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Author Topic: Holton TR180 vs TR181  (Read 2619 times)
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robcat2075

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« Reply #20 on: Oct 06, 2013, 09:07AM »

I have a 181 and have never tried a 180 so i can't tell you either way, but I have encountered withering condescension for my 181 from some quarters so maybe it's good to avoid it just on that score.  :D


I'll admit that I've never made a serious study of the independent possibilities of the vales and I'd say a dependent system ought to be fine for 99.99% of what bass trombones do.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #21 on: Oct 06, 2013, 09:19AM »

I have a 181 and have never tried a 180 so i can't tell you either way, but I have encountered withering condescension for my 181 from some quarters so maybe it's good to avoid it just on that score.  :D

I'll admit that I've never made a serious study of the independent possibilities of the vales and I'd say a dependent system ought to be fine for 99.99% of what bass trombones do.

I think the 181 is a fine horn! It's all about what works for you. I just want a horn that plays reasonably well and that I can have fun with. Besides, the biggest thing I need right now isn't rotors or triggers, it's P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E.  :D
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 06, 2013, 09:27AM »

I think the 181 is a fine horn! It's all about what works for you. I just want a horn that plays reasonably well and that I can have fun with. Besides, the biggest thing I need right now isn't rotors or triggers, it's P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E.  :D

+1 . I play a 181. It is my only horn. I am exploring the G attachment with it. I have had no complaints. I had a Bach 50B3 and yes this plays different. But I enjoy it and no one in my community band has ever complained.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #23 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:19AM »

It's not a bad horn, I'm just playing it that way.

(Apologies to Jessica Rabbit)
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #24 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:22AM »

What is the most important reason to make TR180 a superior horn? TR 180 got better bell design or build with different materials?
I thought the only different between those models are valve system and wrapping.
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octavposaune

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« Reply #25 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:35AM »

Mostly better manufacturing,

The bells are all decent and probably made on the same mandrel, but the quality level took a huge dive in the 80s. There are some very good 181s, but they have more quality control issues than the earlier Holtons.

It is also unknown whether any horn you get is going to be any good without a test drive.  Every manufacturer from every era has duds.  I owned an early 169, and all I knew was that I hated it.  It didn't play very well and I sold it for 500 in the late 90s.  I didn't realize that model was worth money, all I knew was it didn't work very well.

I have had a number of 180s in my shops in recent years, none on them stunk, all of them a bit different, including the two Minick 180s.  One was an inline conversion that smokes all of the 181s I have played, simply a great horn, not that there are just as great 181s out there, I just haven't played them.

I don't think that the modern ones made at the Bach plant are going to be bad at all.  The Bach plant makes bells well enough and from what I understand there are engineers from Holton there that would probably know the entire procedure for making Holton Bones.

Benn
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robcat2075

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« Reply #26 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:53AM »

How is it that "the quality level took a huge dive in the 80s" on one model but not on another being made at the same time by the same people?
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #27 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:58AM »

When did they stop producing the 180?
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 06, 2013, 12:05PM »

I'm pretty sure the 180 and 181 were never produced at the same time, or if they were, not for long.
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 06, 2013, 05:20PM »

I have never seen ( played ) any 180's that were made later than the 70's.

I have preferred the 180's over the 181's just because they feel better all around. Not saying the 181 is bad, just not something a lot of bass boneists are looking for. Anyway, it is hard to keep production consistent and quality up when factories move and people do not.
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« Reply #30 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:20PM »

One thing i notice about internet discussions of instruments is that no matter what year an instrument is from, someone will graciously step in to reveal that that wasn't as good as the ones made years earlier.

We could be talking about a bone flute from the neolithic age and I'm confident someone would eventually pop up to say, "of course, the quality had declined quite a bit by then..."

It's like the Godwin's Law of music forums. Clever
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #31 on: Oct 06, 2013, 11:43PM »

Well, speaking broadly about modern mass-produced trombones, it tends to be true.  Don't know
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« Reply #32 on: Oct 07, 2013, 04:24AM »

It's not a bad horn, I'm just playing it that way.

(Apologies to Jessica Rabbit)

I am SOOO stealing this line...    Good! :D
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« Reply #33 on: Oct 07, 2013, 07:51AM »

One thing i notice about internet discussions of instruments is that no matter what year an instrument is from, someone will graciously step in to reveal that that wasn't as good as the ones made years earlier.

We could be talking about a bone flute from the neolithic age and I'm confident someone would eventually pop up to say, "of course, the quality had declined quite a bit by then..."

It's like the Godwin's Law of music forums. Clever

What a great post.  It is so true.

But honestly, most of the earlier posts were better.
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« Reply #34 on: Oct 07, 2013, 08:53AM »

Well,
 
There are certainly generalizations, but there was a very steep decline in American musical instrument manufacturing going on from late sixties until the present.  Conn-Selmer is doing their best to counter decades of QC problems and Getzen had a major shift back toward excellence in the early nineties, but generally speaking the music industry suffered tremendously at the same time US manufacturing started falling from world economic hegemony.

Conn moved from Elkhart to Abilene, Bach from Mount Vernon to Elkhart, although Elkhart production didn't stink during the 70s it still wasn't the same as Mount Vernon production.  Holton stayed in the same factory until being taken over by Conn-Selmer, but their heyday was definitely before the 80's like many of the brands listed (except Getzen).

I comment on threads like these because I have seen literally thousands of brass instruments over my time as a repair tech and played many more outside of my shop.  If I have something to add to the Neolithic bone flute thread I would add that too! Evil  181s don't sound bad, but they are not generally as good as 180 as far as tone and playing characteristics.  I am not the only one who has noticed this on this thread alone.

Avidflyer should keep and modify his horn rather than sell it for an unknown and probably inferior 181.  That is the jist of the OP question.

There might have been a couple years of overlap of the 180-181 but they weren't manufactured side by side for very long.

Benn
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« Reply #35 on: Oct 07, 2013, 12:14PM »

I think there is some in what Benn tells. He have seen and tried a lot of trombones in his work. And he also is a good player. I have not so big experience with different instruments, but the last few years I feel I know more. Or I hope so  :/

I believe there is not all old instruments that have good qualities. Yamaha is better and better, isn't it so? Jupiter make much better trombones today than ever before. I tried one and was surprised. All this high price instruments like Shires Edwards and Rath always get better and better. Should wish I could try one  Pant Pant
Bach have the same as before I think. Some are good, some not so good.

In fact I have tried the TR181. Its a very good bass trombone with very easy and open triggers. Still if I have to choose, I take my old TR180 I got from Joe Stanko.

The TR181 is no matter what, a bass trombone you cant go wrong with. Its a high quality professional trombone. (whatever that is  :) ) If you find one in good condition, you cant go wrong in any ensemble, orchestra or band.

Some of us love the old trombones. Like me. The oldest one I have is 73 years old Conn and I love it. If some of you young guys tried it, you would complain about everything on it.  ;-) Its unbalanced, slide is not exactly top etc. etc. Funny thing its quite even then, strange.  But the sound guys.....the sound....its the sound that even your mothers will love you for.  ;-) Bet on it like Sam tell.

OK, I'm joking a little. Of course, I wouldn't recommend a young serious student that want to go the orchestra route, to do as me. They need to match the world as it is today. But we are not hardworking serious students all of us? Some of us just have some fun also?

Anyway a TR181 is a very good trombone you can play anywhere. It can be the one you love, and it will not stop your skills in anyway. It can do everything you want and is in fact a quite modern trombone.

Leif
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« Reply #36 on: Oct 10, 2013, 09:44PM »

I got the school's 181 today to clean up for a friend. The slide is trashed. Lower tube is completely out of alignment, no slide lock, you name it.

Bell section plays GREAT with my 180 slide. It has a big old crease in the bell and some clanky a@@ rotors. I've actually never played one before. Higher range is easier than my 180, more resistance down low, just what I would expect.

I could see myself being totally happy with it as a main horn up to a point.
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« Reply #37 on: Oct 10, 2013, 11:59PM »

Anyway a TR181 is a very good trombone you can play anywhere. It can be the one you love, and it will not stop your skills in anyway. It can do everything you want and is in fact a quite modern trombone.


I have never played a 180 and I don't exactly own a 181 but I do have a 182 (made 10 years ago I think) which is extremely similar to a 181 except with a yellow brass bell

I must say that I absolutely love it.

It has been beat up and stepped on before by the previous owner and while I have had it repaired and it looks much nicer than before I can say that it still shows signs of its former abuse as a marching band horn at a high school (to me anyways) and was consistently called a terrible player and I was told by a lot of people to not purchase it because of its history (the owner was a fellow bass trombonist) and because (I cant believe this was said) that the closed wraps were not as good as open wraps.

But hey I bought it for $500, put $400 of repair in to it  (mainly to fix the improperly repaired bell) and im doing pretty good with it (I currently hold the top spot; the other bass trombonists own a Shires, an Edwards and Getzens [All great horns])

I guess I am just reinforcing what was said above, that having the best instrument possible wont necessarily make you the best player and having a "bad" instrument wont make you a bad player
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« Reply #38 on: Oct 11, 2013, 12:00AM »

Also learning to use the second valve can be very useful and fun and it isn't particularly hard to do either

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« Reply #39 on: Oct 11, 2013, 07:35AM »

It has a big old crease in the bell and some clanky a@@ rotors. 

Different types of specialty valves:

  • Thayer
  • Hagmann
  • Clanky a@@

I learn something new every day! :D
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