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Author Topic: Butler Carbon Fiber Slide  (Read 1221 times)
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RJMason
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« on: May 15, 2017, 05:31PM »

Hey All,

I just wanted to say some words about this new slide I got from David Butler, a trombonist in Dallas who owns Butler Trombones.  He is making complete Carbon Fiber horns, but I recently purchased a slide from him.

The slide is for my Conn 6H--the horn was originally owned by Wayne Andre and I bought it from Josh Landress' shop in NYC last summer.

I love the bell, its my favorite bell ever, but regular weight 6H slides are pretty heavy for my taste...since David designed his Carbon Fiber horn around a vintage 6H I figured I'd give his slide a try.  It's $800 for just the carbon fiber slide and $1500 for the complete slide made with all 6H inner slide parts with a Williams Style curved brace and removable lead pipe.  If you send him measurements and trombone model he can make a carbon outer slide for most any other model...Bach 16, King 3B, 36, 50, you name it.

The slide is so light its amazing...so easy to play fast--it's mind blowing.  It's 1/8th the weight of the original slide.  It doesn't feel fragile like some other light weight slides I've had made for me by other makers.

There is an adjustment period...the first few days I loved the slide...then kind of felt like I was playing into a toy (the response is different), then after a few weeks I noticed how well it sounded on Pro Recordings, TV stuff, and Rehearsal tapes and was so impressed.  I messed with some lead pipes (playing my Roy Lawler "15" pipe in it instead of the 6H pipe) and now I'm hooked.

It definitely tightens up some articulations for me...feels more like a nickel silver slide in that regard, but way lighter.  Playing my Bach 36 w nickel slide on a session last week and was complaining about how heavy that slide is!!

Anyway, I feel like I have access to a whole new way of playing on this amazing bell now that I have a modern slide that is so fast...it is also very durable so great for flying or if you bump into someone its fine.

The carbon fiber slide parts fit my original slide components perfectly...precise measurements...so it's like having 4 slides in one...for chamber work I will probably put the original outer on my Butler inner slide with the curved grip.

David is also a very nice guy and he's making a superior product that is half the price of a daCarbo trombone made in Switzerland...and he's a gigging player on the Dallas scene.  If anyone is looking for a modern slide option for their vintage bell or maybe just an extremely lightweight horn...I recommend you check his stuff out and see for yourself!!

-RJM

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Aaron Hettinga

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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 05:31AM »

Thanks for the review!  I've been hoping to see some third party reviews on the Butler horns & slides.  Unfortunately, it may be a little while for me before investing in even an outer slide unless I sell some other horns from the inventory first (or maybe a child or 2).
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Matt K

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 06:20AM »

Thanks for the review!  I've been hoping to see some third party reviews on the Butler horns & slides.  Unfortunately, it may be a little while for me before investing in even an outer slide unless I sell some other horns from the inventory first (or maybe a child or 2).

Ditto!! Definitely on my list of things I'd like to try. Wish they did larger ones too, I'm hesitant to try it on one out of fear I like it so much that I dont' want to play my bass anymore!
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 08:48AM »

did you have to send your slide to him or does he have a 6H template?
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Full Pedal Trombonist

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 08:54AM »

If he can do tubes in any size then I'm forced to reconsider. More and more pros and not a single con have been coming up and it's hard not to want one.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 09:48AM »

A question I do have: since the carbon fiber parts are so light, does your 6H feel unbalanced to any degree? Or is it necessary to remove the counterweight from the bell section?  Just curious.
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Aaron Hettinga - Freelance Trombonist/Arranger
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 10:57AM »

did you have to send your slide to him or does he have a 6H template?

He based the design on the 6H he played.

I have known Dave since we were in lab bands at then-NTSU in the late 70's.

Great player and a great guy!
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 12:05PM »

A question I do have: since the carbon fiber parts are so light, does you 6H feel unbalanced to any degree? Or is it necessary to remove the counterweight from the bell section?  Just curious.
I've been curious about this as well.
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 06:16PM »

This popped up in my FB feed today. Medium bore cabon bone with F attachment for nearly $7k.

http://www.wwbw.com/daCarbo-F-Attachment-Trombone-J45901.wwbw?source=TGOA7DDA&cntry=us&currency=usd
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mr.deacon
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 09:16PM »

What do you do when a tube gets bent, out of alignment or damaged? Do you just have to scrap the outer and get a new one everytime?
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 09:45PM »

What do you do when a tube gets bent, out of alignment or damaged? Do you just have to scrap the outer and get a new one everytime?

These slides don't usually suffer from bending problems.  A tube that is damaged has to be replaced, but that is a rare occurrence.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 09:57PM »

These slides don't usually suffer from bending problems. 
For arguments sake... let's say "in theory" (I hate saying that haha) a tube gets bent or out of alignment. Is there any way to realign it like a brass or nickel tube or are you just out of luck?

I saw on the website it looks like the slide brace is one piece... if they use a really strong glue or resin would that mean you'd actually have to have the entire outer slide replaced if there was any sort of damage or alignment issue?
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 11:03PM »

Carbon fiber tubes don't bend.  They also don't dent.  They can crack or break in which case they must be replaced.  The alignment of the two tubes is controlled by the brass bracework.

It's a different world.  More like the pBone (but much better quality).
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RJMason
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2017, 10:01PM »

1.) You don't have to send him measurements for the 6H Slide. The parts all fit interchangeably for me except the slide lock is a little bit off on the carbon fiber outer with the original conn inner...but that's because he made the slide to his different curved innerslide grip and different slide lock...if you just buy an outer for the original 6H it should fit well.

2.) the horn doesn't feel unbalanced at all...weight is in the handslide grip and it feels amazing with my old school ugly 60s conn counterweight...I took it off and the horn feels nose heavy a bit but I adjusted pretty quickly!

3.) these slides don't bend...at all. I played it at Carnegie Hall and smacked the outer slide on a table (I'm crazy) to prove how durable it was. Nothing happened. Doubt it will crack any time soon.

4.) if you send measurements and model of your slide David will make bigger bore outer slides for you.

It's a complete game changer for me. I'm not into the bell...I love the response of a brass bell from a great vintage...but the slide? It feels so good!
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 10:52PM »


3.) these slides don't bend...at all. I played it at Carnegie Hall and smacked the outer slide on a table (I'm crazy) to prove how durable it was. Nothing happened. Doubt it will crack any time soon.


I'd be careful about smacking the slide. Some years ago, a former student of mine had an early version of a carbon fibre slide. He did the same thing on a gig to show his colleagues how durable it was. No damage to the slide tubes, but the brace that you hold the slide with came off - you can't use solder on carbon fibre, so it was attached with a strong glue.

The player in this story then had to run around the venue for the gig finding some duct tape to do a quick fix on his slide to get through the show. Needless to say, he took a lot of grief over this for years afterwards.

Jim Scott
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RJMason
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 08:34PM »

This brace isn't just glued on...the fibers are woven in...it's secure.
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 10:54PM »

This brace isn't just glued on...the fibers are woven in...it's secure.
Groovy. Would you mind posting pictures of the slide? The ones on the website aren't the best haha
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« Reply #17 on: Today at 12:15 PM »

I just received my Butler outer slide for my Lawler. Here are my initial thoughts:

- The low range EXPLODES on this thing! That's the one issue I've been working to overcome on the Lawler.  Not anymore!!

- Flexibility is fantastic without being too fluid -- partials still 'pop' like they should. Attacks are more solid, fast doodle-tongued lines just jump out!

- Behind the bell, the sound seems duller at lower volume, but I recorded myself and I think it still sounds just as good from the other side of the bell. 

- Louds are AMAZING! The sound holds together like crazy! It's like a bottomless pit of air now.  Wild....

- I was a little concerned that slide vibrato would be less pronounced, but I'm happy to report that my fears were unfounded.

- It's almost weightless, but not to where it feels out of control or anything. Moving quickly from 1st to 6th has never felt so good!

I might have to go back to the drawing board as far as the leadpipe and maybe even mouthpiece, cause the blow seems a little different. It may very well be that I'll stick with what I've been using.

I already believe that I'll be sticking with this slide and barely touching the original outer!

So far, so good!
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