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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Wessex Valve Trombone or Bass Trumpet?
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davdud101
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« on: Sep 06, 2017, 07:35PM »

What are some of the potential downsides to purchasing one of these cheap (sub-$150) valve trombones on Amazon or eBay and using the valve section on an existing bell (namely, a Yamaha 354)?

I'm considering doing so to get some practice on low brass valves without lugging out the whole euphonium and having to set myself up for playing euphonium. In addition it could be cool in (low-level) performance settings where there might not be quite as much space for a slide.

But how bad would the intonation be? Could it possibly wreck my tone? Is the general build quality just bad? What would I be looking out for even, if I really were considering doing this?

Just trying to save a buck on the 354V.... those things are PRICEY!

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« Reply #1 on: Sep 06, 2017, 07:49PM »

I've had some CHinese pistoned instruments. They work well at first... but they aren't machined very well and wear down, start to leak.  Problem with putting it on any horn not meant for it is that the lengths might not be right.  Intonation is one thing on a slide where you can adjust it, but its another ball of wax when you are fixed to the 3 valve slides.  Also, you'd have to replace the corkbarrel on your slide unless the threads were miraculously identical. The YSL 354 has the tenon sort of built into the cork barrel.

Also, those were some of the mid grade Chinese ones too. The horns sub $200 aren't worth the brass they're made out of.  I have a tech who got one of the Wagner tubas for around that price.  He went to fix a solder point that had came loose and lo and behold, the torch melted a hole in the bell.  Turns out it was made out of potmetal.  Not every horn in that price range is, but I've yet to play one that it wouldn't have been better for the person to use the money towards something better.

If you really want to go that route, get one from a dealer that does QC... although I'm not sure if I've ever seen a dealer with a valve instrument other than the Wessex Superbone.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 06, 2017, 07:51PM »

I'd be most concerned about the valve build.  Lots of times the valves are not properly honed in and the casings are warped.

If you are looking for facility in 3 valves, a trumpet will serve.  Low brass players (at least the ones I know) use 4 (and more!) valves so fumbling with a 3 valve "trombone" valve section won't help much at all.

For what you would pay for a playable trombone valve section (assuming it ould fit your Yammie 354 bell; it may not) you could get an old 3 valve baritone horn or even an older valve trombone (the whole thing).

Or just be patient until a Yammie 354V comes up for sale.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 06, 2017, 08:13PM »

Wessex bass trumpet
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davdud101
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 13, 2017, 03:49PM »

So I'm a bit torn.
For the sake of fun (and more reasons you'll see in my OP), i want to invest in either a valve trombone, marching trombone, or bass trumpet. In a way, I wouldn't mind something that's would wow the crowds a little with its unorthodox appearance, and still be functional as a good trombone-like voice (a bill that any of these, but primarily bass trumpet and valve trombone, would fit).

Does anyone has experience with Wessex's versions of these horns? I'm primarily thinking of the silver versions of their Bb piston-valve bass trumpet and Bb valve trombone.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 13, 2017, 04:04PM »

I haven't played one, but I've heard Wessex bass trumpets being played and I think one can achieve a really great bass trumpet sound with one. I want one, too, but I really don't need one. But the want is strong  Evil
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 13, 2017, 04:27PM »

Wait for a cheap Yammy 200 series euph/baritone to come available for under 500.
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 13, 2017, 05:46PM »

Did you miss seeing this?

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,102030.0.html
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 13, 2017, 06:07PM »

I picked up a second-hand Jupiter valve trombone here for $500 NZ (about a buck fitty in US money, I believe).  The valves are great -- smooth, good compression.  The 3rd valve slide needs to be pulled quite a way and a bit of lip tuning employed to keep it honest, but it has a nice tone.

Addit: just stuck my Yammie 252 bell (apparently a Japan-only version of the 354, more or less) on the Jupiter valve section, and it fits seamlessly, so I assume the 354 would too, if you found a lone valve section somewhere.
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 13, 2017, 06:42PM »

I think the NZ dollar is US$0.73 so your $500 trombone would be more like $375 here.
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 13, 2017, 09:18PM »

My mind is slowing getting more and more set on a bass trumpet. Been watching a lot of videos to get an idea of the tone quality - sounds just like what it is, something partway between a trumpet and a trombone. Haven't heard one 'pushed' yet though. In my mind, if I CAN'T score a good used valve trombone within 4 months, my late Christmas gift to myself will end up a shiny new bass trumpet.
It'd also help me save space when packing the van, I can imagine.

How could it sound in a 7-piece jazz combo? How about covering lead in big band? Is it by chance unwieldy - would it tire me out after the 2nd set?


Anyone with experience comparing Wessex's and MACK Brass's horns?
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 14, 2017, 04:58AM »

this is what a bass trumpet sounds like when pushed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GixE_T2lq5w

everytime I've had to do that solo, I've done it on trombone.
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 14, 2017, 11:44AM »

How much is the Wessex bass trumpet? $675? Brand new? If I could find just a handful of paid gigs with some buddies in a jazz combo that would pay for the horn. Not including practicing, and getting tunes to play if we don't play from what we already know. That seems fairly reasonable for a hobbiest like myself. I don't know your situation, but the satisfaction of experimenting is worth a lot to some people, too.

I don't think I'd be playing bass trumpet or even valve trombone in any of the big bands I play lead in. But I think I would be monumentally interesting in a small horn combo. It's on my Christmas wishlist, too!
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 20, 2017, 06:03AM »

this is what a bass trumpet sounds like when pushed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GixE_T2lq5w

everytime I've had to do that solo, I've done it on trombone.

Personally I sort of dig it. In other recordings it reminds me a bit of a horn-like sound. I'm thinking that when covering the bass voice in a 4-man horn section it'd be fine.

How much is the Wessex bass trumpet? $675? Brand new? If I could find just a handful of paid gigs with some buddies in a jazz combo that would pay for the horn. Not including practicing, and getting tunes to play if we don't play from what we already know. That seems fairly reasonable for a hobbiest like myself. I don't know your situation, but the satisfaction of experimenting is worth a lot to some people, too.

I don't think I'd be playing bass trumpet or even valve trombone in any of the big bands I play lead in. But I think I would be monumentally interesting in a small horn combo. It's on my Christmas wishlist, too!

In a way I do wanna just have something cool, with some "wow-factor", and that'd be fun to pull out every now and again when jamming and stuff. With this in mind, Wessex's valve trombone is actually a bit more affordable. I'm thinking in this case that it comes down to what I think I'll enjoy the most.
Has anyone actually tried these particular models though? I'm not seeing any videos or anything of them on the interwebs!


P.S. I tried changing the title of this thread to reflect the "new developments" in my mind... couldn't do it!
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 21, 2017, 03:16PM »

I read somewhere that Willie Colon used a Getzen bass trumpet.  Maybe among other variations on the theme.
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 22, 2017, 04:42PM »

If you do get anything from Wessex, Iíd love to know how you like it after youíve had it a little while. As far as valve bones, they show up pretty regularly on eBay, but I gather they have often been poorly cared for. My Couesnon isnít bad. Perhaps I was lucky... Good luck either way.
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 22, 2017, 04:48PM »

I'm wondering about the valves on the Wessex valve trombones and their other valve instruments. If they're coming out of the same factory as the other Chinese horns with valves that people don't trust, why would the Wessex valves be any better? I don't think they're having valves custom made for their horns.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 22, 2017, 05:01PM »

I'm wondering about the valves on the Wessex valve trombones and their other valve instruments. If they're coming out of the same factory as the other Chinese horns with valves that people don't trust, why would the Wessex valves be any better? I don't think they're having valves custom made for their horns.

I got a Wessex Dolce over 2 years ago. The valves have been fine. Nice instrument overall. Not perfect, but fun to play.
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 22, 2017, 05:02PM »

I got a Wessex Dolce over 2 years ago. The valves have been fine. Nice instrument overall. Not perfect, but fun to play.

So does that mean that Chinese valves are improving, or that Wessex does something different with their valves?
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davdud101
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 22, 2017, 09:03PM »

If you do get anything from Wessex, Iíd love to know how you like it after youíve had it a little while. As far as valve bones, they show up pretty regularly on eBay, but I gather they have often been poorly cared for. My Couesnon isnít bad. Perhaps I was lucky... Good luck either way.

I definitely won't forget to post a review or something if I do end up with something. Really considering their silver-plated Bb valve bone. It is all for kicks and giggles, so even the C isn't out of order (though at that price I'm inclined to look at a different instrument that I'd get more performance-use out of). Thing is that valve-bone models seem to run at 4x to 6x the cost of their comparable straight models of the same condition on average.
For something that I'd have a little bit for fun - and perhaps have a dual slide case if it works with the bell - I definitely don't feel like $1000 is gonna pay itself off with the lack of use I'll get out of it compared to my slide playing, even if I've got it in the case available to me. But, who knows! Maybe a real deal will turn up...


I'm wondering about the valves on the Wessex valve trombones and their other valve instruments. If they're coming out of the same factory as the other Chinese horns with valves that people don't trust, why would the Wessex valves be any better? I don't think they're having valves custom made for their horns.

This is something I've been thinking about. These are *basically* QC'd stencils, right? Why don't you see too many other Chinese manufacturers ripping off their designs? I haven't seen any other valve trombones out there using quite this particular design.
In any case, I have an ACB flugel, a Chinese flugel with Trent Austin's stamp on it - the valves are GREAT - not quite as "smooth" my Yamahas, but very good for what they are. It unfortunately very much needs a different type of oil, as they seize up daily because I'm still using Yamaha oil. Not that there's any direct comparison, but if its any helper for me of what kind of quality it might come close to, I'm not too hesitant to go ahead and purchase right now as I type  :D
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