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Author Topic: BAC Modifications  (Read 3562 times)
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djlovell
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« on: Apr 28, 2017, 01:24PM »

Anyone had any custom work done by BAC Kansas City (formerly Horn Doctor)? What have your experiences been?
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Sliphorn
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 28, 2017, 02:32PM »

I can tell you that I have a horn I got here on the forum.  Corrigan wouldn't return the original owner's emails or calls to get finalized details, specs, etc. of the horn.  I also tried to reach him to find out more about it and never heard back.
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 29, 2017, 07:02PM »

It was a huge mistake, I lost a ton of money, and the work was sub-par.
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 29, 2017, 07:38PM »

You will find that there are a few people here who had bad experiences with Corrigan and a few who had great experiences.

My suspicion from reading all the bad press is that if you give him a really odd project it may not turn out well; but routine stuff is probably OK.
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2017, 03:54AM »

He messed up the easy job, too.
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 11:13AM »

No custom work, but I'll share my experience.

I bought my Duo Gravis from him a almost two years ago. It was in stock configuration, no mods.

In addition to the sale price, I paid extra to have the small dents and dings removed from the bell section. Upon inspection when it arrived, there were plenty of those still present. Now, I couldn't tell the extent of them from the pictures I viewed before purchase, so perhaps some were removed but there were several easily accessible ones still there when I got the horn.

Now what REALLY chaps my hide is this: I also paid for one of their trademark slide setups.

When the slide arrived, it (and the bell section) was well packed so I don't believe any of this was the result of shipping damage, the slide hung pretty bad past 4th position regardless of the lube I tried. Worst of all, there was a metal band inside of the left hand cork barrel that was not attached properly and at worst wouldn't allow the slide to come all the way into 1st position and at best produced a loud *CLICK* when coming in and out of 1st.

I sent the slide to The Slide Dr. and according to his discharge notes, he had to take it completely apart to correct the bowed and misaligned inners and outers. The full list of what he did to the slide took up the better part of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

All this after a B.A.C EVT Slide Treatment™? That's some B.S. right there.

I enjoy looking at the stuff that comes out of his shop on Instagram, but I'll never pay any money for it again.
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Aaron Thornberry
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 12:18AM »

Stay away
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 01:24AM »

If you wanna go BAC, I guess that it is probably better to get a complete setup than asking them to customize in any way another brand trombone.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 03:13AM »

I wish I had heeded the warnings of the poor reviews on this site before doing business with BAC.

Mike's work is great. He's a nice guy and his heart is in the right place, but the way he does business leaves a lot to be desired.

I hope for his sake, things have changed at BAC.

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Matt K

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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 04:39AM »

It seems as though the quality has vastly improved in the few years. I know a few players, especially a few out in the midwest, who really dig his stuff.  I know of at least a few King 2bs and 3bs that were converted that those players really like. I know of another Yamaha bass I believe that had some kind of work done by him.  But it may well be a hit-or-miss thing as well.

I mentioned in another thread recently they could be the best horns in the world and I'd still think twice just because of how gaudy they are. But different strokes for different folks.
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2017, 04:48AM »

There might be 2 issues in play here. 1. Their own/designed instruments. 2. Other work. I cannot comment on the instruments-they look heavy and I know a bass trombonist who couldn't wait to get rid of his bass because it was just too heavy. I know another bass trombonist who had slide work done recently with disastrous results.
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2017, 06:41AM »

There might be 2 issues in play here. 1. Their own/designed instruments. 2. Other work. I cannot comment on the instruments-they look heavy and I know a bass trombonist who couldn't wait to get rid of his bass because it was just too heavy. I know another bass trombonist who had slide work done recently with disastrous results.


What do you mean they look heavy? He adds extra stuff to it that you haven't asked for? I dont understand.
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RJMason
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2017, 07:01AM »

He means what he said...some of the horns Mike made were just soooo heavy they were too tiring to hold for a long time.

Mike can make amazing instruments and do amazing work--up until about a year there was another former employee helping to work on horns while Mike was in china securing manufacturing deals for their student lines and marching band instruments--this guy did a pretty bad job on horns, on a regular basis. Horns that Mike personally handled all the way through were much more concise.

I dropped thousands of dollars on two horns with him and they both needed so much repair work it made me sick. Eventually after getting him on the phone he agreed to completely rebuild my 3B and add a custom F Attachment with a rotor from the Williams parts cabinet he owns for free.

It is really an amazing horn and although pretty heavy (has some solid brass weight built on like a Elliot Mason's horn) one of his best builds.

He has a new team and is doing the custom work on his own now. The quality has gone way up. This is just in the last year or so, honestly.

There's still a lot more work to do on his end--it seems like more attention to detail is spent on the horns he makes for the famous guys and I think his prices are way too high--the quality control isn't there with Shires/Rath/Boutique honestly, but if you are looking for an amazing horn with a lot of character, I suggest visiting Kansas City or trying out his horns at an event in person and finding one you love!
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2017, 07:16AM »

RJM,

Though I never played on a B.A.C instrument, never got a repair done by them, your post pretty much sums my thought and conclusions drawn from the above posts. I looked a Mike video on renovations, but then read all of this negative reports. He seems like a knowldgeable and skilled person, but something in his team seems not click right. Probably the repair guy you mentioned.

I don't like bashing repairmen and horn builders, but he really needs to sort that out.

Being primarily a trumpet player, I worked with http://spadamusic.ch in Burgdorf Switzerland. I never got a repair that left me unsatisfied, I always know what everything is going to cost approximately and they never do things I didn't asked for, unless they told me that it needs to be done and I agreed.

Sometimes I ask for something and they tell me like: "Nah, that's going to cost too much." or something like this. But I know that if I really want it, they are going to do it for me for the declared price. And they do same for everybody, no matter how famous (or not) you are.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2017, 07:42AM »

it seems like more attention to detail is spent on the horns he makes for the famous guys

Yeah.

I have no doubt he can make nice stuff and is capable of doing good work. One of the small-bore instruments of his I tried was really fantastic. I know he's very proud of what he's doing. I also know he is capable of being extremely dishonest and is more interested in impressing famous guys than he is in getting your project done. I also know he doesn't really play to any reasonable standard himself, which isn't in itself bad -- a lot of the best craftsmen can't; but sometimes he'll work diligently with a player to develop an instrument, and other times he'll make something he thinks looks cool and declare it to be awesome and ignore feedback that it isn't.

Whether he does it consciously or not, he has an uncanny ability to string you along with the skill of a top con man. He can drag things out for literally *years* by perpetually promising you that your project is only one component away from completion. He knows how to milk more money than agreed out of you by telling sob stories about his cash flow affecting his ability to complete your project. When you aren't satisfied, he's great at making you doubt yourself by saying stuff like "lots of cats tried your horn and thought it was the best EVER!" Or he'll name drop a famous person. And then when he runs out of excuses he is fantastic at dodging your calls and even your attempts to show up at his shop.

If you're choosing someone to work on your instrument or make someone for you, their work and their reputation means a heck of a lot more than fake reality tv shows and fancy instagram photography.
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2017, 08:23AM »

The things I've sent to him have come back good, but on a couple of occasions I had to send stuff back for minor issues that he had overlooked. The copper leadpipe he put in by 3B is great.
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2017, 10:10AM »


What do you mean they look heavy? He adds extra stuff to it that you haven't asked for? I dont understand.

Have you seen pictures of some of the horns he's designed? Self explanatory.
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2017, 10:15AM »

To perhaps clarify a little: One component of the heaviness comes from the loopy tuning slide which is filled with something heavy. Basically a permanent counterweight.  I'm not sure if that's the case on basses as well but its been that way on all the horns I've played. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 10:27AM »

What are you talking about guys. It's the best work I've ever seen!



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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2017, 01:31PM »

After reading some of these stories I am inclined to think there are a number of great craftsmen out there why would I risk it sending my horn to BAC?.....
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