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1096798 Posts in 72543 Topics- by 19541 Members - Latest Member: Zorgnot
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 17, 2018, 01:26PM
I will still be moderating if not posting. To that end I am closing this thread

Chris Stearn
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 13, 2018, 06:39AM

Some years ago when Chip Hoehler was a large part of TTF, promoting and introducing his line of "Hoehler Artiste" Wessex trombones, I asked that he identify himself in posts as a Wessex representative and artiste.
   After some resistance and debate, and the support of others on the forum who came to my defense, he eventually did so. But not until he used his EDIT function on his posts to go back into the threads he had contributed to, and edited his posts to make it appear that he had represented himself as a Wessex employee all along. Other members of the forum caught that out as well.

Chris, it would be hypocritical of me to not also ask you, yourself, to now identify yourself as a representative of Wessex in posts in future.

Thank you.

This has gone beyond what I am prepared to tolerate.  I have never been paid a cent by Wessex. I DO NOT represent them. I was asked if I would design a bass trombone as a fun project. I did and I stand by my (free) design.
I also helped my old friend Iain at Wallace mutes FOR FREE. I also have never been paid any fee by Mick Rath.
I am not an employee of any of the above and have never been.
I think I have had enough of this place now

Chris Stearn
3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 13, 2018, 03:31AM
I didn't want M&W to be the subject of implications by members. A lot of people here do not realise that manufacturers are people like everyone.  Some makers are players and friends...  part of the community. Some people here don't get that.
Chris Stearn
4  Town Hall / Notices from TTF Members / Re: New Bass Trb Concerto in Boston 2/13/2018 on: Feb 12, 2018, 02:12PM
Very best for this Gabe  Good! Good! Good! Good!

5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 12, 2018, 09:53AM
M&W are un-stickied and therefore effectively gone. I didn't realise there was such strong feelings out there. Hope you are all now happy.

Chris Stearn

6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 12, 2018, 05:08AM
Here’s a question: if this board isn’t for buying and selling, then why is the **STICKY** two lines up all about M&W Custom Trombones?  I could see leaving it as a regular post if the company founders are friends of the forum, maybe. But. A sticky? Doesn’t make sense to me.

And another sticky, “would you buy sight unseen” [paraphrased] .... seems like there’s plenty of buying and selling on this board.

Because it was information.... important information for this community at the time, so we let it stick around. It was, and is NOT an advert.... no price, no specifics. Information. It is sort of clear if you actually read that thread and this thread.
Do you not understand that an advert is ? either.... For Sale, Want to Buy, Want to Trade ... item specific.
New companies and/or new products can be announced as long as it is on a 'for information' basis.

Chris Stearn
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Euphoniums on: Feb 11, 2018, 09:24AM
Jonathan IS Wessex.... it is his company.  The US side is big and has it's own US friendly website to make purchase easier.

Chris Stearn
8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Euphoniums on: Feb 10, 2018, 06:38AM
Those old Boosey euphs from 1920s and 30s were the best for tuning. They do feel old and the valves are not subtle but they do work.. especially for doublers.

Chris Stearn
9  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Euphoniums on: Feb 10, 2018, 12:44AM
I guess my next question would be if I wanted to go the old B&H or besson route, would it be possible for me to find an older one that’s worn down and needs some repairs that I could fix up? Also, if I were to do this would it be cost effective at all, or would it be easier and sharper to just buy something new?

I use a 1920s Boosey euphonium. Yes, I have used it professionally.... even on recordings. No tuning aids because it does not need them. Smaller than even the 1960s B&H it simply works. Tuning aids were only needed when the basic design became compromised by size increases. The compensating system on a 4 valve instrument only works when valves are used in combination with the 4th valve.... it is not an intonation cure, but simply helps very low register notes to be better in tune than they would otherwise be.
The Wessex Dolce is very nice and if I played more euph I would probably get one. I play euph very rarely, so the old Boosey does the job fine.

Chris Stearn
10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Bigger mouthpiece gives more volume? on: Feb 09, 2018, 12:38PM
Sorry, but this is not a helpful statement from the trumpeter. Basically untrue. Things are far more complex than that.

Chris Stearn
11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 07, 2018, 10:58AM
Sorry, Chris. Your original post seemed to imply that your student had a horn that sounded great, but felt bad to him. I took this as allowing for the possibility of a second horn that felt great, but sounded not so good. Which would read to me as, the guy's horn helped him sound good, even though it felt bad. If you are bringing up the comparison, which the topic does, I took it to mean that certain horns just sound better, even if they are a dog to play.

Didn't mean to put words in your mouth.

I still think that playing a dog would hurt my playing.

Yes, it was me not being clear..... my student simply became diverted by the mechanics of playing and needed re-directing toward music and sound.... it simply drew my thoughts toward the sensation of feel in regard to the equipment we use.... how important it is to us as performers, and even what feel means to different people.
It seems that to some, feel is a minor issue and to others it is an essential.

Chris Stearn
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 07, 2018, 08:47AM
Yes, but...sometimes that turns into WOW squared, and other times it rapidly become WHOA minus 2. That explains the endlessness of all of this equipment search. And some WOWs simply do not fit...for me...in any existing playing situation. My love affair with older Conn TIS instruments is like that. They are...the great ones...WOW cubed every time I play them for a while and settle into their playing characteristics. Then I bring them to almost any ensemble in any style in which I play and feel like "Oh. How come I feel so...isolated? What are all of these other people doing here?" Soloistically? Sure. But I don't spend a great deal of time as a free-to-play-and-sound-any-way-I-want-to-sound soloist. So there it is. back in the case for another few years.

They feel great, though!!!


Yes indeed... sometimes wow does not last as you become aware of various issues that make you move on... and in professional situations you have to blend into the section. I have wow horns that I cannot use for that very reason.  Funny how two identical horns can feel so different even if they sound the same. 

Chris Stearn
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 07, 2018, 05:43AM
The sort of feel I am talking about people chasing..... you pick up an instrument and play a few notes ... you think OMG I've never felt anything that amazing...
Same with mouthpieces.... then, of course after a while you think there might be something more amazing out there and start the search again....
Not simple comfort.... a WOW factor.

Chris Stearn
14  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 06, 2018, 02:47PM
Further to my last post, personally, I think one of the biggest delusions of modern times is that players can buy articulation, low register, high register, darker/lighter/bigger sounds.... you name it.... anything but have to spend time thinking and working on an instrument .

Chris Stearn
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 06, 2018, 02:37PM
I believe that this idea stems back from the Arthur Pryor days. He was THE virtuoso of his day. And in the beginning of his career, his trombone didn't even work past second position. But after getting so good that having a functioning instrument didn't even matter, he decided he wasn't uncomfortable enough. So he began taunting and baiting mules. And got mule kicked in the chops.

Finally, he was able to have such an uncomfortable playing situation that he could only focus on his sound -- it hurt too much to even think about his swollen, bruised face. And the rest is churchglass shattering history.

I do think that sound is the first thing we should all be evaluating in our playing, but I don't want to play something that feels bad to play either. I think that's why it's good that we have access to mouthpiece series and leadpipes to change the feel of a setup that is already good. I don't think equipment has THAT big of an impact on someone's basic sound. Alessi even sounded like Alessi on Arthur Pryor's trombone, for example. So, using an instrument that is comfortable to play just makes sense -- less distractions.

My point : this topic is leaning towards "gear is what makes you sound good", rather than "your ears and ability to adjust based on your ears are what make you sound good", which is weird. Great players sound great on a variety of equipment.

I don't know where you got that last bit from.... 'gear is what makes you sound good'.... who said that ?????????????

Chris Stearn
16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 06, 2018, 03:45AM
One of my students was complaining that it didn't feel good when he was playing. He sounded good, and when he thought about his sound, it got even better... and began to feel better.
A common issue, but it got me thinking.... FEEL.....
We choose equipment largely on feel.... trombones and mouthpieces.... if you are honest, you know it's true.... sound is a big deal, sure... but if we don't like the feel, we don't buy the tool.... we judge quality largely on feel.
Our equipment is sonic.... nobody HEARS feel.... not in any way.... but we select on feel.
It's strange when you really think about it....

Chris Stearn
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Feb 04, 2018, 01:22PM
Does anyone know if this is the bass trombone that was displayed at the Army Band Tuba Conference?  If so:

I only spent a few minutes playing the instrument because the 2nd valve lever interfered with my (very normal) left-hand grip (and Jonathan didn't have the right tool to adjust the paddle) but, ergonomics aside, I don't have any complaints about the instrument.  The valves blew pretty well, especially low C and B, the upper register was easy, and intonation was predictable.  I can't speak to the quality of the sound since we were in an exhibit hall.  I'm more of a "modern horn" kind of guy but at this price point I can't think of anything that touches this instrument for quality and play-ability.  Well done!

I also spent about 5 minutes playing the contra prototype. Compared to the Jin Bao/Wessex/Schiller/what-have-you Thein-inspired contra:
Pros:  no slide springs, bell at 3rd-ish position, rotary valves (as opposed to re-imagined Hagmanns).
Cons:  a somewhat unfocused blow, no built-in support.

I hope updates of both instruments return for the trombone conference in March!

Nice to hear positive comments John. The second valve lever on the pre-pros was very conventional and comfortable but the Chinese seem to have a habit of making second valve levers over long... I have no idea why. I worked hard to get a top quality feel that does not normally come at this price level and I hope that players will like the sound when they get to try it in concert halls. Only time will tell.

Chris Stearn
18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Blessing inline bass model BBTB-62R on: Feb 02, 2018, 10:40AM

You're kidding right? Either your post is the greatest example of sarcasm, and you're a master satirist, or this is really a surprise to you. ??

Your intellectual property, gleaned from 50 professional years, and your experience working with the best of the boutique makers, is suddenly stolen by a competitor of your new friends, and you are surprised?

By the way, I have done something myself recently that WILL set the world on it's ear. This is for your next project. I had my tech graft the F attachment from a '66 TR-185 Holton bass trombone, onto a mint 1960 Olds Opera. Now I have a solid nickle silver .554 bore tenor trombone, as played by Curtis Fuller in his prime, with the best F attachment in the  world.
Pull to bE and it has the best low BB in the world...even better than my old Conn 60H or Elkhart 72H.
Stick in a small tenor mouthpiece, and it is a tenor, stick in a large tenor mouthpiece, and it is the greatest large tenor in the world.  Plug in a vintage sized Wick 2NAL...and it is the best commercial bass bone NEVER made.
       Honest, Chris, half the effort of a Rath bass, with all of the sound, in solid nickle silver.
Don't bother having Wessex knock it off, mate.........there will be one from Blessing on the market three weeks after they read this post here on TTF.............. ha hha ha hhahahah ah hahahahahhhahahhahahhahahaha

I know there are Chinese makers who will stick any name on any trombone as long as the money is right.... actually, pretty much any of them, but it would be nice to at least establish a model before it is passed off as the work of a rival.
Nice that you are so pleased with your new toy... I have always liked the nickel silver Olds Opera tenor. It looks very pretty.... dark but clear at the same time... Now a nickel silver Bb/F Rath R8 with a 9" bell... that would be something special..... well, actually, it IS something special as I have such a beast  Evil Evil Evil

Chris Stearn
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Blessing inline bass model BBTB-62R on: Jan 31, 2018, 10:04AM
No, it doesn't look like an 830 clone.....not if you look more carefully. What it does have is large elements of the bass I just designed for Wessex.... even before it properly hits the market. I find that really disappointing. The Chinese should respect designs that they are asked to make, at least until they are established in the market. I really hope they have managed to screw it up in some way.

Chris Stearn
20  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: FS: Thein Ben Van Dijk Bass Trombone (gauging interest) on: Jan 29, 2018, 10:37AM
Hi folks,

I was told the slide is a custom job ordered from the Thein Brothers - So they made it, but it's not stock.

What am I playing now?  The Thein!  But I'm considering switching to this crazy Mick Rath-modified Bach 50 with Hagmanns.  It's a very good player.  I don't know...I'm confused!

And great to see you guys again!  It's been a long time since I was on.

That Bach/Hagmann/Rath is a very interesting horn. As you know, I have been aware of that trombone for 40 years. Originally stacked rotors, it has always had a great sound. With the Hagmanns it is much easier down low, but it has always been the kind of Bach that you have to work at.... but most Bachs are like that. I had a good blow on it over a couple weeks before you bought it and was pleased to pass it on because I was getting sucked in, and could have become addicted to it !
It will reward you, but you have to spend time on it every single day !

Chris Stearn
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