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Author Topic: Bach bell mod to fit Shires valve/tuning slide  (Read 523 times)
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TNTBONE
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« on: Apr 07, 2017, 05:01AM »

I am thinking about making my Friedman bell compatible with my Shires dual bore valve and tuning slide. Who else has done a mod (Bach bell to Shires set up} and how did/does the set up play? Thanks...
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loudtrombone
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 21, 2017, 11:50PM »

No answers from me yet but I'm also thinking about having my corporation Bach 42B, which was originally a straight 42 modified to be a convertible 42/42B, fitted to be compatible with a Shires axial valve. Only thing is I want to convert the Bach valve section so that it could still receive the Bach bell. That would also require modifying the Bach tuning slide and tuning slide receiver on the valve and I'm not sure if I would like what that might do to the sound.

Interested to hear if you made the conversion and how you liked it.
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Ken Hurst
Alto, Tenor, Bass Trombone
Aiken Symphony Orchestra
Freelance Trombonist
Retired Band/Orchestra Director
TNTBONE
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 22, 2017, 05:44AM »

I bought a bell conversion kit from Shires to initially convert my 36 to accept Shires valves. It is currently configured to accept the Artisan La Rosa valve. What I found is that the bell flare diameter is larger than the tuning slide receiver, so it would have required modification to the bell. I decided not to do the mod simply because I was concerned that it would negatively affect a fantastic playing/sounding bell. I use a Shires .525 nickel slide with the 36 bell so I did swap out the Shires slide receiver on the bell to have a more secure fit with the Shires slide.

The short answer to your question is no, I haven't done the mod. I decided not to do it for two primary reasons:
1. I have modified my Friedman bell to accept the La Rosa valve and it is a fantastic playing set-up. Like you, I am concerned about it negatively affecting the way it plays. Why mess with something that works?
2. I have played both the Shires dual bore and standard valve with my Shires Chicago bell. Neither valve plays as open as the La Rosa valve in my opinion.

My two cents would be to keep what you have if you are happy with it. If you want to try Shires as a Bach "guy", I recommend finding a used Shires New York or Chicago bell and trying them with Shires valves, X tuning slide and a Shires 1 1/2 lead pipe. You might realize that the grass is only slightly greener on the other side..
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loudtrombone
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:59PM »

Thanks for the detail about your mod plans Greg. Yep, I too would balk at any mods that may ruin an already very good thing in an attempt to squeeze another 2% of quality out of it. Back in the 80s when I had my straight 42 modified into a convertible 42/42B I stressed to my repair technician, Eric Swanson, how important it was to me to be able to go back to the straight gooseneck in case the valve section degraded the sound. But I found it plays really well with the F valve section. One workaround that might work for me would be to have a custom tuning slide made to specifically use with the Bach bell when mated to the Shires axial valve. That way everything would be backwards compatible. However I'm also concerned about relocating braces and supports and their interaction with the bell resonances. But this for me is something that can wait awhile and it's probably more about satisfying my curiosity than in attempting to gain a marginal improvement.
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Ken Hurst
Alto, Tenor, Bass Trombone
Aiken Symphony Orchestra
Freelance Trombonist
Retired Band/Orchestra Director
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