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Author Topic: Logistics: How do I shorten a tuning slide?  (Read 1321 times)
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LowrBrass

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« on: Nov 28, 2017, 08:48PM »

I'd like a slightly shorter tuning slide. I am 100% sure I can't DIY this.

I have no idea how this works, so I am turning to you and seeking your advice for the n00b modder.

Where do I start??

Who would I conventionally reach out to?
Local band instrument repairpeople,
nationally renowned craftspeople,
the company that made the horn,
enthusiastic DIYers on the forum?

Do I need to commission someone to build me a custom part, or would this sort of thing be an easy modification to an existing part?
Should I know specific specifications, beyond "I want to be able to push the tuning slide in further"? Like what? How would I figure that out?

I'm not looking for anything fancy... just functional, and slightly shorter than what I've currently got, and a non-leaky fit with the rest of the horn.


Background: My Wessex bass 'bone (PBF562), with me trying to play it with a 2G, is close to in tune if I play with the tuning slide all the way in, with 1st position squished into the bumpers. It has been this way since I started playing the horn a year and a half ago. I've made progress in other areas of bass trombone playing, but not this one, and it is getting frustrating, and a shorter tuning slide seems to me like a plausible solution.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 28, 2017, 09:09PM »

From the Wessex website:

Quote
All Wessex Tubas and Brass instruments come with a 3-year, peace of mind warranty
You can buy in confidence, as we will give full refund in the unlikely event you are unsatisfied and return within 2 weeks. Furthermore we offer 3-year guarantee against manufacturing defects – which is much more than most leading brands.

I would pursue it as a defect - many Chinese horns have tuning issues, and Wessex claims to have great customer service, so check it out.
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Zandit75
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 28, 2017, 09:19PM »

Does a different lead pipe help with intonation?
Does this Trom have different lead pipes available?
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robcat2075

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« Reply #3 on: Nov 28, 2017, 10:52PM »

I had to chop my Holton TR181. 

With a tuning machine I gauged how flat my horn was with everything in and then measured how much of a hand slide motion was equivalent to that flatness.

I had a repair shop remove slightly more than that amount from the ends of the tuning slide and from the end of the tubes the tuning slide fit into. 

It was also necessary to remove the cross brace on the tuning slide so that it would not be hitting the tubing for the F valve.
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 29, 2017, 02:32PM »

Background: My Wessex bass 'bone (PBF562), with me trying to play it with a 2G, is close to in tune if I play with the tuning slide all the way in, with 1st position squished into the bumpers. It has been this way since I started playing the horn a year and a half ago. I've made progress in other areas of bass trombone playing, but not this one, and it is getting frustrating, and a shorter tuning slide seems to me like a plausible solution.

As Doug said, chase this up with Wessex.  I owned one of those instruments for 12 months (and was generally happy with it expect for the ergonomics) but when I received it the F valve tuning slide has a small leak at one of the ferules, and couple of emails had a replacement slide turn up fairly quickly.  It was a good customer service experience :-)
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LowrBrass

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 29, 2017, 04:46PM »

Thanks, all. This is helpful.


Zandit: As far as I can tell, the leadpipe seems as non-removable as the one soldered into my Bach. But I've been wrong before.
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LowrBrass

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« Reply #6 on: Nov 29, 2017, 04:50PM »

P.S. Linking Harrison's response in the OTHER thread where I b!tched about this issue, for the sake of keeping all these ideas together, and because otherwise I will forget that this post was in a different thread.

lots of people shorten their tuning slides, especially bass players using mouthpieces that are way too big. It's not a big deal. Most good techs can do it for relatively low prices too. They just cut length off of the stockings and the cylindrical tubes the stockings go into.

I shortened my alto about 6 months ago.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 29, 2017, 09:26PM »

Wessex will probably do it for free, but if you have somebody else do the work it will both cost money and void the warranty.
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 30, 2017, 02:33AM »

I am sure Wessex will do it for free.
But it probably takes some time to have it done.
All tech have done this to many Bach bass trombones and some Holtons, it is not expencive.

If you are sure about the horn, you like it and want to keep it I do suggest that you find a pro tech and have it done by him/her.

It is a myth that it is because of of to big mouthpieces that makes the bass trombones flatt, Bach trombones has at least for last 60 years been sold with a 1 1/2 G. Still very often flatt. The Chinese has probably copied a misstake from American manufactures. Bach bass trombones are often flatt.
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LowrBrass

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« Reply #9 on: Nov 30, 2017, 05:15AM »

Wessex will probably do it for free, but if you have somebody else do the work it will both cost money and void the warranty.

Started drafting the letter to Wessex yesterday. Writing takes me a looong time.  :)


I am sure Wessex will do it for free.
But it probably takes some time to have it done.
All tech have done this to many Bach bass trombones and some Holtons, it is not expencive.

If you are sure about the horn, you like it and want to keep it I do suggest that you find a pro tech and have it done by him/her.

I am indeed uneasy about sending it away for months, but is that why you recommend a local tech?


It is a myth that it is because of of to big mouthpieces that makes the bass trombones flatt, Bach trombones has at least for last 60 years been sold with a 1 1/2 G. Still very often flatt. The Chinese has probably copied a misstake from American manufactures. Bach bass trombones are often flatt.

That's nuts. I had no idea.

Do all Bach/Holton horns have aftermarket-shortened tuning slides, or is it just accepted that bass trombone players generally play flat?
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 30, 2017, 05:32AM »

The requirements of horn length are determined by mouthpiece cup depth plus oral cavity size.

Modern humans have larger oral cavities due to their larger size than adults 60 years ago. It adds to the flatness of horns designed pre-WWII...which is most horns.
Pitch has also gone up to 442 in most places.

So, buy the cheapo hacksaw for $4 and hack away. Four cuts and if they're not long enough cut again.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 30, 2017, 06:00AM »

^ This is BS, of course.

Don't do anything by yourself.  I would send the horn to a tech who happens to be a good bass trombonist so you can be sure to get tuning to where it should be and the horn will be usable to other players.  Benn Hansson in Seattle comes to mind.

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« Reply #12 on: Nov 30, 2017, 06:27AM »

Just for fun, have you had other players try the horn? How about trying another mouthpiece? I had a similar problem once trying to play my Edwards tenor with a Schilke 58 to cover some quasi bass parts. Everything was really flat on that mp, although the horn itself was fine with a different one.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 30, 2017, 07:39AM »

One of the things I offer in my mouthpieces is a slightly smaller shank which goes in a little farther and helps a little.

I play a Kuhnl & Hoyer Slokar tenor and I had them make me a shorter tuning slide for it because I had trouble playing it up to pitch.
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 30, 2017, 08:06AM »

So, buy the cheapo hacksaw for $4 and hack away. Four cuts and if they're not long enough cut again.

Interpret that as internet hyperbole.



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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #15 on: Nov 30, 2017, 08:45AM »

From Philadelphia there are a lot of great techs only a short drive away in Baltimore or metro New York (and maybe even in Philly).  Wessex has a branch in Michigan, but I don't think they have any repair facilities there.

Bass trombone players often play flat because they are using too big a mouthpiece in order to favor the lowest notes (which are only a very small percentage of the ones you are called to play).  But a 2G is already on the small side of bass trombone mouthpieces.  Maybe you need some embouchure work.  Mostly exercises like LONG TONES against a drone.  Work on bringing up the center of the pitch.  A lesson with Doug Elliott might help a lot although there are many teachers who could also help (I am not one).
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 30, 2017, 08:59AM »

Trumpet players getting a flugelhorn for the first time usually play it very flat.  After a while they figure it out and the pitch comes up to normal.  (Or as normal as a flugelhorn is)

The same CAN be true for a beginning bass trombonist, but the simple fact is that Bach and others build instruments that are on the flat side and many times it's a problem for everybody, not just beginners. 

I would guess that Wessex will build you a shorter tuning slide and you won't have to send your horn anywhere.

And by the way, you can accomplish the same thing in an even better way by shortening the handslide, but that's a lot more work.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 30, 2017, 09:14AM »

Trumpet players getting a flugelhorn for the first time usually play it very flat.  After a while they figure it out and the pitch comes up to normal.  (Or as normal as a flugelhorn is)

The same CAN be true for a beginning bass trombonist, but the simple fact is that Bach and others build instruments that are on the flat side and many times it's a problem for everybody, not just beginners. 

I would guess that Wessex will build you a shorter tuning slide and you won't have to send your horn anywhere.

And by the way, you can accomplish the same thing in an even better way by shortening the handslide, but that's a lot more work.

Even with two rotors, there are times when we bass trombonists need to play C in seventh.  Most handslides are a little short for this already.  I recall the Conn 72H being just long enough.  Shortening the handslide will take that note away.  Of course, we COULD lip it... but I'd rather have it on the slide.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 30, 2017, 09:28AM »

I understand that, but 1/4" (or less) off the handslide would easily fix the pitch of the whole horn, and not make much difference in the playability of that ONE note.
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 30, 2017, 12:10PM »

It's like no matter what you do there's always some drawback.   :/


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Robert Holmén

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