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Author Topic: Getting a red brass bell  (Read 1538 times)
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MontyPython
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« on: Jan 08, 2018, 05:36PM »

Hi all I'm new and I play has an intermediate player on a Bach 50B3LO.   I bought the horn used and it has a couple of dents in the Bell and I thought tax season would be a good excuse to purchase a bell with a darker warmer sound. After a lot of searching I found the Edwards instrument website. Has anybody gone through this is this a hassle?
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Burgerbob

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« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2018, 05:54PM »

If you want to get a new bell, I would just get a stock Bach yellow or gold bell (9.5in). The L bell can be very thin and will pick up dents, as you know, but the stock bells sound great and will hold up a lot better.

Edwards bells will not fit the tuning slide legs and will require some finagling.

Rose bells look darker than yellow bells, but don't necessarily end up sounding that way.
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:06PM »

For a Bach (or any non-modular horn) this is a hassle.  If you are really committed to a red brass bell you should look for a horn that comes with one.  I'm not sure if Holton or Conn models were made this way (certainly not currently) but you can get red brass for Edwards, Shires, or Rath.

The main alloys used on non-modular horns are yellow brass and gold/rose brass (usually one but not the other).  Bach has offered gold brass in almost all models and a good combination is to pair it with the lightweight nickel-silver slide.  Note that rose brass and gold brass are used interchangeably although gold brass is usually 80% copper and rose brass is 85% copper.  Red brass is 90% copper and was used on the Conn 88H.

Good luck in finding what you really want.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:14PM »


Rose bells look darker than yellow bells, but don't necessarily end up sounding that way.

 Good! Good! Good! Good! Good! THIS!! Good! Good! Good! Good! Good!

Color is not sound. Red brass is often assumed to make the tone darker, but it seldom does.
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MontyPython
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 09, 2018, 08:23AM »

Thanks! Edwardsquote $925 for a bell, and said I would be successful if I also purchased some changable/adapting brackets from them, about another $150, but it started to feel a bit in the "cobbling" arena, so I appreciate your confirming feedback.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 09, 2018, 08:37AM »

I recently replaced a bass bell from Kanstul, and only paid $650 for the new bell. Not sure if a Kanstul bell will just fit onto a 50b, at the very least it will have to be soldered in.

It's going to cost you at least half the price of another used horn to do this. You might be better off financially to just sell what you have and then buy what you want.
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:04AM »

Thanks! Edwardsquote $925 for a bell, and said I would be successful if I also purchased some changable/adapting brackets from them, about another $150, but it started to feel a bit in the "cobbling" arena, so I appreciate your confirming feedback.
...but as BurgerBob mentioned you would also need to purchase an Edwards tuning slide and have the bell section of the Bach set up to "mate" said tuning slide to it (along w the bell). Not an inexpensive ordeal...
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 09, 2018, 11:54AM »

...but as BurgerBob mentioned you would also need to purchase an Edwards tuning slide and have the bell section of the Bach set up to "mate" said tuning slide to it (along w the bell). Not an inexpensive ordeal...


Actually, I had an Edwards bell put on a Bach chassis.  You have to replace the Edwards bell's tuning slide receiver with a Bach receiver.  Trying to do this via the tuning slides gets worse because Bach tuning slides aren't reversed like Edwards are.  The Bach receiver on the Edwards bell is a much easier way to make things fit. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 10, 2018, 03:57PM »

Iím only speaking for myself. After several decades of playing and about 10 years of experiment with equipment after 30 years of playing the same two horns, I donít thing bell material makes that much difference.

Bell weight is a different matter for me. Iím not looking to be the loudest Tbn player on a band or play directly into a microphone.
I like silver and gold brass/copper bells aesthetically. I have tried Brass, unlacquered, gold brass and silver Bach 36 bells.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 10, 2018, 05:23PM »

In about 1982 I bought a spare red 10 1/2" Bach bell from Bach, and switched out the yellow bell on my 50B3L.

The red bell just made it MORE diffuse, and harder to articulate. I was a fool. ( I STILL AM!)

The correct answer is to buy a nice small metal spoon and a jar of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Yellow and red bells both will crumble and bend under their own weight they are so thin compared to their diameter. They aren't called the pizza pan bells for nothing.....


1. Smear some Vaseline on the back side of a spoon.
2. Place the spoon in your hand so that the thumb ball fits into the spoon.
3. Use the rounded/back/bowl of the spoon to massage dents out of your 10 1/2" bells, using your thumb in a circular motion.
4. Wipe the Vaseline off of the bell, the lacquer will be unharmed.

Get used to repeating steps 1 to 4 every week, as all 10 1/2" bells bend and dent.

That is, except for my 1955 Olds 10 1/2" yellow bell, which is easily three times as thick as a Bach bell is.
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John Beers Jr.

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« Reply #10 on: Jan 10, 2018, 06:58PM »

Iím only speaking for myself. After several decades of playing and about 10 years of experiment with equipment after 30 years of playing the same two horns, I donít thing bell material makes that much difference.

Bell weight is a different matter for me. Iím not looking to be the loudest Tbn player on a band or play directly into a microphone.
I like silver and gold brass/copper bells aesthetically. I have tried Brass, unlacquered, gold brass and silver Bach 36 bells.

I would agree, but only so far as to say that "brass color" doesn't make that big a difference, at least when compared to bell construction. I think a pure silver bell (as opposed to plated) like the SterlingPlus/Silversonic/SGX lines definitely makes a noticeable difference to the sound/feel, as does nickel silver (available from Rath). Also, whether the bell's bead is soldered or unsoldered, or what weight the bell happens to be.

Past that? I think it comes down more to the differences between individual, hand-spun bells more than it does anything to do with the bell's color.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 10, 2018, 07:11PM »

To amplify a bit on what John Beers has said, the differences we are talking about are subtle.  I bought a gold bell because I liked the look and my playing adapted to it.  Now I sound kinda bright on yellow bells.

Red bells are impressive.  Silver bells are impressive.  You can play either of them and sound like a wounded moose.

Heavy bells will take more air and let you play LOUDER before they break up, but you have to put more air into them to get them to sound.  It's always a tradeoff.

If a particular setup makes you practice, it's good.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 10, 2018, 07:38PM »

Quote from Bonesmarch :"That is, except for my 1955 Olds 10 1/2" yellow bell, which is easily three times as thick as a Bach bell is."
   OR ---- My King 8B [2108] 10 1/2" Gold Brass Bell !   Cheers !!  Bob
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 11, 2018, 12:46AM »

Hi all I'm new and I play has an intermediate player on a Bach 50B3LO.   I bought the horn used and it has a couple of dents in the Bell and I thought tax season would be a good excuse to purchase a bell with a darker warmer sound. After a lot of searching I found the Edwards instrument website. Has anybody gone through this is this a hassle?

Some small dents doesnt affect the horn that much. Darker warmer sound is in the end more about how you play. Bell is only one little factor of the hole picture. Mouthpiece, leadpipe, slide, so many factors that make a horn. But warmer darker sound comes mostly from how you play. And how your input fits the horn. Maybe take a trip not only to Edwards, and try everything. Many sounds nice on a Bach so the horn you already have should be OK. Unless something is wrong with it.

Leif
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bonesmarsh
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 11, 2018, 03:33AM »

Bob-

   When I briefly studied with Van Haney he was doing the R&D on the King  8B horn and bell. He hated that bell and kept a packet of emery cloth in the case of the prototype. Every day he would thin the spout of that bell, trying to make it a copy of an Elkhart Conn bell.

Eventually he got it to where he liked it. King rejected his idea because it would have been expensive to make his idea of a bell, and a year later he was back doing R&D and promo work for Holton.

Glad you like your bell, Van did everything in his power to make you not like it! hah hah hahaha hah
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 11, 2018, 04:28AM »

Actually, I had an Edwards bell put on a Bach chassis.  You have to replace the Edwards bell's tuning slide receiver with a Bach receiver.  Trying to do this via the tuning slides gets worse because Bach tuning slides aren't reversed like Edwards are.  The Bach receiver on the Edwards bell is a much easier way to make things fit. 
this too... :D
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 11, 2018, 04:38AM »

with all due respect to Van Haney, my opinion is the issue with the King 8B was not the bell.
I too was not quite satisfied with my 8B which led me to all manners of equipment experimentation in my college years, and I finally gave up & bought a Bach 50.
But then I got the bright Idea to mount the 8B bell on the Bach 50B chassis (using the King valves), and it is the bees knees. All the best qualities of Bach and King. Nothing at all like the 10 1/2" Bach pizza pan bells, which I believe are the same shape as the 9-1/2" bells with extra flare (and as it seems, the same amount of metal, just spread out to the extra flare)
The King 8B bell has a giant throat, I have had to customize every mute I've ever bought for that horn. I think that is the key to the sound. It is impossible to overblow. Maybe with the original slide/leadpipe the 8B was a bit tubby, but the Bach chassis lends that clarity and cleanliness of articulation to the sound so it is broad, warm and focused at the same time, from ppp right up to fff.
My understanding is that when they developed the Benge 290 they skimmed down the 8B mandrel to make it just a bit smaller throat (and flare- the 290 was 10")
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 11, 2018, 05:15AM »

Pete,
You may just be entirely correct. We may all be correct. The mouthpiece Van Haney preferred at the time of his R&D for the 8B was the stock Benge 1 1/2G-- which was a Bach 1 1/2 G with a slightly larger throat.

Different mouthpieces on a bell as large as 10 1/2" have great differences on the feel to the player. I thought about it for a long time, and eventually came up with the conclusion that that large a bell just makes the horn play like a very bad euphonium-- if the mouthpiece is wrong for that sized bell.

Once you find the right mouthpiece and horn to fit your chops, and your ears, pleasing only yourself, nothing is wrong. Everything is permissible if it pleases you and pleases an audience.
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 11, 2018, 06:06AM »

"But Nils Landgren's bell so red, pwofessew. Soow wred!"

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« Reply #19 on: Jan 11, 2018, 09:05AM »

Pete,
You may just be entirely correct. We may all be correct. The mouthpiece Van Haney preferred at the time of his R&D for the 8B was the stock Benge 1 1/2G-- which was a Bach 1 1/2 G with a slightly larger throat.

Different mouthpieces on a bell as large as 10 1/2" have great differences on the feel to the player. I thought about it for a long time, and eventually came up with the conclusion that that large a bell just makes the horn play like a very bad euphonium-- if the mouthpiece is wrong for that sized bell.

Once you find the right mouthpiece and horn to fit your chops, and your ears, pleasing only yourself, nothing is wrong. Everything is permissible if it pleases you and pleases an audience.

I agree wholeheartedly.
I apologize for diverting the thread into a discussion about big bells when it began as one about red brass.
the 8B was a rose brass Id guess you'd say. I had no chance to compare it to a yellow version of the same bell since as far as I know none were ever made in yellow. So, consider all my comments in this thread to be null and void.
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 11, 2018, 02:01PM »

A point of clarification.

Yes, the Bach 50 bells are all spun on the same mandrel, but it is NOT "the same amount of metal, just spread out to the extra flare". Both bell sizes start out at the same thickness and the same shape blank, and they are simply trimmed to a different diameter at the end of the forming.

FWIW...
M
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 11, 2018, 03:51PM »

The King 8B that I mentioned earlier was ordered with a "Gold Brass" bell.  Far from being a "tubby" horn I found it to be overly bright and could easily get out of hand at louder dynamics.  To improve that characteristic I had my tech install a removable bell brace.  My tech, Wayne Baughman,[also a trumpeter by trade] reasoned that trumpets had a bell brace about a third of the way from the end of the bell and that a trombone should have had one also except for the fact that it would be impossible to separate the bell and slide for storage if that brace was soldered in place.  Therefore, he made the brace removable using his own clever design.   I had posted pictures of this unique solution in other posts on the forum, but I suppose, like so many other helpful photos, they have disappeared into the ether. I alternated the 8B with my beloved Duo Gravis for at least 20 years of my playing career. I still find it to be a great horn with a wonderful sound.  Others may disagree -----------.   Cheers !!  Bob
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 11, 2018, 05:08PM »

A point of clarification.

Yes, the Bach 50 bells are all spun on the same mandrel, but it is NOT "the same amount of metal, just spread out to the extra flare". Both bell sizes start out at the same thickness and the same shape blank, and they are simply trimmed to a different diameter at the end of the forming.

FWIW...
M
Then why are the 50BL bells always so thin?

If they are made the way you said they are then they would be the same exact thickness as a regular 50B bell, which in many of our experiences... is not the case.
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 11, 2018, 05:17PM »

A point of clarification.

Yes, the Bach 50 bells are all spun on the same mandrel, but it is NOT "the same amount of metal, just spread out to the extra flare". Both bell sizes start out at the same thickness and the same shape blank, and they are simply trimmed to a different diameter at the end of the forming.

FWIW...
M

Has that changed over time? All the post-Corp bells up until the '00s I've seen were very thin. I did have a teacher with a very heavy gauge gold L (but not H) bell, so they do exist.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 11, 2018, 07:34PM »

Then why are the 50BL bells always so thin?

If they are made the way you said they are then they would be the same exact thickness as a regular 50B bell, which in many of our experiences... is not the case.
The metal gets thinner as you spread out in diameter the way Bach forms their bells. If you trimmed it back an inch, it would be extremely similar/within normal variation near the (new) rim.

Cheers,
Andy
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« Reply #25 on: Jan 12, 2018, 03:03AM »

8Bob,
I remember seeing those photos of your brace- I wish I had tried that solution back in the day. I do think that with a little more development the 8B could've been a really great horn out of the box. Unfortunately the 50BL has ruined the reputation of large bell bassbones. The 8B really does have a wonderful sound. I've only ever met a handful of people who played one, Bob Higgins comes to mind- I don't know if he still plays it but when I knew him in the late 80's he was playing one & sounded like a god. He had a Benge 290 leadpipe fitted to it, and after hearing him play like that I immediately went to Chuck Ward & had him put one in mine. That definitely made the difference- tamed the brightness in the loud dynamics as you mentioned.
I bought my 8B second hand from a small music store in Bowling Green OH owned by the parents of the late Lamar Jones after he had passed. I think it still had some of his magic in it.
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 12, 2018, 09:23AM »

I only read the first several replies, but if no one mentioned it a Holton bell is pretty fun on a Bach chassis. I have a 280 bell on a mostly Bach bell section and I love it.
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MontyPython
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« Reply #27 on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:38PM »

The metal gets thinner as you spread out in diameter the way Bach forms their bells. If you trimmed it back an inch, it would be extremely similar/within normal variation near the (new) rim.

Cheers,
Andy

My 50b3LO is a thin gauge for sure.  The stock case put the bell at an angle, and if the case gets dropped on it's end the weight of the upper section will crease your bell.
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MontyPython
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« Reply #28 on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:47PM »

I only read the first several replies, but if no one mentioned it a Holton bell is pretty fun on a Bach chassis. I have a 280 bell on a mostly Bach bell section and I love it.
 

Does a person have to be lucky to find holton bells, or did you just find a holton bone and strip it?
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« Reply #29 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:07PM »

 

Does a person have to be lucky to find holton bells, or did you just find a holton bone and strip it?
A few years ago there was a cache of 280 bells (screw bells) that were available on eBay.

I was also lucky to get one, as was Blast.  It is a fun bell, but I still need to get a case to take advantage it.

Cheers,
Andy
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« Reply #30 on: Jan 12, 2018, 11:43PM »

A few years ago there was a cache of 280 bells (screw bells) that were available on eBay.

I was also lucky to get one, as was Blast.  It is a fun bell, but I still need to get a case to take advantage it.

Cheers,
Andy

I went down to Big 5 sporting goods and got a double rifle case on clearance. I posted about it, and it works great if you need slim transport over heavy protection.

I got that bass here on the Forum and I would love to be able to put an old 9.5Ē Holton bell on for a try, but I hate the thought of one of those beauties needing to be taken apart. Though I would think any good technician could reassemble it no sweat.

Anyway my personal advice would be to try to trade for a different horn if you feel you need something different.
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