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Author Topic: Conical Design  (Read 1706 times)
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Pteranabone

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« on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:21PM »

Why can trumpet players have a flugelhorn but trombone players not have a conical instrument?
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mr.deacon
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:29PM »

Why can trumpet players have a flugelhorn but trombone players not have a conical instrument?
We do! It's called a Euphonium Evil
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Pteranabone

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:38PM »

 :). Ha!

Let me be more specific.  Why can't we have a  slide euphonium?
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JohnL
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:48PM »

:). Ha!

Let me be more specific.  Why can't we have a  slide euphonium?
Because the slide tubes have to be pretty much cylindrical. There was an attempt to make a conical bore slide (look up "couturier trombone"). In order to have a tapered bore on the lower slide, it was necessary to actually have the lower outer tube stationary and the lower inner move inside it. Never caught on.

Even at that, the Couturier "conical bore" was a pretty slow taper, so it still wouldn't be that close to a euphonium or even a baritone.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #4 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:52PM »

:). Ha!

Let me be more specific.  Why can't we have a  slide euphonium?

Check out the slide euphoniums in the front row of this band.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #5 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:59PM »



Cornetão gatilho eufônico...

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Robert Holmén

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JWykell
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:27AM »

What if some one made a half length double slide. Basically the same design as BB flat contra, but make each leg progressively larger so it would be a quad bore slide. You could do .508/.525/.547/.562. To make it even harder to make out tunning in the slide for a fully conical bell section.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:34AM »

What if some one made a half length double slide. Basically the same design as BB flat contra, but make each leg progressively larger so it would be a quad bore slide. You could do .508/.525/.547/.562. To make it even harder to make out tunning in the slide for a fully conical bell section.

Got a big pile of money at your disposal?  Have at it.
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Matt K

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« Reply #8 on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:04PM »

:). Ha!

Let me be more specific.  Why can't we have a  slide euphonium?

See here and here!

Quote from: Robb Stewart
For this page, I'm digging even deeper into my archives.  Very early in my career, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, there were a surprising number of Los Angeles trumpet players that were doubling on slide trumpet.  One influence was the Moravian trombone choir, led by the Philharmonic bass trombonist, Jeff Reynolds.  This was an ensemble of slide trombones from soprano in Eb to contrabass in BBb.   The musicianship was consistently high, attracting many professionals.  Several commercial players had also taken up the slide trumpet, including Chuck and Bob Findlay, and Maynard Ferguson was also very influential with his Firebird trumpet.  Both Larry Minick and Dominic Calicchio were making slide trumpets to satisfy local demands and it wasn't long before some of the younger guys approached me about making them.  The only inexpensive alternative at the time was the Getzen made in the 1960s, which was never intended to be a high grade instrument.  There were antique slide cornets around, but prices were already rising.  My first attempt, in 1978, was made by cutting down a small bore (.468") trombone slide and attaching a cornet bell.  It was playable, but not a very good instrument.  I also made a trumpet with three valves and a full length slide, like a soprano version of the Holton Superbone.  This was a disaster and my first lesson about not deviating too far from proven acoustic design.

I decided that it was not such a good idea to have my name associated with such inferior instruments and for the next one, I made up new slide tubes and the rest of the parts were new Olds trumpet and trombone.  I made about 10 of these over a few years and most had the F valve as pictured here.  In 1984, I was approached by trombonist Eugene Lebeaux, who wanted to play solos on flugelhorn as well as trombone.  He asked me to make him a slide flugelhorn.  This came to mind recently when a request was made for me to make a slide euphonium and I also discuss the impossibility of making a slide tuba on my contrabass trombone
page.
 

In all three cases, the nature of the instruments is largely determined by a taper through most of the instrument's length, ending in a rather large bell.  It is impossible to retain the character of flugelhorn, euphonium or tuba with a long enough slide to play the full range chromatically.  My suggestion to Lebeaux was the instrument pictured here.  This is certainly not a slide flugelhorn, but has the widest bell possible on a soprano trombone, has a dual bore (.438/.460") slide and takes a flugelhorn mouthpiece. Both the deep cup of the mouthpiece and the wide bell flare contribute to a much darker timbre than typical trumpets and cornets.  While not what we know as a flugelhorn sound, it is distinct from the brighter sounding instruments.  This is the bell that was designed for use on Olds bugle corps bugles in G and is also used on Kanstul Stadium and Wild Thing trumpets.  It was very successful and I believe that Lebeaux still plays it today.

While we're in the mood for pushing boundaries: The next photo is a piccolo trombone or slide trumpet that I made more as a novelty or experiment.  This was at the time that Larry Minick was still making slide trumpets, mostly in Bb, but a few in soprano Eb that used his own piccolo trumpet bells.  We both knew that this was the upper limits for a practical instrument, but I really wanted to know what could really be done with a true piccolo trombone in Bb.  It actually does play well enough to be used in performances if used judiciously.  I eventually sold it to John Schoolcraft of the Make Believe Brass (playing at Disneyland at the time) for use in their trombone quintet in which it was only brought out to surprise even the most savvy audience that wouldn't have known that such a thing existed.  I had previously made a pair of slide trumpets with F valve similar to the top photo, that they would use for most pieces, the piccolo was only occasionally taken out of John's pocket just for fun.


Quote from: 'Robb Stewart'
These two contrabass trombones are all new (not modified used instruments) and somewhat unique designs.  Both are for playing the same contrabass trombone range, but each has it's own twist.  The first shown here was made in 1995 for the great Los Angeles session bass trombonist, Bill Reichenbach, after many discussions about the particulars of the design and what he wanted to achieve with it.   Anybody who has played a trombone with a double slide will understand Bill's reluctance to utilize this feature, but he thought that needing to use a handle on a long single slide would be worse.  I convinced him that there are advantages gained by putting the four slide tubes in a single plane rather than the usual, side by side, design seen in BBb and CC trombones.  Not only is it slightly lighter, but it necessitates less tube length, allowing a relatively longer bell section.   Keep in mind that even though this trombone is the same pitch as an Eb tuba, it has the slide positions of an alto trombone.  Another unusual feature is that it has 8 full positions in Eb rather than the usual 7 and a good 6 positions in BBb.  He wanted the valves set up exactly as on his regular work horse bass trombones, both the lever positions and the relative pitch changes (BBb and GG).  It also seemed ideal to have the bell in a "normal" relation to the player, although Bill does not need to gauge his slide positions by the rim.  If you look closely, you might not find the main tuning slide.  The upper crook on the slide pulls out for cleaning and has a very short allowance for tuning.  This worked out well since this instrument is intended strictly for use in the studio where the environment is predictable,  both in temperature and tuning of other players.  Bill has used this instrument on all his recording gigs that called for contrabass trombone.  Most of the important parts needed for this trombone were supplied by Zig Kanstul.  The bell is intended for his marching baritone horn and the crooks and tubes were for various tubas.  Zig specially made the slide tubes including chrome plating the inside tubes (.605" bore).  The cork barrels are Olds bass trombone, although I had to make the oversize bell and slide receiver and nut assembly.  The rotary valves (.656" bore) are the same that are made for my Eb tubas by Joe Marcinkiewicz and the lever assembly I made to copy those made for Bill's Conn 62H by George Strucel many years ago.  I honestly don't remember what I used for the mouthpipe, but something appropriate for the bore size and a tuba mouthpiece.  When Bill came to pick up the instrument, I was prepared for the fact that I might have to make some adjustments and I hoped that there would be nothing major to re-do.  He picked it up and put it to his mouth and played it as if he had been playing it all his life.  He is that kind of a musician; he can play any brass instrument well.  He has used this trombone for many recording sessions.  The fifth photo shows Bill prominently holding this trombone in the studio during a recording session for "Batman Forever" taken from Malcolm McNab's website.

The second case here precedes the first by eleven years (1984) and is related both in the fact that it is Eb as well as the fact that Bill Reichenbach borrowed this one when we were in the discussion phase of designing his.  This trombone was made for Paul Chauvin, a fabulous tuba and trombone player, best known as member of Make Believe Brass which originated at Disneyland.  This group was of a higher level of musicianship than one might expect from that park.  Anyway, Paul asked me if I could make him a "slide tuba" for times when the MBB would all play slide trombones and slide trumpets.  He wanted more than a bass trombone sound.  I told him that it was impossible to have the large tapered body of even a small tuba in combination with the long cylindrical tubing needed for a trombone slide.  I suggested that an interesting compromise might be to use a euphonium bell and body attached to a normal bass trombone slide.  This would give him five and a half slide positions and I added the third, whole step, valve to make up for the missing hand slide length.  One challenge would be holding it in playing position while freely manipulating the three valve levers.  The levers are pushed with the first three fingers of the left hand whilst the thumb and fourth finger are able to grip the bell section securely.  I can't claim that it is the most comfortable instrument to hold, but it works and Paul got some good use out of it.  This trombone was constructed mostly out of Olds parts, as I used in so many of my early projects.  The bell, branches and tuning slide are all for an Olds euphonium.  The hand slide (.562" bore) and rotary valves (.585" bore) are all standard for Olds bass trombones.  The valves are tuned to BBb, AAb with alternate GG slide (dependant on Bb valve) and Db (independant).  It was quite a challenge to design the valve levers to be easily manipulated by the fingers, but I got it to work well.  A big compromise for Paul was giving up a full 7 position glissando.   After some practice, he demonstrated that it was, indeed, possible to release the whole step valve in the middle of a slide glissando, making a good imitation of a full length slide.
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JWykell
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:13PM »

Got a big pile of money at your disposal?  Have at it.

I don't but I'll just have to add it the bottom of the list of gear I want to get if I ever do. That puts a double short slide quad bore flugabone just underneath a valve section that I can connect to a shires tenor bell to have a good playing valve trombone. Top of that list, and f-attachment for my "normal" shires medium bore. So clearly we have a long way to go.  Pant
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:31PM »

Trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn are each a little to a lot conical. As modern trumpets are much more conical then there predecessors a duo bore slide is probably just a little less then the difference between a current trumpet and cornet but still gives you a more conical horn. The other oddity of a trombone slide is as the slide moves out the bore size is larger. Never get that effect on euph.
I play duobore slides because I feel like I will blow the MP off my face with a single bore horn. 
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:49PM »

You could have a leadpipe that extends all the way to the end of the inner slide tube with constant expansion, and the tuning mechanism in the handslide, which would leave the lower slide tube as the only cylindrical section of the trombone. A flugelhorn has a cylindrical section too - the leadpipe. So you could make a trombone that is more cylindrical than a flugelhorn, but not a whole lot more.
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mr.deacon
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 12, 2017, 01:29PM »

You could have a leadpipe that extends all the way to the end of the inner slide tube with constant expansion, and the tuning mechanism in the handslide, which would leave the lower slide tube as the only cylindrical section of the trombone. A flugelhorn has a cylindrical section too - the leadpipe. So you could make a trombone that is more cylindrical than a flugelhorn, but not a whole lot more.
Brad, there was actually a guy by your booth at ITF that had leadpipes which extended like 3/4? down the slide tube and had a screw on Monette style mouthpiece.

They were interesting. They actually played pretty well, maybe even better then my setup at the time, but I lost a lot of the character and color I was getting out of my normal mouthpiece and regular leadpipe. On paper it seemed to work well but I can't imagine a professional using something like that.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #13 on: Aug 12, 2017, 01:55PM »

Perhaps some perfectly elastic metal needs to be invented so we can have our slide and our cone, too.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #14 on: Aug 12, 2017, 03:30PM »

Here you go... the elastobone!

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #15 on: Aug 12, 2017, 04:09PM »

Sweet! Had to show that to the one sitting next to me, who asked what it was made of. Guess it's time to crowdfund an expedition to Lumpistan in search of their rumored vein of high-purity unobtainium.
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 13, 2017, 12:26AM »

Brad, there was actually a guy by your booth at ITF that had leadpipes which extended like 3/4? down the slide tube and had a screw on Monette style mouthpiece.

They were interesting. They actually played pretty well, maybe even better then my setup at the time, but I lost a lot of the character and color I was getting out of my normal mouthpiece and regular leadpipe. On paper it seemed to work well but I can't imagine a professional using something like that.

I saw that and I am kind of kicking myself because i didn't try them out. Looked very interesting, and I've heard good things about them. But yeah, I think color is exactly what you would lose if you built a slide flugelhorn. I guess the question would be whether anyone would want a trombone with an extremely dark flugel like sound.
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 13, 2017, 05:54AM »

Here you go... the elastobone!



Hmmmmm
How about a conical F valve?
 :D
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robcat2075

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« Reply #18 on: Aug 13, 2017, 02:40PM »

Hmmmmm
How about a conical F valve?
 :D


The F extension works like this...

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #19 on: Aug 13, 2017, 05:27PM »

What if some one made a half length double slide. Basically the same design as BB flat contra, but make each leg progressively larger so it would be a quad bore slide. You could do .508/.525/.547/.562. To make it even harder to make out tunning in the slide for a fully conical bell section.

They didn't make them with progressive bores, but double slide tenor trombones (with 9-10 positions) were indeed invented in the 19th century, they just never caught on.
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