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1069904 Posts in 70975 Topics- by 18776 Members - Latest Member: jburg019
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Brand loyalty (?) on: Yesterday at 09:55 AM
I played my 88H for ten years, for at least two hours nearly every day. I love that trombone. I would do drones and intervals every few days, so I had that trombone pretty well figured out.

I had what you call brand-loyalty, and I bought a Conn alto. I ended up going with a King 3B for my "small" bore, because I couldn't figure out the small Conn tenors. Besides that, though, I figured I could play my 88H until I died. The only things that were a bit of a crapshoot was high F5, and low C in 7th with the valve. I thought it was just me. In any case, it is a great example of the Eastlake 88Hs that Conn made when Lindberg was blowing it up in the early 2000's and they were pushing the Gen IIs.

I continued to convince myself that my 88H was the end-all-be-all, which was easy to do because the Army began handing me a steady stream of Bach 42Bs that played like crap. "Must be the wide crook", "must be the tight leadpipe", "must be the rotor ports". Paralysis by analysis. I wouldn't realize that all of this stuff was totally moot until a band signed out a beat up T-350 for me to play.

By moot, I mean that Bach vs Conn, wide vs narrow, bell materials, rotor design, crook materials -- all that crap that you think you have choices over at Edwards or Shires -- is completely not worth debating about. The two Edwards I've played now have been so well built and play so easily, that I honestly wouldn't want to tinker with or debate any of the variables. They were both pretty stock designs -- the T-350 was the early 2000's Alessi setup, and the T-396A is stock.

I realized that all the things I tinkered with and thought about and compared between Bach and Conn was meaningless. It was like trying to get two station wagons to compete and tweak them in order to outperform a BMW.

I don't think it's about the brand, or even completely the design, or the materials used. I think it's about how well the builder executed their superior design. This is why there are some Elkhart 88Hs that you won't even be able to pry free from the owner's cold dead hands. That's why the Yamahas that do their versions of classic designs better than the classics are the same. And why, maybe, the new Elkharts aren't the same as the old Elkharts, even if they are the same design.

LOVE this post  Good! Good! Good! Good!

Chris Stearn
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Brand loyalty (?) on: Yesterday at 09:53 AM
In 2000 I caught an Alain Trudel masterclass. During a ,QnA session he was asked about his Yamaha Trudel mouthpiece. His answer: buy a Bach 61/2AL and play it until there was no plating left on the rim--- just like he did for 10 years, 16 hours a day.
Trudel mentioned he still missed his Elkhart 88H.
Brand loyalty?-- that is where Yamaha gets their R&D from, the cloning and input from players with brand loyalty, not players who played Yamaha for 40 years.

Loyalty? How do you deal with big band trumpet sections who switch mouthpieces between rests and 20 times a gig. ( I kid not).

Chris is correct--- sometimes play a horn for sentimental reasons and let the chips fall where they may, nobody in the audience will know, but you will. Chris is also correct that you may possibly not have an informed opinion about brand loyalty, when you post on the internet that you're just about to have your first lesson.

The thing about the Raths is they play easier than anything else and I love the sound I can get out of them.... but there are people I work with sometimes who are not fans, so as an orchestral player I have backups... just in case.

Chris Stearn
3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Brand loyalty (?) on: Yesterday at 09:50 AM
I do want to jump and add my impression of Chris's comments a little.  I think the major component here is the depth of knowledge in learning a horn that only comes with years.  However, I think a large contributing factor is also the plasticity of youth. In the past, I was a better player than I am now.  Just haven't had the practice time with a kid and another engineering degree.  I was much more able to adapt to different tendencies and tunings than I am now.  I would jump between three manufacturers and 5 bore sizes in 3 different keys and be fairly fluid.  Certainly I know that I was more consistently on center of pitch and tone than I am today.  Enjoy the ability to be malleable while it lasts.

As for the loyalty, yeah, I'm pretty much a Bach guy now.  I just like the sound I get.  I know I posted this someplace else, but even if I sound the same on recording, I just do not feel right playing unsoldered bells.  The feedback from the horn to me playing is not the signal that my brain is expecting and I am unable to retrain myself to hear it.


I think that if you are playing a lot, you can learn a new instrument at any age.... I got my first Rath when I was 45 and I know Mick's horns as well as Conns and Holtons that I started using in my teens. What I was trying to say is that I would now rather spend time learning music, not new makes of horn.

Chris Stearn
4  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Brand loyalty (?) on: Yesterday at 01:44 AM
I've played on different horns of different brands and find myself not loyal or biased to certain brands.

Like on tenor, I played a Elkhart Conn 88H (which my school owned) and a Corporation Bach 42B and liked both and found them to be great horns.  For the Besson student model BE 639 (the tenor I currently have), it was my first ever trombone when I started playing in sixth grade and found it to be a good student model horn for my uses for marching band and pep bands.

As for bass, I played a Benge 290 (owned by my school) and a Getzen 1062FD (which is my current horn).  As for other basses, I play tested a Holton TR-180 and a King Duo Gravis which they both didn't had split triggers and I found the magic bar on the Holton hard to play, while I found the side-by-side triggers on the Duo Gravis to work fine for me. (just my experience) Don't know 

At your stage of playing, you have not really come to know any of your instruments..... give it time. It matters far less what you settle on than how hard you work to come the musician you want to be.
Over the years (50 of playing) I have played more brands than I care to remember, some I can come back to and feel a total stranger.... Bach are such a make.... and others have come to be old friends that I know very well indeed. Conns are familiar, as are Holtons and Raths. I no longer have the desire to learn other makes at my time of life.... just make music with equipment that I really know. Conns, Holtons and Raths took years to really get into. I don't have the time to waste on learning the quirks of others makes, so I suppose I have in the end, become brand loyal. I have the Raths and if I work with people who hear with their eyes, I have Conns and Holtons that might make them happy.... though I sound like me whatever.

Chris Stearn
5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Rath Contra Mouthpieces on: Jun 24, 2017, 07:01AM
PM sent.
6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Cutting a rath R9d on: Jun 24, 2017, 01:11AM
Mine were done at the factory so the ring was retained by cutting the other end, having first disassembled the parts.

Chris Stearn
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Rath Contra Mouthpieces on: Jun 23, 2017, 07:01AM
What do you want to know ?

Chris Stearn
8  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / MOVED: Rath Contra Mouthpieces on: Jun 23, 2017, 06:59AM
This topic has been moved to Mouthpieces.

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php?topic=100716.0 This is not an advert but a question, so I am moving it to the right place. I know about them Jim.... what do you want to know ?
9  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: What are the tuning tendencies of partials above high Bb? on: Jun 23, 2017, 03:02AM
Every trombone is different. Don't worry about what harmonics tend to be... find out what they are on your instrument. Your ear is your friend.... I hope.

Chris Stearn
10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Inexpensive Bass Trombone Suggestions on: Jun 23, 2017, 01:10AM
I don't know if this falls under "cannot say more" but is this horn something that you will actually perform on as like a Wessex Artist or is this just a horn you designed in conjunction with them?

I would be quite happy to use it professionally, but I promised a very old friend that when he died, I would use his trombones. He had a Rath R8 and R9 that are exceptional instruments that anyone would jump at. I will use those for the rest of my career.... they remind me of my friend every day, and were made by friends at Rath, one of whom is also no longer with us. For me, those are not just trombones. No disrespect to Wessex who are great to work with and are making better and better instruments.

Chris Stearn
11  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Watching and listening on: Jun 22, 2017, 05:02AM
Okay, this made me chuckle...

--Andy in OKC

Me too.... and it's true  Amazed

Chris Stearn
12  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Tuba and bass trom are not interchangeable on: Jun 21, 2017, 02:07PM
Yeah, its not black and white for me. I don't form an opinion until I hear it in a quintet setting. Sometimes it works, other times notbso much. Same vice versa. I wouldn't bother bringing both a bass trombone and tuba player to a quintet performance though, regardless of the rep. I would expect the quintet to make a decision on which one and pick the most appropriate music accordingly.

Yes indeed.

Chris Stearn
13  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Watching and listening on: Jun 21, 2017, 02:02PM
Sounds lovely. I appreciate that there are a wide spectrum of musical abilities, but what I'm pointing out here doesn't require an extraordinary level of skill. I feel that if the conductor were to hammer on about points like this and focus the general rehearsals on these basics, I'm sure that overall standards would improve drastically. That's what I mean though, I'm not in charge, so can't do things my way. It's frustrating at times.
I would dearly love to play in a high quality ensemble with musicians on a pro level ability. I'd love to do a play day with one of the top orchestras, but I guess a lot of aspiring amateur players would love that.

There are occasions when even the best orchestras in the world can have tuning and ensemble issues. The higher you go, the more picky you get. I suspect that it is not the musician's lot to be happy with their work.  Evil

Chris Stearn
14  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Tuba and bass trom are not interchangeable on: Jun 21, 2017, 01:52PM
Yeah, its not like if you have a part that specifies "tuba" in every context you can assume its going to be fine on bass.... there are contexts it is though. Having a Bass trombone in a brass quintet instead of a tuba certainly doesn't ruin the sound, and repertoire written for brass quintet with tuba shouldn't always be avoided if you have a bass trombone in your quintet.

Well, I don't like the traditional quintet with tuba rep played on bass trombone. I have walked away from our brass quintet because of that.

Chris Stearn
15  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Tuba and bass trom are not interchangeable on: Jun 21, 2017, 09:57AM
Let me turn this on it's head for a minute.... often bass trombone/cimbasso/ophiclide parts are to be found inside parts marked tuba. Also when three trombones and a tuba are on contract, the tuba is often made to play 4th trombone parts. The tuba is a very different voice to any of those mentioned and often not at all suitable. I have just finished a run of 'La Boheme' on contrabass trombone on the 4th part... that is how it should be... even a large bass is better than a tuba there. Same goes for 'Tosca'. We also just did a concert of early Puccini where parts were marked bass trombone, tuba and ophiclide.... on looking at the scores I decided, with the conductor that a large bass able to play down to G as a harmonic, not a pedal,  would be ideal... so that's what we did. Worked.

Chris Stearn
16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Cutting a rath R9d on: Jun 19, 2017, 11:11AM
Thanks all. I have contacted Rath now, we ll see. This one is build solid (older one).

There is not much room to cut the handslide, so thats not an option. Actually to most easy thing to do (did it on a tenor with great succes).

I do not see how the leadpipe could lower the pitch...

Maybe Rath can build a schorter tuning slide...

You need to reduce the length of the two inner and two outer main tuning slide tubes. 240 on build should not be solid... that changed earlier.... the dependent option was not on early instruments either. Could be a special order solid build ?

Chris Stearn
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Cutting a rath R9d on: Jun 19, 2017, 12:41AM
Extremely surprising to hear that an R9 is playing sharp.  I assume this is not a problem with you other horns?

He said flat not sharp  Good!
Mick did make shorter tuning slides for me for my first Raths, so shortened tuning slides do not affect the playing qualities of the R9, but as has been said, modification will not be too simple.

Chris Stearn
18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Value on Kruspe Trombone? on: Jun 18, 2017, 01:37PM
Depends on buyer. Especially if it fits in a modern case. Someone interested in it as a historical piece to add to a collection  may well be. But they probably would also not be the type to not buy it if it wasn't included.

The $250 offer probably wasn't unfair if you want to get it sold fast. Otherwise you'll probably have to be a little patient with finding a buyer who both 1) really wants this model 2) has the amount of money you're asking

I would say that was a cheeky offer. I would pay twice that.... a that is cheeky too.
Be prepared to ship to Germany ... I think you would get much more.

Chris Stearn
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: medium bore question/information on: Jun 17, 2017, 08:21AM
Rath can do a large shank version of the R3.
Chris Stearn
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Value on Kruspe Trombone? on: Jun 17, 2017, 08:18AM
Noah at Brassark has one for sale. Yours looks nice.... has to be worth $1000 or more.
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