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Frequently Asked Questions

How did early Getzen instruments compare to those of today?

Early Getzen models such as Super Deluxe trumpets, cornets, and trombones were designed as higher-end instruments. That being said, by today’s standards, they are more along the lines of high-end student or intermediate level instruments.

How can I find out how old my Getzen instrument is?

This all depends on how old the instrument is. The age of any instrument manufactured after 1963 can be easily dated using the serial number. However, instruments produced prior to 1963 cannot be dated. This is because of a devastating fire at the factory which destroyed all of the company’s production records. For these instruments, the only option is an educated guess at a possible manufacture date. This guess can usually narrow things down to within a few years.

There are so many different lines of instruments offered by Getzen it can be a bit confusing. How do the lines compare to one another?

The easiest way to answer this is with a simple breakdown of each line’s classification.

  • 300/400 Series = Student\Entry Level
  • Capri Series = Step Up
  • 700 Series = Intermediate\Semi-Professional
  • Eterna Series = Semi-Professional
  • Custom Series = Professional

I have an older Getzen instrument in need of repair. Can I have it fixed by Getzen?

Yes and no. For the most part, we will only service and repair instrument problems that are covered by our warranty. All other repairs should be handled by a qualified repairman in your area. There are rare occasions when we will do the work ourselves. However, these are few and far between, and in most cases, they are cost-prohibitive to the musician.

Can replacement parts for Getzen instruments be purchased directly from Getzen?

No. As with our instruments, we do not offer replacement parts direct to the consumer. Likewise, Getzen does not sell parts to dealers or repair shops. However, all parts for our instruments can be purchased by a dealer or repairman through our sister company Allied Supply.

Are there any foreign-built Getzen instruments?

With the exception of Capri Series french horns and euphoniums produced in Germany the answer to this question is a solid no. We take great pride in offering American made products. We have not and will not ever offer low-end imports. It is true that there are some foreign-built instruments circulating in the market with the Getzen name on them; however, these are not genuine Getzen products. Rather, they are counterfeits attempting to capitalize on our quality name.

What is the relationship of DEG to Getzen?

DEG was founded by Donald Getzen, shortly after he left the Getzen Company in 1965. At that time, a business relationship between DEG and Allied Music began. Allied Music, owned and operated by Bob Getzen, produced several different instruments including bugles and trumpets under the DEG name for many years. This relationship ended shortly before the Getzen Company was purchased back by the Getzen family in the late 1990s. Due to the closeness of the two companies, it is a common misconception that DEG instruments are the same as Getzen instruments. This is not the case. Product and management wise, the two companies were and are very separate and different.

What exactly is the difference between Edwards and Getzen?

First off, it is important to note that Edwards Instrument Company is a subsidiary of the Getzen Company. All Edwards instruments are manufactured in the Getzen ProShop just like the Getzen Custom Series line of instruments.

That being said, the two companies do have some noticeable differences. Unlike Getzen, Edwards sells instruments on a retail basis direct to the consumer. Its sales staff operates independently of the Getzen Company out of its own offices. The Edwards offices are located next door to Getzen in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and are open to the public for play testing on an appointment basis.

As far as product is concerned, the two companies are as similar as they are different. Edwards instruments are based on modular designs. That is, each trumpet and trombone is designed to be easily modified with a system of interchangeable bells, leadpipes, and tuning slides. On the other hand, Getzen instruments are designed as fixed horns. There are similarities in the lines, though. Getzen Custom Series trombones are the product of the most popular configurations of Edwards trombones. Players that find a perfect fit with these specific Edwards setups will find that the corresponding Custom Series trombones are a great alternative, but without the same flexibility offered by the modular aspects of an Edwards instrument.

Why does Getzen only offer Amado waterkeys?

This is a common misconception. The fact is that while Amados are standard, every Getzen instrument is available with standard, lever-style waterkeys for those that want it.

The reason behind using the Amado is two-fold. First, Amado-style waterkeys are much more durable than lever waterkeys. There is no lever or spring to snag and damage. Granted, Amados do require some extra attention to maintain their smooth operation. This is easily done by occasionally lubricating the waterkey with a drop or two of valve oil. The second reason for the Amados is that it offers a smoother surface on the inside of the slide crook. With a lever waterkey, there is a small dimple formed on the inside of the crook due to the nipple used to extract any liquid in the instrument. However, with the Amado waterkey there is no dimple. The inside surface of the crook is smooth and depression free. This means that the airflow through the instrument is not disrupted by any internal depressions. In other words, you end up with a freer blowing instrument with a smoother blow.

Why does Getzen use nickel silver for its pistons instead of monel like other major manufacturers?

There are many reasons why we use nickel silver for our pistons. The biggest is that nickel just performs better.

In its raw form, monel is very hard and resistant to corrosion; however, it is very susceptible to the effects of annealing. That is, the metal undergoes a physical change when it is exposed to high temperatures – high temperatures like those used to braze in piston liners. The result is a piston with both hard and soft areas. This causes the piston to wear unevenly and to corrode more quickly in these annealed areas. In the long run, this condition leads to an inferior piston.

On the other hand, nickel silver does not anneal in the same way as monel. Therefore, the entire surface of the piston remains hard even after the brazing process. That alone makes our pistons superior, but we don’t stop there. All of our nickel pistons are also nickel-plated. This layer of nickel silver plating accomplishes two things. First, it further guarantees a uniform surface hardness on the piston. Second, nickel plating is much denser molecularly than nickel silver tubing. This denseness makes the piston’s surface not only harder but also more lubricious. That is, the surface is much smoother than raw nickel. In plain English, it feels wet even when dry. Adding together an extremely smooth finish and a hardened surface gives Getzen pistons the lightning-fast and long-lasting action that we are famous for.

Why does Getzen continue to use the black plastic piece as a third slide stop?

Actually, we no longer use the plastic third slide stop. Our new system is similar to that used on old Olds instruments. It utilizes a ring around the upper slide tube on the third slide and a small post on the underside of the third slide push rod. Unfortunately, due to time and production constraints, we haven’t been able to update all product photos on the website with newer instruments. If you look at the 390 photo you will see an example of this new system.

Getzen 390 Bb Trumpet

There aren’t any prices listed on the site. How much do Getzen instruments cost?

Since we operate as a wholesaler and not a retailer, we cannot list any pricing on the website. It is up to each individual dealer to determine what their retail prices will be. We could list a manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the site, but that number is generally so far off from actual prices it wouldn’t be much help. The best suggestion is to contact your local Getzen dealer with a model number and ask them what their prices are. You can find all of our dealer listings by using our dealer locator.