Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1087255 Posts in 72010 Topics- by 19242 Members - Latest Member: simonvd
Jump to:  
The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Elkhart-made Holton TR181 bass trombone report
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Elkhart-made Holton TR181 bass trombone report  (Read 5252 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
elmsandr

*
Offline Offline

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

View Profile
« Reply #40 on: Sep 22, 2016, 04:58AM »

I've dug this thread up while researching cheaper bass bones to add to my stable, possibly. No Shires and Theins for me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like new Selmer/Steinway/UMI/Holton/The Borg hasn't corrected long-standing criticisms of the 181 design. Roughly in order of importance:-

1) The leadpipe is a load of crap, hence the slide swap for a Bach 50 being a big improvement.
2) The valve design was obsolete decades ago and they still haven't changed it.
3) Bracing on the bell and valve section is ridiculous. You could and probably should lose 5 or 6 of them, and move two others, by my count.
4) A 9.5" bell would be better.

The horn doesn't have charm or character in the sound to make up for the problems, like you'd find in a King DG or old Conns. So buying one used that's already had the mods is the only sensible way to go. Is this a fair summing-up?

Well, all of that is just an opinion.  A well researched, thought out, and commonly held opinion.

Cheers,
Andy
Logged

Andrew Elms
Socal77
*
Offline Offline

Location: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: Nov 11, 2015
Posts: 98

View Profile
« Reply #41 on: Sep 22, 2016, 09:10AM »

From the line on the bell shown in the photos, is this a one-piece bell?  Didn't Elkorn Holtons always have a two-piece bells?

Despite the negativity some have toward the TR181, it has plenty of fans and is a classic design.  The more it is messed with, the more it becomes part of what is becoming a growing amorphous set of new designs lacking character and pedigree.  I think would be interesting is hear more of the specifics of mods that have  brought improvements.  For example, I have heard that replacing the lead pipe with a BrassArk replica is bank.  What specific changes to the bracing has been tried successfully?
Logged
John Beers Jr.

*
Offline Offline

Location: Houston, TX
Joined: Dec 8, 2002
Posts: 3528

View Profile
« Reply #42 on: Sep 22, 2016, 02:28PM »

Well, all of that is just an opinion.  A well researched, thought out, and commonly held opinion.

Cheers,
Andy

Some of that, though, would require large amounts of retooling and completely change the character of the trombone, to a new model. Especially the bell... if you were to put a Conn or Bach 9.5" bell on it, a Bach slide (part of HOLTON is the nickel silver slide) and swap out the valves for a Bach or Conn set... do you really still have a Holton?

Swapping around the bracing is one thing, but if what you really want is a 50B3O......... buy a 50B3O.

Regarding the "valve design" (I'm guessing you mean valve wraps)... meh. There's major tradeoffs with both the open-wrap and closed-wrap layouts, and I'm not convinced that the supposed benefits would justify the retooling cost. Open wrap looks more open, but in my experience... that's about it.
Logged

"Progress is just another word for making bad things happen faster" - Granny Weatherwax
sonicsilver
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Apr 11, 2016
Posts: 509

View Profile
« Reply #43 on: Sep 22, 2016, 03:29PM »

Some of that, though, would require large amounts of retooling and completely change the character of the trombone, to a new model. Especially the bell... if you were to put a Conn or Bach 9.5" bell on it, a Bach slide (part of HOLTON is the nickel silver slide) and swap out the valves for a Bach or Conn set... do you really still have a Holton?

Swapping around the bracing is one thing, but if what you really want is a 50B3O......... buy a 50B3O.

Regarding the "valve design" (I'm guessing you mean valve wraps)... meh. There's major tradeoffs with both the open-wrap and closed-wrap layouts, and I'm not convinced that the supposed benefits would justify the retooling cost. Open wrap looks more open, but in my experience... that's about it.

Fair points. It's the Ship of Theseus again.

There are 9.5" red brass bells made by Holton aren't there? One of those might work nicely, but a half inch difference right at the end of the instrument isn't going to make a dramatic change.

Much more important in the design is the leadpipe. I have very little experience with Holtons, although I have played a 181 for a bit, years ago. Others will know more than me but apparently there is some design flaw in the leadpipe that throws the whole blow of the horn out of whack.

I didn't mean the valve wraps, I meant the rotors. Leaving aside Hagmann and Thayer valves, progress has been made on rotor valves. Greenhoe, Yamaha, Kanstul and others make rotors with a few design advantages. The latest Holton has the same stone age rotors as it (and old Bach 50s) always had. And others have pointed out design flaws that result in wear, need for new parts etc.
Logged
John Beers Jr.

*
Offline Offline

Location: Houston, TX
Joined: Dec 8, 2002
Posts: 3528

View Profile
« Reply #44 on: Sep 22, 2016, 03:56PM »

I didn't mean the valve wraps, I meant the rotors. Leaving aside Hagmann and Thayer valves, progress has been made on rotor valves. Greenhoe, Yamaha, Kanstul and others make rotors with a few design advantages. The latest Holton has the same stone age rotors as it (and old Bach 50s) always had. And others have pointed out design flaws that result in wear, need for new parts etc.
You might be interested in knowing that the late Mike Suter, when working with Kanstul to design a signature horn in the mold of Holton, convinced them to go to the effort to fabricate "old-style" non-vented rotors, because the lack of them, to his mind, sank the horn. He felt that the distinct "pop" when hitting the valves was an important part of the sound.
Logged

"Progress is just another word for making bad things happen faster" - Granny Weatherwax
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

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


View Profile
« Reply #45 on: Sep 23, 2016, 01:20AM »

Fair points. It's the Ship of Theseus again.

There are 9.5" red brass bells made by Holton aren't there? One of those might work nicely, but a half inch difference right at the end of the instrument isn't going to make a dramatic change.

Much more important in the design is the leadpipe. I have very little experience with Holtons, although I have played a 181 for a bit, years ago. Others will know more than me but apparently there is some design flaw in the leadpipe that throws the whole blow of the horn out of whack.

I didn't mean the valve wraps, I meant the rotors. Leaving aside Hagmann and Thayer valves, progress has been made on rotor valves. Greenhoe, Yamaha, Kanstul and others make rotors with a few design advantages. The latest Holton has the same stone age rotors as it (and old Bach 50s) always had. And others have pointed out design flaws that result in wear, need for new parts etc.

Half an inch at the end of the bell can make a HUGE difference... especially with Holtons.... blow and sound change. There is not a lot wrong with Holton rotors apart from the cheapness of the construction and materials.... there is a lot of BS talked about rotors. I can get 181 rotors to blow much better, mostly with stay modification.... the details of which I will keep to myself. I have blown some very good early 181s and I have a student with a very good late Elkhorn example.
I have tried one Elkhart built modern 181 and it was dreadful.... a 181 shaped fraud of an instrument.... the owner was more than happy to 'upgrade' to a TR180 that I had modified to play very well.
Leadpipes.... early ones were fine. Later ones variable. Holton made some good pipes.... My daily drivers are both Holton 169 bell sections with late 1960's Holton 180 slides... both with their original pipes..... I tried about 20 aftermarket pipes in them and the originals were best.

Chris Stearn
Logged

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

Location:
Joined: Apr 11, 2016
Posts: 509

View Profile
« Reply #46 on: Sep 23, 2016, 05:01AM »

Half an inch at the end of the bell can make a HUGE difference... especially with Holtons.... blow and sound change. There is not a lot wrong with Holton rotors apart from the cheapness of the construction and materials.... there is a lot of BS talked about rotors. I can get 181 rotors to blow much better, mostly with stay modification.... the details of which I will keep to myself. I have blown some very good early 181s and I have a student with a very good late Elkhorn example.
I have tried one Elkhart built modern 181 and it was dreadful.... a 181 shaped fraud of an instrument.... the owner was more than happy to 'upgrade' to a TR180 that I had modified to play very well.
Leadpipes.... early ones were fine. Later ones variable. Holton made some good pipes.... My daily drivers are both Holton 169 bell sections with late 1960's Holton 180 slides... both with their original pipes..... I tried about 20 aftermarket pipes in them and the originals were best.

Chris Stearn

I've heard plenty of good bass trombone playing on 181s, which is, according to many, a "bad" horn. And I've heard lots of awful playing on expensive Edwards and the like. So errrr... hmmm.

Will you share your thoughts about the braces? It's not a secret is it?

And the 169 had a 9.5" bell, I believe. It is possible to make any comparisons with the 10" on the 181, or is the rest of the horn too different to be able to tell?

Do you think that some designs do better with this or that kind of valve because they are conceived with a particular valve section in mind? I'm thinking particularly of balancing the resistance and blow-feel between leadpipe, slide bow and valves, not forgetting the various sizes of mouthpiece the player might choose.
Logged
wgwbassbone
*
Offline Offline

Location: West Hartford, CT
Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 1842

View Profile
« Reply #47 on: Sep 23, 2016, 05:07AM »

Half an inch at the end of the bell can make a HUGE difference... especially with Holtons.... blow and sound change. There is not a lot wrong with Holton rotors apart from the cheapness of the construction and materials.... there is a lot of BS talked about rotors. I can get 181 rotors to blow much better, mostly with stay modification.... the details of which I will keep to myself. I have blown some very good early 181s and I have a student with a very good late Elkhorn example.
I have tried one Elkhart built modern 181 and it was dreadful.... a 181 shaped fraud of an instrument.... the owner was more than happy to 'upgrade' to a TR180 that I had modified to play very well.
Leadpipes.... early ones were fine. Later ones variable. Holton made some good pipes.... My daily drivers are both Holton 169 bell sections with late 1960's Holton 180 slides... both with their original pipes..... I tried about 20 aftermarket pipes in them and the originals were best.

Chris Stearn

Chris I know we've talked about this at length: Most 185 or 180 pipes I have played on are not very good. I've played a couple of 169s with original pipes that I thought were great. The pipe that came in the 180 I play now was dreadful. However I know we're all different. Hopefully when we come to Scotland next year I'll get a chance to blow your wonderful instruments-if allowed!!!
Logged

Holton TR 180 MV 1 and 1/2G
tbathras
*
Offline Offline

Location: Southern Maine
Joined: Jul 15, 2013
Posts: 986

View Profile
« Reply #48 on: Sep 23, 2016, 05:33AM »

Just to add some color from a non-pro but avid player...

I have a 181, from 2013.  Yes, it has some quirks, but on average, it plays well.  I got many compliments while it was my daily driver. Sure, I had the valves reseated by a tech so they were less leaky and I've pulled the leadpipe, so yeah, off the shelf, it's not as good as it could be, but I think it's just fine.  I also had to make some adjustments to the linkage so things wouldn't hit each other (the rod for the Gb valve would sometimes hit the rotor arm on the F valve if it was engaged before the Gb valve)

My main horn is a Shires now, and obviously it's 'better' in just about every way, but I still have no reservations taking out my Holton.

FWIW, my teacher preferred my playing on the 181 over my then previous horn, a Getzen 1062FDR w/ single bore slide.
Logged

"Remember, your trombone is not a weapon!" -Ben van Dijk
chipolah

*
Offline Offline

Location: Vaucluse,France / Hampshire,England
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 697

View Profile
« Reply #49 on: Sep 28, 2016, 06:53AM »

Holton has been completely integrated into Conn-Selmer portfolio for years. The production was moved to Conn-Selmer's Vincent Bach division in Elkhart, IN.  This is a short report, but photo-heavy. Let's see what's changed after Conn-Selmer buyout.

1. No more chrome-plated slide cork barrel. The material has also changed from brass to nickel-silver. Lacquered

2. Slide lock ring is now lacquered nickel-silver

3. Outer slide is interchangeable with Bach 50. The width is exact.

4. New barrel shape inner slide stocking

5. Slide crook guard has changed from Holton design to Bach. Bach crook, too?

6. Bell lock nut is now nickel-silver

7. Model and serial number engraving has changed a bit. The engraving is now deeper and more uniform

8. Rotor number is clearly engraved

9. Finally Holton correctly engrave slide model number. No more slide production sequence, however

10. New Bach-style case with dual handles. New "Holton" logo on bell and case

11. Comes with Bach rebadged "Holton" 1 1/2G with classic Holton logo

SO...ACTUALLY, IT'S NOT A HOLTON !!!!!!!
Logged

Holton TR-100 / Bach 6-1/2A
Wessex Trombone Consultant
www.chiphoehler.com
Greenhoebass
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Sep 9, 2017
Posts: 1

View Profile
« Reply #50 on: Sep 09, 2017, 11:18PM »

Hi there.
I've just bought a tr 180.......
Amazing nick and a traditional flat e tuning...I won't be parting with it ever,
Could do with a d slide though.....made in 1977.
Logged
wgwbassbone
*
Offline Offline

Location: West Hartford, CT
Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 1842

View Profile
« Reply #51 on: Sep 11, 2017, 10:37AM »

Hi there.
I've just bought a tr 180.......
Amazing nick and a traditional flat e tuning...I won't be parting with it ever,
Could do with a d slide though.....made in 1977.

Great! This thread was about the new 181. Totally different animal.
Logged

Holton TR 180 MV 1 and 1/2G
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to: