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1088709 Posts in 71954 Topics- by 19317 Members - Latest Member: Whitewolf07
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61  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Stearn's law of leadpipes on: Aug 20, 2017, 12:57PM
This is so different from my experiences. Mr. Al Lube, my former teacher, told me a good trombone should play a good bugle call, in tune with itself, in the first 3 or four positions. This doesn't mean that it's in tune with an equal tempered tuner, but real music isn't played with one.

When changing lead pipes my experience is that it's frustrating to change lead pipes on trombones trying to fix intonation or tonal problems. Its amazing how little effect the leadpipe has on intonation. Provided the mouthpiece is a good match (a big if) I find it's best to pick the leadpipe for response (often confused with resistance, or slotting) and ease of playing. Does this leadpipe facilitate me in playing real music with my best sound?

I don't find it helpful to pick a leadpipe for sound or intonation. I pick the bell for sound, first of all!!! The bell and tuning slide should be a good match which gives (with most useable lead pipes) good sound and good intonation and then I fine tune it with leadpipe choice.

For example, with Shires large bore tenors: Pick the bell first (the  best one I have for sound is the Vintage New York) then the tuning slide (the X tuning slide gives me a good bugle call with just about any lead pipe or reasonable large bore mouthpiece) and then the leadpipe. All of the Shires leadpipes work, it's really no big deal, a #2 seems fine. A Bach leadpipe works just fine too,

On Bass I like the Shires BII bell better than the BI bell I have. This gives me my sound. Both the B and C tuning slides give a good bugle, but with a variety of leadpipes, the B tuning slide is tight down low, the C works for me better. Pick single or duo bore slide for breadth of tone (although the duo bore is also a little better down low and harder up high) But the Shires has a pretty big sound and I find the single bore is easier to play with a broad enough sound for general playing. It's also easier to blend with the tenor trombones. Then pick leadpipe for resistance, again most of the shires pipes work, a #2 is about right for me. A Bach 50 pipe works as do the Edwards pipes. I've tried other pipes too, GR pipes, minick and Herric pipes, conn pipes, Yamaha pipes. Non of these pipes alter the basic intonation of the bugle all that much.

So for me it's bell first for sound, match the tuning slide when you have a choice, if these give good sound and intonation, then leadpipe choice is not so hard. Fine tune the resistance for what's already a good bugle. Your results may be different, but this is what works for me.

I think we agonize over leadpipe pipes choices for two reasons-it's a lot easier to change than the rest of the horn, and sometimes we expect the leadpipe to change tendencies that are inherent in other parts of the instrument.

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with your view. A member of this forum who I greatly respect as a musician and one time instrument builder said to me that 'the further you get away from the face, the less impact changes have'. Over the years, I have found this to be a pretty astute observation. No way has my experience shown bells to be the most important piece of the jigsaw. Quite the opposite.
You say that you have tried leadpipes by Minick and Herrick.... really ? Made by them ? Not Kanstul 'copies' ? There is a Hell of a difference. Conn pipes ? New Conn pipes or Elkhart pipes ? Again, chalk and cheese. All Shires pipes the same ? Not on my face....
For me, even moving pipes in or out of the slide... the same pipe.... makes a considerable difference.
Funny how differently we see things....

Chris Stearn
62  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Stearn's law of leadpipes on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:47AM
As someone who has never experimented with leadpipes - maybe surprising but I've pretty much always played horns with fixed leadpipes and messed around with backbores - what about the intonation can change with a leadpipe?

In short everything....
Just looking at Conns and Raths at the moment... wild line up with some pipes... others I can live with and some are boring and in tune... Gabe nailed it.
Also how far the pipe goes in changes things just as mouthpiece shank projection does.

Chris Stearn
63  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Stearn's law of leadpipes on: Aug 20, 2017, 04:00AM
I might not be at the same level as Mr.Stearn but I thought I'd throw in my observations too. I feel very similar to you Mr.Stearn but I thought I'd reword things a bit  Evil

What I've noticed is that...

The worse the feel and the more interesting a pipe sounds, the more out of tune the harmonic series,
The better the feel and the less interesting a pipe sounds, the more in tune the harmonic series.

These are my observations in my Shires trying vintage Holton and Bach pipes, Shires pipes, and BrassArk pipes. When I say worse feel I mean that there might be some rough spots in the blow and have some quirky notes. When I say better feel I mean the blow is very smooth and there are little to no quirky notes.

Interesting is SUCH a good word..... and very much what we need when making music.
I generally (and there are exceptions) find that old pipes from classic trombones help less with tuning as they stand, but are less slotted than modern pipes, so you can fix things more easily at the face.

Chris Stearn
64  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Stearn's law of leadpipes on: Aug 20, 2017, 12:49AM
Well, not really... but I have noticed an unfortunate quality in a group of pipes I have been testing....

The better the feel and sound of a pipe, the more out of tune the harmonic series,
The worse the feel and sound of a pipe, the more in tune the harmonic series.

I am greedy.... I want feel, sound and a good harmonic series..... those pipes are rare birds indeed.

Chris Stearn
65  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 20, 2017, 12:44AM
It's been an interesting experiment, but I have been working this week, and that has been on a Mt Vernon 1 1/2G.... it never really got to the stage of the 2G being a real consideration.... it still hits places on my teeth that make it feel less than right. It did make me look for some old Conn leadpipes which have turned out quite well, at least on my modern Conn.

Chris Stearn
66  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Chip Hoehler on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:10AM
This is positive. Keeping fingers crossed.

Chris Stearn
67  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: How is Chip Hoehler? on: Aug 15, 2017, 12:37AM
Jonathan will update us when there is news. I suspect that he is still in a coma. He is in a hospital in Germany as far as I know.

Chris Stearn
68  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why Coprion? on: Aug 12, 2017, 02:42PM
... But that was made from sheet copper.  I don't think Mick had access to any electroforming equipment.  The difference would be the amount of work hardening the copper endured.

Still, all copper is VERY different from either Sterling Silver or pure Silver (SGX).

It was indeed formed from sheet..... by a forum member.... these bells are still very soft, though not electro formed. I was answering a question from Harrison about comparing sounds.

Chris Stearn
69  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why Coprion? on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:41PM
I have a Rath R9 with a copper bell. Mick offered that in the early days. I like it a lot. Not at all like silver. Very warm at low dynamics and gets interesting when louder. Great feedback to the player.

Chris Stearn
70  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Resting the horn on your shoulder. on: Aug 11, 2017, 12:45PM
Message for OP....
I have a short neck and play bass trombone....
I have rested the trombone... usually valve tube... on my shoulder for 50 years so far....
No problems yet....
Will keep you posted.....

Chris Stearn
71  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Contrabass tuning opinions on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:23AM
I didn't know there was an American system. Anyway, I set the Rath up so it could be used with pretty much ANY tuning... You get to choose.

Chris Stearn
72  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:18AM
No problem with being slightly off topic.... Just note that many of the world's greatest players have a chops break... or even several  of them.... others have no breaks.... and a few get to choose...

Chris Stearn
73  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Aug 09, 2017, 02:29PM
I desperately try to hear bass trombonists live when I can - but that is so few and far between where I am - out local symphony rarely has a full trombone compliment.  I found a guy that lives locally who is a top notch bass trombonist - I'm trying to get some lessons with him with 95% of the reason being that I just want to hear him up close.

I wish it weren't so hard.

You live in a beautiful part of the world... You can't have everything. Gabe is not so far away and makes a great sound. I will be in MA over Christmas... if you want to travel we could play some duets... beer keeps me happy.

Chris Stearn
74  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 09, 2017, 07:04AM
Chris do you know the differences, besides the wider rim, between the Rath B2 and B2W?

That's fairly easy... The B2 was a copy of a great MV Bach 2G..  with Rath throat and backbone.. . The B2W started out as a B2 to which was added a very wide rim which I re-shaped to be in the style of the Ray Premru rim.

Chris Stearn
75  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 11:56PM
May I ask the question, is the Rath B 1 1/2 a copy of Chris' beloved MV 1 1/2 G?

The B1 1/2W is a copy of a wide rim MV 1 1/2G that I own. The B1 1/2 was done away from me. All Raths have their own style bores and backbones so none are really copies.

Chris Stearn
76  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Efficiency/Pure Relaxation on: Aug 08, 2017, 10:07AM
It's about learning to only do what you have to do to get the result you want..... as you get older you HAVE to work that one out !

Chris Stearn
77  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 02:40AM
Thank you, Chris for clarifying.

Real bass trombone sound (old 2G):

Perfect bass trombone sound (old 1 1/2G):

Two of the all time greats.... and interesting that those sounds are not so far away from each other. I heard Ray play many times and it was even better live than any recording.

Chris Stearn
78  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 12:30AM
Mouthpieces that create a "real bass trombone sound" and a "perfect bass trombone sound"? I'm pretty skeptical of that. Especially seeing as there are so many different approaches and sounds that are considered to be good Bass trombone playing, whatever that means. If you are able to create the perfect bass sound by just plugging in a particular brand of mouthpiece from a particular set of years, I would sure love to hear it!

Mouthpieces do not DO anything.... they ALLOW the player to do things. The player creates the sound. I have found with my students that moving to a 2G has allowed them to make a darker richer sound (in the conceptual context we work in here) .
For some stupid and frustrating reason, the bass mouthpieces made by Bach in the NY and MV years allow great sounds and have a great feel and have yet to be replicated in a meaningful way.... some are close... none are there... even those stamped Bach.
I think we have to accept that most Americans and most Brits are on a completely different page with equipment and concept. You can admire a musician even if you don't want to sound like them..... look at traditional sports cars in the UK and US... Corvette Stingray v MGB.... the 'vette is all about power for big long straight roads.... the MGB is gutless but goes round bends and is small enough for our little windy roads.... each is great in it's own setting... each is a puzzle in the wrong place.

Chris Stearn
79  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 02:46PM
To Tbarh: Definitely. The rim is only so much of the equation. To me, the 2G ish rim allows for insane lows as well as F5 - F#5 (on tenor), but I suspect that what Chris is talking about in the 2G has way more to do with cup and rim contours, as well as the shape and size of the throat.

It makes me wonder if you could get the two different sounds Chris mentioned (the 2G UK sound and the American sound) by keeping the 2G rim size and contour, but changing up the cup and throat to match the larger "american" sounding mouthpieces.

The Monette BT2 would fit the small rim big elsewhere idea I suppose... does not work for me... dull in a kinda bright way...

Chris Stearn
80  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 02:16PM
I think at least in this country, the attractiveness of the sound of the 2G is not in question.... though that is a different story in other places. I have seen, or more accurately heard, a new generation here embrace these old mouthpieces to very good effect.
I suspect that my dental structure will push me back to the 1 1/2G , but it is really fun to try this old warhorse in my downtime and learn a little about how to get it to work.
What is becoming apparent is that the fit of the mouthpiece in the pipe is crucial. Resistance changes with the distance the shank goes in... look up old Sam Burtis posts about Teflon tape.... fit is critical.

Chris Stearn
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