The original Monette Flumpet™ was inspired by and invented for the late Art Farmer. Since the prototype was made in 1989, the Flumpet has become popular with many leading players as a replacement instrument for the flugelhorn.
Our second-generation Flumpet has a sound that is thicker, richer, and stronger than a flugelhorn. The unusual tapers, 6" bell flare, double sheperd’s crook layout, and the Monette constant-pitch-center design combine to provide a wider range of timbre and dynamics than any trumpet. With intimate softs and brassy louds, this instrument is extremely versatile, and also very fun to play!
Having been used in virtually every area of performance, the Flumpet can be heard on classical, jazz, and commercial recordings, as well as on several major motion-picture soundtracks. Please refer to our Web site or contact our shop directly for more information on this unique, revolutionary instrument.
This instrument is pitched in the key of B-flat. All other technical specifications are not available from the manufacturer.
Admittedly, a Flumpet may not necessarily be an appropriate instrument to review on a website that celebrates the mid-voice experience. However, the Flumpet certainly passes the "uniqueness" test and a review will be posted here (at least until David Monette's attorney tells me to pull it from the site!).
I've owned a Generation I Flumpet since 1998. In fact, it's the same exact horn pictured in Monette's 1993 catalog. As a mellophone player who converted to trumpet, the instrument has been a particularly pleasant fit.
The horn is an utter paradox. It is a trumpet and responds like a trumpet, but the sound is different than any other instrument I've encountered. It has characteristics of a flugelhorn, but not nearly as brittle. It has the response of a cornet, but again the sound quality is broader and more resonant. In fact, the amount of resonance that is emitted by this instrument (in every direction, not just through the flare) can be staggering. This attribute is even more prominent when the instrument is placed into the hands of a professional, which I sadly am not.
I had the honor of witnessing an astounding group of professionals that included Charles Schleuter and Matthew Sonneborn play a section of Flumpets at the Monette factory during an extended brass clinic in Portland in April 1999. The resulting tones (overtones) that were produced by the musicians roared from these unique instruments.
Shortcomings? The only one I've encountered with this instrument (besides the sticker price) is the fourth space E on the instrument is under pitch. This is easily corrected with an alternate fingering.
The instrument has the same range as a trumpet, even when paired with the deep cup FL series mouthpieces from Monette. It's not a fluegelhorn replacement and knock-off versions have not been encountered.
So, if one had an extra $100k burning a hole in their pocket, how would a section of Flumpets sound on the field? Up close, they would probably sound remarkable, but I doubt they would project over great distances any better than the old school altos.
Regardless, if you every have an opportunity to try one of these out, it would be worth your time. This is one über-funky monkey.
-Scooter Pirtle (email)