stratosphere trumpets and even offered as an upgrade to his previous trumpets. It takes just a couple of days to get used to the new "old" design. Start with index finger above and three fingers below, middle finger in the ring. Experiment from there to find your best feel. Four fingers below with index finger in the ring is also a good combination. But keep in mind, the tuning on a SIMA is so spot-on that the 3rd valve slide is only included in order to give you a low F. The low D is already nicely in tune and the low C# requires you to play down on the pitch just a little bit. Your lips and ear will accomplish this much faster, smoother, and more accurately than a slide ever can.
Can I change the 3rd slide to top side tuning hook ring?
You can’t change the slide by simply changing the placement of the hook because the upper male end is reversed and won’t match up. The horn would have to be rebuilt. And as that affects the sound negatively, Jerry won’t build a SIMA that way. In our experience, it only takes a few days to get comfortable with the inverted position and most find it more comfortable as well as easier to access. Most importantly, the SIMAs are so wonderfully in tune that you shouldn’t need a slide adjustment for pitch. Even for the low C# only a slight lip/tongue adjustment by ear is needed. Like the finest vintage trumpets of old, the slide is only intended to give you a low F when needed.
Due to the medium bore, will I feel back pressure?
There is back pressure only if you noticeably overblow. The SIMA responds best when you let it do the work. The blow is so smooth and centered that the best combination so far has been with a Callet SC3 mouthpiece with a 29 throat! Several Las Vegas lead players using the SIMA encouraged Jerry to make an SC2 with the 29 throat (now called SC3) and it really works! Interestingly, Jerry tried 29 throats many times in the past. But he never found a combination that worked - until the SIMA.
What is the gap on a SIMA?
The leadpipe depth on a SIMA is 1.15". A Callet SC2 or SC3 provides a gap of 0.15". Other mouthpieces tested: Curry = 0.18, Schilke = 0.22, Warburton = 0.22, Reeves = 0.22. Though the SC3 appears to be the most perfect combination for particularly sensitive players, the range of 0.15 to 0.22 seems to be comfortable for most everyone. Players like myself that compress the air before it hits the lips aren't particularly sensitive to gap so we can use mouthpieces with much wider variations without effect. I've tested mouthpieces with gaps as wide 0.29 with no ill effect on slotting or intonation. Please send me the measured gaps of your mouthpiece(s) and I'll add them to the list. And, of course, let me know your individual findings.
What is the weight of a SIMA?
The SIMA is a medium weight horn. The bell is thicker than average but the valve section is a little lighter than norm. Actual weight is 2.34 pounds or 1.06 kilograms. Due to the wonderful front-to-back balance, the SIMA feels even lighter in the hands than the actual weight would suggest.
Can I get a SIMA in gold plate?
Yes, gold plate is an available option as any SIMA in any key. Due to volatility of the price of gold, actual price can vary. In March 2011 the upgrade charge was $800.
How does the SIMA compare to a Callet Soloist?
I've been pleased to learn of the large and extremely loyal following the Callet Soloist commands even though it's now a 20 year old design. Nearly all the Soloists were a straight .470 and many players strongly feel it is the best large bore horn ever made. Without doubt, it's a powerful, full, and lush sounding trumpet. And, it avoids much of the excess spread that plagues other large bore horns. But after many head-to-head comparisons, the SIMA is even more powerful! You have to lay back on the SIMA rather than attack it like a Soloist. Then, the center and focus of the SIMA really take over. The result is greater projection with much more endurance and improved intonation combined with the stunning richness of sound that only the SIMA provides.
Should I use heavy bottom caps?
Our initial findings - gosh no. In our testing, it's much better to settle into the perfectly centered blow of the SIMA. This will provide the best long term results. Then again, it is your horn. So, if you are an advanced player that has settled into the standard SIMA then experimented with heavy caps I will be pleased to hear your findings and pass them onto others.
Should I have a precision valve alignment done?
Jerry does not recommend it. First, the precision and consistency of the SIMAs has been exceptional. So, Jerry has found that additional alignment is not needed. Second, Jerry has found that secondary alignments can upset the original balance - some horns played as well, but others played noticeably worse. And Jerry has not found any that played better. Nonetheless, if you decide to have an aftermarket valve alignment I would be pleased to hear your findings.