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Author Topic: Tuning in Slide vs. Tuning in Bell  (Read 2123 times)
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Hammer

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« on: Oct 09, 2017, 10:09AM »

Hey all. Just had a question. I'm currently shopping for a bass trombone and came across a few older horns with tuning in the slide. The newest horn I found with this tuning mechanism is the Kanstul 1662 and 1662i. I'll be testing horns out this weekend at Dillon's to get an idea of what feels better on my tenor lips, but after playing on my Mack Brass for a few years, I know I want to stay with inline independent double triggers and a .562 single bore. My question is what is the point of in slide tuning? I found a few posts in random threads talking about how these types of horns have a conical bell, making the tubing leading up the bell having a smoother expansion. Can anybody shed some more light on the differences between these trombones? And has anybody played both as a side-by side comparison and can give first-hand experience about the advantages and disadvantages of each kind?
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 09, 2017, 10:11AM »

As soon as I posted this, I found a great explanation through the Horn Guys. But any other information is still welcome.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 09, 2017, 12:42PM »

Im one of the few trombonists that dont know much about trombone making, but since I play both designs I feel the TIS is more interesting when it comes to sound. But I learned here there is so many factors involved in trombone design that it is difficult to say what is making a trombone have their different characteristics. My TIS is the famous old Elkhart bass trombones and perhaps its not the TIS but the well made design and workers at that time that made them so good. Maybe some knowledge got lost through the years?

Its best to try a lot then feel and listen what is the difference. Trying to understanding design is not easy.

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 09, 2017, 01:39PM »

I've had both as my everyday bass trombone but not simultaneously for an A/B comparison.

Is there a model of trombone in which everything else is identical except for this tuning scheme?

Whatever difference the option created did not register with me as a deal-maker or -breaker either way.

TIS seemed more of an inconvenience because of the screw that had to be loosened and retightened whenever you wanted to adjust it.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 09, 2017, 02:06PM »

I've got a newish Kanstul 1662i and an oldish 70h, which are both TIS. I've owned/played a number of other bell tuning basses, but not all TIS are basses. To me, the TIS horns old and new, single or double, have a characteristic warmth in the sound and the feel. I prefer TIS, because you don't have to flip your horn around, and you can be more precise with it. It's slightly heavier, but not much in modern horns.

My two favorite basses are about as different as can be. I like the 1662i because of the velvety sound and the great valves. I like the Olds P24-G (not TIS) because it plays and sounds more like a regular tenor. Materials, bell size, valves, tuning, sound, preferred mouthpieces, you name it, these horns are different. It may be difficult to identify a "best" style, because there are qualities of each one that are attractive. I don't think it means you're a psychological mess if you like conflicting things. Eventually you have to either set priorities, or get one of each Evil
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 09, 2017, 06:59PM »

As soon as I posted this, I found a great explanation through the Horn Guys. But any other information is still welcome.
The hornguys explanation is good but it does have some marketing hogwash in it. If the Hornguys explanation was 100% true every single bass trombone would be TIS.

TIS is fantastic. It does make your sound richer, things are a little more open and slotting for better or worse does change.

The first one can actually cause problems blending with other bones if you aren't careful. Such as trying to use a Kanstul or Conn TIS in a section of Chicago style Edwards or Shires... it's just not going to work. It just sounds too rich. TIS horns do work fantastically in more typical orchestral or jazz sections that aren't using oversized hand cannons.

The second and third points I mentioned can be described by many as a "unfocused horn" which has a very loose slot, which again is a good and bad thing depending on you as a player. A traditional Bach style tuning slide or even a reversed style tuning slide does give you a more defined slot and a nice traditional sound and feel.

I love TIS horns and TIB horns with the Williams style J bend, heck I currently play on one of these styles of horns, but I would try before buying and see if they are for you.
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 10, 2017, 12:53AM »

I have both on all my trombones. But I rarely use the bell tuning unless I'm outdoors...

What gets me is that a true TIS attempts to solve a problem that doesn't really exist unless you play outside a lot or switch between 440 and some other tuning system. All you need is a slightly shorter bell section. I think a guy on the forum had one made by Rath, with no tuning mechanism at all (it did have a constant taper in the bell). At one point years ago I wanted to see if shires could make me a longer handslide so that I wouldn't have to pull my main tuning slide so far out. What was I thinking?? The slide was plenty long enough -- I just wasn't using all of it.  :(
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 10, 2017, 01:50AM »

I have both on all my trombones. But I rarely use the bell tuning unless I'm outdoors...

What gets me is that a true TIS attempts to solve a problem that doesn't really exist unless you play outside a lot or switch between 440 and some other tuning system. All you need is a slightly shorter bell section. I think a guy on the forum had one made by Rath, with no tuning mechanism at all (it did have a constant taper in the bell). At one point years ago I wanted to see if shires could make me a longer handslide so that I wouldn't have to pull my main tuning slide so far out. What was I thinking?? The slide was plenty long enough -- I just wasn't using all of it.  :(


I'm super confused by this.

In any case, a TiS horn does play and sound pretty different from the average instrument out there today. Is that bad? It can go either way. I like the sound, but it doesn't always work with the people around you... and if you play bass trombone, you're probably playing with other people.

I personally prefer how my Bach/Edwards bass (tuning in bell) plays and sounds, but I do much like my "new" Conn 60H (tuning in slide) in many ways.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 10, 2017, 02:47AM »

There are so many other variables with horns that people are comparing that any conclusions are meaningless. I have owned and used the same instruments with tuning in bell, then converted to tuning in slide..... yes, there were small differences, but nothing to justify the hype generated from time to time on this forum. To me, a dual bore slide makes more difference to the tonal character. A leadpipe makes more difference. Lots of things make more difference.
If you are selling an old Conn bass, you are very likely to big up the virtues of the system, but it is the whole instrument that makes an old Conn what it is.

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« Reply #9 on: Oct 10, 2017, 05:13AM »

I'm super confused by this.


It was sort of a joke. But sort of serious. Based on what I've seen, every trombone I've played has a slide that's long enough to play B natural, even with the bell tuning completely closed. Thus, every trombone I've played is factory tuned with TIS. The bell tuning is just a bonus when I'm playing outdoors. And I don't have that funky screw thing on the outer slide to deal with. The joke is that, obviously, the bell still isn't conical and it's really a TIH system.

There was a guy on this forum who made this same realization but wanted the change in sound that TIS (conical bell, really) offers, and had Rath build him a TIS style horn with the conical bell section, but didn't actually have a TIS mechanism built into it. I can't find the thread though.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 10, 2017, 11:38AM »

If you can get a B on an Edwards or Getzen with the tuning slide all the way in...  :-0
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 10, 2017, 12:59PM »

Or an E on an alto...........
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 10, 2017, 11:53PM »

What gets me is that a true TIS attempts to solve a problem that doesn't really exist unless you play outside a lot or switch between 440 and some other tuning system. All you need is a slightly shorter bell section. I think a guy on the forum had one made by Rath, with no tuning mechanism at all (it did have a constant taper in the bell). At one point years ago I wanted to see if shires could make me a longer handslide so that I wouldn't have to pull my main tuning slide so far out. What was I thinking?? The slide was plenty long enough -- I just wasn't using all of it.  :(

It was sort of a joke. But sort of serious. Based on what I've seen, every trombone I've played has a slide that's long enough to play B natural, even with the bell tuning completely closed. Thus, every trombone I've played is factory tuned with TIS. The bell tuning is just a bonus when I'm playing outdoors. And I don't have that funky screw thing on the outer slide to deal with. The joke is that, obviously, the bell still isn't conical and it's really a TIH system.

I'm sorry, but these posts show a real lack of understanding in how brass instruments have developed over the centuries, and how the construction of a TIS mechanism enables many different design choices in the bell section. Pushing your tuning slide all the way in doesn't begin to give you a taste of what TIS might offer.

Have you actually played a TIS horn?

I have played two. The first, belonging to a former student of mine, was a Kanstul 1662i. It wasn't really my cup of tea, and didn't seem to take advantage of some of the things a TIS instrument can offer.

The second, a Greenhoe Custom, I only played for about 5 minutes, but the resonance, ease of playing and beauty of sound still haunt my dreams...

Andrew

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« Reply #13 on: Oct 11, 2017, 11:41AM »

The question then is always whether that was due to the trombone being slide tuned, or just to the overall build quality or design.
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 12, 2017, 08:22AM »

The question then is always whether that was due to the trombone being slide tuned, or just to the overall build quality or design.

Both.

All of the truly great slide tuning horns that I have played are Conns from the '50s on back. Also several Greenhoe models as well. Why? Great designers...Jake Burkle and Gary Greenhoe...great workmanship and slide tuning.

Well designed and manufactured slide tuning produces...to my ears...the best of all possible trombone worlds. Sound, power, pitch, flexibility...the works. The only problem is that bell tuning has predominated and slide tuning instruments sound too...rich...in comparison. In a trumpet-dominated world, bell tuning lines up better with the trumpets. That's the long and short of it, in my experience.

So it goes...

S.
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 13, 2017, 08:38AM »

I'm sorry, but these posts show a real lack of understanding in how brass instruments have developed over the centuries,

First, I don't see how this is true or what this means. Trombones didn't use to have bell tuning or any tuning mechanism other than the handslide. It used to only be TIH. The fact that I mentioned bell tuning and constant taper bells with TIS pretty much covers all other developments for the trombone. Oh, before you say it... I do know about valve attachments and leadpipes. So...

Quote

and how the construction of a TIS mechanism enables many different design choices in the bell section. Pushing your tuning slide all the way in doesn't begin to give you a taste of what TIS might offer.


Again, I did mention constant bell taper in the post you quoted so...

Quote

Have you actually played a TIS horn?


Yep. A Rath. I don't think the bell taper had as much to do with the overall playability and sound as other factors would, like how Rath builds their horns in general. Not my cup of tea either.

 Hi
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 13, 2017, 01:03PM »

I'm pretty sure trombones had nothing other than the handslide not because it was a better way to build, but because it was easier.

I'm not going to argue that we don't have a huge tuning slide in the right hand... But another one on the instrument is pretty necessary.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 13, 2017, 04:30PM »



I'm not going to argue that we don't have a huge tuning slide in the right hand... But another one on the instrument is pretty necessary.

In the past I would agree, but I think things have changed.  The $20 electronic tuner on every stand has stabilized pitch to the extent we don't have to chase it like previously.  I never move my tuning slide anymore. 
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 13, 2017, 05:52PM »

Burgerbob, I think bell tuning is great. I'm not arguing against having it. Bone Ranger was talking about my lack of knowledge on long history of the trombone as some kind of argument against my joke, which is really weird because originally trombones all tuned the way I have to.

Anyways, bell tuning - I use it outdoors on hot days. I probably would use it if I was playing at 442 if I could, but I can't push mine in any farther. I also don't want to cut down the slide on a $5000 trombone...

I think bell sections are too long. What is the point of having 3.5 inches of pull that I use, at most, 1cm of on a hot day outdoors and none of at normal room temp? Manufacturers should reduce that length by a third or more of the total distance, and add a portion of that onto the hand slide. I cut my alto as well. Not so that I could play Eb in a closed first (I'd have to actually pull out for that) but so I could play long on the slide in a way analogous to my my tenor.

I can play a sharp F in closed first and a flat B at the end of the stockings so it's good for me!

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« Reply #19 on: Oct 13, 2017, 06:11PM »

What Ranger is referring to is that even with your tuning slide pushed all the way in there are two cylindrical sections within the bell taper.  That means the taper is no longer continuous and that this makes a difference.

Well, it doesn't for me, but I'm not that sophisticated.  And I don't tune my 1st position off the bumpers or my 3rd position at the bell (although the 3rd position on my Conn 40H is in fact at the bell rim (it is a Ballroom model).
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