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1058074 Posts in 70511 Topics- by 18363 Members - Latest Member: Anonymity
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Does mouthpiece material affect tone/sound? on: Today at 12:59 AM
Tonal variation is less obvious in smaller spaces... I was surprised at how Zirconium seems to me to have distinct qualities in a concert hall. A little darker but still with overtones and with noticeable projection improvements .... and that was noticed by the players around me too. Don't stress about needing a mouthpiece in this wonder material ... it is very expensive.... hundreds of dollars a piece... and there are no production plans at present. I have tried Titanium and wondered what the fuss was about. Zirconium seems a far more suitable metal for mouthpieces, but cost would put most people off.... there is also the issue of design... this one I have is a copy of a Rath mouthpiece, made not at the request of Mick Rath, but with his knowledge and approval.

Chris Stearn
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Does mouthpiece material affect tone/sound? on: Yesterday at 01:42 PM
Maybe because of the microscratches caused by normal plating wear? I doubt that CNC can duplicate that...

No, it was the polishing of the rim... contour slightly changed.
3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Does mouthpiece material affect tone/sound? on: Yesterday at 01:13 PM
Having a CNC copy of a mouthpiece and the original, I can say that they do sound different with different metals... but they feel different too.... even though they measure the same.... yes I have checked. Hours of fun.

Chris Stearn
4  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Does mouthpiece material affect tone/sound? on: Feb 25, 2017, 02:03AM
Interesting issue... I have been sent a Zirconium mouthpiece to test, together with the sliver plated brass mouthpiece it was copied from. I will offer some observations when I have finished testing these and discussed it with the maker. Based on past observations, material does make a difference, but it is almost impossible to have identical shape mouthpieces, so it is very hard to attribute qualities to material alone. Watch out for developments.

Chris Stearn
5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Feb 23, 2017, 07:21AM
I got hold of a Bach Artisan 1 1/2G yesterday. In many ways it is a very good mouthpiece... sound and blow are excellent... my section mates were split between the Artisan and the MV. but testing ended because the rim is simply dreadful !!!! Sharp inner rim, high point very much toward the inner and outer rim drops away rapidly. What were they thinking ?Nothing like any NY rims I have seen.

Chris Stearn
6  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 22, 2017, 09:13AM
It takes work to make it sound easy. At least in my experience.

Sounding easy feels easy... but you're right... it takes a lot of work... a LOT... and a few days off and it's gone....
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: conn dual bore bass trombone slide ? on: Feb 22, 2017, 12:54AM
It is very different from the standard slide... not an air hog, but the sound is very different, at least for me. Very nice with the right pipe and bell section but you really have to build up the whole horn. What it changes is the sound profile through the dynamics... it can make things more French Horn like .... which we don't want !!

Chris Stearn
8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: conn dual bore bass trombone slide ? on: Feb 21, 2017, 03:46PM
I have one Andy.... with the Frankenbell  Evil Evil Evil Evil

If you remember, I got it from Lorna Mc who said that she couldn't find a use for it.... took me a long time... and a Callet pipe...

Chris Stearn
9  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 21, 2017, 05:59AM
If you want to audition for an orchestra the default is, and has been for many years some kind of .547 bore tenor. That's it. End of. When you get past the audition you could be asked to play a smaller bore instrument... it's in our contract at the opera... we had a player trial on a Bach 16m and win the job.... just the rep he got. On the job people often play smaller gear to get nearer the sonic truth... more than 20 or 30 years ago...

Chris Stearn
10  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing an octave above what is written for an audition. on: Feb 21, 2017, 05:40AM
I did not say that the panel already has someone in mind... how could I know that ?
All the panels I have sat on pretty much know what a candidate can do very soon on in the audition... but you have to maintain standards... people can lose on the last excerpt !!

Chris Stearn
11  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing an octave above what is written for an audition. on: Feb 20, 2017, 11:40PM
Don't bother, the panel will most likely have made up it's mind on you in the first few lines of music.

Chris Stearn
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Whats the difference between Shires Trubore valves and M&W Valves? on: Feb 17, 2017, 10:23AM
Greenhoe did not ever make the valve "in house" ie, at the Jackson WI shop, instead using various (at lease 4 different contractors that I'm aware of) machine shops to do the actual machining of the valves/casings. There were schematics for both Greenhoe and Shires valve arrangements in the engineering documents on file at Greenhoe.

The early Shires section in our shop at present has an actual Greenhoe valve, with the engraving on the cap and valve ring.

Shires "may" have been capable of machining rotors/casings at this early stage, (for both companies to use) but I expect that Shires would also have been using contractor machine shops for at least the first several years. Machines capable of doing that type of machining are expensive and using contractor machine shops just makes sense when dealing with relatively small numbers as would have been the case at this stage of the game.

FWIW...
M

One thing I know about Steve Shires through hanging with him is that he is a total gear head tooling wise and attends factory closure sales and buys all sorts of things he thinks might be useful... they can do pretty much everything at the factory.

Chris Stearn
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Whats the difference between Shires Trubore valves and M&W Valves? on: Feb 17, 2017, 12:49AM
Just to clarify (and no doubt confuse some people) Shires did use Greenhoe valves early on in their production. (We have such an example in our shop at present) Shires then designed their own "enhanced rotor" valve, and used it in place of the Greenhoe. (I don't know if this valve is still listed in their catalog.) There is also the "dual bore" rotor offered by Shires now, which is another design again.

FWIW...
M

I was told, by someone close to the action at the time that early Greenhoe valves were made by outside suppliers to Gary's spec. and that Shires was a supplier. Shires made a very similar rotor for in house instruments... look at the core of a Greenhoe and the core of a Shires and they look very similar. I think there was some kind of lawsuit between Greenhoe and Shires, so the true facts may never surface.

Chris Stearn
14  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Choosing a Parduba Double-Cup mouthpiece on: Feb 16, 2017, 12:33AM
What is wrong with the parduba? FWIW I never played one, but on trumpet I use a double cup Wedge, and I am quite happy with it. For me, it is not so much about high notes as it is about ligther sound. It is still a kind of compromise, it is difficult to get a decent sound on it below the staff.

Simply, the very few I have heard used sounded really dreadful. As it happens, I have a double cup bass mouthpiece in my collection... a PHD... slightly bigger than a 1 1/2G , it sounds and plays better than I expected but I have never used it in a playing situation... bright and a little hard in sound, it might improve with more outside mass. In the end, I just ask why ???

Chris Stearn
15  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 15, 2017, 02:48PM
Mostly based on Denis Wick's comments in "Trombone Technique".  And playing small bores myself (I have a sub-0.480" trombone).

You can make a nice sound on a small bore, but it's hard.  And I've heard too many comments on classifying the G bass as really a "percussion instrument".

That is Denis Wick justifying what he did in moving to the big instruments. There were indeed many benefits. You should listen to some pre war British orchestra recordings.... now a lost art... don't assume small instruments are inferior. I recently played on a recording that Ian Bousfield did of the Sache concerto on a small Sax trombone... nothing inferior there.

Chris Stearn
16  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 15, 2017, 02:09PM
First, Shires makes a nice 0.508" trombone and they have an F-attachment for it.  Apparently smaller bore instruments don't do so well in modular, so the smaller horns are not modular.

Second, if you are playing the higher trombone parts an F-attachment is not necessary.  In the "bad old days" they would offer a whole step or half step "trill valve" (still offered on some alto trombones).

You want to use a small bore in symphony?  Have at it.  But you need to play the large bore to win the audition; after that you can use what helps give the guy in front the sound he's looking for.

Denis Wick introduced the 88H into England to help replace some VERY small bore instruments used in English orchestras at the time.  They had a rather funny sound -- I think the term "piercing" would describe it.  The 88H coupled with a Bb/F large bore bass made the sound much more pleasant.

Bruce... your comments on the sound of British orchestras playing small bore trombones... are these based on hearing actual recordings ?

Chris Stearn
17  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 15, 2017, 02:07PM
@Dave

That's absolutely true.  Wick picked up Conn trombones, post-war, in the US.  There was an embargo in Britain following WWII that prevented the import of brass instruments to foster national industry.  The Besson trombones of that era weren't in the same category of the Conns, and so Wick helped several players smuggle Conn instruments into the country when the LPO did concert tours in Florida.  After the embargo, the British symphony scene had moved to Conn instruments and were hooked.

I still maintain that Wick and Remington, together, are largely responsible for the use of large-bore instruments in modern English-speaking orchestras.

Stan

I think it was the Philharmonia section that first attempted to bring Conn tenors back to the UK.  They were confiscated !!

Chris Stearn

18  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Why not the small bore for "legit" or classical style playing? on: Feb 15, 2017, 02:04PM
I think Emory Remington working with Conn to develop the 88H, and his influence on his students at Eastman School Probably led to Dennis Wick's interest and use of the Horn in London and Europe.

It was the NYPO playing at the Edinburgh festival that inspired british players to look for the large Conn trombones.

Chris Stearn
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Modular Trombone Survey on: Feb 10, 2017, 12:17PM
What's the difference between an 88H's myriad of handslide options and a Shires or Edwards?

Hell, an 8H, 8HT, and 8HK all have different bell tapers and thicknesses, and different materials. Is the defining characteristic of a modular horn the ability to remove the bell without changing anything else, or the ability to customize the horn however you'd like with bell/slide/valve/wrap options?

Literally any horn can have a different handslide or tuning slide attached to it, so as far as I can see 'modularity' really only means 'bell can be removed from neckpipe/valve.' That seems a lot less relevant than the options you can choose in ordering your horn, to me, albeit quite pedantic.


It's how it's put together..

Chris Stearn
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Feb 10, 2017, 08:12AM
People should state where they live... I think you will find few 1 1/2 players in the US but still many in the UK and Europe.
Chris Stearn
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