PAXMAN Model 21L

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Model: 21L (Model 20 with a 5th valve)


Type:  Full double in F/Bb/E(+)/A(+)


Date of manufacture: 1977

Bell throat profile: ‘L’

Alloy: lacquered* yellow brass (* see note below)

Bell flare: detachable; weight 0.32 kg, very light.

Valve compression: very good

Total weight: 2.69 kg 

 Visual/cosmetic condition: generally good; a few slight dings in the bell flare and surface imperfections elsewhere are merely cosmetic issues having no effect on the horn’s very fine playing qualities. There is an expertly-made nickel silver patch protecting the final part of the bell ‘tail’, which can be seen in the photos.

 The horn is fitted with a duck’s foot and an adjustable finger hook.

There is a fair amount of lacquer wear.

 *During the late 1970s, the lacquering company used by Paxman was not ‘at its best’, and this is one of several horns I have seen from this era whose lacquer colour has darkened with age in several places. I initially thought that the instrument was gold brass, but now that the lacquer is stripped from the flare, it is clearly yellow brass. If this were my own horn I would have the remaining lacquer professionally stripped.

 Further details:  this horn has been well-maintained mechanically, and is a superb player in all registers. Its 5th valve is very useful not only for hand stopping without transposition, but also for some very good (but unorthodox) alternative high register 'open' (unstopped) fingerings. These use the 11th harmonics of the A (2nd valve) and Ab (1st valve) horns with the 5th valve tuned too flat for hand stopping.

 Being manufactured in January 1977, this horn must be one of the final ones with a bell made on the old Paxman ‘L’ mandrel, so, slightly narrower in the throat than the current ‘L’ bell.

  An alternative Paxman 'A' (American) unlacquered gold brass flare is available for £285. This gives a darker, broader sound and a spectacular low register!


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PAXMAN Model 21L