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Author Topic: Why Coprion?  (Read 1468 times)
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BGuttman
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 12, 2017, 09:44PM »

Now does "made thin" mean they do it during the electro forming, or are they made thin afterwards, I wonder.

Being able to control the thickness at the flare during the formation of the bell would give incredibly consistent results.
There are ways to control thickness during electroplating (electroforming).  Or you can use the traditional way of machining.  I have no idea which Conn used.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 13, 2017, 08:36AM »

I don't think the Coprion bells were a bad idea at all. To me, it's no different than a rose brass bell being offered on a modern horn. There are some things that Conn did that are more perplexing than the Coprion bells (such as... why on a 4H did they put the slide brace at the very top of the slide creating an awkward "throw?" or instead of standard weight slides or lightweight slide, why not just have something in-between to please everyone? Idea! but i'm getting away from the topic of the thread)
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JohnL
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 13, 2017, 12:02PM »

I guess we know where Conn's mandrels wound up...
I think that's where there always were.
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:52PM »

I think that's where there always were.
===

I believe you are correct. Anderson always made the coprion bells for Conn.

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« Reply #24 on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:56AM »

I've got one that's going on the market soon, and some of these posts are spot-on.  The horn gives way more feedback than any brass bell I've ever played.  When you stop playing, the bell keeps vibrating for several seconds on some notes.  In a small room, you can almost feel the sound coming out of the bell reverberating around you.  Those students horns might not play like that, but the small bore Conns with the Coprion bells (10H and 12H) are strange and wonderful beasts.

Stan
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elmsandr

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« Reply #25 on: Aug 16, 2017, 12:20PM »

Euphanasia, I had to just send that emoji guy back at ya, I'm not too much worried about it beyond that. You got me wishing I could try a copper bell now.

That is a bummer about them only being used on student trombones.
...
I seem to remember that they started on the pro horns and found their way to the student horns when the pro horns kinda failed in the market.  Of course, I was born after this time period and my information is entirely second hand at best.  I do own a prototype 10H that I got from Cliff Ferree...  Crazy horn.  The prototype had some elements that were more towards its later 18H student model.  Interesting horn.  Unfortunately that flare got broken several years back, and I had to swap it out.

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...

I have a feeling Conn and it's staff knew exactly what they were doing in the 30s through the 60s. When you're buffing out the area where you've connected the flare to the stem (or whatever kind of bell you're working on) and accidentally overdo it, but then put it on a horn anyways, you'd notice pretty fast that your mistake was a stroke of genius, even if you don't know why, and unfortunately even if you don't write it down or tell your replacement in abilene what your trick was.
...

As the entire Coprion experiment kinda shows, they didn't exactly know.  They experimented and allowed the market to provide feedback.  Same as any smart business.  GM knew how to make cars and still decided to go with the Nova, so that's how it goes sometimes.

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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 16, 2017, 12:34PM »

GM knew how to make cars and still decided to go with the Nova, so that's how it goes sometimes.
You must be talking about the NUMMI version from the '80s.  Early Novas and Chevy II's were nice cars in their time and are classics now.
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elmsandr

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« Reply #27 on: Aug 17, 2017, 05:54AM »

You must be talking about the NUMMI version from the '80s.  Early Novas and Chevy II's were nice cars in their time and are classics now.
/derails the thread further... I guess that's why they sold about 1/10th of them that they thought they were going to and the revolutionary processes for making and shipping them were completely scrapped.  The Corvair was a fun car to drive too and not as dangerous as was made out to be.  Doesn't make either of them a success.

Doesn't mean there aren't good elements to the design that people find attractive.  A 10H is a really fun horn.  If you like a 6H, I highly suggest that you pick one up.  I don't suggest that you make it your only horn or bring it to a first rehearsal with a new band.  Still pretty much failed in the market.

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Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 17, 2017, 08:46AM »

/derails the thread further...

To avoid this further - see here: http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,101674.0.html
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 17, 2017, 10:32AM »

...the revolutionary processes for making and shipping them were completely scrapped. 

Or are you possibly referring to the Saturn, and not the pretty successful Nova? 
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« Reply #30 on: Yesterday at 06:11 AM »

don't suggest that you make it your only horn or bring it to a first rehearsal with a new band.  Still pretty much failed in the market.


I've wondered about this before. I love my Coprion trombone, and it plays better than any 4H I've played. BUT, it's not my only horn. When I remember the Conn lineup in the 40s and 50s, versatility was key.  One player might be expected to use the same tenor as any part in a jazz band, a dance orchestra, or even a symphony orchestra. A Coprion tenor just won't work like that.  It's too wild, and too sassy.  I've wondered if the market today, with an eye for horns that are specialized towards specific tasks, would have treated the copper Conns differently.  I'm leaning towards yes, just because I won't personally see them for sale very often.

Stan
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« Reply #31 on: Yesterday at 06:27 AM »

I actually called Anderson Plating, and they said a raw bell costs $57. But then you have to trim to size and roll the bead. Amazing. $57. Get you a brand new coprion.
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« Reply #32 on: Yesterday at 09:03 AM »

I don't think any manufacturer actually works with varying thicknesses of metal to enhance the sound--not even a Bach "Stradivarius."  Evil 

Sorry, but you're 100% wrong. As was alluded to in the Rath quote, 2-piece bells are routinely made with different thicknesses for the flare and stem. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.


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Differing thicknesses and hardnesses are a by-product of manufacturing techniques. Some designs--notably one-piece bells--are bound to be asymmetrical in both hardness and thickness because of the amount of stretching that occurs.

Yes and no...there are many manufacturing techniques that can be used to make a bell - and most other parts of a brass instrument for that matter. Which techniques are selected have a lot to do with the kinds of variation you end up with and how they affect the playing characteristics of the final product. Hand-hammering a one-piece bell leaves it thinner at then end, and that's a good thing for most professionals. You can make a one-piece bell in a more automated process that leaves it more uniform.

Another factor is cost; cheaper manufacturing techniques that leave the instrument good but less satisfying for the discerning player are used for student lines that have to be sold at a lower price point. Like coprion bells that you can get in 2017 for $57.

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Gabe Langfur
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« Reply #33 on: Yesterday at 09:23 AM »

Sorry, but you're 100% wrong. As was alluded to in the Rath quote, 2-piece bells are routinely made with different thicknesses for the flare and stem. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.



Well gee, Gabe--thanks for dredging up a week-old post and re-stating something that I've already acknowledged.  Good!

So what's your point in the context of Coprion bells?  As I noted before, I now understand that some boutique manufacturers use different thicknesses as a way of manipulating the sound. However, that's a tiny fraction of what's being manufactured today, and I don't believe that was the practice when Conn was actively marketing Coprion bells. The majority of manufacturers have always, and continue to choose a gauge of metal, build a horn, and only thin the metal when necessary for cosmetic purposes. My point was, Coprion bells don't appear to be selectively thinned to enhance the sound, that differing thicknesses aren't achieved by selective buffing, and that a bell with uniform thickness and hardness is not "lame."

There's no "iceberg" of selectively-thinned bells in mainstream trombone manufacturing. Just a tip.
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« Reply #34 on: Yesterday at 10:12 AM »

However, that's a tiny fraction of what's being manufactured today, and I don't believe that was the practice when Conn was actively marketing Coprion bells.

Sorry, I just started looking at this topic and I wanted to correct some false statements.

I don't believe that is a tiny fraction of what's being manufactured today, and it's not a new idea. A major design element of the classic Conn 88H is that the stem of the bell is significantly thinner than the flare, and I'll bet if you look at many other Conn models you'll find the same or similar design elements.

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The majority of manufacturers have always, and continue to choose a gauge of metal, build a horn, and only thin the metal when necessary for cosmetic purposes.


I don't think this is ever the order of events or priorities. And what cosmetic purpose does thinning the metal serve?

As to Coprion, my guess - and it's only a guess, though it's educated by having worked in the industry - is that somebody at Conn found out just how cheaply they could get electroformed copper bells and got the go-ahead to give it a try, starting with student models.
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Gabe Langfur
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« Reply #35 on: Yesterday at 12:52 PM »


And what cosmetic purpose does thinning the metal serve?


On classic 88Hs, it removes the bead left behind when the flare is soldered to the stem. That and the stem seam are the thinnest spots in those horns--sometimes too thin. Now, knowing the way Conn tended to do things, I would imagine that there's a sound-based principle regarding where the stem-to-flare seam is placed, where the braces are placed, where the stem seam is oriented relative to the braces, etc. Their engineering work was brilliant. However, I don't think selective buffing or hardening was something did on their assembly-line horns.

I would be VERY surprised if the stem and the flare on an 88H weren't cut out of the same sheet of brass alloy.
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« Reply #36 on: Yesterday at 01:39 PM »

On classic 88Hs, it removes the bead left behind when the flare is soldered to the stem. That and the stem seam are the thinnest spots in those horns--sometimes too thin. Now, knowing the way Conn tended to do things, I would imagine that there's a sound-based principle regarding where the stem-to-flare seam is placed, where the braces are placed, where the stem seam is oriented relative to the braces, etc. Their engineering work was brilliant. However, I don't think selective buffing or hardening was something did on their assembly-line horns.


I think you have some inaccurate assumptions about how traditional brass instrument bells are made. I watched Steve Shires make countless bells, including the 2RVE and 2RVET7, his recreation of the classic Elkhart 8H/88H bells.

First of all, the flare and stem are not soldered together, they're brazed. Similar process conceptually, very different process in practice, and it doesn't leave behind the kind of extra material soldering often does.

What is left behind is a thicker section around the brazing seam where the notches overlap. That thicker section is not resolved by sanding but in the process of spinning the bell on the mandrel, mounted on a large lathe. Steve uses a tool of his own creation: a thick steel rod with a flattened and gently tapered point mounted in a sawed-off baseball bat. While the bell is spinning he flattens out that seam by going over it multiple times. This is a full-body effort, as it takes considerable force to do it - but too much force will rip the metal, especially the thinner metal of the flare of a 2RVE. This is not an exact science, and it's easy for the seam to end up thinner than the surrounding brass and thinner than it should be.

There is some sanding after that, but it's over the whole surface of the bell to even it out. On some models, Steve sands more in certain places in order to thin them further.

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I would be VERY surprised if the stem and the flare on an 88H weren't cut out of the same sheet of brass alloy.

Maybe the modern ones are, but Steve took detailed measurements of many Elkhart 8H and 88H bells, and he is positive they weren't.
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« Reply #37 on: Yesterday at 01:50 PM »

The seam in the stem is flattened at the Shires factory using a machine called a seam roller that looks like a medieval torture device. I would imagine that it was done by hammering in some factories.
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« Reply #38 on: Yesterday at 02:39 PM »


I think you have some inaccurate assumptions about how traditional brass instrument bells are made. I watched Steve Shires make countless bells, including the 2RVE and 2RVET7, his recreation of the classic Elkhart 8H/88H bells.

First of all, the flare and stem are not soldered together, they're brazed. Similar process conceptually, very different process in practice, and it doesn't leave behind the kind of extra material soldering often does.

Yes, I'm aware of that. Technically, it'a "hard soldering" since what's used isn't brass. It's a silver/copper alloy. I've attached flares to stems several times using hard silver solder (not silver-bearing solder).

What is left behind is a thicker section around the brazing seam where the notches overlap. That thicker section is not resolved by sanding but in the process of spinning the bell on the mandrel, mounted on a large lathe. Steve uses a tool of his own creation: a thick steel rod with a flattened and gently tapered point mounted in a sawed-off baseball bat. While the bell is spinning he flattens out that seam by going over it multiple times. This is a full-body effort, as it takes considerable force to do it - but too much force will rip the metal, especially the thinner metal of the flare of a 2RVE. This is not an exact science, and it's easy for the seam to end up thinner than the surrounding brass and thinner than it should be.

I've seen the "How it's Made" episode where the Shires trombone is made.  :D It does look like it takes a lot of effort to bring that seam down. My point is, though, that you can't just affect the seam. As you've noted, it's easy to make the metal too thin because you're working the seam, and the surrounding metal.



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