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

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 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

When I first tried some of K.O.s prototype Flex mouthpieces I was so knocked out by them I gave him my spare mouthpiece and told him if you can put your VR twist on what I already have, DO IT!

We discussed what I would want. We knew the rim and cup style I needed and he nailed it the first time!

Everyone I have played this mouthpiece for has picked it out in a blind fold test. My custom Flex mouthpiece has more core and vibrancy to the sound, better projection, better intonation, and a more even scale in every register of the horn. I am getting more sound, with less effort!

I have not tinkered with mouthpieces in years. This time I'm glad I did!

Michael Manthey, Freelance, Maynard Ferguson BBN Band, California
I purchased one of your brushed lacquer VRIIs this summer. My first impression taking it our of the box was that it is a beautiful horn to look at. Then I played it. That first time I couldn't put it down, the sound, the ease of working through the entire horn, I just kept moving from etude to etude wondering what kind of player I might be now if I would have had this horn before! The sound is amazing! I love the depth and color it provides. I have never had the prettiest sound, but the color I can get out of the VRII is dark and thick. My wife heard me that first day and immediately told me I had made the right decision in purchasing it.

I have a jazz quartet and after we played our first song, the guitar player just stared at me and said,"New horn, huh?". The ease of playing it totally opened up a new level of my improvisation. He heard me play things I had never attempted before.

I also love the horn's versatility. You can easily go from playing in a small combo with a beautiful sound, to screaming lead in a show with a sound that rips like a lead player's should. Before I would always have to change horns in order to do that.

My first gig with the horn in the Wind Symphony I play in is coming at the beginning of next month and I can't wait to see what kind of comments I get on it and my playing.

I have always stressed to my students and tried myself to play with what I call "effortlessness". I have always struggled to really achieve it that though. With this VRII however, I am playing better, cleaner and more efficiently that ever before, My goal of playing with real &ldquo effortlessness &rdquo might actually happen!

The horn has really given me a confidence I have not had since I was a kid and didn't know any better. I thank you for building me such a great horn.

Jeff Stevens, Texas

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

The rim and cup size are just perfect. The sound has a lot of core and is very centered, seems to carry far. Usual high tone range is effortless.
With regards to the couplers, for now my preference is the 5, although I'm still experimenting on the other two. I've decided to keep them. Thanks for nailing this on one try!
The valve guides are great! They gave me a more centered sound and slotting is better, giving an impression of a bigger sound. Combined with the square tuning slide, this gives me a very locked response for legit playing.

Daniel Borja Jr., Kawasaki, Japan

I don't know instrument/mouthpiece design, but it seems that what you have done with the throat entry combined with the material of the mouthpieces itself make for something very special and different. I just cannot believe I experience such evenness and stability from a mouthpiece that outwardly looks so normal (until you look at the throat entry). Experiencing the degree of control and flexibility that I do on this mouthpiece is truly a new experience for me. When I say flexibility, I mean in the traditional trumpet sense, but also flexibility of approach. If I need to really heat up the sound, it feels comfortable. If I need to really lay back in the background, it feels comfortable. If I need to "woof it out," it feels comfortable. I won't deny, these mouthpieces have a way they like to be played (more efficient than I was used to) but once that was my middle ground, I have found more ability to vary my approach/sound/tone color as situations require.
My favorite thing about the D cup: the sound of a C cup with the ease of articulation and playability of a D cup. Additionally, the inherent resonance of the mouthpiece allows me to play really dark or really bright if I need to, which has been a hard to find characteristic.

Everybody that hears me on this mouthpiece (that really knew my playing before) raves.

Ben Kibbey, Freelance, Connecticut

My first experience with Stomvi was during a consultation with K.O. Skinsnes regarding valve alignment. It never occurred to me how important alignment was and Mr. Skinsnes explained why my horn was having the trouble that it was. I asked him question after question and he was eager to respond to every single one. After my consultation, I asked him about trying out a few mouthpieces and, yet again, my mind was blown with all of the intricacies of the mouthpiece and how important things like “the gap” are. K.O. set me up with a 3D VR Flex mouthpiece and it has changed every aspect of my playing! My low register speaks and my high notes float. My flexibility is better and the centering of pitch happens much more naturally; not to mention that my tone production has significantly improved. About a month after our original meeting, I asked Mr. Skinsnes if I could send him my Bb trumpet for a valve alignment and luckily he was able to get the job done before ITG! The process between me shipping it off and the shipment back took only two weeks and honestly with the job he did I would have waited 2 years. It’s a completely different horn! My previous tuning problems have completely gone out the window and my slotting is so much easier. I also got my valve pads changed from felt pads to K.O.’s unique valve pads and they are phenomenal! My valve speed is faster and the response all around is phenomenal. Between the mouthpiece and the horn, my personal experience with the folks at Stomvi USA (especially K.O. Skinsnes) was superb! If you want the BEST work done on your horn for an affordable price, there is no better place to go to than the people at Stomvi. I would recommend them to any trumpet player out there. My experience has been great and I look forward to doing more business with K.O. and the folks at Stomvi USA in the future. THANK YOU!

Edsel Rivera-Rios Senior, Music Education, Texas Tech University

I have a regular weight original V-raptor. It saved my butt a few weeks ago. I doing a pit orchestra and couldn't shake a bad cold. I had problems taking in a deep breath without coughing. I didn't need that full breath on the v-raptor for it to work. We also had to do a quick, down-and-dirty recording of the bows. The v-raptor's sound projected beautifully with such a rich sound. I felt the horn was doing all the work because I sure wasn't. It printed to tape beautifully.

Garry Chun, Freelance, Honolulu, Hawaii

I play in the brass quintet for the 4th Infantry division band at Ft. Carson
Colorado. I played one of the new flex mouthpieces for the first time at the
Rocky Mountain Trumpet Festival and was instantly impressed with the change
in response and the change in my tone. The other trumpet player in the
quintet and I both bought new mouthpieces that day. When we returned to
quintet practice that next Monday the other members of the quintet we
surprised at the difference the new mouthpieces made in our tone. They
thought the sound was richer and more focused and my partner and I both
found it easier to match timbre and pitch with the other players in the
quintet. We have used them ever since and are very very pleased with the
ease of playing and improved sound quality of the flex mouthpieces.

Thank you so much for the great product and I look forward to a long history
of playing the flex mouthpieces.

SPC William J. Flitter, Ivy Division Band, Ft. Carson, Colorado

When I first tried some of K.O.s prototype Flex mouthpieces I was so knocked out by them I gave him my spare mouthpiece and told him if you can put your VR twist on what I already have, DO IT!
We discussed what I would want. We knew the rim and cup style I needed and he nailed it the first time!
Everyone I have played this mouthpiece for has picked it out in a blind fold test. My custom Flex mouthpiece has more core and vibrancy to the sound, better projection, better intonation, and a more even scale in every register of the horn. I am getting more sound, with less effort!
I have not tinkered with mouthpieces in years. This time I'm glad I did!

Michael Manthey, Freelance, Maynard Ferguson BBN Band, California

MOST EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Merci beaucoup, mon ami. I've already started sing praises for the VRII and the Brass Spa. I've owned a ton of B-flats and this is far and away the best.

Gary Maki,

It's absolutely wonderful!! Everything I was hoping for. The brushed lacquer finish is stunning. It looks so cool. I can't believe how in tune this horn is and how easy the air blows through. It plays with little effort. The sound rings out of the large bell at any volume - soft or loud.
The VRII slots so well on every note - like hitting the keys on a piano, the notes are just there! The way it projects with the large bell is amazing, and the sound from behind is astounding compared to my old horn.
The VRII combined with your Flex mouthpiece makes me feel the most confident I have ever felt while playing. Most importantly it makes playing fun, a whole lot of fun!

Mark Morel, USA

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

My Flex trombone mouthpiece made me feel young again!

Cecil Benjamin, AF band, retired, USA

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 got the new mouthpiece......Wow!!!!!!
It is a flame thrower of mouthpiece ;-))

I have been alternating between the 7 CVR and the S14A VR Vs during my practice sessions by playing same exercise/piece once with each.

The transition between the two mouthpieces has been no problem, in fact, the S14A VR is improving my sound and range/endurance on the 7C!

Thanks again!

Sam Piazza, New York

I am a Band Director in the area, and a now-and-then trumpet player as well, and I have to admit that I've never heard a presentation like that given by K.O. and Jim Manley before. During college, I had the pleasure of studying with both Vincent Cichowicz and Luther Didrickson at Northwestern and, although they were wonderful teachers, I simply was not enough of a player to really take advantage of what they had to say. Subsequent years, plenty of practice, and serious reflection on what they professed have helped.

I'm a "now-and-then player" but, I have tried to incorporate some of what you guys mentioned and have done so with GREAT success. Thanks very much again for your generosity in coming here; and, please accept my most sincere best wishes for continued success in your work.

Joseph H. Ferraro, Chicago, Illinois

I have to say that my S6A VR Vs c (with coupler #5) has really improved my playing. As most of trumpet players, I want to play high notes, and I have tried for the last 35 years to play in the upper register. Something magical happened with this mouthpiece. I can now easily play an F or G above high C when I feel like it. Even the lower register feels better now, both sound and ease of play has improved.
Thank´s for all your advise and support.

Dan Warvne, Sweden

I recently purchased a light weight VRII trumpet and S13A VR flex mouthpiece w/4.5 coupler and am totally shocked by the nearly automatic improvement of every technique. As I'm exploring what the horn/mouthpiece can do, it continues to amaze me with each improvisation. The air flow is incredibly smooth, with a clear beautiful tone, from a delicate ppp to full throttle; THIS HORN IS ALIVE!
Many thanks to Forrest for the top notch consultation/customer service. Never have I enjoyed a horn or mthpce more.

Phil Quidort, Cleveland, Ohio

I recently attended the Stomvi USA / Brass Spa seminar at the ITG Conference in Harrisburg, PA. I learned more about the trumpet and mouthpiece at this seminar than I had in several years of trying to educate myself. There was more real world information (stuff I can really apply) presented than at any clinic I've ever seen.


Jeff Helgesen, Freelance, Illinois

The VRII is by far the best trumpet on the planet. The colorful sound, the intonation, and overall playability is unmatched by any other trumpet. It dominates any big band while playing lead, sizzles in a salsa band and provides a warm sound for brass quintet and orchestral settings. Loud or soft, the sound is crystal clear and full. This is the sound I was looking for. I couldn't possibly be happier! Thank you K.O., Carlos, and Forrest for providing me with the best tool for my trade.

Erick Jovel, Freelance, Los Angeles, California

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

Dean Artall, Freelance, Texas

Hey KO- regarding the 12f vr vs.

I could hear the darker sound qualities on this new one right away even though the rim is as small as it is.

Depending on how I push it, the sound is able to be whatever the job calls for. I used it to play a gentle, full sound for taps at a military ceremony, a compact warm sound for small group jazz, and it nails the lead parts with accuracy and full, powerful tone.

I believe the psychology of being free from the usual compensations, endurance and response limitations is going to cause some to feel like a "fish-out-of-water. "You may need to develop an adjustment procedure/profile on your web site to help people cope with the realization that much of what they were taught about mouthpieces is wrong.

Tim Keleher, Freelance trumpet player, Philadelphia/New Jersey