I was up at Thompson Music in NE. I did purchase your Flex mouthpiece. I bought your S14A VR and it is fantastic. He was out of your raptor trumpets a couple weeks ago. I'm just a part time player but really enjoy the mp. Thompson Music was very helpful with your products. I get so much color from this piece, improved articulation, and lastly it is very easy to speak at all dynamics.

Warren Lopicka, Liberty, Missouri

I visited the shop with a hope that K.O. could come up with some advice for a more efficient setup for lead trumpet playing. My current setup felt like lots of work.
Long story made short. I came out with a new Stomvi USA Bb Trumpet and matching new mouthpieces with couplers.

I've fallen in love with my Stomvi, outperforming my $4000.00 custom handmade horn. It is beautifully made, build quailty is the best I've seen.
With the Flex 3C and #3 Flex Coupler it is a soft jazz horn. Change it to the super efficient S14A VR with J6 backbore and #4 coupler and I have a killer lead sound for big band and salsa.

The flex mouthpiece cups have a unique design with a very nice sound. The designs have some undercut, this is good for me since I use some lip engagement.
The coupler system helps me add some additional gap which I need to make the most efficient setup.

I now use my Stomvi for everything, and I don't look back.

Thank you K.O.!

Rune Aleksandersen, freelance trumpet player, Norway

My Flex trombone mouthpiece made me feel young again!

Cecil Benjamin, AF band, retired, USA

Thank you very much for putting your skills and many years of experience
into the development of this Stomvi-USA S3 Bb trumpet!

At first my interest was captured by my dear friend Jim Manley and of course
by the one and only Lynn Nicholson.
Hearing a great trumpet sound is one, but you still need to play this
instrument yourself to find out what it's all about. Luckily for me there's
a Stomvi dealer very close to where I live and they just started to add the
Stomvi-USA horns to their collection. As soon as I found out I took a trip for a test play.
Well… I still remember I couldn't think of any other word than 'incredible!', without exaggerating.
I just couldn't let it go! Unfortunately they only had one in stock so in consultation I agreed to
wait 'just' two more weeks to give fellow trumpet players a chance to play test it too.
Those have been two very long weeks, let me tell you! Anyway as soon as the stock of S3 horns
grew I got to compare them and find the best one for me. It was very nice to see they're build in
very close quality compared to one another! As a matter of fact, I just found out they're sold out already,
awaiting new stock.

With my dad being a classical and principal solo trumpet player, I've played quite some brands
and trumpets the past 30 years. I've played real expensive ones and some of those overweight ones.
Too many to name them and I don't think it's of added value to do so.
Needles to say I was more than surprised to discover this greatly priced Stomvi-USA S3 horn
outperformed them all (based on my personal requirements that is).
To me this was hard evidence that great quality and eye for the smallest details can surpass a
'highly' priced and/or 'fancy' looking horn.

Long story short, here's what comes to my mind while playing the Stomvi S3:
- Extremely versatile horn (from a great warm/velvet sound to an extremely loud shout chorus)
- Ease of playing/slotting the notes (no need to 'work' some notes anymore)
- Balanced feeling of air resistance
- Very well in tune
- High build quality and extreme eye for details! Just pulling the 2nd valve tube and taking a look
inside while pressing that valve makes you smile instantly… no nobs, no sharp edges…
just as smooth as it can get (and should be).
Using your Flex mouthpiece with your coupler system makes the entire picture complete for me.
Just for fun I took my old horn after I played a few difficult licks on my Stomvi S3… well…ah…
I'll stick to my S3... that's for sure! Life's good now! Thanks again and please keep up the great work.

Edo Masseurs, The Netherlands

I’m finally getting back to you on the piece you sent me. I wanted to take some time to evaluate this piece because, in the past, I’ve had some pieces feel great for a few days and then they don’t seem to work as well as expected. However, that’s not the case with the flex you sent. I could tell there was a bigger core to the sound throughout my range and notes consistently felt more secure in slotting. I had a little problem slotting the high A for a while but with some tongue position adjustment and opening the chops, it’s no longer a problem. I tried the 4, 4.5 and 5 couplers with my Schilke S32 and I think the 5 feels the best with this horn. However, the 4.5 works best on my Jupiter 1600i. In short, I’m very happy with this piece. It appears to me that the cup/throat design features really help connect notes and make for a more efficient mouthpiece and easier playing experience.

Bob Mioduszewski, Bel Air, Maryland

The new Flex 1.5C Vs gives me more core and guts to my sound without losing the brilliance I need. I also do not need to open up the throat to get that big sound I want, so it remains very efficient. It is extremely responsive (I also do not feel that I need 'forever' to warm up... It just works really well really quickly). I have gotten a lot of compliments on the tone. The response, control, and intonation all enable me to play more easily. This mouthpiece makes it more intuitive for me to achieve the sound I have in my imagination when I play.

Karl Sievers, DMA Professor, Chair of Brasses, School of Music, University of Oklahoma Principal Trumpet, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma

I'm really very satisfied with my V-Raptor and the people who heard me (guys to whom I'm sitting every day in big band, other trumpet players, even classical) said that the sound is great. I'm playing on Sunday with some brass sextet the programme with Beethoven, Chopin, Purcell, Mozart and I can tell you that even in this field instrument sounds just great and that's not only my opinion. Also in combos or in blues band it just works very well.

My trumpet sound just improved with this instrument in combination with Bach 3C mouthpiece.

Zvonimir Bajević, Croatia

I had tried a friend's V Raptor a couple of years ago. I had finally saved and decided to order mine in January. The weekend before I was going to order, I was doing my usual volunteer work at the local animal shelter and got bit by one of the cats on my right index finger. The tendon got very infected, I had emergency surgery on my hand, and was in the hospital for four days on IV antibiotics, with the possibility of more surgeries looming. I could have lost my finger, or even my whole arm, and was terrified that I would never play again, but luckily left the hospital with only a finger full of stitches and no more infections or surgery.

I still had a long way to go before I knew how I was going to play again, but decided to order my new horn anyway. When I called, my hand was still bandaged and immobilized and would be for several more weeks, but I knew that having my V Raptor to look forward to would be a great incentive during my rehabilitation. I probably drove you all crazy with how often I called to ask when my horn would be ready, but it really helped to keep me going during the most frustrating moments of trying to make my hand work again! When I got my horn, it was just so easy to play that I had even more incentive to practice, and now even though my hand isn't completely normal, I've gotten to the point that I am actually a click or two faster than I was before the bad kitty got me!

I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm very happy I've got a horn that makes it a little easier. Crazy story, huh? You all helped me out just a little more than you knew 🙂

Thanks again,

Amanda Marquis

Amanda Marquis, Virginia

I've owned an S3 for several months. I first played one at a conference and even competing with the 10 other people in the room playing horns, it was amazing. My first impression was how easy it was to play. Over the next couple of months, I played an S3 on a couple different occasions, but always in a "group" setting. Finally I got to play one in a practice room, by myself. I bought it shortly thereafter. All that to say it wasn't a "whimsical" purchase. I am not a pro. I'm an old guy comeback player. I don't trade horns just to buy/try them. This is likely the last horn I will ever buy.

I see hear a lot of phrases in discussions, but I don't know what many of them mean, like bright or focus or core or heavy. I had heard the phrase "it speaks right away" (about many different horns) and never knew what that meant until I played the S3. I now know what it means. It's almost as if the horn plays itself. I think about a note and it's there.

It's the most internally in-tune horn I've ever played, for me. I have not played many (most of my life on a Bach Strad) but I had some "pitch issues" with my previous horn, for which I will take full responsibility. It was a great horn that I just didn't know how to control. I also have a 70's Benge which is a nice horn, but it has some of the normal pitch issues. There are many times with the S3 when I land on a note and there is NO doubt in my mind that I'm in dead centre of the pitch. The rest of the time I'm confident, but at these times there's some feedback I get that is SO amazing and comfortable. And relaxing. That being said, I can bend pitches in the staff a third or fourth down. So it CAN be bent.

I also have a Stomvi flex mouthpiece (I got that first, to play with my previous horn) and the pair is unbeatable. My brother also plays (he's better than I am) and when he heard me on this setup, he said it's the best sound he's ever heard me produce on any trumpet/mpc ever. And he's been listening to me for 45 years.

It's very even to play, all through my range (which isn't double X, but it gets me where I need to be.) And it's EASY. That's another phrase which I probably can't articulate the way others can, but the topline F to C above are easier to play than I've ever experienced. The F feels like a 3rd line Bb. This might be the way everyone else experiences things, and the way it SHOULD have felt on any horn for me, but it hasn't been.

KO has been very helpful in my quest. I heard him give a talk at that first conference, and the science just made sense. So I jumped in with both feet on the mpc and then the S3. But science aside, it sounds good, it's in tune, and it's easy. QED.

Bottom line: I love the S3. Best horn I've ever owned for me. It's definitely worth a look and a play, even if it's not ultimately the horn for you.

David Grace, Chicago, Illinois

"I can't say enough thanks for the game changing mouthpiece. It is really
cool getting compliments from the best of the best trumpet players here on
the east coast! Guys that I look up to giving me compliments on my playing
like Greg Gisbert, Glenn Drewes, and of course my main gig, Dave Stahl!
That means a great deal considering the great players they are and all the
legendary artists they have played with over the years. I can not praise
you enough on the Stomvi Flex mouthpiece!"

Freelance Trumpet
Lead Trumpet and Manager for Dave Stahl

Craig Kenney, Dallastown, PA

WOW! You nailed it on the head with this one. I used it for a recording yesterday and had the most comfortable deal I can ever remember. I'm really looking forward to this next week as I have a lot of recording and a few gigs to play.
Thanks so much for your attention and patience. This has to be the most comfortable well responding piece I've ever had in my life.
This piece rocks!

Jon Trimble, Freelance, Branson, Missouri

My new Stomvi USA model is easily the best horn Ive ever played. The sound with the big bell is huge, and everything I play, from ballads to up-tempos, is easy and clear. I heartily recommend this horn to all kinds of players.

Jim Rotondi, NYC Jazz Recording Artist, New York

It's easy for me to talk about my two V-Raptors because they are simply the best horns I have every played! And that comes from playing for the past 50 years. I have a silver light weight, and a gold heavy weight horn. They are amazing horns, each in their own right. I use the silver horn the most, as I play lead in the San Luis Valley Big Band, in Alamosa, Colorado. Alamosa is a small community with a big band. An unusual situation to say the least. The love of big band jazz is the glue that keeps the band together. For a non-professional band made up of &ldquo jazz addicts &rdquo with day jobs, we are still able to play Basie, Kenton, Herman, and Maynard charts. The lead parts are demanding! The V-Raptor makes it possible for me to play the lead with power and edge. I actually sound better now than I did when I was in my twenties playing in Los Angeles.



Like many players, I have run the gamut with horns. I've played nearly all the major brands. When I tried the V-Raptor about two years ago, I was blown away (pun intended). I had purchased a Yamaha, Bobby Shew model, and was very pleased with it. Then I discovered the V-Raptor and compared the two. Much to my surprise the Raptor was more responsive, more centered, and added about a third of an octave to my range! That was all it took. I bought the two horns and I am telling everybody I know about the horn.



Thanks for making such great horns!

Rob Williams, Colorado
www.psych-k.com

After years of playing the same mouthpiece and trying all kinds of brands I finally found a new mouthpiece that was worth making a change. The Stomvi Flex 4G VR and 5G VR have a focus of sound and ease of playing unmatched by any mouthpiece I have ever tried. The 4G is ideal for playing 2nd trombone in an orchestra. Stomvi's VR cup design makes the low range easy and powerful and provides a clear and responsive high range. Anyone looking for a new trombone mouthpiece must give Stomvi's VR Flex line a try.

Jason Stromquist, Omaha Symphony, 2nd Trombone, Nebraska

I have decided your are not just an artesian who creates horns and mouthpieces, you are a dealer (as in pusher) who services the neurotic/addictive needs of trumpet players. Your cunning plan is to just keep improving everything until all the trumpet players are in the poor house! You will be the only trumpet player left, and hence in high demand. Very clever in deed!

Thanks for the wonderful creation of the S13A VR Flex Mouthpiece. The mouthpiece plays great in the upper and lower range! What a rare thing that is. I am getting the best G ever.

Rob Williams, Lead trumpet - San Luis Valley Big Band, Alamosa, Colorado

The V~Raptor is the greatest horn I have played in my life. Where ever I go, it is always turning heads!

Ian Smith, Nantucket, Massachusetts

I am an artist in residence right now at an Elementary School and the Gr. 1 students think the horn looks really old because it is brushed brass but when I play some jazz on it they LOVE it. They call it my old new horn and have nick named it the holy grail horn because it looks like the carpenters cup from the Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie.

I was giving a demo to a group who had come to hear the Red Deer Symphony where I am the second trumpet player. I was doing the demo with a flute player from the orchestra and when I switched from my c trumpet to the VR II she was blown away by the sound. If a flute player can hear the difference then you are in business!

Thanks for making such a great horn and I would love to hear what you have to say about mouthpieces!

Samantha Whelan Kotkas, Artistic Director, Storyfair Productions,
www.storyfair.com

To all aspiring Gabriels the Holy Grail is the ultimate mouthpiece--and each "new" iteration commands attention--As a third chair concert band player(disclosure) I had found the "perfect" rim(for me) in the Parduba James model but the large bite forced me to underplay for blending--The new Stomvi Flex design skillfully married to the Parduba rim is the long sought "Pearl of Great Price" that lets me blow away with a more centered pitch; and a great resonant and harmonious sound, with less air--Eureka!

Luther True, Rockwood, Tennessee

The new Flex mouthpiece is an amazing development on the part of K.O. at the Brass Spa.

I have been playing on the Traditional Flex 1C with the #6 backbore and found it to be very in tune, slotted, and even through all registers. The sound is big and rich with sparkle. The colors work so well in the orchestra fitting in with the strings, winds, and brass, and I have found that to be one of the biggest challenges playing in an orchestra.

I would highly recommend the Flex mouthpiece to anyone looking for a tool that gets the job done and makes you sound great doing it.

Thank you again K.O. for making my life easier and more enjoyable.
Keep up the great work

Frank Glasson, freelance trumpet player, San Diego, California

I have been working with K.O. since 1996. I respect his knowledge and expertise on the art of making trumpet mouthpieces. I have been playing the 3F VR for commercial and 3C VR for legit playing since April and am loving the sound I am getting with these mouthpieces. They add a unique dimension to my sound that other mouthpieces could not produce. Kudos to K.O. and his hard work!

Chris Hammiel, USAF Heartland of America Band

The first day I did an A-B-C comparison between my Bach Strad, the Shew 8310z and Raptor 2, I wasn't convinced that either was better than what I was currently playing (a Bach, playing exclusively commercial, rock, lead). I was able to take the Shew out of the running early due to personal preference. That's until I took the Raptor with me on a few gigs over the weekend. Friday night's gig had me and the sax player I gig with saying &ldquo well, I don't think it's better than your Bach, but keep playing it this weekend before you make up your mind.&ldquo It must have been those 2 days that really flipped the switch for me in how the Raptor needs to be played vs the Bach. Keywords are &ldquo free and easy.&ldquo I took a relaxed approach, and the thing lit up for me. This contrast became more evident as I played on the Raptor more. The Raptor allows me to play relaxed and just blow the horn, while I felt my Bach needed me to push more air and exercise my chops more to get the same results. The Raptor can be pushed and can take air, but it doesn't need it to sound brilliant. By Sunday, after my third gig with the Raptor, and some more comparison playing at the house just to make sure, it was time to convince the wife to get on board with freeing up some funds for the last trumpet purchase I'll ever need to make. I experimented at home with other mouthpieces, and this horn can be colored to fit any gig I need to play. I couldn't be happier with my new horn. I am going to be experimenting with the different slide and valve cap combinations just to see how versatile the horn is over the coming days.

KO and his team have done a fantastic job putting this horn together. I am not a professional by any means, but I do play a lot, and I am grateful that this horn exists and that I am proud owner.

Thanks to KO, and also to Mike Thompson and Jim Manley for answering any question I had about the horn during the decision process.

Joe Vivian,
www.hillbillyhorns.com, www.theaccentsband.com, www.facebook.com/TommyVandtheWorks

I considered sending my Bach C trumpet to Stomvi USA for their Spach Recalibration but hesitated as I was unsure of what the result would be. I was fortunate to find a V~Raptor in good shape and at a great price from Thompson Music so figured I'd give it a try thinking that Stomvi USA touts that their goal is great intonation. If the V~Raptor was good, I figured their approach must work and then I'd send my C trumpet to them.

I ended up keeping the V~Raptor and I love it. I played the horn in a rehearsal for my jazz quintet last night.
They guys hadn't heard me play it before. The reaction from several in the group was that I sounded more relaxed and that my intonation was better (obviously) than on my other horns.
The sax player, who has good ears for trumpet stuff, said that his impression of me (as well as other players) on my old equipment was that it sounded like I was "trying" to make it work. On this horn, I am able to "let" it work for me.


Needless to say, I ended up sending my Bach C trumpet in and I can say that my Spach plays great.
For the first time, I am able to hit a G on top of the staff dead on (in tune) and E and Eb below it without alternate fingerings.
I was concerned that I might loose some of the original sound quality, but amazingly, the Bach sound seems intact (minus the timbre quirks).
There was no need for an adjustment period (where I had to relearn how to play it).
It played so great right out of the box that I felt confident enough to be able to use it on a chamber orchestra gig the day it arrived.
The excerpts that have troubled me for a long time seem to actually be improving now.
For the first time, I am actually ENJOYING playing C trumpet rather than doing it out of necessity.

Pete Estabrook, Adjunct Trumpet Instructor: Sonoma State University, Pacific Union College, Santa Rosa Junior College Freelance Trumpet, San Francisco North Bay

I brought my Chicago C trumpet to the guys at Stomvi to look at, since it was a trumpet that I hated. I was ready to sell it and purchase a new one. After having a chat with a few of the guys, they aligned my valves, and now I am happy to say that it is my most favorite trumpet in my bag. The alignment fixed all the errors in the horn that had been haunting me. Now I can relax and make great music!

Sean Gehricke, USA

I was up at Thompson Music in NE. I did purchase your Flex mouthpiece. I bought your S14A VR and it is fantastic. He was out of your raptor trumpets a couple weeks ago. I'm just a part time player but really enjoy the mp. Thompson Music was very helpful with your products. I get so much color from this piece, improved articulation, and lastly it is very easy to speak at all dynamics.

Jeff Strahlem, Lead Trumpet Air National Guard Band of the Central States,

I've played a Schilke 13A4A since around 1973. Mostly I'm called on to
play lead but also play with small horn sections using one mouthpiece
for all styles. The Schilke has been a great mouthpiece but I always
felt there were a few shortcomings I had to compensate for. Namely,
slotting, which includes the issue of playing passages easily and
having the notes fall in place, and playing a good double C (Bb,C#
were fine). After reading reviews, testimonials and with the help of
K.O., I decided to try the flex S13A VR VS. The edge of the rim is
just enough to get that 'slot' which makes the passages so much easier
to play without forcing the notes but is not too much edge so it still
feels comfortable. It generally takes less effort to play in and
slightly above the staff but can take a massive amount of air if I
choose. My range didn't really increase but now allows for an easy
double C. The players next to me say it has a wider spectrum of
partials, which I would agree with. My next goal is to try the S3 to
replace the Yamaha 6310Z and Burbank Benge MLP. Thanks Stomvi. I love
the mouthpiece and I'm not looking back. You guys are great to work
with!

Dean Artall, Freelance, Texas