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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Silver Plated Trombones: Why not well accepted?
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Author Topic: Silver Plated Trombones: Why not well accepted?  (Read 6646 times)
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BillO
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« Reply #240 on: Jan 02, 2017, 12:44PM »

I'm sorry I impugned your character by exactly quoting what you wrote, Bill.
Apology accepted Brad.

But the point is, you did not exactly quote what I wrote when you made your accusation.  Again and finally (for me), you claimed I said was was not taking about elasticity, what I actually said was I was not talking about elastic materials.

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Bill,

You made a statement about elasticity.

When I responded, you claimed to have never said anything about elasticity.

So I quoted the post where you DID say something about elasticity.

Now, did I ask you what "low modulus of elasticity" means? No. So what does that have to do with whether or not you mentioned elasticity before? I busted you when you completely contradicted yourself, and then you come back with some total strawman and act like I'm stupid.

Seriously, man. Could you just stop talking to me? I honestly can't make heads or tails out of what you're trying to say. We had this same problem in another thread. I would love to have a discussion with you, but your bobbing and weaving just makes me tired.

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I'm not actually saying anything about metal or anything specific about elastic materials.
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« Reply #241 on: Jan 02, 2017, 12:54PM »

I am starting to feel like having to get a PhD in metalurgy in order to continue to keep on with this thread  :/
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #242 on: Jan 02, 2017, 01:12PM »

Another thing... I don't think the MOE data accounts for differences due to work hardening
Doug, the experiment used the same bell. All other things were the same. Work hardening would have been done at the time the bell was manufactured, not during the lacquer coating.

Steve, I wasn't talking about any particular experiment.  I was wondering if the MOE data being used in calculations is for annealed, half-hard, or hard brass. 

Tubing is work-hardened to various degrees in drawing (and not necessarily the same from one manufacturer or process to another) and bells are spun (work hardened) and annealed (softened) in various ways during manufacturing (probably trade secrets) to produce different playing characteristics.

I am making an assumption that the hardness state of brass in an instrument may very well change the MOE in different parts of the instrument, so all calculations are suspect from the beginning.  Art vs science again.  Way too many variables to come to hard conclusions.
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« Reply #243 on: Jan 02, 2017, 01:22PM »

A good experiment tests only one variable at a time. You actually don't need to test every variable. If you can establish that the items being tested are alike in a certain way, then that variable is controlled. If there is some variation in the manufacturing process such that you can't control a particular variable, then you test as many copies of the item as necessary to ensure that differences aren't due to random chance. If there are variations in the testing procedure, you repeat the test as many times as necessary.
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« Reply #244 on: Jan 02, 2017, 01:34PM »

Problem is that none of us are wealthy enough to either have made a set of truly identical instruments nor to buy enough sample to eliminate the manufacturing effect.  I suppose if you were a BD in a school where you had 100 (nominally) identical trombones to do the test, OK.  But I doubt many BDs have the time or other equipment to do this either.

So trying to create rigorous science will be futile.  Best we can do is to listen to two instruments, and test different responses and see if there is a possible correlation between the science and the art.  With enough of these experiments we may get some "hard" data to correlate to our observations.
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« Reply #245 on: Jan 02, 2017, 01:44PM »

Problem is that none of us are wealthy enough to either have made a set of truly identical instruments nor to buy enough sample to eliminate the manufacturing effect.  I suppose if you were a BD in a school where you had 100 (nominally) identical trombones to do the test, OK.  But I doubt many BDs have the time or other equipment to do this either.

So trying to create rigorous science will be futile.  Best we can do is to listen to two instruments, and test different responses and see if there is a possible correlation between the science and the art.  With enough of these experiments we may get some "hard" data to correlate to our observations.
I think trying to devise a completely flawless experiment might be futile, but it certainly could be done better than what has been attempted in the past (and absolutely better than the abject speculation that's going on in this thread). If you had a manufacturer (like Shires, for example), where individual components could be swapped out, the variables could be controlled. You could test different bells for their acoustic characteristics while leaving the rest of the instrument exactly the same. You could test leadpipes, slide materials, valve configurations, etc. and only change one variable at a time. It might even be possible to have enough copies of the same bell, maybe some lacquered and some that haven't been lacquered yet, to test that parameter as well, and then resist the temptation to apply untested hypotheses to "explain" the observations. No, it wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a far sight better than anything that has been done so far.
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« Reply #246 on: Jan 02, 2017, 02:18PM »

It would be interesting charting out the processes that would effect the temper of a horn. What caught my attention, regarding this topic, was a couple of YouTube videos on making trombones. in the Japanese shop the worker was spinning a bell using a tool with a steel roller at its tip. in the German shop the worker used a stick. It looked like a broken board from a pallet with the tip whittled to a curve. Is this tool choice negligible or part of the character of each horn's sound? What happens in assembly when a brace is soldered on to one side of the bell? How does the size of the escutcheon where the brace meets the bell effect the degree to which that area is annealed? In the finishing shop is there enough pressure and or heat to work harden the horn when polished? A baked on finish is probably not processed at a high enough temperature to anneal the metal but do stresses between the metal and finish which have differing shrinkage rates getting locked in during cooling?
Each effect can be measured but the total effect is too complicated to be quantified.

In the end a preference for a silver plate finish is a mixture cultural, vis the British brass band tradition, and individual preference. I have been closing in on a red brass bell and nickel silver slide outers as the bee's knees but I read here that Sabutin says that's not for him. Is he, as the pro, right and I as an amateur wrong? No, we're just looking for what works for us.
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Steve, I wasn't talking about any particular experiment.  I was wondering if the MOE data being used in calculations is for annealed, half-hard, or hard brass. 

Tubing is work-hardened to various degrees in drawing (and not necessarily the same from one manufacturer or process to another) and bells are spun (work hardened) and annealed (softened) in various ways during manufacturing (probably trade secrets) to produce different playing characteristics.

I am making an assumption that the hardness state of brass in an instrument may very well change the MOE in different parts of the instrument, so all calculations are suspect from the beginning.  Art vs science again.  Way too many variables to come to hard conclusions.
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BillO
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« Reply #247 on: Jan 02, 2017, 02:51PM »

I wouldn't call what's been going on as exactly abject.  That's a bit harsh.

The problem is that no one here has the time or resources to do the required experimentation.  Furthermore, there is little use (scientifically) in doing an experiment without some sort of mathematical model, or you just end up with empirical data which can only be used for further speculation.

In looking at this this afternoon I also realized the mathematical model would not be trivial.  The math I decided on was based on MOE, which in itself is only a crude simplification that makes a large number of assumptions, such as 'all real materials exhibit losses'.  A useful model would have to be based on a non-linear complex function (complex as in having real and imaginary components) and based on mechanical energy modulus and loss modulus in a multi-layer system.  Not for the feint of heart.  And not for someone with other things to do.

The development of a useful model and subsequent experimentation to test it might be worthy of a PhD, and certainly a Masters.

This discussion is a bit simplistic and a bit speculative, but this is just an internet forum discussion.  Without something already done and demonstrably solid to draw on, what else can we do?
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« Reply #248 on: Jan 02, 2017, 03:01PM »

Should anyone be interested in doing this sort of work in pursuit of an academic degree, there is certainly potential through either the Acoustics and Audio Group at the University of Edinburgh (which often works in conjunction with Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh) or the research department at Musee de la Musique / Philharmonie de Paris. I know of researchers in both departments who are actively working with this very type of measurement and material evaluation on historic instruments, modern instruments, and reproductions.
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« Reply #249 on: Jan 02, 2017, 06:41PM »

Okay - here's what I'm seeing.

At loud dynamics, right around B natural above High C, the lac and unlac bell has a slight bump - I'm guessing by the chart that it's roughly 1db. In the "money register" they're almost equal. As anyone who has spent hours mixing in the studio will probably tell you, that's pretty subtle.

At softs, the lac bell actually performs slightly better in this range.

The big differences are in the higher overtones, but to dredge up something mentioned a few pages back, this is not the same as putting a mute in the horn. Nowhere near the same. Putting a mute in the horn is more akin to dropping 12 dBs in the money register.

Don't let descriptions of a 3db difference cause you to make declarations that aren't really born out in practice. I've taken lacquer off of most of my horns, I know it makes a huge difference. It's not so big that anyone on the other side of my horn would go "wow, it sounds like you took a mute out" because it's simply not that drastic a difference.

If I'm interpreting the graph correctly, it's showing a near 3 dB loss in those upper tones while playing a low G, loud and soft.  It doesn't speak directly to any loss (or gain) when those tones are played as the fundamental.  I think you're correct to point out that up to a 3 dB change in SPL makes less of a difference to the ear than it does to a "flat" artificial detector.  Depending on the frequency, something like a 10 dB change is required for a normal human ear to perceive a doubling or halving of "loudness."  Physics, meet biology.  And art, and taste ...
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« Reply #250 on: Jan 02, 2017, 07:16PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnTmBjk-M0c
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BillO
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« Reply #251 on: Jan 02, 2017, 07:56PM »

You dug up my curriculum.

Excellent!  Most excellent!  Yes I got caught in the abuse section for a while.  It happens. :D

Monty Python - priceless.

BTW I apologize to Brad Close.  It seems I upset him and had no intention to do so.  Really man, I had no intention to upset you.  It seems we are oil and water and are forever unable to see eye to eye.  So be it.  At your request will never directly respond to your posts going forward.  My word.
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« Reply #252 on: Jan 02, 2017, 09:20PM »

Actually here's the whole argument clinic skit Evil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

Don't mean to one up you hassein but I always feel like The Flying Circus gets better and better the more context you get with the whole episode! Brilliant the way they intertwine multiple skits together to make a entire episode of nonsense Pant
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« Reply #253 on: Jan 02, 2017, 09:45PM »

I think I'm almost at the point where I'm going to play two different bells on my Shires for my two contracted orchestras, both because of what the other players play and because of the halls we play in. You could take measurements of me playing both bells and tell me one is "better" than the other for whatever reason, but "better" is really what fits best in whatever situation I'm in. For me, not anybody else, and I learn that through experience.

This was my point earlier.  We as trombonists literally have finest tuned sensing organs to this type of thing.  Literally.  Machines can certainly show one or two types of resonance, db loss, what have you, but we have been perfecting our minds ear to hear and fine tuning exactly all of these variables for years upon years to achieve our outcome.  How many different variables are we accounting for when we adjust to a big band, adjust to a hall, adjust our tone to get a brighter or darker sound?  Possibly hundreds.  I don't know.  I don't care.  All I know is by the time we train our machines to account for every since aspect of every possible variable that we as human beings master throughout the course of one musical phrase, will we really be better off?  This is my beef with this stuff.  We're humans, we make music.  We're good at it.  Or we're not, and then we practice.  Nowhere does this psuedo-science mumbo-jumbo every come into into play when we're on that path. 

Sorry if I offend.  I'm sure this discussion has it's merits and I hope all parties involved find what they're looking to achieve. If this type of measurement eventually helps someone make music, then I'll put my foot in my mouth.  I just have problems wasting time on something like this when all it takes to determine whether a horn sounds good is to play it. 

Also....

Every gold plated horn I've played also is fantastic. Sam's is wonderful, so is Ed Neumeister's - he has a gold plated Silversonic 3b. 
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« Reply #254 on: Jan 03, 2017, 03:09AM »

This was my point earlier.  We as trombonists literally have finest tuned sensing organs to this type of thing.  Literally.  Machines can certainly show one or two types of resonance, db loss, what have you, but we have been perfecting our minds ear to hear and fine tuning exactly all of these variables for years upon years to achieve our outcome.  How many different variables are we accounting for when we adjust to a big band, adjust to a hall, adjust our tone to get a brighter or darker sound?  Possibly hundreds.  I don't know.  I don't care.  All I know is by the time we train our machines to account for every since aspect of every possible variable that we as human beings master throughout the course of one musical phrase, will we really be better off?  This is my beef with this stuff.  We're humans, we make music.  We're good at it.  Or we're not, and then we practice.  Nowhere does this psuedo-science mumbo-jumbo every come into into play when we're on that path. 

Sorry if I offend.  I'm sure this discussion has it's merits and I hope all parties involved find what they're looking to achieve. If this type of measurement eventually helps someone make music, then I'll put my foot in my mouth.  I just have problems wasting time on something like this when all it takes to determine whether a horn sounds good is to play it. 

Also....

Every gold plated horn I've played also is fantastic. Sam's is wonderful, so is Ed Neumeister's - he has a gold plated Silversonic 3b. 


YEEEEESSSS !!!!!

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« Reply #255 on: Jan 03, 2017, 06:03AM »

The OP asks
 

So - my question - those of you who have played silver plated horns, what did you think?  
 

I know I'm young and don't have a whole lot of experience. I'm only now graduating high school and recently bought a trombone for college. I tried out a bunch of name brand horns (Bach, Yamaha, King, Holton, Conn) all lacquered rose brass. Then the store owner asked me to play a silver plated Conn 66H and I fell in love with the slightly brighter tone. I'm not sure if it was the plating or the instrument but it's beautiful and I love it.
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« Reply #256 on: Jan 03, 2017, 06:43AM »

... it's beautiful and I love it.

Really, that's all that matters. Hopefully that translates into playing it a lot. You can ignore all these esoteric arguments and just play trombone.
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« Reply #257 on: Jan 03, 2017, 06:51AM »

This was my point earlier.  We as trombonists literally have finest tuned sensing organs to this type of thing.  Literally.  Machines can certainly show one or two types of resonance, db loss, what have you, but we have been perfecting our minds ear to hear and fine tuning exactly all of these variables for years upon years to achieve our outcome. 

Beneath all the hyperbole and snark, Steve has a point that is worth considering--what if what you are hearing is significantly different from what the audience is hearing? I disagree with his measuring standard of "efficiency," but I do think his point about sound behind the bell and sound in front of the bell (made more effectively in the brass slide vs. nickel slide thread) has relevance.
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« Reply #258 on: Jan 03, 2017, 08:54AM »

....but I do think his point about sound behind the bell and sound in front of the bell (made more effectively in the brass slide vs. nickel slide thread) has relevance.

Sure, but can't we achieve the same outcome by asking someone we trust listen from the other side of the bell or from out in the audience?  Maybe even ask our colleagues who we're sitting next to on any given day?  If one didn't have access to people like that I could understand, but it seems there are enough folks floating around to come listen for a bit, even if they are violinists.... Evil

This is interesting stuff, no doubt, and it is good to get a certain confirmation on things we as trombonists have suspected for a while....but it needs to be approached knowing how many variables we are really dealing with, which to me seems almost impossible.  Even if we were able to control for all of the physical variables of an instrument, every trombonist I know plays the horn differently!  What percentage of your lips are vibrating?  Where are they vibrating?  What volume of air are you using to play that note vs the other note?  Are you pointing the air up or down in the mouthpiece?  Etc, etc, etc....
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« Reply #259 on: Jan 03, 2017, 09:58AM »

Beneath all the hyperbole and snark, Steve has a point that is worth considering--what if what you are hearing is significantly different from what the audience is hearing? I disagree with his measuring standard of "efficiency," but I do think his point about sound behind the bell and sound in front of the bell (made more effectively in the brass slide vs. nickel slide thread) has relevance.

In that respect he can be correct... how many people THINK they sound to an audience is not how they ACTUALLY sound to an audience.
I have sat next to great players that I have heard many times and been SHOCKED by how they sound when you sit along side them. They know how to get results.
That is how you learn how it is REALLY done !!

Chris Stearn
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