Holton trombones

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lou2cv:
Just how good are Holton trombones ? My teacher is not really sure that they are good instruments, he says that they don't have a good reputation. WHat do you think about that ?

Elkhart 88H:
Holton trombones may not be well known in France, but they have a fine reputation in the United States.  The Holton bass trombones are particularly good.  They've also built some very fine small tenors over the years, including the current TR-100, and their large tenors have a small but enthusiastic following among advanced amateurs and professionals.  At one time, the entire Chicago Symphony trombone section played Holton instruments.

Mike Suter is the OTJ Forum's resident expert on the Holton bass trombones.  Perhaps he'll chime in with details on his favorite current and past Holtons.

Bamadawg:
The older, 40s-60s Holton small bores are very decent horns... ranging from 7 1/4" thru 8" bells... .485-.500 bore slides... different flavor bells... gold brass, yellow, nickel, silv-plated, red brass. They were played by some Big Band names in the day.

My high-schooler plays a 60s Holton 69, 8" red-bell w/a nickel slide in marching band. The current TR-100 is same spec as the 69 I believe.

Nate

BGuttman:
Frank Holton was a trombonist in Sousa's Band.

He started a company making slide oil in the 1890's.  Then he added cusion rim mouthpieces (I believe the rims were gutta percha).

Trombones followed in the early 1900's and Holton was considered a major maker in the field through the 1970's.  The bass trombones were and are highly prized to this day.

As with any other instrument, there are good and bad examples of any model.  I tried a TR-150 (.547" bore, 9" bell) that played decently, but my teacher told me to avoid them because of a history of valve failure.

Don't even mention Holton and Selman in the same breath.  It's like comparing a Renoir to a 6 year-old's fingerpainting.

Dan H.:
Quote from: "lou2cv"

Just how good are Holton trombones ? My teacher is not really sure that they are good instruments, he says that they don't have a good reputation. WHat do you think about that ?


These days, Holton trombones are rarely seen or talked about. Their bass trombones, especially, used to be held in high regard, but the latter models such as the 181 have not been widely accepted. In terms of tenor trombones, your guess is as good as mine, as I've never seen one played.

All I can say for sure is that decades ago they had a fine reputation, but they have largely disappeared from the playing field (at least in the trombone realm).

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