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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentAccessories(Moderator: slide advantage) playing w/out a counterweight on a 6H?
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greg waits
« on: Dec 17, 2013, 11:13AM »

It never occurred to me to remove the counterweight on my 6H. And I have never seen anyone do so. Yet in this photo of the mid-50s Kenton bone section, I see that the 6Hs don't have them on.

Maybe Keith has his installed; it is hard to see with the way his horn is facing.

Anyone experiment with playing counterweight free on the 6H? I haven't yet. I love the horn as is. I am little curious to know or see if it makes a positive difference. Of course the horn will be a little nose heavy.
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 17, 2013, 12:32PM »

Too nose heavy for me, especially with the unmodified slide.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 17, 2013, 12:55PM »

I have one and I think it's nose heavy even WITH the counter weight. Removing it might change the quality of the sound slightly, which is why they might have done so, perhaps. Some people can hear a difference even if you take the rubber peg off the bottom of the slide (dunno about that one).
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 17, 2013, 04:10PM »

More nose heavy, but in my experience makes the horn more flexible. However there is less presence with with counterweight off. I struggled for awhile with what I like best and chose that my 6h works best with a counterweight. I think the counterweight lets you slot notes better. I did get a warmer/fuller sound without a counterweight. It's really interesting how Frank's sound changed from the 50's to later in his life. He also looks to have experimented with the counterweight. I think his sound is the most thin of all protrombone players. It was fuller earlier in his career but his slotting just took off and got more pronounced later in his life.
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 17, 2013, 04:30PM »

I have a professor that also experimented with where the counterweight was on the horn... maybe put it on the brace below the tuning slide? maybe shift where it's at on the brace itself?
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:01PM »

Conn didn't come up with the idea of counter weights until the 50s I believe. They probably didn't have them if the wanted them
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:18PM »

Conn didn't come up with the idea of counter weights until the 50s I believe. They probably didn't have them if the wanted them

Then please explain how my 1930 40H has a counterweight? Evil
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:24PM »

Hahaha then I guess I heard wrong then  Pant
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:28PM »

I maybe wrong but... haha counter weights probably weren't the "in" thing back then https://www.google.com/patents?id=6s55AAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=trombone&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=1#v=onepage&q=trombone&f=false
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:40PM »

My TIS trombones are nearly unplayable without a counterweight (Conn 40H and Olds).

I notice the patent is from 1927.  I can't read the text so I have no idea exactly what they are patenting.  It could be the two-screw means to attach the counterweight or the counterweight itself.  Patents can be really esoteric (and they are not easy to read).

There was a version of my Olds TIS that had a counterweight in the shape of a bear (Olds' trademark at the time was a bear playing the trombone and their slogan was "it's the bear").
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 17, 2013, 05:44PM »

My 1940 6h came with a counterweight. It's interesting that even though the bell section is 7 1/2in it feels heavier than my 1960's 6h.
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greg waits
« Reply #11 on: Dec 18, 2013, 10:17PM »

My '49 6H (which I just picked up a week or two ago) has a 7 1/2 bell. I was surprised. I assumed that ALL the new generation 6Hs were all the same. It is obvious that they were still evolving.

I have spent some time with the horn. It is solid as a rock, has a great slide and cuts through nicely. However it feels smaller than .500 .... my experience anyway. The sound seems less diffuse and full. Nice and focused though. It could be a great lead horn. I prefer the 8" models with the modern cork barrel which this one doesn't have.

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« Reply #12 on: Dec 18, 2013, 10:35PM »

 Yeah, RIGHT. Yeah, RIGHT. Yeah, RIGHT. Yeah, RIGHT. Amazed Amazed Amazed Amazed Embarrassed! Embarrassed! Embarrassed! :-P :-P :-P
 :D :D :D :D :D :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)


Conn didn't come up with the idea of counter weights until the 50s I believe. They probably didn't have them if the wanted them
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 19, 2013, 06:30AM »

My theory:  The ergonomics of holding a horn are important. 

If a horn is nose heavy, there is tension generated in the supporting hand and forearm that eventually gets transferred to other parts of the body.  That tension starts to have an impact on playing over time.  On the other hand, relatively small differences in the response or sound of the horn with and without the counterweight might be noticeable immediately, at least from behind the bell.

For me, a horn that is physically as well balanced as possible is a pretty big deal. I will keep counterweights on horns that balance better with them.  I want to be as physically relaxed as possible when I play.     
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 19, 2013, 08:49AM »

I preferred my 4H without the counterweight myself.  On my Bach 9 I preferred to have a counterweight.    Both were totally due to sound. I'm used to holding up Large bore tenors and basses. The no F attachment straight horns are, by comparison, way easier for me to hold.
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 20, 2013, 10:57AM »

My private teacher in during high school in the '60s (Johnny Reger in Dayton OH) had me take the counter-weight off my 6H to force more control of the horn and controlling pressure on the chops.  It worked really well and I got used to it quickly.  But I put it back on when I picked the horn up again several years ago and play with the weight on now.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 25, 2013, 03:01PM »

I had some customizing done to my 6H. Had the slide sleeves taken off, leadpipe removed & replaced and a 3B crook put on the hand slide.  Really fast and light slide now. However the conn counterweight was way too heavy ( and I tried both the older marching men and the newer "Conn" weights) so I modified an older 3 piece King and It works just fine.
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 26, 2013, 06:50AM »

It has been my own experience on all of my straight tenors that a counterweight somewhat darkens and dulls the sound, projection and attacks from about mf right on up through really loud playing. I have found this to be true on old horns and newer ones of all brands. On the other hand, I actually like the sound characteristics of my Shires .525 better with the TruBore valve on rather than as a straight horn. Go figure. Maybe it's not just "weight" but placement as well. Try everything; use what works. For you. I generally play in quite aggressive ensembles...latin bands, jazz groups w/strong rhythm sections, mostly unamplified big bands, etc...in possibly the most generally "aggressive" city on the world, New York, so what I do is not necessarily what you should do.

Word...

S.

P.S. About the weight/balance thing. I play at more than 90 degrees straight out and I am by no means a super-strong beast of a man. Just average, except maybe in terms of stubborness. ( :-0 :-0 :-0) I find that it takes very short periods of time to get accustomed to holding a horn w/out a weight. Just sayin'...it can be done if you mean to do it. It's an upper shoulder thing.

P.P.S. I also generally play fairly heavy, dark-ish horns...regular weight slides, gold plated sometimes, red brass etc...and I have a naturally fairly dark sound. Maybe that's another factor.
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 28, 2013, 10:01PM »

I added a second weight to my 6h when I played Lion King.
With the fairly close mic-ing in the pit I needed to be able to get the sound of orchestral like fortissimos without blowing up the microphone.

My Bach 42 brightens up at vey loud volumes and would have caused technical problems under the circumstances. I needed something smaller but not too lively.

The 6h with it's small bore and two weights gave me a much more compact dynamic range. That 2nd weight really buttons down the horn's response.
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 15, 2014, 03:32AM »

I play my mid 1950's 20H without a counterweight. I think a lot has to do with the left hand grip you use.
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 15, 2014, 05:56AM »

The difference between counterweight on and off can be tested by using two tuning slide crooks, one with counterweight and one without.

The crooks can be swapped within seconds and as often as one likes. To make up for differences of the crooks themselves the whole thing is repeated after putting the counterweight on the other crook.

I did that a couple of years ago and felt an effect on timbre, compactness of sound, and the slotting. Although not dramatic, the difference was clearly noticable. Overall it was an interesting and worthwhile experience.
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greg waits
« Reply #21 on: Feb 15, 2014, 07:26AM »

I had some customizing done to my 6H. Had the slide sleeves taken off, leadpipe removed & replaced and a 3B crook put on the hand slide.  Really fast and light slide now. However the conn counterweight was way too heavy ( and I tried both the older marching men and the newer "Conn" weights) so I modified an older 3 piece King and It works just fine.


I'd like to see a pic of the horn with that modded weight!
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 19, 2014, 07:51PM »

Does anyone know the weight of a CONN counterweight? I don't have access to a scale presently.
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2017, 12:41PM »

I play my mid 1950's 20H without a counterweight. I think a lot has to do with the left hand grip you use.

Yes.

That too.



S.
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2017, 12:43PM »

The difference between counterweight on and off can be tested by using two tuning slide crooks, one with counterweight and one without.

The crooks can be swapped within seconds and as often as one likes. To make up for differences of the crooks themselves the whole thing is repeated after putting the counterweight on the other crook.

I did that a couple of years ago and felt an effect on timbre, compactness of sound, and the slotting. Although not dramatic, the difference was clearly noticable. Overall it was an interesting and worthwhile experience.

Yes. Even w/one tuning slide...you just need to get quick w/attaching the weight.

S.
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2017, 02:51AM »

oh  they  had the welter weight        never on conns       conns never had weights until they copied earl  williams   which is what  bac  copied too  only w  a twist
  who needs  weight  anyway  everybody is  already  too fat 
  mayor bloomberg  was  trying to ban  counter weights on all  trombones  in nyc 
 becaus  they might come loose   and hurt some school kids 
    tommy  never used  weights    either  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Conn didn't come up with the idea of counter weights until the 50s I believe. They probably didn't have them if the wanted them
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