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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, Greg Waits) Shires Q&A, what would you like to know?
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griffinben

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« Reply #1180 on: Jun 01, 2017, 10:38AM »

Ben,

Any chance we could order underparts threaded for particular rims?

-Matt

No. You would need to contact someone else to do the threading for whatever rim you wanted.

-Ben
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Matt K

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« Reply #1181 on: Jun 05, 2017, 04:47AM »

No. You would need to contact someone else to do the threading for whatever rim you wanted.

-Ben

Ben,

Totally understand. Decisions, decisions!

-Matt
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« Reply #1182 on: Jul 23, 2017, 12:18AM »

Just a couple questions regarding weight of a bell.

First question... I have a BI2T7 bell aka the Conn 62Hish bell. So the weight on a BI2T7 is regular but which is thinned out with the T7 treatment, correct? This is a older bell from around 2010ish.

Second question... Would it be possible to order a LW or M bell with the T7 treatment? Maybe something like a BI2T7LW?

Third question... Besides response differences does having a lighter bell effect the color of a horn? More high or low frequencies? ect...
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« Reply #1183 on: Jul 23, 2017, 04:06AM »

Just a couple questions regarding weight of a bell.

---snip---

Third question... Besides response differences does having a lighter bell effect the color of a horn? More high or low frequencies? ect...

This is a difficult question to answer. I have put together six different horns at Shires and played all sorts of bells in the process. There are so many interactions going on, so many variables in the bell alone...alloys, soldered or unsoldered beads, bell diameters and so on. Instead of speaking about frequencies, I would say very generally that lighter bells change the mass of the sound, especially as the volumes increase. The mid-range, mid-volume mass...the characteristic sound of the horn, its sonic "weight"...changes as it is played louder. It becomes less "massy," maybe a little more dispersed than a regular weight bell up to a given volume point. Then it begins to overblow. The attacks change, too. The are less aggressive, more like the rest of the note.

For me, there seems to be a happy medium. Too heavy and too light both restrict the ability to color the sound, which is important for a soloist or a lead player as far as I am concerned...for a bass trombonist as well. Attacks have a lot to do with this. Too heavy a bell produces a sort of "thud" on strong attacks and too light a bell seems not to produce enough snap...at least until it is really pushed, when it snaps too much. Also, really light bells tend to get nasty when pushed too hard.

That said...different strokes for different folks, and for different idioms and ensemble styles as well. I play mostly in NYC jazz and latin style large ensembles. If I was playing in lighter styles...Broadway, say, or a lot of chamber music...a lighter bell might be just the ticket.

There is no substitute for hands-on experimentation. I went into this modular process with no real idea about what does what, just an idea about how I wanted to sound. I blindfold tested equipment, and what felt good was what I chose.

What felt good for me, and what felt good for how an individual horn was going to be used.

I hope that helps.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #1184 on: Jul 24, 2017, 07:38AM »

Just a couple questions regarding weight of a bell.

First question... I have a BI2T7 bell aka the Conn 62Hish bell. So the weight on a BI2T7 is regular but which is thinned out with the T7 treatment, correct? This is a older bell from around 2010ish.

Second question... Would it be possible to order a LW or M bell with the T7 treatment? Maybe something like a BI2T7LW?

Third question... Besides response differences does having a lighter bell effect the color of a horn? More high or low frequencies? ect...

The T7 treatment affects the weight at the edge of the bell.  Most of our bells come standard with a T9 treatment, and progressively get lighter through a T8 and then T7 (lightest) treatment.  It is available on any custom bell. The T7 is most similar to What Conn was doing in the early-mid 60's. 

In general, the T7 gives a slightly faster response and more expansive feel without altering the core qualities that come with the particular weight of the bell.   

In very general terms, I think of weight as a trade-off between stability and color.  The heavier a bell is the more stable it is, however it is more difficult to color the timbre beyond it's core center.  The lighter a bell is the more timbral colors are available, however it is less stable in it's color and requires more stability on the part of the player. 

We've seen this play out it he last 20 years as we've moved from a darker, more stable sound of the 90's and early 2000's to the more acceptable brilliance we are hearing more and more of.  This is reflected in our weight designations; when Steve started making instruments under his own name in 1995, the standard weight was relatively heavy.  The weights get progressively lighter, with medium and light.  There is a heavy weight option, one that we rarely get requests for these days (I can't remember the last one we made new).  Since then, people have progressively moved to lighter bells in all styles of playing.  Our lightweight and medium weight bells are the most popular in large tenor.

The idea of quicker response can be a bit of a misnomer.  We, as a brass playing community, often pair the idea of response with snap, or brilliance coming off the initiation of the attack or beginning of the note.  If this is our standard, a heavier bell is definitely less responsive than a light one.  However, and it's a big "however", if our idea is simply that the instrument speaks immediately after input, and the sound one wants is a big open, less brilliant sound, a heavier bell may feel more responsive, because it naturally will want to get that sound.  It is important that we separate speed of response from color of response, and know what it is that we want to achieve. 

As Sam said, there is generally a happy medium for people.  Our lightweight and medium weight large/medium bore tenor bells are far and away the most popular.  Extra lightweight and lightweight for small tenor.  Bass are a bit different, with most people opting for medium or standard weight bells.  I think a lot of this can point to the weight of a double valve section, which can translate more of the sound energy to the bell than on a single valve or straight tenor.  This extra energy requires a slightly heavier bell to yield similar results as the tenors.  What is right for you?  Give us a call and we'll be glad to discuss. 

I hope this helps.  Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Ben
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« Reply #1185 on: Jul 28, 2017, 04:27PM »

Hi,
Being (mostly) a tuba player I rarely engage this fine community.
However I do do a lot of tenor trombone work in various bands rotating around the popular music circuit. 90% mic'ed.
I've come across the following for a VERY good price 2nd hand.

Shires
7YLW (8.5 inch) bell
Standard 0.547 inch slide
Tru-Bore valve
X-tra Goose neck and ts weight
Yellow brass tuning slide
Seller purchased it new in 2008ish

It's not exactly what I'm looking for but if it's a fine machine I'll buy it, if only to explore a Shires.

Until now I've been happiest on a .525 set-up and play a lot of various "roles" within the same band (2nd trumpet, bass bonish, etc).
I have a 78H with a meh slide.
Have a lovely (Bob) Williams 6 and an 88H.
My 88H has the best slide and I love having an F-att.for my "role" versatility.
(OK and a 70H)

Being that I do like the .525 side of life I'm scheming to purchase a .525 slide and possibly an 8" bell once I feel comfortable on this new (potential) horn. Financially it'll still be cheeper then a new set-up

assuming (and now the questions)

that the .525 hooks up with the valve set-up of the afore mentioned trombone (which if I understand correctly, it does).
But does it?
I'm also curious if the 7YLW is at all used in combi with a .525. I've often seen the 8" 2rve mentioned (though .525 doesn't seem to be that popular).
And lastly which three lead pipes  would be good starters. I'm thinking maybe a small shank, a large shank and and maybe fake bass bone shank.

Thanks!!!
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« Reply #1186 on: Jul 28, 2017, 10:18PM »

Your horn will work very well with a Shires .525 bore slide. I have a couple of shires large bores, one with the Vintage New York Bell, a regular 8 1/2 inch 2RVE bell, and an eight inch diameter 2RVE bell. All of these bells work fine with both the standard .547 slide and with the .525 slide. Yes the sound is a little more compact with the eight inch bell, and a little broader with the 8 1/2 inch bells. My way of thinking of it is the .525 slide with a 8 inch bell is like a big little horn, especially if played with a mouthpiece typical of a small tenor trombone. A great commmerical horn, for those situations that would call for one trombone only, or for musical pit work, solos etc.  The .525 bore slide with one of the 8 1/2 inch bells plays like a scaled down big horn, especially is a somewhat large mouthpiece, such as a Bach 5GS is used. Great when you want a large bore sound, but more focus, efficient, and color than the typical large bore. The small bell with the large slide, or course plays well, but it's darker without being bigger, so I don't see much advantage. I use a Shires #2 pipe, which works great for me, but as with mouthpieces you might like one with more or less resistance. But that's a minor point, as the Shires slides come with three pipes. For the mike work you are doing, try a .525 bore slide, consider light weight, with the 8 inch 2RVE bell. It have this combo and it's a sweet one, clear colorful sound and easy to play!
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witboi
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« Reply #1187 on: Jul 29, 2017, 04:24AM »

Thanks for your input.

Leadpipes; so probably buy a #2 in M&MT?
Leadpipe length suggestions?

and I still get a third wish from the Leadpipe djinni.
Suggestions?

Obviously I'll try before I buy and I'll be limited to what's in stock. This not withstanding, I appreciate the input.
I've only purchased whole trombones in the past so I'm quite excited to find out what the effect of a type of leadpipe has out in the field.
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« Reply #1188 on: Jul 29, 2017, 07:38AM »

---snip---

My way of thinking of it is the .525 slide with a 8 inch bell is like a big little horn, especially if played with a mouthpiece typical of a small tenor trombone. A great commmerical horn, for those situations that would call for one trombone only, or for musical pit work, solos etc.  The .525 bore slide with one of the 8 1/2 inch bells plays like a scaled down big horn, especially is a somewhat large mouthpiece, such as a Bach 5GS is used. Great when you want a large bore sound, but more focus, efficient, and color than the typical large bore. The small bell with the large slide, or course plays well, but it's darker without being bigger, so I don't see much advantage.

---snip---

Precisely my own approach...my Shires .525 is big small horn w/the 8" 2RVE bell and a small big horn with the 2RVE 8.5". I don't change m'pces on it because I have a .508 Shires that I use as sort of a "medium large" small bore, but in ensembles w/the .525 (My favorite horn, by far.)...usually on 3rd parts in 4 trombone sections...if I want to blend up (towards the tenor trombone and trumpets) and/or be heard easily as a soloist I use the 8" bell, but if I want to blend more down...with the bass tbn./tuba/baritone sax or if I am functioning as a bass voice myself sometimes in smaller ensembles...I use the 8.5 2RVE. I personally have not found the large shank m'pce/leadpipe route to be very successful, but then I have a .548 slide to use w/the 8.5" 2RVE that works very well as a true large bore horn.

As far as leadpipes go...that's up to you. You should try everything and use what works. For you. I'm a dedicated freebuzzer, so I can use wide-open leadpipes because I pretty much have control of the the resistance at the lips.

Others differ. 

Widely.

Good luck...

S.
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« Reply #1189 on: Jul 29, 2017, 10:53AM »

I recently acquired a .500 S2 T7 horn with a yellow lightweight slide. I really like the instrument - there is a ton of warm, resonant core (something I feel differentiates Shires from other modern instrument makers), and the color is very malleable. If I go balls to the wall Willie Colon salsa slam, the horn brightens a bit too much for that style, but it's really at home anywhere else. I have used this horn playing quintets for a wedding ceremony, jazz for the cocktail hour, and then loud horn lines for the reception. Excellent in all areas. A great lead horn, too.

Ben's write up a few posts earlier is so on the money describing the variables of this bell. "Adds a faster response, more expansive feel without altering the core." I'll just add that from the Shires instruments I've played, this one has the greatest malleability of sound for what I do.
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« Reply #1190 on: Jul 29, 2017, 12:06PM »

and also Sam thank you for your time and wisdom!
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griffinben

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« Reply #1191 on: Jul 31, 2017, 07:15AM »

Hello Witboi,

Most of what you were asking was covered by the other posters so far, but to add a few thoughts...

First, all medium bore components are compatible with large bore components; you will have no trouble matching a .525 slide to that bell and valve section.

I do warn about matching narrow slides to Tru-Bore valves (and axial flow valves as well).  Tru-bore valves extend wider than the neckpipe and can stick into one's neck.  Many people (Sam included) play with a narrow slide but forewarned is forearmed.  We do make a wide .525 slide that is more like Bach in width, but it does change the playing feel/characteristics.  If you wind up purchasing a slide new please contact me at the factory and we can go through options. 

As for leadpipes, in an ideal world we try everything, and if you can: do that!  If not, we generally recommend people start with a #2 in any size.  This is the middle of the road for our horns and the majority of our customers play this size.  If you have general tendencies, smaller or larger, they are generally mirrored in the other bore sizes unless you are looking for a different feel.  "M" leadpipes receive small shank mouthpieces, MT receive large shank mouthpieces.

I agree with what Sam said about bell sizes.  I use both 8 and 8 1/2" bells with my .525 slide.  I notice a big different in width of sound and density of tone.  The 8 1/2" is wider in scope and I feel I can push to the timbre around more.  There's more shoulder room to the blow.  The 8" is more compact, taking all of that same sound of the 8 1/2" and bringing it in for more tone per cubic inch.  The core is stronger and is less flexible to me face than the same 8 1/2" equivalent.  This can by mitigated or amplified somewhat depending on the bell you choose.  When that time approaches give me a call at the factory and we'll talk about it.

Ben
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« Reply #1192 on: Jul 31, 2017, 01:55PM »

Ben, also thank you for your response.
I've read a lot of these posts over the years but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

And yes, I was aware of the trubore wide slide combi, but thanks for the heads up.
As I live out in the Netherlands my immediate options are determined by the resources at hand.

So assuming I think there's some love between me the 2nd hand .547 7YLW trombone that's for sale, I'll of coarse first spend my time on this combi (and who knows, I may never want to change it).

If I do, right now at Adams they have a T25G and a TW25NLW plus a 2RVE, 8" in stock, so if I go for .525 and/or 8" I'll have to make do with these.

Thanks for your time and efforts and your open door policy.
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« Reply #1193 on: Sep 05, 2017, 04:27AM »

I'm fortunate enough to work for a band that has quite a number of Shires tenors available, but over the years, I've never really settled on a combination that floated my boat...

...but recently, we acquired a 5YVNY bell. Oh my goodness. Now we're getting somewhere! It's probably because I cut my teeth playing Bach horns, but suddenly this horn, with the X tuning slide, has me really excited! Clean, crisp sounding with plenty of warmth and sparkle in the sound.

It works wonderfully with the TW47 slide, and I've also been using it with a T25LW slide, which is really fun. It really trims the fat from the sound, and produces a great tenor sound without much or the large bore girth. And so easy to play!

Anyway, playing this combo leads me to these two questions:

1. Have you made the 5YVNY in an 8 inch bell? Result?

2. When will you start making one-piece bass bells? I think I need one of these in my life.

Regards,

Andrew
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griffinben

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« Reply #1194 on: Sep 05, 2017, 06:17AM »

I'm fortunate enough to work for a band that has quite a number of Shires tenors available, but over the years, I've never really settled on a combination that floated my boat...

...but recently, we acquired a 5YVNY bell. Oh my goodness. Now we're getting somewhere! It's probably because I cut my teeth playing Bach horns, but suddenly this horn, with the X tuning slide, has me really excited! Clean, crisp sounding with plenty of warmth and sparkle in the sound.

It works wonderfully with the TW47 slide, and I've also been using it with a T25LW slide, which is really fun. It really trims the fat from the sound, and produces a great tenor sound without much or the large bore girth. And so easy to play!

Anyway, playing this combo leads me to these two questions:

1. Have you made the 5YVNY in an 8 inch bell? Result?

2. When will you start making one-piece bass bells? I think I need one of these in my life.

Regards,

Andrew

Hello Andrew,

I'm glad you found a bell and tuning slide combo that works well for you!  The TII5YVNY bells is one of our most popular and fits very well for people coming from Bach instruments.  It even works for a lot of people that never would have considered a Bach.

Smaller diameter bells tend to respond more thickly and densely than their larger counterparts; there's less splash to the sound and feel.  I'd want to have a talk with whoever was looking into purchasing one prior to us making it, just to make sure we were all on the same page.

We have some prototype 1-piece bass bells that we have made.  A couple of them are with an artist right now in the field.  We've found that people are gravitating to a particular weight and treatment, so those will likely become regular production before too long.  They are not exactly like Bach or VNY bells, a little wider sounding and feeling, and the response varies greatly depending on the horn it's set up around.  Again, I'd like to talk with someone prior to them prior to order to make sure we are all on the same page. 

I hope this helps, let us know if we can do anything else for you.

Ben
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« Reply #1195 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:57AM »

Ben,

I know this question was asked several pages back, but I don't think it was answered.  When coming to MA for a fitting, does one leave with a horn or do you order it and have it shipped sometime later?  How does the approval period work for long distance customers?  Would the customer have to return to the factory for a component exchange?

Thanks,
Bob
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« Reply #1196 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:32PM »

Ben,

I know this question was asked several pages back, but I don't think it was answered.  When coming to MA for a fitting, does one leave with a horn or do you order it and have it shipped sometime later?  How does the approval period work for long distance customers?  Would the customer have to return to the factory for a component exchange?

Thanks,
Bob

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the question, many people ask it of us and I'm happy to clarify.  The answer is "it depends".  If we have the components in our showroom inventory, then yes, you can leave with an instrument that day. 

If the any of the instrument components are not in our inventory, then we will need to produce it and ship (production times vary depending on backorders).  Sometimes parts are in demo condition and the customer prefers to have a brand new horn.  Sometimes we can find a horn but we'll really think another part we don't have in stock at the moment would make the horn even better.  It varies on a case by case basis.

All instruments have a two-week trial period.  If in that time you don't like the horn, we'll work with you to find one that does.  Or, if you are certain you do not want it, we will issue a full refund.  (If the horn comes back to us in as new condition.  We reserve the right to charge refinishing/replacement fees for any damaged pieces.)

We try to discourage long-distance speculation.  My general advice, for purchasing ANY expensive instrument, is that if you aren't 100% positive what you want: go to a well stocked dealer or the factory. Airfare/gas and possible hotel fees are usually a drop in the bucket compared to the total cost of the horn.  Getting to a good dealer or the shop is worth it to pick exactly what you want and satisfy any nagging curiosities.

The good news is that we are at more and more shows across the country and more and more dealers are stocking our instruments.  We came up with "standard models" as a way of helping those dealers to stock the most popular models we make.  And they're most popular by a wide margin.  usually on of those set-ups, or minor variation thereof, will satisfy most customers.  That visit to them is the first step, and if what they had in stock didn't work for you, your feedback will allow us to recommend a narrower list of options that would work for you. 

I hope that helps.  Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Ben





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