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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Michael Rath Trombones - Whats Your Opinion
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John McKevitt
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« on: May 12, 2017, 02:57PM »

I want to hear the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
I have been selling my vintage collection and updating my gear recently.
 I have potential deals for an R3 and a R9DST
Any opinion on the Bass Trb Dependent Haagman setup vs the Independent?
Haagman Valves Vs Thayers?
Every Decent Playa I have heard on them sounds great.
Are they more  of a Jazz instrument compared to a Classical/Orchestral Instrument?
WEll suited in any style of music?
Whats your experience?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 08:34AM by John McKevitt » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 03:38PM »

You can put a Rath together that works for anything... jazz, classical, whatever. They have a distinct character.... I don't think you can build a 'clone' of another make, but then why would you ?
They are very easy to play... helpful... responsive....
The hardest thing is choosing from all the options... the Raths I play now were put together by an old friend and work better than the ones I put together myself... building is hard.
I am on indi Hagmanns and love the setup... I had dependants in the past but I find more advantage in the indis.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 03:53PM »

good

I have R10.
nickel silver slide moves fast.
Dependent is OK, I use Conn 62H(circa 1970, F/E trigger) on bass.
2 Haagmans is too heavy for me.

Rath trombones are well assembled and accurate as well as other boutique's or Yamaha's.
Some narrower horn case like SKB will not suite them because of the screw key on the joint.

consider slide tuning!

enjoy your selection process,
hurry
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hurry kurihara
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 03:54PM »

Beautiful instruments. I had the pleasure of visiting the factory last year.

My favorite Rath? The R3 with Nickel bell and the most open lead pipe.
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Gabe Langfur

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 05:22PM »

Rath makes beautiful instruments, and Mick Rath is a beautiful guy. There's something about the feel of them that I just don't mesh with though. Your mileage may vary.
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Gabe Langfur
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John McKevitt
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 06:14PM »

I have only had the pleasure of playing two of them. I tried an R4 w f attach w/Haagman valve. I liked what I heard bouncing around the hall. I did not get much Feedback from sitting behind the bell. The Other was a an R9 Bass with dual inline Haagmans. I did not have my mouthpiece and borrowed one that was several sizes smaller.I can not form an opinion based on that experience.Thanks to all who responded so far. J McK
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TromboneMonkey

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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 04:47AM »

They're excellent. My one gripe is lack of feedback to the player.
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-John
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 05:17AM »

Fantastic instruments. If I was younger and had the cash I would buy one, or two or three or more!

Look at the *00 series as well. You might find just what you want for less money.

Cheers

Stewbones
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 06:18AM »

I think they are excellent.  I didn't used to like them, but now I have 5 of them...
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 07:14AM »

Rath makes beautiful instruments, and Mick Rath is a beautiful guy. There's something about the feel of them that I just don't mesh with though. Your mileage may vary.

+1

I found that I preferred instruments with a different approach to the colour/edge interface. Crackingly made instruments though.
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2017, 07:34AM »

I got a Rath 3.5 last March at ATW. That's not a real model - I ended up choosing an R3 slide and an R4 bell with the Rotax valve. The R3 slide allows for a large or small shank lead pipe, so it is very versatile.

My only negative comment about going with Rath is that since it is a very small percentile of the market, there are very few used parts available if you want to switch something out. You can find tons of used Edwards and Shires parts on the TTF classifieds, but not that many Rath parts. So if you choose to change something, be prepared to pay full list price.

That said, I love the way my Rath plays. I don't know if it is twice as good as a Bach or Yamaha, but I do love it.
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Daniel Harris
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2017, 09:51AM »

You can put a Rath together that works for anything... jazz, classical, whatever. They have a distinct character.... I don't think you can build a 'clone' of another make, but then why would you ?
They are very easy to play... helpful... responsive....
The hardest thing is choosing from all the options... the Raths I play now were put together by an old friend and work better than the ones I put together myself... building is hard.
I am on indi Hagmanns and love the setup... I had dependants in the past but I find more advantage in the indis.

Chris Stearn


Chris,

I apologize if you have already answered this somewhere and I missed it, but what ever became of your Fuchs inspired Rath?

Thanks much,

Dan Harris
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2017, 12:56PM »

You can put a Rath together that works for anything... jazz, classical, whatever. They have a distinct character.... I don't think you can build a 'clone' of another make, but then why would you ?
They are very easy to play... helpful... responsive....
The hardest thing is choosing from all the options... the Raths I play now were put together by an old friend and work better than the ones I put together myself... building is hard.
I am on indi Hagmanns and love the setup... I had dependants in the past but I find more advantage in the indis.

Chris Stearn


If Chris regards building as being hard what chance do the rest of us have? ......

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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2017, 01:57PM »

Chris,

I apologize if you have already answered this somewhere and I missed it, but what ever became of your Fuchs inspired Rath?

Thanks much,

Dan Harris

Oh Dan... there was never a proposal to build a Fuchs copy....
We did talk about making a smaller bell bass like the later 70H, but Mick was snowed under with orders and it seemed pointless at the time.
Looking back, I should recap my involvement with Mick and the team...
I remember trying the prototype bass around 1998/99 and then met up with Mick in Utrect at ITF 2000 and after trying a couple of basses, I decided to buy one of his horns. I started visiting the factory on a regular basis and started to be involved in development. I helped with material development... nickel bells, bronze slides and a lot of things that didn't make the cut. I was a voice in the room when Mick decided to go modular and was part of the TIS development team. I had quite a lot to do with mouthpiece development and then my biggest project was working with Mick to create the R90 contrabass trombone. It was great fun and a steep learning curve. My horns became test rigs for various ideas and went from solid build to modular, indi to dep, bell tuning to TIS and some of it back again.
Mick is the finest brass instrument maker I have met... a real master of the craft and design of trombone in every way. I am proud to be using Rath basses that I have inherited from my dear friend Roger Williams.... the double is number 34 and pretty much the same as my first horn.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2017, 02:13PM »

If Chris regards building as being hard what chance do the rest of us have? ......



This is a problem with ANY modular horn with many choices.... witness the number of modular bits for sale here and on ebay.
You see less Rath parts for sale... either they sell far less stuff or customers get it right more often.
The A/B comparison game is dangerous... too many people think duller is darker, and darker is the required quality. You try bell A and bell B and jump in the direction that seems right.... but real choices happen over time in your playing situation. I don't know what the answer is. A great instrument teaches you things... how do you put together your teacher ???

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2017, 02:26PM »

I believe that if you have precise idea of how you want your instrument to sound and to play (tuning, feedback, contribution of weight and so on) you shouldn't have a hard time putting any modular brass instrument together. I didn't do yet this on tbone (not ready yet to spend that amount of $$$$) but did on trumpet. With experience you also require less time on any given set up to decide whether this is the one.
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2017, 04:00PM »

From my rather humble but limited experience I'd say that as far as quality of build, there I nothing better, but hey, you're paying for a high end product so I'd expect nothing less.

Regards the actual instrument, I had a R9 independent made up to 'try' and copy an old Edwards bass I used to own. I got exactly the same things (apart from valves were obviously different)... needless to say, it was/is a pig, a right donkey of an instrument. Sounded great in the shop in a small practice room but out in th open in a band rehearsal it was toss.

I fought with it for a few years until I bit the bullet and contacted Mick direct and explained the problem and that the trombone had never really worked for me...

This is the best bit... And maybe explains why there's not loads of spares flying around 2nd hand? Mick sent me a few bit to try on approval and I just swapped them over in my own time over a few weeks till I got it better. Just sent back my original lead pipe and other bits I didn't want. An excellent service (that's possibly not available to everyone depending on location?) but terrific none th less.

Over all it's not helped so much as I've rather given up hope of ever getting it right. There's just something 'not right' about it that I can't lay my finger on. If anything I'd say there's possibly too much choice, too many options that you end up tangled up in your own mind about what you want, what you think you want versus what you end up with.

I guess a bog standard off the shelf option like the R900 is probably spot on for most players, we just don't realise until it's expensively too late.
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Home practice??? Thats what band rehearsal is for. If i could play it all already there'd be no point in going to band practice.
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2017, 12:30AM »

I guess a bog standard off the shelf option like the R900 is probably spot on for most players, we just don't realise until it's expensively too late.

As a general observation, if you don't have a really precise ideas about what you want to sound like and some ideas how to achieve it gearwise, I guess that it is better just to get a well balanced complete "standard" set up - it is certainly safer and cheaper.

And yes, the feedback of the room and the instrument itself can be deceiving. Therefore, a pair of good seasoned external pair of ears (your teacher, a colleague may be a good bet) is always useful.
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2017, 02:09AM »

Wish I could be at the factory some days and try out. Maybe one day....for now I enjoy the old classic ones. They suit my playing.

Leif
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2017, 03:09AM »

From my rather humble but limited experience I'd say that as far as quality of build, there I nothing better, but hey, you're paying for a high end product so I'd expect nothing less.

Regards the actual instrument, I had a R9 independent made up to 'try' and copy an old Edwards bass I used to own. I got exactly the same things (apart from valves were obviously different)... needless to say, it was/is a pig, a right donkey of an instrument. Sounded great in the shop in a small practice room but out in th open in a band rehearsal it was toss.

I fought with it for a few years until I bit the bullet and contacted Mick direct and explained the problem and that the trombone had never really worked for me...

This is the best bit... And maybe explains why there's not loads of spares flying around 2nd hand? Mick sent me a few bit to try on approval and I just swapped them over in my own time over a few weeks till I got it better. Just sent back my original lead pipe and other bits I didn't want. An excellent service (that's possibly not available to everyone depending on location?) but terrific none th less.

Over all it's not helped so much as I've rather given up hope of ever getting it right. There's just something 'not right' about it that I can't lay my finger on. If anything I'd say there's possibly too much choice, too many options that you end up tangled up in your own mind about what you want, what you think you want versus what you end up with.

I guess a bog standard off the shelf option like the R900 is probably spot on for most players, we just don't realise until it's expensively too late.

Here are many of the issues that worry me with ideas about modular trombones. If you liked your Edwards,you should have contacted Edwards and bought another that was tweaked to do what you want. If you buy a Rath in the hope of getting a better Edwards you will be disappointed. They are very different. I loved my original Rath.... standard yellow brass slide, indi Hagmanns and 9 1/2" pure copper bell. I ordered a second one, this time speced to be a clone of my Holton 169 and it never got to where I wanted it to be.... silly idea. If you put together a balanced instrument and learn how to play it you can end up happy. One of my students got a Courtois a year ago..  he loved it, but I thought his sound had suffered and I was not happy. He worked at it to get his sound out of the bell and now sounds amazing.  People expect amazing right out of the box with no player adjustment. That leads to disappointment. What sounds best out of the box can end up being a poor choice.

Chris Stearn
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Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
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