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1069849 Posts in 71003 Topics- by 18772 Members - Latest Member: adireccional
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81  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 14, 2017, 10:27AM
How do Rath's or other modular horns figure in this as the stress, or lack of, is controlled by the tension applied to the bell parts by the user? The fixings would sometimes undo on my R10..

Plenty of places for stress to lurk in a modular horn... anywhere in the slide... the valve section build... tuning slide... as far as modular connection... everything should fit together perfectly, then it will not be stressed.. the bell connect is a locking thread, which should be okay.
I had solid build early Raths... I converted them to modular... they played just as well.... at least for me.

Chris Stearn
82  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 14, 2017, 03:25AM
"so I prefer instruments with more mass". But "more" mass absorbs "more" of the energy you are putting into the horn, meaning "less" energy projecting.

Yes, parts "should" fit together with no stress "before" solder is applied, however stress can most certainly be induced "when" applying solder. Metal changes shape when it heats/cools, and solder and brass heat/cool very differently. If you don't understand this, and don't take it into account when soldering, then you are guaranteeing stress is induced,regardless of the fit prior to solder.


Comments from someone who knows... thanks.
I have noticed that some makers build up horns with all parts fitting very snugly... Holton for example... and others build up with quite a loose fit, so used more solider... like Elkhart Conns. Less chance of stress with looser fit ?
Number of braces and their position is very important to feel.

Chris Stearn
83  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Roy Benson trombones on: Apr 13, 2017, 02:50PM
Copy of a bad copy?  That is scary!

The Jin Bao that looks like a King 7B is not in fact a copy.... I have checked them. The Jin Bao might be a bad copy... but it plays quite well when judged on it's own merits.

Chris Stearn
84  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 13, 2017, 02:46PM
I think it's more than stress or tension. For example, most Conns I've played ring to some extent. My 88h rings on F#, 79h rings on high A. My 70h rings on just about any note. Some a little, some so much it's distracting. The Rath horns I've played tend not to resonate this way. The Raths are without a doubt great horns, they just don't resonate in the same way that a lot of old Conns do. Before I was able to identify what was different between the Conns I'm so used to and the Rath I was just testing, I thought the Raths were kind of dead. Once I realized it was just the difference in the way the horn physically vibrated in my hands, I was ok with it. But I'm still just an old conn guy at heart. I don't think anyone would suggest that Raths are poorly assembled, so the presence or lack of resonance must come from another source in addition to the internal tension.

It is very nice to feel that a trombone is 'alive' in your hands.... I have a Holton that I worked on to get this effect... but the downside with that horn was that it felt a bit too hard to control at higher dynamics. I recently swapped the valve section and took the chance to add bracing with the aim of creating a better overall response.... I was lucky and got exactly what i wanted.
Raths.... stress free assembly... but they are braced to work well over the entire dynamic range... so may well not have that 'alive in the hands' type of feel. Careful choice of materials and leadpipe will ensure plenty of life in the sound. Too many people put together a dull sounding combo.... in my humble opinion.

Chris Stearn
85  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Intrumens from 19 and 20 century on: Apr 12, 2017, 10:47AM
The Bb/F Piering is mine... on loan to the collection. The Stowasser Bb/F was mine.

Chris Stearn
86  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 10, 2017, 10:08AM
She's off to Andy Clennell in a couple of weeks, he has an idea that will sort it.

That's good... Andy seems very keen to do this sort of thing.... he is even talking about building his own bass trombone model.

Chris Stearn
87  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Straight Numbered Bachs on: Apr 09, 2017, 11:55PM
I use a MV 11 in small trombone and bass trumpet.... but I don't get paid to use them very often.  I modified the rim a little. Works for me.

Chris Stearn
88  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you stop using excessive pressure in the high register? on: Apr 09, 2017, 11:00AM
I have had extremely good results from Skype lessons and it has enabled me to teach players all over the world who otherwise wouldn't have access.  Quite a few from this forum.

And I've had to deal with players who have ended up more confused after Skype lessons... I will have to respectfully differ from you on this one Doug.

Chris Stearn
89  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you stop using excessive pressure in the high register? on: Apr 09, 2017, 06:59AM
To get a good high range, I make sure I'm getting a good buzz. Practice buzzing with no mouthpiece. Small aperture, big air support. Buzz ascending scales just a couple minutes a day, and you will feel a difference in a few days. If the chops can make the high pitch just from buzzing, you don't need mouthpiece pressure beyond what it takes to make the seal.

That works....
Sounds simple... as most good advice does, but can be tricky to do by yourself..
 best see a good teacher one-to-one. I am not convinced that skype is a good medium for this kind of work.

Chris Stearn
90  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Bell that overblows on: Apr 09, 2017, 12:13AM
It is a Yamaha YBL-620G.  The bell is actually gold brass; I said red brass above.

Yeah, maybe I just need to learn how to play it differently.  And I own or have tried several other basses that don't do it.  But it makes sense that I need to play it the way it wants to be played.  I will work on it. 

You got it ! I had a student with one of those... he sounded great, but he thought it was too bright at loud volumes... he wasn't.... but he changed to a horn that he feels better about... took him almost a year to get the sound back, but now we are both happy ! See how you feel with it.

Chris Stearn
91  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 08, 2017, 05:51AM
Chris, who would you say is capable of that kind of work in U.K.?......

That's not so easy.... Mick Rath is the obvious person, though custom projects will always run second to making his own instruments. Adrian Jarvis does great work, though I don't know how much custom work he does and Andy Clenell in Birmingham is looking like developing that side of things.

Chris Stearn
92  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 08, 2017, 12:56AM
Chris I told Kim that we now need to return to Scotland so I can try the Holton with the new valve set.  :)

No, no, we can come to you  :D :D :D

93  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 07, 2017, 12:39AM
Hey Chris, how's the Brasslab valveset working out?


I thought you might be interested.... luckily, they give me just what I was looking for... more slotted and solid in upper dynamics, more matched between open and valve notes. What I lose is the vibrancy and life at very low dynamics.... though it is still great in ppp .... just in a different way. The instrument is physically heavier now too.
I took the valves off my modern Conn, fitting that with the Minick set, built from Conn parts... and have gained a more Conn-like response in the low register of that instrument as a result... so it's a win win.
Chris Stearn
94  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: flutter tongue on pedal E on: Apr 06, 2017, 02:22PM
The clue is in the words 'multiphonics no particular pitch'.... this is a composer who does not really know what they want and what instruments can do. Multiphonics  should be specific... but then the composer needs to know what they are doing...

Chris Stearn
95  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 06, 2017, 08:51AM
Chris S,

Speaking of valve wraps, do you happen to have any Holton bass valve tubing lying around spare that I could monetarily compensate you for? Or does anyone else, for that matter?

The reason I ask: Remember the long D slide I had made for the second valve of the independent 169? It's a clear blowing improvement over the combination of two valves with standard length slides, but it was made out of spare 88H bits - so the bore is smaller than would match (being .562 vs the desired .585). This is (I feel) readily discerned in the blowing and sound response, and I would like to try it with a valve slide made of correctly-dimensioned parts.

Am I right in thinking that any Holton bass valve tubing from later models will do, Holton never having changed from .585 bore?
Valve tube size changed during the 169 run... I may have tube... we should PM about this.
96  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 06, 2017, 05:35AM
I wasn't trying to start a new business for you Chris. Just trying to make a humorous statement.

Ha Ha ! I was just making sure that our resident techs don't think I am trying to jump on the' band-aid 'wagon...
Perhaps when I retire.... no plans for that yet though...


P.S.  you should know better than to try and inject humour into the forum.... wraps are serious  Amazed Amazed Don't know Don't know Bad dog.  No Biscuits. Bad dog.  No Biscuits. Yeah, RIGHT. Yeah, RIGHT. :/ :/
97  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 06, 2017, 12:31AM
Yes well I meant in the UK.

I think Bill is referring to the fact that twos weeks ago I rebuilt and installed a set of Minick built indi rotors on my Conn bass and this week installed a Brasslab built indi section in my Holton 169. All work on my own horns... I don't do work for others for money... that is a whole different gig. I have done work for friends, but not for money... and sold on some frankenbones after they were built. I have tried open wrap second valve tubes on a 62H and closed wrap versions and could find no real differences between them, so the OP should go for a less open wrap that gets out of the way of his neck.

Chris Stearn
98  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Sackbut questions/reviews on: Apr 05, 2017, 03:17PM
What is a real sackbut! When is a instrument bad? If we are talking about intonation, the "real" sackbuts I played, meaning not copies, but trombones made in the 16th and 17th centuary, they all intonatate very different from modern trombones, and more, very different from modern "real" sackbuts, s.c. good copies.
The B&M/Giardinelli "sackbut is a pretty good horn to play, it is not really a sackbut though, it has a lead pipe and a conical gooseneck, that is why it is so good for playing, Does it sound like a sackbut? Not if you ask me. I did play that horn som years in the 70th, yes it sound nice and have good intonation. But it is fake.
There is some talk about the Finke horns, I played Finke bass Eb in the 60th, well that was the sackbut you could get by then. Was it good or bad? Well there was nothing to compare with, I used it in proffesionell occasions.
When you talk about Finke, do you talk about those first copies or the late copies made in 2015?
Whery different!

About "hackbuts", some time they was used by proplayers I know. The problem with hackbuts is not the thicknes in the bell as much as the profile of bell, the gooseneck and the leadpipe.

Wery different from "real" sackbuts? Not really. I say "real" sackbuts are most often wery different from the original sackbuts, and the original sackbuts do differe from each other wery much.
Think about this: most sackbuts are gone! We only have a few original sackbuts to copy. I played a bass made in around 1637, fantastc horn. Not anything like any of the best "real" sackbuts made today.

Sorry about that.

If you want to "hack around" to feel what sackbut playing is about, a well "hacked" hackbut can be used as a start until the real thing comes along.

The most important is how you play the music. That is the big deal when it comes to music of all times.

Very well said. You have been through the whole period of discovery of this early music for performance... the' hackbut years'... and seen how things have developed. VERY interesting to hear your comments on original instruments... so few of us have ever played them.

Chris Stearn
99  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Sackbut questions/reviews on: Apr 05, 2017, 03:24AM
It's not an argument for playing 'bad' instruments... it's a question of where do you draw the line.
The one area I have to consider personally is that late 18th early 19th c period, music from which I have to play professionally.
So.... we are required to play 'small bores' .... whatever that means, in our contract.... natural trumpets can be required, as can baroque timps.... but all other instruments remain unchanged moderns... including horns. Our regularly used compromises bear no relation to original equipment and I think the whole situation is unsatisfactory. I would quite like to see instruments made that would do a better job than modern small bore trombones, but would be happy to use chromed slides and slide/bell locks.
Bad instruments.... there are amazing performers that spend hours getting 19th c original instruments able to play to modern standards of intonation... amazing indeed, but some of these instruments are probably the equivalent of modern Chinese low end products... mass produced for town and military bands in central Europe... should we try to revive these instruments simply because they are old ???
I was doing some recording work with Ian Bousfield earlier this year and he tried the c. 1850 A F Piering I was using... I may well mis-quote him, but he said something along the lines of being very impressed that the harmonic series was as good as modern trombones, whereas he had yet to play a Sattler/Penzel that had a decent harmonic series. Even the high stuff was not that user friendly.. at least in the early days of the large bore trombone.
The very small trombones produced by Hawkes and by Courtois in the latter 19th and early 20th c were fine instruments to play, though made of heavier material to cope with the bands and orchestras of the period.... could a lighter copy of these be a start point for a classical trombone ?

Chris Stearn

100  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Sackbut questions/reviews on: Apr 05, 2017, 12:30AM
90% of orchestral music is played on the wrong trombones.... very little of the orchestral repertoire was written for the modern monsters... and don't tell me that playing the period instruments would not make a difference, because it would. Same with playing jazz from the 20's 30's and 40's.... different sounds from different instruments. It is nice to play these musics on the original instruments, as long as EVERYBODY in a group does so.... but how many can afford such a collection of instruments ?.... to cover most equipment from 1850 involves a huge investment.. and a lot of storage space....
How many instruments would you need to cover the much greater period from 1550 to 1850 ??? You cannot say that one size fits all through this period surely ?
Every player compromises to some extent... or runs a museum.... I can see very different ideas of compromise in the performance of music of different periods...

Chris Stearn
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