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Jupiter Quantum 5050 Revisited




A Quantum prototype mellophone (model 5050) was procured during the first quarter of 2008 and play tested for a review that was published on this site in March 2008 that can be viewed here. John Erickson also published a thorough review of the in his celebrated horn blog.

Following its inaugural season of usage during the summer of 2008 by three junior drum and bugle corps, the Quantum 5050s was modified slightly to address issues identified by the corps.

The Phantom Regiment announced in December 2008 that it would be utilizing Quantum brass during their 2009 competition season, offering the manufacturer a rare opportunity to showcase its new marching brasswinds with the defending DCI Championship corps.

The Quantum 5050S Marching Mellophone in F from Jupiter as photographed in February 2008 (prior to the updates).


Fortunately, an inspired reader and contributor to The Middle Horn Leader (Sam Range), has devoted his analytical talents toward a Quantum 5050 (v 2.0) that he encountered while visiting a Phantom Regiment preseason rehearsal camp.


His photographs and comments are presented below (with his permission) along with the gratitude of the publisher and the readers who find such minutia fascinating!


It's important to clarify that this Web Site is in no way affiliated with Quantum and the opinions expressed below are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Phantom Regiment, Drum Corps International, Jupiter Music, the National Football League, or the National Organization of Women.




Opinions (Sam Range)


A close up of the cup on the Jupiter 7BM mouthpiece that is shipped now with the Quantum 5050. Rumor has it this mouthpiece is close to a Schilke 31 horn mouthpiece blended into a tenor horn cup of some sort. This is a trumpet style with a deeper contoured cup. Photo by Sam Range

First, I got my hands on the instrument again. Turns out, there are two included mouthpieces from Jupiter, the 7BM and the 7CH. The 7CH is the hybrid horn mouthpiece, with a sound and response similar to a horn mouthpiece on an adapter. The 7BM is a trumpet mouthpiece posing as a mellophone mouthpiece. The tone is somewhat offensive and painful to listen to.

The hybrid horn mouthpiece (Jupiter 7CH) is pictured above on the revised Quantum 5050 that features a uniquely contoured mouthpiece receiver. Photo by Sam Range

The shank on the Quantum and both mouthpieces is non-standard, and Phantom already knows this. The rumored mouthpiece exists and will probably be a Hammond 6 made specifically for the Quantum shank. Given how stark the improvement is playing the Quantum on the non-standard shank mouthpiece, the new Hammond could make this a formidable instrument/mouthpiece pairing. I'm not sure if or when that mouthpiece would be available from Hammond, but he has been good about releasing Santa Clara Vanguards' and the Bluecoats' designs. A second review with that mouthpiece would likely be very different from the original.

A change from the original prototype was a fixed finger ring on the third valve slide. Photo by Sam Range

I attached some pictures of the mouthpieces and the current construction of the third valve slide. It no longer has an adjustable kick ring. Instead, it is a fixed ring, freeing up the screw to act as a lyre holder. The lyre would move with the slide. There is a second screw that seems to be made to lock the slide in place, but the screw doesn't reach far enough to actually lock. There is not a removable section on the end of the slide.

Clearly the most significant observable change to the revised Quantum 5050 is the integration of a reverse sprung first valve slide. The slide is defaulted into an extended position, allowing the slide to be shortened by use of the thumb lever. Photo by Sam Range


Another view of the thumb lever installed on the first valve slide. Photo by Sam Range


Another close up of the first valve slide mechanism that allows performers to shorten the slide. Photo by Sam Range

The first valve has a spring-loaded lever for tuning. I think it's meant to be played pushed in and released to flatten a pitch. There is an adjustable bump stop for the first valve.

The receiver seems aesthetically if not functionally different from the early model reviewed on The Middle Horn Leader.

Special thanks to Sam Range for his efforts in contributing this information.