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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningHistory of the Trombone(Moderator: bhcordova) Schumann on a 160 year old trombone
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Tim Dowling

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« on: Jul 07, 2016, 01:39PM »

I had the pleasure today of playing on a J.C. Penzel alto trombone that was probably built in the 1850's or earlier. There is no date on it but the decorations and materials ( no nickel silver or snake decorations) point to an early date Penzels career. This is an instrument very much in the Sattler tradition. I made a little demo. It's a superb instrument!

http://youtu.be/-9ci8mdM108
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Tim Dowling
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 07, 2016, 02:19PM »

Fantastic! It seems to be closely related to the later Heckel design, which was copied by Arno Windisch in the 1950s. (See https://www.edwardsolomon.co.uk/about for my Windisch alto.)
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Dukesboneman

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« Reply #2 on: Jul 07, 2016, 02:21PM »

Bautiful sound. Thanks
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 07, 2016, 02:33PM »

 :-0
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Tbonedude

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« Reply #4 on: Jul 07, 2016, 05:56PM »

I would never have expected that fantastic of a sound to come out of that little bell!
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robcat2075

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« Reply #5 on: Jul 07, 2016, 06:06PM »

that was great to hear!
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Tim Dowling

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« Reply #6 on: Jul 08, 2016, 01:31PM »

Fantastic! It seems to be closely related to the later Heckel design, which was copied by Arno Windisch in the 1950s. (See https://www.edwardsolomon.co.uk/about for my Windisch alto.)

Also the Kruspe altos I've seen have this size bell. Bell measures 150mm. But the flare is dramatic. Like he used a trumpet bell form and extended it. The bell throat is fairly narrow. And the bell bow is hardly conical at all. No tuning slide of course...
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Tim Dowling
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 27, 2016, 10:35AM »

I would never have expected that fantastic of a sound to come out of that little bell!

I have to second this. As someone who grew up in a family of violists and crossed over to the trombone, I've always wished to find some with more history but not at the expense of quality. The sound was clear and still had a darker tone than a trumpet, even with such a small bell. Fantastic!
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 27, 2016, 10:47AM »

lovely! thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 27, 2016, 06:38PM »

Wonderful!

Toby Oft of the Boston Symphony very much likes the Thein alto that seems to be patterned on this style of instrument, and several of his students in Boston are playing Theins with small bells like that. There's a similar character, with a very dense and focused core but also a beautiful bloom and aura around it.
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Gabe Langfur
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Tim Dowling

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« Reply #10 on: Sep 27, 2016, 11:02PM »

The Thein is a beautiful alto (I have played on one) and I think the bell is modelled after a Kruspe alto, which has a rather larger slide bore than the Penzel. But the bell diameter is similar for sure. The throat of the Penzel bell is probably considerably narrower although I don't have a direct comparison. What struck me immediately was the excellent intonation up the partials on the Penzel. The only Kruspe alto I played was also superb, and without tuning slide like the Penzel.
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Tim Dowling
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 27, 2016, 11:48PM »

The Thein is a beautiful alto (I have played on one) and I think the bell is modelled after a Kruspe alto, which has a rather larger slide bore than the Penzel. But the bell diameter is similar for sure. The throat of the Penzel bell is probably considerably narrower although I don't have a direct comparison. What struck me immediately was the excellent intonation up the partials on the Penzel. The only Kruspe alto I played was also superb, and without tuning slide like the Penzel.

Ditto that for my Arno Windisch alto, which I remember you trying several years ago when you were in London, Tim.
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 11, 2016, 01:58PM »

Very interesting.

thanks for posting this!
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 11, 2017, 05:10PM »

Dear Mr. Dowling,

Thank you for sharing this clip of you playing on the original Penzel alto - that instrument is a treasure, and you make it sound absolutely lovely.

Do you think the collector would mind if I paid a visit with a camera and some measuring tools? I think a good Romantic alto is something the market could use...

Also, please keep me posted on when you're in Belgium; I'm spending a lot of time near Brussels these days, and if we happened to overlap there, it would be fun to meet up for a pint. (Brussels Beer Project always has interesting things on tap!)

With warmest wishes, currently from frosty Amsterdam,
Nathaniel Wood
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 06, 2017, 11:39AM »

I think a good Romantic alto is something the market could use...

Yes please! I've been looking for an original for years and missed out on the ONE I saw for sale.
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