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1076860 Posts in 71275 Topics- by 18956 Members - Latest Member: StanleyD
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4841  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Wick Bass Mouthpieces on: Jul 15, 2004, 02:37PM
A friend just sent me two Ferguson L's to try. If you are looking for a wider rim 1 1/4 G size piece, this is a very, very fine option. It's the only one I've tried that's close to what I play on. Worth a try.
Chris Stearn.
4842  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Pro tec cases on: Jul 14, 2004, 03:52PM
Quote from: "Nick_Hayes"
Quote from: "deanmccarty"
It amazes me that someone will spend $2000 - $4000 for an instrument and then turn around and put it in a sub-par case or on a flimsy stand.

Dean, what amazes me is that the top line manufacturer's will SELL you a $2000-$4000 instrument and provide you with a below-par case!

If Yamaha and Jupiter can put inexpensive student instruments in compact, sturdy fitted cases, why can't UMI and Selmer do the same with professional horns like Conns, Kings, Bachs, etc.

Its not just an American disease -- one of my colleagues here has a Rath bass with a single digit serial number and he said: mr rath makes sensational trombones, but terrible cases!

We are talking about premium quality instruments!

Take premium cars... BMW and Mercedes Benz do not put Kumho tyres on their cars at delivery and leave it to the buyer to fit Michelins!

If you charter a plane instead of catching an airliner, they don't drop you on the tarmac -- they call a limo to pick you up and someone puts your bags in the trunk for you!

If you take your wife to dinner for your anniversary, you  don't fetch your own paper towels like you do at MacDonalds --- you sit down and a fine restaurant will have a Maitre de who ensures that everything you need and more is brought to you....

Thats what you can expect when you purchase a premium product or service in any industry in a first world economy in the 21st century.... unless you are buying a professional quality trombone!

And we accept this!

Mr Rath does not make cases at all. He supplies his trombones with whatever case you want to pay for. Pro-tec (to return to the subject) have been used a lot, but so have several other makers products.
If a really safe, good looking, affordable case was available, Mick Rath would recommend it. Nothing ticks all the boxes at the moment.
Come on, pro-tec, go the extra mile and build a really great case.
Chris Stearn.
4843  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Bass trombone recommendations? on: Jul 14, 2004, 03:20PM
The Bach 50B can be great or terrible. I've walked into a music store, tried a 50B, and had to walk out with it. Other times, I've tried new 50B's that really didn't work at all.
If you really have to have a Bach, be prepared to try about 30 to find a really good one. If buying new, they change a lot as you blow them in too.
Noah gave really good advice- read it over and go for it.
Chris Stearn.
4844  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Conn 5H - or part thereof on: Jul 14, 2004, 03:04PM
Yes John, you're right there. For a period in the late 50's and early 60's the Besson stay work looked quite like Conn. The giveaway is that they are rounded where they wrap onto the tubing, whereas the Conn stays are diamond shaped there.
Chris Stearn.
4845  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Conn 5H - or part thereof on: Jul 13, 2004, 02:31PM
I think DJ is right about the Besson slide, but even worse, that tuning slide is Besson too !!
It's a bitsa.
Joys of ebay.
Chris Stearn.
4846  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Besson specs on: Jul 13, 2004, 02:17PM
They turn old Bessons into lamp stands over here.
10-10 was the top model at that time. 8-10 probably next down.
Very solid build.
Not sought after here.
Chris Stearn.
4847  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Tips for William Tell O. Excerpt on: Jul 12, 2004, 12:00PM
When you actually play the piece, in an audition or in the orchestra, you will find the long notes the hardest to play well. It's mostly a breath control problem. Try playing the whole excerpt on a middle F, every note. You will STILL find it hard.
For audition, play it as fast as you can, to ease the breath problem, and don't play a Wagner ff- keep it under control.
I once played it at a Pavarotti concert, under his musical director, and it was so fast that my slide-tuning bass could not move fast enough. I resorted to a bell- tuning bass for the concert and it was fine !
Chris Stearn.
4848  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Rath Trombones on: Jul 11, 2004, 03:52PM
Quote from: "drahthaar"
Quote from: "trombeanbloke"
What have i been telling you guys all this time, listen to uncle Bean!!!!! Clever  Grin

Bean: Have you had a chance to compare the Roths with the Shires line?

Ah ! an attempt at a Rath v Shires slant.

As far as the basses go.... they are very different....you have to try them......then make up your own mind.
Chris Stearn. Grin
4849  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Wick Bass Mouthpieces on: Jul 11, 2004, 02:27PM
Actually Kevin, there are mouthpieces out there that work for no one. Range fillers are one type- a bass mouthpiece that goes with a load of tenor pieces in order to complete the range, but has never been really tested or thought about, or perhaps the other way round- a small commercial piece that fills out a symphonic range. It happens. Then there are the mouthpieces by oddball players/teachers that were made as a money spinner but failed. There are some bad lumps of brass out there (I'm not saying that any of the Wicks fall into this area) that will NEVER be made to work, no matter how impressive they look.
Just because it was made, don't assume it was played. :)
Chris Stearn.
4850  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Rath Trombones on: Jul 10, 2004, 10:46AM
Good combo, Jeff.
I use a NY bell myself- the prototype- most of the time. TIS works well, but I havn't changed as I have three basses, so it would cost a fortune, and I like my slides the way they are.
The bell number code has already been given, and as for the NY, it is a brass very like that used by some US companys before WW2, though mine was marked up YG....all part of the fun.
A toy to think about is the nickel silver bell- instant response, but a dark sound that holds together to fffff.  Again, this is a specific type of nickel silver that Rath originally found in Germany.
The leadpipe should be stamped R9 at the end that slots into the slide.
It's a great pipe- I've tried dozens, but have always prefered the standard model.
Chris Stearn.
4851  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / What Happened to the Rath Mouthpieces? on: Jul 09, 2004, 03:50PM
The mouthpiece range has taken so much time because there are soooo many variables with mouthpieces, and the prototypes have been subject to many different reactions. I'm afraid that I went off with the model that I worked on and Mick never saw it again !! It may join the range in the future if I can be parted with it long enough for it to be copied- nobody else tried that one, so I might be it's only fan. The range about to happen has been extensivley tested and subject to constant revision, so it will be interesting to see how they turn out when tested against other designs.
Production pieces will look a little different to the protos and should be ready in few weeks. Models from small tenor to large bass. Price TBA.
I expect the website will carry the latest info soon.
Chris Stearn.
4852  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Rath alto bone on: Jul 09, 2004, 03:32PM
Yes, the alto is next after the contra. It came up in conversation with one of the team today.
Chris Stearn.
4853  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Rath Trombones on: Jul 09, 2004, 03:17PM
Congrats Jeff.
What spec bass did you settle for ?
I may be able to suggest some tempting extras  Grin  Grin  Evil  Evil
Chris Stearn.
4854  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / pull to E on: Jul 07, 2004, 04:08PM
Slopply terminology on my part Ed. I had 1939 in mind as a start to WW2, which is wrong in US terms, of course.
As for the 70H models, the list seems to be up the wall as far as known examples are concerned.
My 70H is .562 bore, not 547/562 as it is supposed to be. Alistair Sinclair has another 1934 70H that is a Fuches type model.
What I intended to say was that your 70H is in the post war style (up to 1955) with it's longer slide, different wrap and softer metal- same as George Roberts used.
Sam Burtis has a .547/.562 70H from the thirties.
Doug Yeo used to own an even earlier Conn bass that looked to be very close to my 70H.
Perhaps we should start a register !
Chris Stearn.
4855  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Yellow vs. Gold brass bell for Orchestral playing on: Jul 07, 2004, 02:07PM
If you are really talking professional orchestras, there are two big factors that are not often considered. One is tradition- particular orchestras make particular sounds, and select players who fit into the section sound and style. People sometimes change instruments in their first year or so to fit better into the team.
The really big one is the hall. Most pro orchestras play mostly in one place, and that often dictates in a big way what you can and cannot use to get the best result. The hall is everything.
If you know the character of the orchestra's hall, the rest usually makes perfect sense.
Chris Stearn.
4856  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Rath Trombones on: Jul 07, 2004, 01:09PM
Yes, the start points for the small horns and the symphony tenors and basses were different. Whilst Mick did look at specific horns in the development stage, it's the development that is important. The first Bach basses copied the old Fuches Conn (I had a proto. with Conn type leadpipe and slide bow) but they developed in their own way, then the Holton 169 bass was developed from a Bach bass. A few weeks ago, I put together a Rath with the same combination of materials as on the Holton 169. A long-time Holton player liked it a lot. The basic design of all those horns is still close. Others have gone away happy with a Bach like spec or a Conn like spec. They were all Raths though. Blow and sound were all of a family, just with different leanings.
Some people will not like them. Fact. No trombone, however flexible, suits all players.
Noah was exactly right when he refused to be drawn into a Rath v Shires debate. As he said, try them.
If a horn is good enough, it can stand competition.
Those of us that play Raths are happy if you like them, but just as happy if your ideal lies elsewhere- as long as you have given them a fair trial.
Chris Stearn.
4857  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / pull to E on: Jul 07, 2004, 12:28PM
A small point about 'long slide' Conns. The 70H had a shorter slide, just like the later 60H until just after WW2. My 1934 70H has a shorter slide than your 70H, Ed. The longer slide was an improvement by Burkle, and went along with a modified F wrap that allowed a longer slide pull. These features continued on the 71H, 72H and 73H, though the last one, being a two-valve, lacked the long F pull.
The pre war 70H did have more conical tube and the bells were made differently, with different metal temper. They blow a little differently.
Chris Stearn.
4858  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / New Shires Tru-Bore valve on: Jun 29, 2004, 05:03PM
OK Dave, I think it's best we draw a line under this now. What was just a bit of banter changed for me when Dale and Shires parted. I have no idea why that has happened, and it's none of my business, but I know that it shouldn't be dragged into this forum.
I'm sorry if I thought for a minute that the virus from Shires was anything to do with Dale- that was a lack of internet understanding on my part, and the virus was probably not from the Shires site at all- it was still an annoying thing to get, wherever it came from.
I think it's worth saying that I have no contact with bean, and what he says, and how he interprets my posts are his own thing.
Although I play Rath and help with projects, I've never been paid a cent by Mick, and I hope I remain reasonably objective in the advice I give. I can remember recommending all sorts of trombones in the past on this forum, and suggesting a little practice instead of a new instrument quite often.
I'm not pro or anti this new valve, just interested to get through the hype and see what it really is. It's a little side show compared with the job of making music, and not worth falling out over.
Chris Stearn.
4859  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / New Shires Tru-Bore valve on: Jun 29, 2004, 03:13PM
Dan H ,
He might not have been serious, but the way Dave put things will lead every high school kid to believe that manufacturers are deadly rivals, trashing each other and their products all the time.
The real world is just not like that.
What I have seen is great mutual respect throughout the industry- after all, they all have to put up with musicians !
Manufacturers do talk to each other, do exchange ideas, do help each other in material ways and do regard trashing other's products as unacceptable.
Sure, they compete, check each others instruments, try to innovate and develop ahead of their rivals, but it's an adult, reasonable environment, where good practice is important.
Dale parting with Shires IS serious and I don't think it should become a topic for casual banter on this forum.
Chris Stearn.
4860  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / New Shires Tru-Bore valve on: Jun 29, 2004, 02:19PM
Dave- that's offensive.
The guys at Rath spent a lot of time with Dale at the recent ITF, as I'm sure Dale would tell you.
Dale is posting on Sam's site, and replying to posts that I have made.
Don't try and start any wars here.
As for the closeness of the Hagmann and Shires designs, it is self evident that there are basic connections, but development differences.
To me, the idea of main tube entering the sides of the valve and F tube connecting on the other face, puts both valves very much together as variations on the same concept, but probably only to the extent that the CL valve looks to have used the big Yamaha valve as a start point.
Bottom line,
Stay calm,
Check when you last saw a flame from a Rath employee,
Then say sorry.
Chris Stearn (NOT a Rath employee)
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