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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Michael Rath Trombones - Whats Your Opinion
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bonenick

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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2017, 03:34AM »

Amazing right out of the box - well it happens, but still rarely (if ever) amazing for every situation and still requires some adjustment from the player.

When I came out from the Spada shop with a modular Bach-Spada B flat trumpet with a configuration that I worked on from some 2h choosing many details....everybody loved it, but now I realize that sometime in commercial context it requires quite an effort to be consistent, though soundwise is quite versatile.
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2017, 08:44PM »

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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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2017, 09:26PM »

The only Rath I've played was a small bore that reminded me a lot of a very good vintage 6H, no experience on the large horns!
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2017, 05:20AM »

Amazing right out of the box - well it happens, but still rarely (if ever) amazing for every situation and still requires some adjustment from the player.

When I came out from the Spada shop with a modular Bach-Spada B flat trumpet with a configuration that I worked on from some 2h choosing many details....everybody loved it, but now I realize that sometime in commercial context it requires quite an effort to be consistent, though soundwise is quite versatile.

The out of the box impression is almost all about feel. Sound can only really be judged in the playing context... your section.. your hall etc.
Response and slot can be made very attractive...but many other qualities are important. I think many modern instruments are far too slotted and leave many players struggling to play in tune as every tiny adjustment has to be made on the slide, not on the face.
Chris Stearn
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2017, 05:29AM »

I was in for a new bas and i was doubt between a courtois 550 bhr or a rath r9 indi. I had the same setup as the courtois with rose bell,yellow slide,and indipendent hagman but the choice for me was the courtois with also easy blowing but more core and power (courtois has more weight and mass )
I love my 550bhr great bone
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2017, 05:49AM »

FWIW I felt like the best Rath bass trombones were the first ones that were non modular. Inline Hagmanns, fixed lead pipe, and mine had a red brass bell. The sound, for me, was great and just what I needed. I decided to move on because I prefer rotary valves but I have to admit I wish I still had that horn. Chris's Raths are truly special as I had a chance to play them both a few months ago. Doubt I would've ever thought to set them up that way myself due to my own thoughts about how things should sound instead of how they do sound. They're both winners!
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2017, 09:41AM »

THanks again all for your replies. Afew more question.
 How is the blow on a Rath w/ Bass inline Haagman valves
in comparison with the dependent Haagmans?
Is there much difference taking that second valve out of line? Is it more free blowing?
What is the speed of the Haagman valves?
 SOmeone suggested  to me they were slower than Thayer valves because of the linkage length.
How about TIS Bass's Compared to Tuning at the Back Bow Raths.
What's Ya'lls preference?
THanks , John McKevitt
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2017, 11:45AM »

THanks again all for your replies. Afew more question.
 How is the blow on a Rath w/ Bass inline Haagman valves
in comparison with the dependent Haagmans?
Is there much difference taking that second valve out of line? Is it more free blowing?
What is the speed of the Haagman valves?
 SOmeone suggested  to me they were slower than Thayer valves because of the linkage length.
How about TIS Bass's Compared to Tuning at the Back Bow Raths.
What's Ya'lls preference?
THanks , John McKevitt

Inline and stacked... had them both .... for me the difference in blow is very small or not noticeable at all and I far prefer the added facility of the inline system. If you use a single valve in the same trombone it feels a little lighter in sound but more alive... I love playing single valve basses, and it is nice to play the same trombone with the option of one or two valves.  Hagmanns slower than Thayers ?? No way. The valve cores are light and movement no more than traditional rotors. I found problems with some early valves but in recent years I think quality has improved and they are fine. The Rotax rotors are excellent and appeal to many, especially the traditionalists. TIS verses bell tuning... again I've had both and each has it's merits.... though I have some classic TIS basses, I think I am happy to live with the more practical bell tuning.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2017, 01:09PM »

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

I'm sure your last point Chris is very often the case but it raises the question of how we then get fitted for an instrument? If sounding the best out of the box is not always the best choice what should we be looking for when trying an instrument or getting fitted for one?.....

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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2017, 01:50PM »

The person doing the fitting must be able to guide you to an instrument that will give you the result you want in the long rung, even if it means something seems slightly amiss at first. When I was fitted for my R9DST there were some things that felt off, but it was just a matter of settling into the adjustment and Mick was very useful in helping me figure out how to address that.
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« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2017, 02:01PM »

The out of the box impression is almost all about feel. Sound can only really be judged in the playing context... your section.. your hall etc.
Response and slot can be made very attractive...but many other qualities are important. I think many modern instruments are far too slotted and leave many players struggling to play in tune as every tiny adjustment has to be made on the slide, not on the face.
Chris Stearn

That's my experience to. An instrument that slot too much can sometimes be hard to adjust. My old Conn depends more on my input. If its a good input it do wonderful in all settings , if not it's not that good anymore. Need some practice, very exciting when it works.

Leif

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« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2017, 09:31PM »

I personally think Raths are the best horns on the market made by one of the best guys in the business. I play an Edwards because it works better with the guys I play with but I miss my Rath and how I sounded on it.
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2017, 04:26AM »

For MANY years I played on Shires trombones.  Being primarily a bass trombonist, for some reason I could never find the right fit for me on a large bore tenor.  I tried Bach, Conn, Jupiter, Shires, Getzen, Courtois, and even Blessing.  The best (for me) out of that bunch was the Jupiter (with a custom ordered tuning slide).  But still... none really worked for me... Then... after much encouragement from Mick Rath at several TMEA and ITF Conferences I finally gave in and tried the combination that I thought would work for me.  What I thought would work was a red bell, standard yellow slide, and standard rotor (or Rotax on Rath).  It DID NOT work... but Mick wasn't through with me... he asked what I looked for in a sound... then he put together a nickel bell, bronze slide, bronze tuning slide, and Hagmann valve.  I played it and it was gorgeous!!!  A dream!!!  But... I wanted a standard rotor... so he put that on... ugh... not even close to the same... so... I now have a Hagmann valved Rath R4F with a nickel bell, bronze tuning slide and hand slide... it is amazing!

So... after that... went on a search for the best small bore horn... I had a Shires, which was good... but it just played too classical for me.  So I went with BAC... this was a step in the right direction... but for me it played a bit too constricted.  I had the opportunity to purchase a Rath R3 medium bore off the Forum... it has a nickel bell, yellow tuning slide, and nickel slide.  I purchased a tight leadpipe... and crazy!!! What a great commercial horn... and it's not even a small bore.  It sounds awesome... it's actually the best trombone I've EVER owned.  I love it.

Then, that came to my bass.  I already owned two Shires basses (a single and a dependent).  After a LOT of contemplation... I decided to give the Rath a try... since I already knew what worked for me on the smaller horns... I decided to go with a nickel bell, yellow tuning slide, yellow standard slide... and I went with dependent Rotax valves.  I played this horn for about a week, side by side with my Shires horns.  I recorded myself, and had other people listen to me.  For ME... it was close as far as the "feel" of the horns.  I was SO used to my Shires... I WANTED to like the Shires better... but after listening to people, and listening to myself in recordings... the Rath WAY outplayed both of my Shires. 

Mick knows what he is doing... and he listens to his customers.  I have the highest praise and respect for him.  And he is always a joy to be around.  I now own 4 Rath trombones... bass, large tenor, medium tenor, and alto... All are amazing!  I can't say enough about them.
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« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2017, 04:59AM »

After 30 years of hard playing I decided to buy a Rath. I attended a couple of trade shows, thought hard about it and then bought a tricked out R3/R3F. After 30 years of playing hard, and lots of thought, what did I find out?

1. The first 3 variations you buy will be wrong for you, despite your best efforts.
2. You won't want to put it down, and will practice your a** off, even if you are jaded beyond belief and have lost your faith in the trombone community.
3. You'll learn more about yourself and your own playing in 6 months on a Rath, that you did in 30 years before. And that is where the discontent and switching of components comes in.


Lessons I learned, but passed on? At a trade show I assembled a Rath dependent bass that broke my heart. It played better, and felt better, than all of the vintage Elkhart Conn basses I had owned. I passed because I knew that I could never use it to it's full potential, not having a full time orchestral bass bone chair of my own to fill.

But the biggest lesson? Once you have a Rath there will be long periods where you never ever want to leave the practice studio because you really don't care to interrupt the love affair you are in, just to attend a rehearsal or a gig.
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2017, 06:45AM »

The out of the box impression is almost all about feel. Sound can only really be judged in the playing context... your section.. your hall etc.
Response and slot can be made very attractive...but many other qualities are important. I think many modern instruments are far too slotted and leave many players struggling to play in tune as every tiny adjustment has to be made on the slide, not on the face.
Chris Stearn
Chris...  I definitely agree !!!
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2017, 07:16AM »

Rath from an amateur brass bandsman viewpoint - I'd played bass trombone for 15+ on a Holton TR181. I suited it and it suited me, I loved the tone, and could provide more volume then anyone wanted.
 
At the start of this year I took a chance and bought a second hand R9 without having played it first. Dual Rotax valves, red brass bell. It is like playing the Holton but smoother, more open.
I have realised how much of my playing style was based around the characteristics of the Holton. The great thing is I can still play that way on the Rath, but now have more options.

With the R9 in my hands I'm thinking more about my sound, and less about what the instrument will let me do.
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2017, 11:23AM »

After 30 years of hard playing I decided to buy a Rath. I attended a couple of trade shows, thought hard about it and then bought a tricked out R3/R3F. After 30 years of playing hard, and lots of thought, what did I find out?

1. The first 3 variations you buy will be wrong for you, despite your best efforts.
2. You won't want to put it down, and will practice your a** off, even if you are jaded beyond belief and have lost your faith in the trombone community.
3. You'll learn more about yourself and your own playing in 6 months on a Rath, that you did in 30 years before. And that is where the discontent and switching of components comes in.


Lessons I learned, but passed on? At a trade show I assembled a Rath dependent bass that broke my heart. It played better, and felt better, than all of the vintage Elkhart Conn basses I had owned. I passed because I knew that I could never use it to it's full potential, not having a full time orchestral bass bone chair of my own to fill.

But the biggest lesson? Once you have a Rath there will be long periods where you never ever want to leave the practice studio because you really don't care to interrupt the love affair you are in, just to attend a rehearsal or a gig.

What Rath Bass did you assemble during the trade show that you passed on? Just curious.
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2017, 11:56AM »

I've owned my R4F for 12 years, and I love it. A Rath plays like a Rath. If you like it great! I switched the leadpipe about 5 times before finding the right one for me. Changed mouthpiece about 5 times. Switched the bell once.

I've found by achieving the right setup for me, I can blend with all my friends playing different brands. Also, due to the unique range of customizable options, it's entirely possible to assemble a Rath trombone that you hate, and a Rath trombone that you love. At least that's been my experience. YMMV. Be sure you have as many options as possible before you invest in one.
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« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2017, 01:45PM »

a nickel bell, bronze slide, bronze tuning slide, and Hagmann valve.  I played it and it was gorgeous!!!  A dream!!!

I have been in the sbop today and put an indi bass together with the same parts as mentioned by Dean.
I own an R9 with yellow slide and red bell, and I was sbocked how much easier this different setup is to play.
I tried lots of new parts with my old parts, and for me, the more Yellow i remove from the setup the better fit the instrument becomes.

There have been a lot of changes to what was available when I bought my R9.
It looks like the Hagmann valve has had some development. Tbe bell materials have changed weight (different guage materials). There are probably more subtle differences, but there are enough changes that it is difficult to compare a new one to a 15 year old one. The one thing that hasnt changed is the workmansbip. The stuff just looks amazing.

The hagmann valve and the rotax are difficult to compare. They play differently. The feel is very different and the projection seems to be different. You really have to try them to decide which you prefer.

The 00 series is also very good. A budget bass that plays well above its price range.

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« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2017, 07:31PM »

What was the perfect Rath bass bone?
Who knew. All the numbering was so small and obscure it was best just to quit looking and just BLOW. I do recall that the dependent double valve was a dream to hold, super balanced. In-line valves?-- not so much. They both played the same.

I also came away with the decided impression that ( after owning two perfect single valve Elkhart  Conns, 60H and 72H) that the best Rath clone of a great Conn bass would be a Rath R4 in a single valve with a pull to Eb.
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