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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Want to buy new jazz horn but want to demo horns for a time, I need help!
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eassimak
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« on: Aug 04, 2017, 08:44AM »

Hello, so I am going to be a sophomore in college and I am looking to move from my vintage 2b to a new jazz horn. I got a decent deal on a Michael Davis horn. But right now I dont really know whats out there for me that would be the best fit for a professional jazz horn for a long time. I do lots of big band gigs and pit orchestra gigs. Im located in new york. My issue is that I dont want to go out and buy a horn without trying all the top line jazz horns. I am wondering if there is a way that I could get some horns and demo them for like a month so I have some time to live with them and see what I would like best. I feel like going to Dillons and trying out a horn for a few hours isnt the best way to do it and I also was not too impressed with their selection of trombones. I would like to try some Shires, Rath, Yamaha, Bach, and try to figure out what the best fit is. But I dont know where and how I can do this with being able to have time to play the horn as well as get a good deal.
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Matt K

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 04, 2017, 08:52AM »

Dillon has a 30 day return policy, fwiw. Problem with what you're wanting to do is that whomever is lending you the horns is taking a pretty big risk so you basically have to buy all the horns you want even if you end up returning all of them to make sure you don't walk off with the horn.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 04, 2017, 09:45AM »

Hello, so I am going to be a sophomore in college and I am looking to move from my vintage 2b to a new jazz horn. I got a decent deal on a Michael Davis horn. But right now I dont really know whats out there for me that would be the best fit for a professional jazz horn for a long time. I do lots of big band gigs and pit orchestra gigs. Im located in new york. My issue is that I dont want to go out and buy a horn without trying all the top line jazz horns. I am wondering if there is a way that I could get some horns and demo them for like a month so I have some time to live with them and see what I would like best. I feel like going to Dillons and trying out a horn for a few hours isnt the best way to do it and I also was not too impressed with their selection of trombones. I would like to try some Shires, Rath, Yamaha, Bach, and try to figure out what the best fit is. But I dont know where and how I can do this with being able to have time to play the horn as well as get a good deal.
Pick a horn and play it.  Either the 2B or the Michael Davis will get you through any of those gigs just fine.

I'll bet you spend at least as much time on a computer as you do on your horn.  And I'll bet you own at least one computer, and I'll bet you didn't demo several of them for a time before you settled on the best one.  There are things I like and hate about every computer and every horn I've ever had.

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« Reply #3 on: Aug 04, 2017, 10:40AM »

How about renting some of the ones you want to check out?
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 04, 2017, 10:50AM »

This is the old "paralysis by analysis" problem.  You always think there's a better one just around the corner.

Doug is right.  Buy something if you think it's better than what you have.  If something REALLY better comes along, sell the one you have and buy that.

A day at Dillon's will devinitely weed out the "dogs" (ones you don't like at all).  That could be worth something.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 04, 2017, 11:30AM »

Get a good 3B or Michael Davis+.

You won't be able to blame the horn.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 04, 2017, 11:36AM »

I might be reading your post incorrectly but it sounds like you have a Mike Davis Shires? Or you can get one? If you have one I'd say you're all set.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 04, 2017, 11:49AM »

The MD+ is a heck of a horn.  When I dig my way out of student loan debt, there's a very high chance I'm picking one up. FWIW.
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 04, 2017, 12:00PM »

The MD+ is a heck of a horn.  When I dig my way out of student loan debt, there's a very high chance I'm picking one up. FWIW.

By then there'll be something else :-P
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 04, 2017, 12:10PM »

By then there'll be something else :-P

2117 isn't that far off! Evil
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 04, 2017, 12:29PM »

Damn... :(
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 04, 2017, 03:29PM »

Some folks would kill for a vintage 2B.......
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 04, 2017, 03:39PM »

There is something else now. The XO 1632 RG-LT is a phenomenal .500 bore horn

The XO 1632 RG-LT is the horn of choice for:
John Fedchock
Paul McKee
John Allred
And me!

Check it out. You can get 2  of these, one in the regular brass, and one in gold brass for the price of one Michael Davis Shires.   And,  in my humble opinion, after having tried both horns, I'll take the XO every time.
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 04, 2017, 04:10PM »

Hello, so I am going to be a sophomore in college and I am looking to move from my vintage 2b to a new jazz horn. I got a decent deal on a Michael Davis horn. But right now I dont really know whats out there for me that would be the best fit for a professional jazz horn for a long time. I do lots of big band gigs and pit orchestra gigs. Im located in new york. My issue is that I dont want to go out and buy a horn without trying all the top line jazz horns. I am wondering if there is a way that I could get some horns and demo them for like a month so I have some time to live with them and see what I would like best. I feel like going to Dillons and trying out a horn for a few hours isnt the best way to do it and I also was not too impressed with their selection of trombones. I would like to try some Shires, Rath, Yamaha, Bach, and try to figure out what the best fit is. But I dont know where and how I can do this with being able to have time to play the horn as well as get a good deal.

Where in New York?

Anywhere rationally near Dillon Music in Woodbridge NJ? Go there and try out horns. There are few places in the U.S. where you can try so many.

You also say "I do lots of big band gigs and pit orchestra gigs." Ask to try your colleague's horns. You're in college? try your fellow students' horns. Tryt everything!!!

Plus...if there is one horn that is historically an "everything" horn in the styles in which you play, it's a good-playing brass King 3B. The 2B is to my mind more specialized...playing lead in the mid-to-high ranges it's fine, if maybe a little dated...a little bright for today's preferences, but still pretty good. It just doesn't blend well in lower parts w/other commonly used trombones, and vice-versa, especially at volume. When it's playing lead, many contemporary trombonists have trouble blending with a 2B.

Good luck. I recommend getting an "everything" horn at your age, especially if you do a lot of jazz and commercial work and not much orchestral stuff. Later on? You'll know more about what's what.

S.

P.S. That Shires Michael Davis horn? Is it the .500 bore or the .508 Michael Davis Plus. I find the plus to be a better all-around horn, myself., The .500 bore is kind of light for lots of the work that freelancers do.

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« Reply #14 on: Aug 04, 2017, 07:31PM »

I would just stick with what you have. As others have said, the perfect horn really doesn't exist. All are a compromise in some way or another. You've got a great horn, so work with it and see how you feel about it.

For me it really does take quite a bit of time to really "know" a horn. As you adapt to the horn, eventually any horn will sound "like you".
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 04, 2017, 07:47PM »

Sam is right. If not the 2B, then a 3B. The rest is details.
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 05, 2017, 11:20AM »

There is something else now. The XO 1632 RG-LT is a phenomenal .500 bore horn

The XO 1632 RG-LT is the horn of choice for:
John Fedchock
Paul McKee
John Allred
And me!

Check it out. You can get 2  of these, one in the regular brass, and one in gold brass for the price of one Michael Davis Shires.   And,  in my humble opinion, after having tried both horns, I'll take the XO every time.
And me!
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 05, 2017, 03:24PM »

 The 2B and 3B horns are great if you can find an older classic horn I'm not sure who Sam is talking about having trouble blending with a 2B playing the lead or sounding dated. Never heard that said by anyone. 
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 05, 2017, 08:18PM »

The 2B and 3B horns are great if you can find an older classic horn I'm not sure who Sam is talking about having trouble blending with a 2B playing the lead or sounding dated. Never heard that said by anyone. 

A NY-centric look, I suppose.

Let me put it another way.

In all the time that I have been playing in NYC large ensembles, the only people who have sounded good to me playing lead or in a section on a 2B have been Urbie Green...and he stopped playing it to go to a bigger, less "centered" sound on his Martin Urbie Green model as things changed here...Britt Woodman, possibly Benny Powell (I'm not sure.) and Gary Valente. Britt played a certain way...it was wonderful in the idioms he played, but it was certainly not "modern." Timeless, yes. "Modern?" No. Neither was Bennie's approach, and Gary is a force unto himself. (On a '30s sterling silver 2B with a 6.5AL m'pce...a very uncommon set of equipment to say the least.) I'm sure I'm overlooking a couple of people, but the Conn 6H-ish horns, the King 3Bs and the Bach smallbores pretty much ruled the roost in NYC for about 30+ years, and still do to a somewhat diminished extent as Shires, Edwards, Rath etc. horns have become increasingly popular among working pros.

I didn't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers...sorry if I did. That's just what I have seen here.

Later...

S.

P.S. And Matt Musselman, who sounds so much like a 3B on his 2B that it took me years to realize what he was playing.
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 05, 2017, 09:03PM »

I recently went through the process of buying a new .547 horn.  I had the unique opportunity to do extended trials on about a half dozen Shires, Edwards and Schmelzer horns.  I anticipated that I would make a much better decision with the extended trials.  At the end of the day however I can say that the impressions I developed in the first 30 to 60 minutes with each horn did not change very much at all over the course of weeks of flipping between new horns and the horn that was my daily driver at the time.  In fact, I knew in the first 5 minutes on the T-396 that I had found an instrument that I would not want to part with.  So at the end of the day, some time at Dillons is worth the effort to weed out the horns that just do not mesh with you at all and possibly find a great fit.  No horn is forever and a quality instrument will retain value and allow you to move on in the future as you further mature as a player.  The horn that was "right" for me 25+ years ago as an undergrad at Crane is 15 years in the rear view mirror now ... don't get paralyzed by the choices and over thinking this decision.  Spend the energy in the practice room or listening or getting to concerts.
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