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Author Topic: Bach Trombones  (Read 1533 times)
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seanschramm
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« on: May 18, 2017, 12:49PM »

Hey Y'all,

So a buddy of mine and I were talking about trombone brands last night and he went on a rant about how poorly made Bach trombones instruments are. Personally, I have never had any problems with my peashooter Bach, and I like the horn. I also played on a Stradivarius tenor and for a school horn, it played nicely. I just want to hear your opinion on Bach horns. Thanks guys!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 01:26PM »

Bachs have always had a reputation of being somewhat quirky.  Some are made better than others.  You may find one better for you and I may find a different one better for me.  Still, I'd take a bad Stradivarius over a good Roy Benson any day.
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Bruce Guttman
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 01:40PM »

  Still, I'd take a bad Stradivarius over a good Roy Benson any day.

Hey Bruce, where can I buy a good Roy Benson trombone?

Cheers

Stewbones
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Matt K

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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 06:29PM »

Bach quality site:tromboneforum.org

https://www.google.com/search?q=Bach+quality+site%3Atromboneforum.org&oq=Bach+quality+site%3Atromboneforum.org&aqs=chrome..69i57.7294j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Quote
About 5,510 results (0.50 seconds)

 :D If we aren't forthcoming with more information, there is a wealth of information about Bach quality over the years!
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
Bach42T
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 08:26PM »

Just like Wal-Mart, who gets the bad PR spotlight from time to time, love it or hate it, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world.  The same goes for Bach.  Love it or hate it, Bach is arguably the most recognized (and historically prestigious) band instrument brand in the world.   There is always going to be a percentage of bad apples, it's all relative especially when you are the leader that all others aspire to duplicate.
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Matt K

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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 04:23AM »

Just like Wal-Mart, who gets the bad PR spotlight from time to time, love it or hate it, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world.  The same goes for Bach.  Love it or hate it, Bach is arguably the most recognized (and historically prestigious) band instrument brand in the world.   There is always going to be a percentage of bad apples, it's all relative especially when you are the leader that all others aspire to duplicate.

I would highly doubt there's anybody dislikes the idea of Bach being in business (unlike Walmart which is typically a criticism of their business model, not the quality if their merchandise per se - an argument I find unconvincing as a former employee  but that is best saved for another thread). But their market share is not proof that they are quality. What it proves is that their branding, quality, and price in that specific combination are such that many people purchase them in high volumes.

The OP is primarily interested in the second piece if that perhaps as it relates to the other two but perhaps not as well.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
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chipolah

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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 10:16AM »

IMHO...   The Bachs that are produced these days, are not up to the standard of early Bachs. (whether they were inconsistent or not) Sorry Bach lovers !!!
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 12:16PM »

I have played a Bach 36B from 1976 that is a very nice trombone, and a Bach LT36BO from ~2004-2005 that really seems equally nice (with a smoother-acting rotor valve) - and is much shinier!  Both have smooth, slippery slides.  [On the other hand, I've never been a fan of the Bach 42B and its successors.]  I have not tried anything newer than that from Bach, but can certainly testify that they once made high-quality trombones.  It's sad if the manufacturing quality of this proud brand has indeed deteriorated
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Bach42T
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 08:36PM »

I would highly doubt there's anybody dislikes the idea of Bach being in business (unlike Walmart which is typically a criticism of their business model, not the quality if their merchandise per se - an argument I find unconvincing as a former employee  but that is best saved for another thread). But their market share is not proof that they are quality. What it proves is that their branding, quality, and price in that specific combination are such that many people purchase them in high volumes.

I should have clarified, a little bit in my Wal-Mart correlation.  I was really referring to their size and that fact that large companies are put under the microscope more so than other retailers.  The same could be said about Bach or any other leader in an industry.  I don't have enough proof to debate the intricacies of the issues Wal-Mart has had to deal with but I know there are many and didn't want to deviate from the topic.  I do like your point on branding, quality, and price. I think it's a conglomerate of factors that gives customer base a sense that that there is value-added in the product offering all of which has contributed to the success of Bach.  I think we can confidently say that Bach as the brand will continue to exist for years and years. 
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 12:35AM »

I don't believe that the inconsistency of Bach horns has anything to do with the company's size.  It is the inconsistency of the build quality or, perhaps, the specs of the individual parts.  I have tried many Bachs.  They are all over the place.  The most inconsistent horns out there, IMO.
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 02:04AM »

I don't believe that the inconsistency of Bach horns has anything to do with the company's size.  It is the inconsistency of the build quality or, perhaps, the specs of the individual parts.  I have tried many Bachs.  They are all over the place.  The most inconsistent horns out there, IMO.

Yes you are absolutely right.
The worst Bach horns are not as good as a good Roy Benson, sorry Bruce, but that is my opinion after testing probably hundred Bach horn and a few Roy Benson. I would not recommend a Roy Benson, neither a Bach if not tested.

That said, if you find a good Bach, you found a very good horn!
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 05:54AM »

I don't have any hard numbers, but I would be surprised if Bach was producing more trombones than Yamaha.  (And woudl be happy to entertain anybody with hard numbers). That said - certainly Bach is producing less goods than Yamaha. Although the comparison isn't totally valid because technically they are in different industries, Bach seems to be treated as a separate company in many respects compared to Yamaha which stamps Yamaha on everything they produce. (E.g. we're actually talking about a Steinway 42, afterall!)  Yet Yamaha horns are regarded as being among the most consistent horns produced. 

As far as the parts vs. assembly, I'd take Eric Edwards words:

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php?action=;topic=88766.0
Bach makes great parts,  just doesn't take the care to assemble them correctly all the time....

Good for us techs!!

I'd bet a good rebuild would punch that ticket in a hurry!
Most of the 36s I've seen are and/or have been great horns,  especially after a bit of tweaking!
Not even modifying or replacing parts.

One big thing I see is the stock leadpipe SUCKS!!!!!   WAYYYYY to thick & heavy!!
Actually just modded a forumites 36 pipe and it totally changed his horn for the better!

My thinking is that Bach uses the same blank for the 36 and 42,  but on a different mandrel leaving way too much material after the drawing process.
Maybe?


Eric


So in that respect, I'll take a Bach over a Roy Benson everyday because I feel pretty confident that with a little labor, I can get it working better than I could a Roy Benson and for a longer period fo time.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
Bach42T
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 08:47AM »

So would the Roy Benson lead pipe supersede a Bach lead pipe?  I wonder how the Roy Benson lead pipe would make a difference if it were outfit in the Bach? 
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Matt K

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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 09:21AM »

So would the Roy Benson lead pipe supersede a Bach lead pipe?  I wonder how the Roy Benson lead pipe would make a difference if it were outfit in the Bach? 

Probably depends on the RB.  I've honestly not liked a single Roy Benson I've ever played, but so it goes for any of the Chinese manufactureres to a certain degree.  Some of them are fine... for awhile at least.  I used a Bach as my main horn for awhile and it was great after a tech took care of some of the nuances that needed to be taken care of. Seems like some of them are really, really great.  Some of them not so much, but like Eric said, if all that it takes to turn a dud into a great horn is to get the leadpipe modified a little... then so be it.

But on the other hand, I don't think its related to scale as mentioned above because there are other companies producing much more and they have consistent output. 
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
MikeBMiller
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2017, 09:58AM »

FWIW, my nearly new 36BO is a very well made horn and sounds great.
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JohnL
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2017, 10:20AM »

Bach was taking flak for inconsistent quality long before they became part of Conn-Selmer (Steinway), so it's not a matter of size.

As for "bad Bach vs. good Roy Benson"? A lot of the time, a good tech can take apart a bad Bach and reassemble it into a good (or at least significantly better) Bach. Not sure if the same can be said for Roy Benson...
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2017, 05:09AM »

So, y'all realize that Bach was bigger than Steinway, right?  They kept the Steinway name as it is more known by the general public.  They aren't the tail, they are the dog in this relationship.

As for some inconsistencies, some are designed in.  Others are just sloppiness.  Nothing about the size of the company forces that, it is entirely the culture. 

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2017, 06:17AM »

I've owned a few great Bach horns.  Two bass bones and a 36.  Both bass bones I had worked on to de-stress braces and port the valves.  This was back in the 70's and early 80's and I picked both out at the factory.  I've played a couple of new Bach basses recently and they were nothing to write home about but both had the stock rotor valves.  I would like to play a 50B with the infinity valves to see how it compares to my Shires.  So many makers have proven that you can put a horn together well and do that consistently.  There is no excuse for Bach still having consistency issues.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2017, 08:55AM »

I have a 1965 34B. What a sweet horn! Made the first year Bach was in Elkhart, but it seems to have a lot of Mt Vernon parts. The F trigger is a Mt Vernon trigger, not the later Elkhart trigger. You can see it in the pictures below.

I agree with the statement about quirks. You really have to spend time getting to know the horn. More than any other horn I've owned (that's ten)

But the time is well spent. Once you learn the airstream differences, it's golden! Best horn I've ever owned.

Jerry Walker

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2aag1vfx43v009d/AADHEFRShb4bCLFZHTpnpgqua?dl=0
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 05:14PM »

FWIW, I've tried a few Bachs and had different results.  I've played a Corporation Era 36B a while back that played really well and was probably the best tenor with F-attachment that I've personally played.  I also tried a Bach 50B3 that was really stuffy.  It seems to me that Bach 42's and 50's with modified valve sections (ex. Thayers, Hagmanns, etc.) improve the playability a great deal with the small Bach valves on the horns.  I've compared a Bach 42T and a  Corporation Bach 42B and they were both solid horns, but the 42T was somewhat more easier to play.

Just my personal experience...   
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