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Author Topic: How many dents do you tolerate in your horns?  (Read 1962 times)
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hyperbolica
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« on: Apr 20, 2017, 06:56PM »

When I buy a new horn, I hate to see it dented. Ever. I bought a new 8h in 2003 and it never had any dents up until I sold it last year. My year old Kanstul bass doesn't yet have its first dent.

But then I've bought a few used horns as well that arrive in various conditions, almost always with some ugly dents (rarely so big as to affect the playing). My daily horn has some dents in hard to reach areas. I generally feel compelled to remove dents to the tuning slide, main slide crook or the bell.

How much OCD do you let show on your dented old horns?
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Sliphorn
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 20, 2017, 06:58PM »

Extremely OCD.  I do not really tolerate any.  I put one small dent in one, once (since being an adult, anyway).  That's 8 years of being on the road, a different city each night, too.  So yeah, I'm pretty OCD about it. 
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 20, 2017, 07:12PM »

I have a pretty high threshold. Hard to tell where one dent stops and the next one begins on this horn...

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MTbassbone

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« Reply #3 on: Apr 20, 2017, 07:12PM »

I think too much is made of this.  I once heard a great trombonist, who is now a university professor, and his Bach 42 bell looked like it was literally "hand hammered" post factory.   Maybe a shotgun blast to the bell or something.  The sound he got out of that horn was amazing.  That pretty much ended that theory for me.  Unless its massive (which I have experienced, and I just replaced the bell) I don't worry about it.  A few times I have taken my horn in for work, and the tech has just taken the small mute kisses out without even being prompted.
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 20, 2017, 07:15PM »

Personally I don't understand anyone who doesn't have dents rolled out, esp on the bell flare.

I played gigs with a professional pilot who had a Bach 36 with a nasty crease one the flare. I assumed that he made enough money in his job that he could fix his horn. He just didn't care.

I can't stand playing a dented horn. It is a distraction for me.
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 20, 2017, 07:44PM »

If it doesn't affect my playing, and isn't huge (like a massive bell crease), I'm OK with it.

But I don't play at such a level that I'm particularly sensitive to the changes in sound or feel that a teensy dent would cause.



Aesthetically? I ain't winning any beauty contests, so if the horn can put up with MY imperfections...  Pant
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Burgerbob

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« Reply #6 on: Apr 20, 2017, 09:56PM »

My current horn has many dings and a couple flat spots on attachment tubes. As long as it doesn't impede how the horn plays... whatever.

I do have a 42B that is a total beater. It plays well enough, but after some work it'll be a lot better.
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 20, 2017, 11:26PM »

If they are on the bell I remove them myself, but only because I think it looks bad. Large dents in the tuningslide or in the bell section too if I can do it by myself and with the professional tools I have. I have experienced big difference only once when one note played more in tune afterwards. I don't mind a scratchy horn with small dents if it plays well.

I would go to an expert and remove them if they are on the slide and the horn is expensive. If it is a cheap horn I try them too. All slides I worked on have been improved, but not perfect. You need skills and tools to do it perfectly, same with dents of course. My repairs are good enough. I would never offer to do my friends trombones. The easiest way to improve a slide is a proper cleaning. I always starts with this and after that analysis of what's wrong with it. Could be bent, or a dent or not aligned. I always think a lot before I bend or put pressure on any part of the slide and the result  is no guarantee what so ever. My idea is: If it got bent so it is curved by force as is, it could theoretically be bent back by force as is. I don't advice anyone to do it by them self first time on their expensive trombone. You will most likely fail.

/Tom
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 21, 2017, 02:35PM »

All three of my horns have decent-sized dents in the tuning slides (I've actually posted a couple times about them  :D). I play for fun mostly, and if it still sounds/feels good, it IS good! Dents in the inners or outers obviously don't go at all, and I've yet to be the cause of a dent in a bell of one of my horns.
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 21, 2017, 03:03PM »

None of my Trombones have any dents, Right now except the Early `90`s 42B I just bought maybe 5 months ago. The horn plays absolutely amazing,
but looks like hell. I`m going to get it stripped and the bell needs a little work but Man this thing plays.
Now my Tubas are another thang altogether
My Eb is from 1927 - It`s in Great shape for it`s age and actually has very few dents
Then there`s My Bb........................
Beater school horn that I was told to throw out. Put it in my car and Now I have a Bb tuba. the bottom bow is a bout 60% pushed in and leaked. DUCT TAPED it from
ferrel to ferrel and It plays wonderful, looks terrible but who cares.
I subbed on it with a local community bd and 2 people saw the horn and said "There`s Our Next Album Cover"
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 21, 2017, 04:08PM »

I hate dents. I somehow put one in my nearly new Rath last month and it went straight to the shop. $25 later it looks good as new. I know a horn can sound just fine with lots of them, but I like my horn to look good too.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 21, 2017, 04:28PM »

When one of John Coffey's students would bring in a new horn, he'd take a mouthpiece and immediately put a little ding in the bell flare.

Then he'd tell the astonished kid something to the effect of "now just play the thing and stop worrying about how it looks."
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 22, 2017, 08:09AM »

All horns will eventually suffer wear, get small dents, etc. I am however OCD, and they do get to me, especially because I notice everything, so I'll notice a new dent, and get annoyed that I do not know where it came from.

Buying brand new gear is always an issue, as unlike used gear, they don't come "pre-dented".
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 22, 2017, 05:40PM »

Since I care more about how a horn plays than it looks, dents don't bother me. Only had two trombones that were new.  Marching band took care of one, the other I rarely played and still looked nice when I sold it. Slide dents that affect slide movement get fixed immediately.  Minor dents elsewhere I just leave.  When the horn is in for slide work I ask for them to give a shot at fixing them if not to expensive.   My opinion - dollar for dollar, a shiny new (or used) horn at any price point won't be as good a player as a used horn at that price point if both are priced right. 
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 23, 2017, 05:00PM »

A dent means that in this area the metal is slightly thinner, slightly harder, and there is some abnormal tension.
If the dent is removed, the material will be even more 'work hardened' and there will be more tension.
Therefore I suspect that removing dents might have a negative effect on the sound of the bell which is why I tend to leave them alone.
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 24, 2017, 12:34AM »

I am careful with the tools of my trade. If I have owned it since new, it will look very good with usually only the unavoidable mute dents in the bell. Used instruments are as they are... lacquer in all states of preservation, some with few dents , others with many.... how they play is everything and they bear the scars of their previous lives, which is fine with me.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 24, 2017, 02:42AM »

I don't usually mind a few dings here and there, especially on a horn with some lacquer missing. If it has perfect lacquer, or no lacquer and it's polished, then dings are less frequent so the finish stays consistent. Only if the dings inhibit the playing of the instrument- like when I lost my slide during the last concert and there was a rough spot around 5th- then I get them taken out.
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 26, 2017, 10:15AM »

Sometimes accidents happen. I believe I have only acquired damage to one bell in the past few years. The whole horn needs some maintenance that I can't do myself so when it gets shipped out fixing the dents is on the list of repairs to be done. If anything big happens to my daily horns I'll have it fixed, but if it's a little ding from the back of a chair or a stand I might hold off on immediately sending it to a technician. We'll see how I feel about it if the time comes.
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 26, 2017, 05:07PM »

According to the RCH scale I have no dents, however, my horn looks old and is acceptable in most bars and orchestras.  If I do get a love tap it comes out the next day..probably.
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« Reply #19 on: Apr 26, 2017, 06:17PM »

The horns I've bought since 2009 are still pristine, except for some lacquer scratches that happened in 2 incidents in a single week on my 891z where I hit music stands. Call it a brain fart or something.

Any damage on my 42B happened before I was 25 when I played in the Service. For a 40 year old horn, it's not "minty", but better than almost all other horns of its age.

The two used horns I had looked like they had been intentionally abused. I had then for decades, and didn't worry about their appearance. I added no new damage to them.
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