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1052282 Posts in 70048 Topics- by 18201 Members - Latest Member: kballard
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101  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Building a BBb Contrabass, a Photo Essay on: Oct 03, 2016, 10:29AM
Your valve levers were modified under Bob Weller's ownership. That might help.

Chris Stearn
102  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Looking for New Horn on: Oct 01, 2016, 01:03AM
If you cannot put something great together from Shires, Edwards or Rath you are missing something. You should go with the maker that you feel the most empathy with and select a mainstream example. Don't go for something left -field. Buy an instrument you have tried and love... do not order blind on specs alone.... all instruments vary... they are not washing machines. Go somewhere you can try stuff and walk away with it.
Do not buy unless it is an obvious step up from the Getzen.

Chris Stearn
103  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Oct 01, 2016, 12:53AM
You know something?  After reading the many, many pages of this post, I believe I feel enlightened to try out the Bach 1.5G.  I hope its good as everyone else says here. :D

If you find a good Bach 1 1/2G it can be a revelation.... if you find a good one.... they vary massively ..... few are really good.... the search begins ?

Chris Stearn
104  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 30, 2016, 01:16PM
I heard that same comment many times before, maybe i should start listening...
Smaller equipment= less effort= more presence in the audience= brighter sound feedback 
it's just it feels wrong when you hear your principal trombone playing with a huge sound while mine is smaller (from behind the bell at least).

Thanks for the thoughts! I'll keep trying to find the holy grial hehehe

I think you are thinking wise thoughts !

Really great equipment teaches you things... the other stuff keeps you asking questions....

Chris Stearn
105  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 30, 2016, 01:32AM
I've tried many 9,5" bells, and I still didn't find any that makes a positive difference... They all sound too tenor-like (not only behind the bell) on me. I also tried the new B502-I and I felt the same... I think I should get a heavier bell, that's all... I was also thinking about having mine customized with a screw rim to add some weight (useful for planes too), but I'm scared of destroy it for good...

Too many of us hear with our eyes. Big, open, heavy, what do we mean ? Listen to recordings of Bob Hughes... in the LSO, Philharmonia and RSNO.... is that not a great orchestral sound ? Bach 2G, Conn62H, a great concept and a lot of work.
If you don't like that kind of sound, step away from the old Bach mouthpiece.
You need a massive mouthpiece and a modern instrument.
That's fine.
I have a new student... after his first lesson, he may be confused... Big, heavy modern trombone and mega mouthpiece.... that sound diffuse and light next to my old Holton and Bach 1 1/2G..... when he decides how he really wants to sound, the tools may change.... or they may not...
We all hope to find our sound grail....
Happy searching.

Chris Stearn
106  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Using Vintage Horns in the Real World? on: Sep 29, 2016, 12:57AM
I use my vintage instruments for work. If one is the best tool for the job it is used, but I am cautious ..... I don't leave instruments out in situations where people could walk close to them. I do not use gig bags with instruments I cannot replace. I have just one trombone in a museum... that one has a unique history... and it does not play very well !! If I were to play in a dangerous situation, I have good enough instruments that are expendable that would be used.

Chris Stearn
107  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: Happy birthday Bill Cordova on: Sep 28, 2016, 10:09AM
A new venue for birthday greetings  Amazed Amazed

Happy Birthday Billy

Chris
108  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G Sized Mouthpieces on: Sep 27, 2016, 03:13AM
The (readily available and affordable) Yamaha 58L is indeed much smaller than the Schilke 58.  Too bad Yamaha uses a similar numbering system to Schilke's, because the mouthpieces are quite dissimilar.  The Yamaha 58 is about the size of a Bach 2G (slightly larger cup, slightly larger throat than the 2G), and - to me - makes a nicer-sounding, easier-to-play bass trombone mouthpiece than the Bach 2G.  (But either would probably be suitable for Ethan.)  The Schilke 58 is quite a bit larger than a Bach 1½G, in both cup diameter and depth as well as throat.  And of course the Schilke 59 is even bigger yet! 

Once Ethan spends a year or two getting his act together on bass trombone with such a mouthpiece, he and his teacher can jointly decide if he should consider different equipment - but not until then! 

Okay.... I've just measured a Schilke 58 at the same point on the inner rim as a Bach 2G and a Bach 1 1/2G... and nothing has changed... it is SMALLER than a Bach 1 1/2G across the inner rim and not much bigger than a 2G. The Schilke 59 is SMALLER across the inner rim than a Bach 1G.
Years ago Schilke published these very misleading figures that have confused players for years.

Chris Stearn
109  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Dual bore 1933 70h on: Sep 26, 2016, 01:30PM
More than 40 years playing old Conns... that's where the mouthpiece should sit.... if you don't like the wide slot in the blow... that's how they are. Don't mess with it... please.
I don't care what is says in some manual... if you get used to the blow, they work. Talk to Sam Burtis... I think he still has a similar horn.. see what mouthpiece he uses and how far in it fits.

Chris Stearn
110  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Dual bore 1933 70h on: Sep 26, 2016, 11:28AM
That is fine for an old Conn.... if you change the leadpipe you will probably wreck the trombone. That is how far that mouthpiece should stick out in that instrument.

Chris Stearn
111  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 23, 2016, 01:35AM
I should post a small health warning...
This Mt Vernon 1 1/2G thing is, as Leif says, about sound.
If you like a classic bass sound, they are great.
They will not help you make the 'modern American' sound.... whatever that really is.
The good ones also feel like nothing else.....

Back to subject.

Chris Stearn
112  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Elkhart-made Holton TR181 bass trombone report on: Sep 23, 2016, 01:20AM
Fair points. It's the Ship of Theseus again.

There are 9.5" red brass bells made by Holton aren't there? One of those might work nicely, but a half inch difference right at the end of the instrument isn't going to make a dramatic change.

Much more important in the design is the leadpipe. I have very little experience with Holtons, although I have played a 181 for a bit, years ago. Others will know more than me but apparently there is some design flaw in the leadpipe that throws the whole blow of the horn out of whack.

I didn't mean the valve wraps, I meant the rotors. Leaving aside Hagmann and Thayer valves, progress has been made on rotor valves. Greenhoe, Yamaha, Kanstul and others make rotors with a few design advantages. The latest Holton has the same stone age rotors as it (and old Bach 50s) always had. And others have pointed out design flaws that result in wear, need for new parts etc.

Half an inch at the end of the bell can make a HUGE difference... especially with Holtons.... blow and sound change. There is not a lot wrong with Holton rotors apart from the cheapness of the construction and materials.... there is a lot of BS talked about rotors. I can get 181 rotors to blow much better, mostly with stay modification.... the details of which I will keep to myself. I have blown some very good early 181s and I have a student with a very good late Elkhorn example.
I have tried one Elkhart built modern 181 and it was dreadful.... a 181 shaped fraud of an instrument.... the owner was more than happy to 'upgrade' to a TR180 that I had modified to play very well.
Leadpipes.... early ones were fine. Later ones variable. Holton made some good pipes.... My daily drivers are both Holton 169 bell sections with late 1960's Holton 180 slides... both with their original pipes..... I tried about 20 aftermarket pipes in them and the originals were best.

Chris Stearn
113  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Conn 60H Gold Brass? on: Sep 23, 2016, 01:03AM
I really enjoyed playing it.
(Right now I'm waiting for it to be repaired and converted to Conn valves. One of the former owners had an Independent Bach valve section installed - which I wasn't happy with. I Hope with the Conn valves and modified wrap this Register is going to be more playable.)

My First impressions were: A beautiful combination of the Rich and singing warm characteristics everyone might know from those Horns combined with a more solid core and slightly bigger sound in the mid-low Register.
My Impressions were the same when the Btb-from NDR bigband and one guy from the cöassical trombone class here in Berlin gave it a try.
It has btw a 10" Bell i Discovery accidentaly when comparing it to another 62H.


I have never seen a 60H with a 10" bell.... I have had two 62H Elkharts with 9 3/4" bells. If it is a modern bell the instrument will be worth less. What is the engraving like ?

Chris Stearn
114  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 22, 2016, 03:47PM
So I found a Bach Corp. 1 and 1/2 with a shaved shank and slightly opened throat. Using it in my 180 right now. Low register is killing. Verdict out on overall results but it's interesting. It's in about 1/4 inch further than a typical 1 and 1/2.  More later.

Interesting... what is frustrating is that there is no logical and measurable way of identifying a great mouthpiece..... not a good or workable mouthpiece... a great mouthpiece..... a rare beast.

Chris Stearn
115  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Conn 60H Gold Brass? on: Sep 22, 2016, 02:00AM
Never seen a 60H like that. Conn lacquer had a slight tint,so a relacquered insrrument could appear lighter. 80/20 brass actually looks yellow... I have had bells made in that metal.
I have a 1934 70H that has a slightly pinkish yellow bell and J bend. One of the Thein brothers looked at it and thought was 78/22 which was available back then. Bottom line... how does it play ?

Chris Stearn
116  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 20, 2016, 01:57AM
My George Roberts Replica CE also has a pretty short shank.

So it's a 'short-shank redemption'.... Evil

Oh well, somebody had to say it... :D :D

Chris Stearn
117  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Recommendations for a bigger bass mouthpiece on: Sep 20, 2016, 01:52AM
Hey guys..... he has settled on the 1 1/4GM.... he has finished the search (for now ?) so let him get on with blowing.  :D :D :D

Chris Stearn
118  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 19, 2016, 01:14PM
I suspect that the leadpipe that George Roberts used in all the procession of horns he endorsed was one rescued from one of his early horns... probably a Conn 70H pipe.... but the various makers had their own take on their production models... don't assume that Roberts endorsed models had faithful copies of his pipe in production instruments.

Chris Stearn
119  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Sep 18, 2016, 05:41AM
If You play a bass trombone with a generic GR leadpipe, it would probably be a worthwhile experiment to shave down the shank to fit further in replicating a brown & sharpe taper ( unless it is a priceless MV ) .. Does anyone here know  exactly how much further in the George Roberts mouthpeces fits into the receiver ? For instance the Kanstul or the Conn versions.. I have a couple  Yamaha 58 ' s to experiment with ( and my Holton tr 183 has a GR leadpipe ) .. Another question ; are the Kanstul and Conn GR pieces fitted with a Brown &Sharpe taper or a shaved down morse taper.. ?

Trond

I did this sort of shank shaving in the seventies and eighties.... wrecked almost as many mouthpieces as I did opening the throats. I would be very cautious about changing mouthpieces that work well in an effort to make them work even better.... it usually fails.

Chris Stearn
120  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Beginner Question Here: on: Sep 18, 2016, 05:35AM
At some point you may realise that playing a trombone is about YOU finding ways to get want you want out of IT.  Whatever equipment you choose it will be a bundle of vices and virtues... you can decide which qualities your equipment can have.... but you will have to work to make some elements come good.... whatever you choose.
Equipment never provides the answer, it just modifies the question.

Chris Stearn
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