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Author Topic: My nifty new Schmidt alto trombone  (Read 606 times)
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Slipmo

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« on: Sep 08, 2017, 10:20AM »

I was playing a Mozart Requiem a few months back and as per usual, the orchestra had a very small string section. Playing alto trombone with small strings in a live acoustic is always a challenge and I found myself working extremely hard to get the clarity that I was after without overpowering the small ensemble. Three modern trombones versus 12 strings... we're always going to win  Evil

In the end, I decided to use one of my vintage alto trombones, my 1920s Kruspe alto trombone, which has tiny specs but makes a great sound! Since it is a historic instrument, it was quite a challenge to get it to blend with modern trombones (not to mention the no tuning slide thing) so I had to be on my toes which was rewarding but exhausting.

I began to ponder... no one really makes a small alto that is well suited for this kind of situation. So, with the help of my friend Thomas Zsivkovits and in concert with master builder Stephan Schmidt, we began to brainstorm an alto with some rather unusual (but exciting specifications). This instrument was born. Hope you enjoy the pics

(You'll notice I went with a friction fit. I personally prefer the feel of that in my hand when playing alto (got used to it on my sackbuts) and since I've yet to find extensive plunger work in the alto repertoire, I decided to roll with it. Glad I did, I think its cool. I know I may be in the minority.)

Specs:

    - One piece 6.5" ultra thin red brass bell, with engraved 1.5cm yellow brass garland
    - .460" slide bore, standard small shank receiver
    - without bell lock (i.e. friction fit)
    - seamed red brass tuning bow and yellow neckpipe, gold brass outer slide tubes and seamed gold slide crook
    - all yellow brass trim and ferrules
    - unlacquered









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Noah Gladstone
Trombonist, Los Angeles

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modelerdc
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 2017, 10:58AM »

Fascinating! How would you compare it with another small alto, the Bach?
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Slipmo

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« Reply #2 on: Sep 08, 2017, 11:43AM »

Fascinating! How would you compare it with another small alto, the Bach?

I own a Bach alto, I absolutely LOVE the sound. I don't hate playing on it either (if I have ample time to prepare). However, I didn't learn alto on a Bach, its always a struggle (at least for me) to get comfortable with the slotting and pitch tendency of them, as well as the layout and visual aspects of it that many cite as a flaw with the horn (the bell position doesn't bother me too much, its more the other stuff). If I played Bach alto all the time it would be a non issue... but I want an alto I can pick up and be rock solid on, that's a hot chair. Minimal glory if you nail the part, but if you eat it everyone notices. I like to set myself up for success and choosing the right tool for the job contributes to getting the job done on my terms, which most of the time means leaving my Bach alto in the closet
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Noah Gladstone
Trombonist, Los Angeles

Brassark
New, Used, Vintage and Rare Brass-winds
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Sackbuttist
Tesserae, Los Angeles
www.tesserae-la.com
Ellrod

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« Reply #3 on: Sep 08, 2017, 12:04PM »

Sehr kuhl mit kranz.
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Duffle
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 08, 2017, 12:52PM »

Why no nickel?.....
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Posaunus
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 08, 2017, 02:40PM »

Beautiful (of course)! 

What is the (nominal) pitch?  440 or ... ?
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Slipmo

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« Reply #6 on: Sep 09, 2017, 08:11AM »

Why no nickel?.....

I was inspired by my old Conn Fuchs bass, which is all red and yellow brass, to do all the trim in yellow. I think it looks really classic without the silver. I am sure brass vs nickel has an affect on the sound in some way. My motivation behind the material choices was mostly cosmetic.

Yes it's A-440 pitch
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Noah Gladstone
Trombonist, Los Angeles

Brassark
New, Used, Vintage and Rare Brass-winds
www.brassark.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheBrassArk

Sackbuttist
Tesserae, Los Angeles
www.tesserae-la.com
heinz gries

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« Reply #7 on: Sep 09, 2017, 11:15AM »

great work Noah.
my T. Mittag alto is in yellow brass too. I like the look without any nickel parts.
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Helmut Voigt alto with modified 36 Bach slide and brassark copper leadpipe
Conn 34H alto in D
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Bach LT6,gold plated,with Hoelle copper tuningslide.
Getzen Super deluxe silver plated and copper rim bell
Getzen 3508
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 09, 2017, 11:51AM »

Brass trim with the red brass looks really steampunk. I dig it!
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