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1069803 Posts in 70998 Topics- by 18772 Members - Latest Member: adireccional
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4841  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / what would you change? on: May 05, 2004, 03:57PM
Mike talks about mouthpieces on Saxes. I think there is some of the same effect on trombones- at least bass and symph. tenor. Modern large mouthpieces change the sound in a very basic way. Trouble is that many people cannot produce the sort of results expected today on older type mouthpieces (loud flexible pedal range on a Bach 2G for example)
Chris Stearn.
4842  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / What kind of car do you drive? on: May 04, 2004, 03:41PM
Anthony, The '48 has a 1600cc 'sideplate' engine- as original, but a factory recon. The '58 LWB Stn Wgn, rare until you want to sell it !!
Oh, the '48 has a capstan winch, rear PTO, with pully, trafficators, and clayton heater, I also have a '49 brockhouse to tow behind it.
Chris Stearn.
4843  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Trombone Questions on: May 04, 2004, 03:32PM
I totally agree with every word of Ed's posts except one. There is a good web site for a more detailed understanding of trombone history, and that is the site that Ed runs for the British Trombone Society. Go to OTJ links, and visit that site. Ed is too modest to mention it.
Chris Stearn.
4844  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / difference in mouthpieces on: May 04, 2004, 03:21PM
Use one mouthpiece if you are still developing. You need to establish a memory of feel for the notes you play, to do this find a good mouthpiece and stick to it. What's good ? depends on you. Find a REALLY good teacher, and ask them to recommend a good mouthpiece for your physical set-up. Get it and stick with it.
You need an expert to look and listen to you play.
Chris Stearn.
4845  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / what would you change? on: May 04, 2004, 03:12PM
Well John,
When we were talking about the sound of older trombones, I don't think we were looking quite that far back !  As far as I am concerned, I've never, ever heard a better bass trombone sound than George Roberts, and I've always wanted to produce an orchestral version of it. Now I'm never going to be George, but I have kept looking for that quality, which I think recent symphony styles are miles away from. My dependant Rath, with bronze slide and 9 3/8" bell in a pre-war type yellow brass, has a very similar sound to my 1934 Conn 70H, only bigger. Still very focussed, but bigger.
I hope that the future is rich, but compact, with more character than the present crop of heavy-bell monsters allow for.
French Horns became gross in the 70's but then the tide turned, and more and more pro sections are playing classic instruments like Alexanders .
Do the monster bones really sound musical ????
I shall stand back and warm my hands on the flames !
Chris Stearn.
4846  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / what would you change? on: May 03, 2004, 03:09PM
My latest Rath bass gives exactly the sound and blow that I've always wanted. It's taken me years to get there, and although it is a total joy, I would advise against spending too much time fussing around in the search for the perfect trombone- no substitute for hard work.
Chris Stearn.
4847  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / What kind of car do you drive? on: May 03, 2004, 11:51AM
On the Land rover front, I've owned :
A 1960 SWB Diesel
A 1969 SWB Lightweight (V8 conversion)
A 1958 series 1 LWB station wagon
A 1974 Range Rover
A 1953 80" Series 1
A 1949 80" Series 1
A 1957 88" Series 1
A 1972 LWB Series 3 Dormobile camper
A 1973 SWB Lightweight
A 1948 80" Series 1
A 1958 88" Series 1
I still own the last two- the '58 is on the road and the '48 is awaiting it's second restoration after about 150,000 trouble free miles in a ten year period. Always wanted a 101" FC.
'48 80" is the best beast I've owned.
Chris Stearn.
4848  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Contrabass Trombone on: May 02, 2004, 03:27PM
Acti- do you mean Alexander ? I've tried one of those that was pretty poor.
The Haag is no revolution, just a good model. I say again, contras have been in regular use in Europe right through the 20th C. not that they have been a big deal, but let's face it, it is a unique sound, and one that composers will probably not rush to exploit.
Let's see if Kanstul and Rath can run with the ball, and move the contra thing on another step.
Chris Stearn.
4849  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Contrabass Trombone on: May 02, 2004, 02:23PM
No, we don't have Haag and Kanstul to thank for decent usable contras. The first 'contras' (Ed S. will tell you that only a BBb is a real contra) that were really usable were made in Germany in the 1920's. The first instruments were in F with independant valves to Eb and Bb- the Dresden system. The Latzch that I use is built to the same system.
I have played a very early model, and recorded a sound clip of it for the Reid collection of instruments at Edinburgh University. It is very playable, and I would not hesitate to use it in performance- I have recently been asked to play it for a Rheingold performance, but I may not be released from the Opera to do it.
Players in Europe have been using the contra on a regular basis for years.
I did five Ring cycles last year, and was playing contra from Febuary to November, including some chamber music.
I am helping Mick Rath in the design of a new contra, which will follow the Dresden pattern, and will feature Hagmann valves, and will sound like a trombone, not a slide tuba.
Chris Stearn.
4850  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / What kind of car do you drive? on: May 02, 2004, 06:50AM
Quote from: "Mechbone"
Quote from: "blast"
Find my picture on the Rath site and work out what it is I'm sitting on.
They only made a few !
Chris Stearn.

I've always wondered..... What cost more the car you're sitting on or the trombone you're holding?  Good!  :-P


The car cost way more and is forever costing money. One more big bill and I sell !  The Rath makes money and never gives me trouble. That's why I now have three Raths, but still only one Jensen. I feel a return to Land-Rovers ahead.
Chris Stearn.
4851  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / What kind of car do you drive? on: May 01, 2004, 03:47PM
Find my picture on the Rath site and work out what it is I'm sitting on.
They only made a few !
Chris Stearn.
4852  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / freeer blowing valves on: May 01, 2004, 02:30PM
Conns did make Thayer based trombones in the past- several students here have 88H's with them, and I tried a Thayer 112H bass.
I have tried Thayers (4 years professionally) CL's (just on tenors) Kanstuls, Rotax (several experimental Rath setups) Greenhoe, K-valve and most rotors. I play Hagmanns, but mostly because that is part of the Rath design. I have tried lots of trombones with aftermarket valves, and I think that many were not good instruments. Greenhoe is an exception as he fits the valves in-house, and modifies the horn so that it works with his valves.
Not only do different valves blow differently when in use, but they also change the blow of the basic trombone. Mick Rath has refined the range of trombones to work with the Hagmann valve. If you want a Hagmann buy a Rath. If you want a free blowing Conn, go to Greenhoe. I have yet to play a trombone that works REALLY well with different valves, but I have only tried Shires on trade stands, so I'll wait and see.
The bass trombone in the RSNO has recently bought a used Shires, so it will be shake-down time soon !!
Chris Stearn.
4853  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / In-slide tuning vs. tapered slide tubes on: May 01, 2004, 02:05PM
I have a slightly lateral view of how this slide-tuning thing came about.
I the 19th C. most German trombones were made without tuning slide (as they always had been) and featured a long playing slide, with totally conical bell section. Into the 20th C. German makers started to put a tuning slide in the bell section, though some makers built it into the slide section, to retain the conical bell.
Many of the old non-tuning slide German trombones found their way to the states as European players made their way to the US to fill positions in the emerging orchestras. As they wore out players requested copies from American makers, who looked to preserve the basic design, so placed a tuning slide in the playing slide. I know that Holton made a no-tuning slide copy of a German trombone, and suspect that the slide tuning Conns had their origins in this way.
Chris Stearn.
4854  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Send in the clones... on: Apr 30, 2004, 02:04PM
To answer the original question- during development of the Rath R9 TIS bass, Mick made an exact copy of a Conn 62H. This was exact in every detail, weights, alloys etc. etc. It played just like an Elkhart 62H, all the good AND bad points ! When comparing it to an R9 in the pit, we kept refering to it as 'the Conn' as in terms of feel and sound, that's what it was.
I played a 62H for many years and the copy was spooky- all the feel of a Conn. Don't ask to buy it, as it was taken apart and used for other experiments after it had served it's purpose.
All the R9 hooters are better anyway !!
Chris Stearn.
4855  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Pics of new SE Shires valve on: Apr 27, 2004, 04:07PM
Well done SES. Hype of the year award.
Chris Stearn.
4856  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / can new Conns hold a nice FF? on: Apr 25, 2004, 03:27AM
Quote from: "fin"
Chris:  I'm not even sure you can say the Elkharts project better than the new Conns.  The gen 2 horns have soldered bell rims and have a slightly more compact sounding core to their sound.  I have played one enough recently and I have found that it projects very well (it is a "T" bell).

It also handles a FF just fine, just like any other Conn 88 or 8 that I have played over the years.


Well, I did say it !!!!
I also said that it might be the players.
Modern Conns are different. Better ? Worse ? you decide. I've sat next to both, some sounded better than others, but that is the player.
King 4B's have soldered rims and are made in the same factory- they don't project past your feet.  Grin
Chris Stearn.
4857  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / custom bones why bother ?? on: Apr 24, 2004, 03:15PM
Why bother ?  No bother at all, really. It's about reducing bother. The sound you want. The blow you want. Built for YOU.
If you don't know what sound you want, or what blow you want, then 'custom' trombones might be wasted on you- BUT- what if you went into a shop, tried loads of horns and the one you happened to like the best was a 'custom' ? Well, it's not customised for YOU but it's still the horn you like the best. That's the thing- the custom makers make trombones that are basically great- Edwards, Shires, Rath- you can pick up examples in a shop that you will love, but you can also take things a stage further- you can fine tune one of these trombones to be just what you dreamed of, in sound and blow. Now, you may find that a stock Conn or Bach totally fits the bill for you- if so, you are lucky to save some cash, but it's nice to have those other options out there.
Part of the custom package is the provision of expert help when selecting a trombone, and I think that is true for all the custom makers.
Chris Stearn.
4858  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / can new Conns hold a nice FF? on: Apr 24, 2004, 02:42PM
This stuff about Conn 88H's not being able to hold ff is utter rubbish. Not projecting ? Rubbish again. Schoolboy myths. Could Denis Wick play ff and project ? Derek James for years in the Royal Philhormonic ? How about Dudley Bright, present principal of the LSO ? Lance Green in the RSNO- I played with him a few weeks ago and can assure you that he can play an Elkhart Conn 88H at REAL volume with a great sound. Common factor ? Talent and hard work.
Oh, and from listening in concert halls, Elkharts project better than the new models- but then again it might just be the players.
Chris Stearn.
4859  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Wallace Practice Mutes on: Apr 22, 2004, 02:24PM
I got the very latest version of the Bass trombone practice mute from the maker today. Just great- and no problem with fit. Edwards bells are bigger than any other at the throat, but Wallace can supply a mute to fit. OK, the maker is a friend, and I helped in the development, I admit it, BUT, just try the mute- it rocks !!
Chris Stearn.
4860  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / H.N. White silver "King" c. 1910 on: Apr 22, 2004, 02:08PM
Our principal trombone has the same model King in his collection. I tried it today and found it to be a great trombone !
Chris Stearn.
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