System Blue Brass “Wraps” Explained by Top Designer John Meehan

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How we developed the “wraps” of our horns

When designing the System Blue Professional Brass series, we tried to take everything into consideration. One of the big concerns for us, was the way the horn felt in the performers hand. As we went from the initial prototypes through all of the iterations leading to the versions available now, we not only focused on the way the horn played, but the ergonomics of how it felt to the performer.

Marching band and drum corps performers practice a lot, and the horns are almost always in their hands. The instrument is essentially an extension of the performer, so it needs to feel like it’s part of the performer. By slightly moving the valve casing, or the first valve U-hook, or where we bent the tubing on the Hybrid-Euphonium near the left hand, it all played a part in making the instruments look like they do, and how they feel in the performers hands.

Another consideration with how a brass instrument is “wrapped” is the length of tubing.  Many times, instruments will have a long tube, but it is then bent back and forth once, or several times, for myriad of different reasons. You’ll find with the a lot of the System Blue Professional Brass instruments, the tubing is more of a “pure shot,” the actual length of the tube. We do this because, the air then travels in a more singular direction, versus constantly changing directions. As instrument designers, we always try to keep the air moving from the receiver to the bell with the most limited amount of “detours” as possible.