From dynastyband.com: Features include a 9 3/4" (248mm) bell, a .468" (11.89mm) bore, a 17" (432mm) length, a weight of 3 lbs. 11 oz. (1.65kg), a 6V mouthpiece with a trumpet shank (or it can be adapted for a French horn mouthpiece) and a heavy duty travel case.
The instrument comes in lacquer or silver finish. The marching F mellophone uses trumpet fingerings, which allows for easy movement of students between trumpet and mellophone.
Give yourself or your students pinpoint tuning accuracy with the new "Micro-Tune" tuning slide. The "Micro-Tune" slide allows you to have the tuning control that you have always wanted in a brass instrument. The slide has been specifically designed to compensate for each instrument's specific tuning needs. Finally a VERY "user friendly" technique of tuning that puts you in total control of your instrument. (Formerly model number 010-M2040)
At first glance, the M541MT appears to be built like a tank. Lots of bracing and a heavy duty appearing bow brace add to the feel of "bullet-proof." This aura is further emphasized by the three pound, eleven ounce mass of the instrument.
The valve action on the M541MT was tight during the play test. When negotiating through the open tone series, big slots were present, with the only concerns being a low C that had a tendency to be slightly under pitch, along with the fourth space E. In fact, an alternate fingering for the fourth space E-flat (second and third valve) was found to be necessary to keep the instrument in better tune.
It's very possible this intonation challenge could have been successfully rectified through the deployment of the micro-tune slide. However, the positioning of the thumb saddle was so far removed from the valve cluster, that this reviewer could not find a proper way to utilize it.
The tone quality of this instrument is compact and somewhat reminiscent of the Dynasty mellophone bugle timbre (in a very positive way). There is an acceptable amount of resistance and the instrument keeps a good tone quality through all registers and at varying volume levels.
The instrument is shipped with a Dynasty ML6V mouthpiece that suits the instrument well. It would be easy to see how a deeper mouthpiece with a larger throat could also be appropriate with this instrument, dimming a bit of its brightness where appropriate.
The valve taps and caps on the silver MT model appeared to be nickel plated, instead of silver plated, which may seem odd, but not a bad idea when considering the reduction in maintenance time that will be required to keep those components from tarnishing.
Overall, the fit and finish is generally very good. Whether or not this instrument is more durable isn't known, but it certainly feels as if a thicker gauge of brass is used, and that this instrument might be able to withstand the hardships of field rehearsals and competitions.
There's a curious cost consideration for potential purchasers of this instrument. Street price as of June 2007 for this model was under $800 for the non-micro-tune model, jumping to nearly $1,200 for the added feature. This makes the non-MT version a bargain, but the MT version less so.
This is a strong instrument worthy for consideration by any marching ensemble.
Where to buy
Available at the Woodwind and Brasswind.