90% of the final sound comes from the design of the bell. I started my newest design with a time tested contour. I've built more than 3000 top trumpets around this 4 7/8" bell and I know it works! However, I refined it even more with a new metallurgy and gauge. I want a bell that is rich in overtones, remains vibrant at all sound levels and in all registers, and projects a focused core without overblowing. Most of all, I want outstanding intonation. Listen to most bells used today and you'll hear distinct changes in timbre and center as range changes. And, you'll hear the pitch center moving as pitches and volume change. That won't happen with a SIMA bell, not ever!
A superior leadpipe is essential to the control, sound, and balance of a fine horn. Over the past 30 years, I've made nearly 5,000 custom leadpipes. When I finished my new design I discovered that the specs were identical to the leadpipe of a cherished pre-war French Besson. Some final machining balanced it perfectly to the SIMA bell.
Of course, valves need to be very smooth yet extremely tight. These valves are so tight they require a little break-in period to match your finger movement. In short order, they will fit you like a fine glove. Of equal importance, valve ports must match the blow of the leadpipe and bell exactly! Once again, I've selected a time-tested design. The SIMA valve section is adopted from a vintage Martin Committee. It will give you unequalled control over your most personal musical expression.
The bore of the valve ports needs to be carefully balanced with the receiver, tuning crooks, and bell taper so the efficiency of the blow is maximized. If the bore is too small the power and density of the core will be sacrificed. If the bore is too large then the sound will spread and lose focus, a very common malady in today's horns. I control the bore throughout the horn so your air is used more efficiently than ever before. You'll be amazed at how little air is needed to produce a huge and centered sound on the SIMA. Play with greatly reduced effort and the SIMA will reward you with ease and endurance you never thought possible!
You will notice that the 3rd valve tuning slide is "upside down" just like the vintage French Bessons and Conn 2Bs. I first used this design on the later production of my Jazz model. Players of every level noticed the improved ease of playing along with increased focus, improved slotting, and even better intonation. The experiment proved so successful that we started doing 3rd valve conversions on older horns. The results were so impressive that I added it to my SIMA design without hesitation. Yes, it's more expensive to build a horn this way, but it works to every player's advantage. Take a few days to get used to the new hand positioning and you too will be rewarded with a better sound. It is my suggestion that you use the slide only to gain a low F on the horn. I strongly agree with Renold Schilke, Harry Glantz, and the many others who taught that all pitch adjustments should be done solely with the lips. This is particularly easy on the SIMA as adjustments are barely needed.
It's not there! The fact is the more metal mounted to the tubing the less rewarding the sound. A few players, at first, will miss a throw ring on the 1st slide. But this will only be temporary as the intonation on the SIMA is so good it is not needed. The end result is a horn that plays and sounds better. In order to make a better horn, we leave it off!
The quandary: braces are needed to provide the durability required of a pro horn. However, braces deaden the sound. I spent several years fine tuning the bracing on the finest trumpets I could find. With careful placement and shape, I was able to noticeably improve the sound on every one of these horns. I've used that hard-earned knowledge to carefully craft and place each brace on the SIMA with one goal in mind - better sound. I used a special bell brace to increase the vibrancy of the bell. Even the nibs on the slides have been tested and optimized for improved performance. The SIMA proves that even the smallest details make a big difference when perfection is the goal.
Nothing in current equipment design and playing technique frustrates me more than intonation! I find many of today's recordings unlistenable due to bad attacks and faulty intonation. Embouchures that pinch the lips create much of the problem. But poorly designed and badly balanced equipment are equally to blame. My SIMA design stresses three points: balance, balance, and balance! By meticulously balancing every detail of the SIMA, from mouthpiece to bell rim, I've created a trumpet that naturally plays in tune in the center of every pitch regardless of register or volume. Players no longer have to fight their equipment and strangle their endurance by fine tuning every pitch by ear and lip adjustment!
Balance in your hands ~
The feel of a fine trumpet contributes to the ease and relaxation of a fine performance. There is nothing more strenuous and self-defeating that hours of practicing and performing with a heavy and awkward horn. On the SIMA, I've kept weight to a minimum while not sacrificing sound. And, I've fine-tuned the position of the valve section so it's significantly better balanced front to rear than other trumpets. You'll notice this careful balancing when you first pick up a SIMA. But, you'll notice it a lot more in the last set! I've put all of my 50 years of experience into the design of the SIMA. A finely tuned balance in the hands is just one of the details that makes a the SIMA so easy to love.
Balance in the sound ~
Balance, balance, balance! I'm confident your ears will note a significant improvement in the richness, power, brilliance, and intonation of your sound on the SIMA. Plus, you'll find a significant improvement in endurance as the SIMA is so much easier to play than other trumpets. Most importantly, the listeners out front will truly hear the big difference - in the first set and the last.
A fine trumpet should be a joy to behold. The form of the SIMA is classic. The final finish, in lustrous silver finish or rich gold lacquer, is applied with care so the physical beauty of the SIMA trumpet is second only to its rich and luscious sound.
Thank you for listening! - Jerome Callet