Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1087406 Posts in 72027 Topics- by 19247 Members - Latest Member: jasonsato1
Jump to:  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Shires, Edwards differences?  (Read 2992 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
tbonereb86
*
Offline Offline

Location: Mississippi
Joined: Mar 14, 2004
Posts: 26

View Profile
« on: Apr 18, 2004, 08:46PM »

I am sort of looking at getting a new custom tenor, and I was wondering if someone could enlighten me on some of the differences in Edwards and Shires horns. I had almost decided to get an Edwards, when my future college teacher told me that the Edwards Thayer valve was not as good. I have decided to wait awhile before I make any expensive decisions, but any insight on the different qualities generally associated with the two makers would be helpful, as would any opinions on which make has the better valve section, slide, reliability, ect. I am trying to avoid sounding like the archetypical high school poster who has to ask "which is better, Bach or Conn" every week or so, so I hope that I haven't just incited a Shires vs. Edwards turf war or anything, just wanting some input from people who have played both.
Logged
jerePosaune
« Reply #1 on: Apr 18, 2004, 09:29PM »

why only shires and edwards, i know my current conn plays better than both those brands. i would suggest that you try a bunch of stuff first before you settle on spending that kind of money.

one of the most noticable differences i think with the two brands is that Edwards is like an expensive customized Bach and a Shires is an expensive customized Conn. Also dont limit yourself to just a thayer valve. try out traditional rotors. the way they are built today, with .562 throughout the rotor (on most horns anyways) really opens them up.

i have played a shires with both the standard rotor and with a thayer and i felt more free with the traditional rotor. i felt i had more center in the sound. i have not played an edwards though, just one of those getzen 3047(sorry dont know the model letters) with a thayer and didnt much care for it, at the time at least. things might be different today.

bottom line when purchasing a new horn. try out all your options before you throw 3200 bucks in a custom horn like that. try other brands, you can customize many horns in similar ways as you can shires/edwards and you can save some serious cash goin that way too.

hope that helps some.
Logged
prototypedenNIS
Shameless

*
Offline Offline

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Joined: Mar 3, 2003
Posts: 9561

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: Apr 18, 2004, 09:45PM »

compare....
they're customs.  High quality.  I don't really think that you can compare them.  They make the horn for you so there's nothing stagnant to compare.
Logged

denNIS
HuskerTX

*
Offline Offline

Location: Austin, TX
Joined: Jul 14, 2000
Posts: 1428

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: Apr 18, 2004, 10:25PM »

I'm going to have to disagree with Denis. There are a few points for comparison between Shires and Edwards. While trying them for yourself is of course the best way to go, here are a few (loose) guidelines.

I personally play a Shires with a traditional rotor. It's not really a traditional rotor, though. Gary Greenhoe designed his valve in conjunction with Steve Shires. The valves you see on Shires horns are basically Greenhoe valves without the logo and with a different tube wrapping.

ANYWAY, Shires horns tend to be more variable. As in it's much, much easier to color the sound the way you want it. You can be massive and dark, small and light, and every combination in between. I use my Shires large bore for a variety of different purposes and it suits all of them. About the only thing it doesn't do is play lead in our jazz ensembles.

Edwards horns are very different animals. So many orchestra guys use Edwards because the sound you get on an Edwards of any one configuration will be the sound you get on that configuration until the end of time. They have a very even response and get a consistent sound throughout the all registers. The downside to this is that they are extremely difficult to color in different ways. This is great in the orchestra where you need a consistent sound, but most of us are not full time orchestra players. These aren't the ideal solo instruments for most people.

Both horns are great horns. There are full time orchestra players using Shires . (Rhode Island is one I can think of off the top of my head). There are active soloists using Edwards. (Joe Alessi). Whichever sounds best to you is the one that works. Try both. Hope this helps.
Logged

The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music... they should be taught to love it instead.
-Igor Stravinsky
MoeTrombone

*
Offline Offline

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: Aug 2, 2002
Posts: 760

View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: Apr 18, 2004, 10:31PM »

I own a Shires because it was the best horn for me. You'll like them, you'll like the Edwards' too, it's a matter of which one you like more.

The Edwards thayer valve is fine, just like any thayer valve though you have to clean it and maintain it. I've played ones that are perfect and ones that are terrible - actionwise anyway, just because of the upkeep. Ditto for Shires.

I never really liked thayers much, I dig them for low playing and I would probably get one if I ever needed a bass, but a nice responsive rotor, or no valve at all is my preference for tenor.
Logged

"Don't look at the trombones. It only encourages them." -Strauss
Beth Lewis
*
Offline Offline

Location: Dallas, TX
Joined: Sep 21, 2000
Posts: 479

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: Apr 18, 2004, 10:33PM »

Well, My Shires is prettier.  Clever  
Seriously, I've been happily playing a Shires for about 4 years.  They pay a lot of attention to individual customers.  There were some minor problems with the slide and valve section they first sent (plus the bell got dented in shipment), but they sent replacement parts to me quickly and without hassle.  My past two teachers (Friedman, Kitzman) have been Bach players.  Of course they would rather I be one too, but Mt. Vernon Bachs don't grow on trees.   I can't say if this is the best horn for you.  What I hear repeatedly is that Shires are more flexible than Edwards.   There are obviously some similarities since Steve was one of Edward's original designers.  Listen to people playing various instruments and try them yourself.  If you can get to the ITF, that would be a great way to compare.
Logged
elmsandr

*
Offline Offline

Location: Howell, MI
Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Posts: 3324

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: Apr 19, 2004, 03:05AM »

Quote from: "jerePosaune"
one of the most noticable differences i think with the two brands is that Edwards is like an expensive customized Bach and a Shires is an expensive customized Conn.


I would disagree with this statement.  First, neither manufacturer makes one-piece bells standard.  This is IMO a very big part of the sound of a Bach.  Also, Edwards and Shires both have two slide configurations, one more Conn like and the other more Bach like.  I think that you can find a configuration that leans either way from each manufacturer.

I play an Edwards bass with a Bach bell flare.  Plenty of colorability in my sound, but I think a portion of that is due to the bell that I put on.  If I were in the market again today, one manufacturer that I would have to consider is Rath.  They have some excellent horns out there and seem to be doing some real development on horn construction.   I would kick my grandmother to get my hands on one with the nickel silver bell....

Cheers,
Andy
Logged

Andrew Elms
David Schwartz

*
Offline Offline

Location: Belmont, MA
Joined: Aug 13, 2001
Posts: 1186

View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: Apr 19, 2004, 05:19AM »

Ask you future trombone prof more about his or her instrument preferences.

It's also useful to spend an hour at the Shires and Edwards web sites to learn about the various choices.  First, watch the hour of streaming video with Steve Shires and me.  Here's the URL

http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/it_s/internet2/trombone/
Select the April 8 trombone event.

About your prof's preferences, keep your ears open.  Is there one prescription, or are there a variety of possibilities.

This weekend, at the N.Y. Brass Conference, I heard both the Julliard and Eastman School trombone choirs.  In Julliard's choir all the tenor trombones look like Mr. Alessi's trombone, open wrap, yellow brass bell, symphonic trombones, probably Edwards.  In the Eastman Bionic Bones there was great diversity, including various small bore trombones of in various colors.  Doc Marcellus himself played a Conn with axial flow valve.

Now, I'd like to sound like Joe Alessi.  And, though Steve Shires would cringe to hear me say it, I think my Shires tenor looks a lot like Mr. Alessi's Edwards tenor.  Yellow brass bell.  Large-crook yellow brass slide.  Axial-flow valve.  Greg Black mouthpiece.

But I know I could have a warmer, more covered sound, with a gold brass or rose or red brass bell.  I could have more color with a lighter weight bell.  I could have more projection with a heavier yellow brass bell.

I could have a more efficient, quicker response, with a rotary valve, maybe at the expense of great openness in the low range, which I get with my axial flow valve.

I could have a more lyric, possibly easier to play instrument with the small, Conn-like slide crook.  I could have a faster responding, jazz-friendly, clearer sound with a smaller bore trombone.

Jim Pugh and Eijiro Nakagawa performed this weekend both on small bore instruments (.500, .508, .525?) and on .547's, depending on the ensemble.  Even the brighest .547's can disappear or become inaudible or mushy behind cellos or tenor saxes, even at fortissimo.

There are good reasons for all the choices.  

David
Logged

David A. Schwartz, Belmont, Massachusetts
Bordogni and Breakfast Website
actikid
*
Offline Offline

Location: Indianapolis
Joined: Dec 30, 2001
Posts: 10552

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: Apr 19, 2004, 06:56AM »

Quote from: "tbonereb86"
I am sort of looking at getting a new custom tenor, and I was wondering if someone could enlighten me on some of the differences in Edwards and Shires horns..

Welcome to the forum.  May I recommend you familiarize yourself with the wonderful search capability available here.  If you use that, you will find 24,578 threads on this subject.  There used to be more, but the administrators cleaned up when we moved to a new server a few months ago.

If you don't want to read all 24,578 threads, I think I can give you the Cliffs Notes version right here.  There seem to be three salient points:

1) It depends
2) Your mileage may vary
3) It is better to actually try an instrument than to theorize about it.
Logged

Where was Blackwater on the morning of September 11, 2001?
bickle
Formerly titled by the Walt

*
Offline Offline

Location: winsvilletown, baby!
Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 8451
"Horn cues are good!"


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: Apr 19, 2004, 07:32AM »

Let me add one more:

4) lots of people have a whole lot of fun going to these guys' shops and trying out horns.

Road trip!
Logged
Mahlerbone

*
Offline Offline

Location: Newington, CT
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Posts: 3494

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: Apr 19, 2004, 12:23PM »

Quote from: "jerePosaune"
i know my current conn plays better than both those brands.


That's opinion, not fact.
Logged

Shires alto w/ yellow bell
Shires T00NLW, 1YM8, 1.5 tuning slide
Shires TB47G, 7YLW, TY tuning slide, standard rotor
Shires B62LW, BI 2G, Bollinger tuning slide, dependent Trubores
Steve McGovern
*
Offline Offline

Location: Woburn, Massachusetts
Joined: Jan 11, 2003
Posts: 1956

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: Apr 19, 2004, 12:34PM »

Quote
4) lots of people have a whole lot of fun going to these guys' shops and trying out horns.

Road trip!


So...  How guilty should I feel about doing this recreationally?  Wasting Dale's time & such.

Of course, the last (only) time I visited the Shires shop, it haunted me for the next several years.  If I practiced enough to really know what I want, I'd get one in a heartbeat.
The more I practice, the less dis-satisfied I am with my Bach.    Clever
Logged
Mahlerbone

*
Offline Offline

Location: Newington, CT
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Posts: 3494

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: Apr 19, 2004, 12:47PM »

The most common difference that I've heard to date is that Shires horns seem to be more variable in tone color than Edwards.   This is not necessarily true for all their horns, however.  I have a Shires heavy gold brass bell, and it is very stable in sound.  Not very flexible.  It's great for playing in orchestras for composers like Mahler and Bruckner, because it keeps the sound together very nicely when playing loud.  Most of the time I use a lightweight red brass bell, because it's a lot easier to change the sound.  It sounds very warm at low volumes, but brightens up considerably at high volumes.

Another difference is that Shires will soon have three different valves made in house.  

Shires is now experimenting with both one piece and two piece bells, and two-tone bells as well (two different brass alloys on the same bell).
 
Lastly, Shires actually has three .547 slide configurations.  They have the Conn-like slide, which has the narrow crook.  They also have the Bach-like slide, which has a bass crook.  They also have a third option, which is a wide crook, but in the .547 bore.  This is good if you want something in between a Conn and Bach-style slide.  It's the one that I use.
Logged

Shires alto w/ yellow bell
Shires T00NLW, 1YM8, 1.5 tuning slide
Shires TB47G, 7YLW, TY tuning slide, standard rotor
Shires B62LW, BI 2G, Bollinger tuning slide, dependent Trubores
David Gross
*
Offline Offline

Location: Sudbury Massachusetts
Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 3377

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: Apr 19, 2004, 12:59PM »

Quote from: "Steve McGovern"
The more I practice, the less dis-satisfied I am with my Bach.    Clever

Another excursion to Shires' factory should cure THAT in a hurry!  Evil
Logged

Dave

Money talks. Mine says "Bye bye!"
actikid
*
Offline Offline

Location: Indianapolis
Joined: Dec 30, 2001
Posts: 10552

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: Apr 19, 2004, 12:59PM »

Quote from: "Steve McGovern"
Quote
4) lots of people have a whole lot of fun going to these guys' shops and trying out horns.

Road trip!


So...  How guilty should I feel about doing this recreationally?  Wasting Dale's time & such.

Of course, the last (only) time I visited the Shires shop, it haunted me for the next several years.  If I practiced enough to really know what I want, I'd get one in a heartbeat.
The more I practice, the less dis-satisfied I am with my Bach.    Clever

That's a great question, and I'm pretty sure it is not addressed in those other 24,578 threads.

It is really a matter of ethics, isn't it?

I think I'd look at Edwards and Shires differently from some of the other custom shops like Rath, Lawler, Schmetzer and so on.  Both Edwards and Shires have built their marketing around a message that says, more or less, that modular instruments aren't of much use without the expert consulting you get from the factory.  I think there is a lot of truth to that.

I see the other shops differently.  In those cases, you are dealing more with individuals as opposed to a marketing model.  I don't know if it changes anything in the final analysis, but it feels differently to me.

The purpose of the consulting is to sell gear, clearly.  I'm sure these sales consultants are way too polite to say that, but that's what it s all about.  On the other hand, nobody should be expected to buy something that isn't exactly what they want.

So for me, the ethics come down to this.  There is an expectation that if you book an appointment, you are a serious customer.  If you have no intention of buying anything any time and just want to window shop, you should tell the factory exactly that.  If they are smart, they will find a way to accommodate you anyway because:

a) you might get the bug and walk out with a horn on the spot

b) you might start a slow salivation and end up buying one of their products in a few months

c) you most certainly will be a great source of free advertising for them.

So I'd say, honesty is the best policy.
Logged

Where was Blackwater on the morning of September 11, 2001?
actikid
*
Offline Offline

Location: Indianapolis
Joined: Dec 30, 2001
Posts: 10552

View Profile
« Reply #15 on: Apr 19, 2004, 01:04PM »

Quote from: "Mahlerbone"
The most common difference that I've heard to date is that Shires horns seem to be more variable in tone color than Edwards.   This is not necessarily true for all their horns, however.  I have a Shires heavy gold brass bell, and it is very stable in sound.  Not very flexible.  It's great for playing in orchestras for composers like Mahler and Bruckner, because it keeps the sound together very nicely when playing loud.  Most of the time I use a lightweight red brass bell, because it's a lot easier to change the sound.  It sounds very warm at low volumes, but brightens up considerably at high volumes.

I think that "Edwards=Less variable" is a steroetype that lingers from the early days when they displaced a lot of Bachs in symphony orchestras.  Edwards and Shires are using mostly the same metals and processes.  A Conn-style bell is more "color-able" on an Edwards just as it is on a Shires.
Logged

Where was Blackwater on the morning of September 11, 2001?
jerePosaune
« Reply #16 on: Apr 19, 2004, 01:10PM »

Quote from: "Mahlerbone"
Quote from: "jerePosaune"
i know my current conn plays better than both those brands.


That's opinion, not fact.


or fact for me. personally.
Logged
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6989
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: Apr 19, 2004, 01:36PM »

The point with modular trombones is that they can be tailored to help the player produce the results he/she requires more easily. I don't think the idea of going to the factory for a 'fitting' is a bad one at all. We all become confused quite quickly when testing different spec. parts, and a person who knows the qualities of the bells, slides etc., can make all the difference in trombone selection. I have helped people myself in the selection of a Rath bass trombone. No two have ever come out the same !!
Each custom selection should end with the instrument that has the potential to get closer to that player's ideal than a stock instrument, but for some players(including many fine ones) a stock instrument IS their ideal- they would gain nothing from the custom search.
I would say that, in spite of the huge choice of spec. offered by Edwards, Shires and Rath, I think that there is an overall character to each maker's product, and players should try examples of these makes to determine their favoured maker, then go for their personal spec.
None of them ever sound the same as Conn or Bach or whatever, but they can be made to move in those directions.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
R10
*
Offline Offline

Location: UK
Joined: Jan 4, 2003
Posts: 135

View Profile
« Reply #18 on: Apr 19, 2004, 01:38PM »

Quote

Mahlerbone wrote:
jerePosaune wrote:
i know my current conn plays better than both those brands.  


That's opinion, not fact.


or fact for me. personally.


OK, so had can you justify that statment when in the very same post you said:

Quote
i have not played an edwards though
Logged

Rath R10 Red Bell
Rath R3F Yellow Bell, Nickel Slide
Rath R9 Nickel and Yellow Bells, Yellow Slide
Bach 42BO
B&S Alto
Blue pBone
Joshua Brown
*
Offline Offline

Location: Dallas, Texas
Joined: Sep 17, 2000
Posts: 688

View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: Apr 19, 2004, 05:32PM »

I'm not sure Dave Taylor would be playing an Edwards if they were only able to produce a few tone colors.  I don't know where this stereotype began, but it certainly isn't true.  I play my Edwards in numerous settings and have never had a problem producing the appropriate sound for the occasion.
Logged

Joshua Brown
www.bassbone.com
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to: