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Author Topic: Wider slide or continue bending shanks?  (Read 2187 times)
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The Bone Ranger

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« on: Dec 27, 2016, 03:03PM »

I'm starting to delve into the small bore world, where narrow slides reign supreme. Due to the angle I play on (down/left), the gooseneck of many instruments press against the bone behind my left ear. I can get away with playing a Bach 36, but smaller horns and some basses are problematic. The exit tubing from the second valve of an independent thayer setup, for example, makes it a no-go.

These ergonomics haven't been a problem with larger horns, but are problematic with anything small bore. I've been getting around this by having the shanks of mouthpieces bent in order to fit. This works surprisingly well. I can't speak to what effect this has on the blow of the mouthpiece (I imagine it's not improving it...) since I'm a small-shank rookie compared to the rest of my professional career.

Bending shanks does make it difficult to test a mouthpiece, however, and then makes it impossible to sell if I decided I don't like it.

So what would you do?

1. Continue buying used mouthpieces and having the shanks bent to suit?

2. Pursue a "wide glide" slide conversion on my Bach 16M?

The wide-glide crooks are a little wider than a Bach 36, so it means I could play whatever mouthpiece I like. I've had an initial chat with DJ about sourcing one...

Any thoughts?

Andrew

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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 27, 2016, 03:10PM »

Wide glide.

Have you tried "opening up" the dihedral angle?  That helped for me.
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Bruce Guttman
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The Bone Ranger

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« Reply #2 on: Dec 27, 2016, 03:28PM »

Have you tried "opening up" the dihedral angle?  That helped for me.

Minimal effect. The gooseneck can't really get any further away that the maximum width of the slide. I've experimented with all sorts of ergonomic tweaks, but they tend to gain millimetres, not centimetres. The biggest gain was playing left-handed, but let's not go into that conversation...

Andrew
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robcat2075

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« Reply #3 on: Dec 27, 2016, 05:39PM »

How much does a slide widening cost?
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 27, 2016, 06:14PM »

Slide widening would be the cost of the part, and the time for the tech to install it. Maybe couple hundred, or less, depending on the cost of both of those things....

M
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Matthew Walker
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HouBassTrombone

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« Reply #5 on: Dec 27, 2016, 06:48PM »

Making the slide wider will change everything about how the horn plays. That would effect resale value unless you spent the money to have it returned to original shape if sold. So what is cheaper? I would think bending mps would be more cost effective in the long run.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 27, 2016, 07:53PM »

What's more important to you? Resale value, or play-ability?

It's your horn, and your call!

M
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Matthew Walker
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 27, 2016, 08:19PM »

I would rather have a horn that fits me.  Unless you are sure you will be selling it soon, go for it.  Just have a good tech do it. 
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robcat2075

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« Reply #8 on: Dec 27, 2016, 08:22PM »

Maybe it would change everything, but perhaps that change is very, very small?

The change in the shape of the air column would be less than if you changed out rotor valves for Thayer valves or some other similar thing and no one frets about that alteration.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #9 on: Dec 27, 2016, 08:37PM »

I put a wide crook on my 10h. It did change the response of the instrument, but was very much in character with the horn. I can play the same slide on 6h and 48h.

The wide crook was about $60, and resoldering/aligning the slide was another $100. You've also got to transfer the water key, hole, crook guard and end pin.

My usual slide is a 79h, which is wide-ish.

The mouthpiece bending solution is cheaper and affects the horn less,  and is easy to transfer from horn to horn.

I have a wide neck and can only play my very narrow 30h if I rotate the slide so the lower slide is directly horizontal from the top tube. I can play an 88h width slide ok, but I generally avoid smaller width slides.
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Bellend

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« Reply #10 on: Dec 28, 2016, 05:05AM »

I too have a similar problem in that I have a wide neck and also play at quite an extreme downward angle.
I have now got bending mouthpieces down to a fine art and friends who have blown them before and after have found surprisingly little change in the blow.

Even on the bass trombone I found the narrower Conn bass slides a bit small and managed to fit a Greenhoe wide slide crook to my old 62H which has worked out really well.  This was a copy of an original Conn wide bow available to special order in the 1920's /30's that is even wider than a Bach.

I have recently returned to playing the small tenor again so am presently facing the same dilemma
with regards changing the bottom crook. To that end I measured up a few of the crooks I have knocking about to see what bore they were as I think it is important to try and stay as close to the original as possible.
These were measured with an old and slightly worn pair of vernier callipers but an old Bach mounting sheet I have a copy of lists the model 12 crook (which is what I believe they use on the 16M) at .536" so I think it is fairly accurate. also, all the crooks are brand new old stock that have never been mounted so should not be distorted out of round.

                         
                                Hand Slide Crook Dimension Chart



    Model               I.D.                    Crook Width I.D.



   Selmer Bolero              14.1mm /.555"                 71.5mm/ 2.3/4"



     Bach 16M                13.6 / .535"                      68mm/ 2. 11/8"



    Besson 941                     13.3 / .520"                  80mm/ 3 3/8"



    Wide Glide                     14mm / .551"                 80.6mm/ 3 3/8"


As you will see the wide glide is considerably larger in bore than the standard 16M (may be off a large bore?) so I would be very surprised if it didn't alter the blow a bit. Whether it will be better or worse I can't say but it will be different, it's a matter of trial and error. I am shortly going to try putting the Besson 941 crook on my own 16M. The Besson  is as far as I know the only small bore horn that had a wide crook from the factory. I'll let you know how it goes.

Regards

BellEnd

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timothy42b
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 28, 2016, 05:22AM »

I think you really want to be able to get the mouthpiece on your chops at the optimum angle and location for your embouchure.  So an improvement in ergonomics here might more than compensate for any small change in blow.

We know wide slides work.

I wonder though about a gooseneck bend.  Would that be possible?  Or is there just not enough room past the receiver without a sharp bend? 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 28, 2016, 07:27AM »

Bell end's point about it being a larger bore size is correct. As are the points about it being a sunk cost. However, there are two counter ideas to these as well that are related to eachother.

The first is that there are a fair number of people who have converted their Bach 16 and 16M crooks to King 3B crooks and found the difference in blow to be different in a good way if not outright beneficial. There isn't much data on this other than anecdotal, but I'd say that is one of the more common mods that are done to a specific model of horn that I've seen on here. You don't hear nearly as much about any other instrument having as specific of a procedure done, or at least that is my impression of it.  The Bach crooks are on the smaller side, perhaps for a reason but perhaps not necessarily to the benefit of 100% of the players who are on them. However, this leads to the second point.

There are a fair amount of players with wide necks and/or embouchure that want a wider slide but are likewise worried about putting the torch to it.  I'd imagine that if you did this and didn't like it, there would be someone who would be willing to trade or take it off your hands. Even if the person buying or trading didn't need a wide slide, they might find it to be a good playing instrument because it wouldn't be too far removed from one of the more common modifications to this specific model that already happens.

Are the wide glide slides dual radius? That would probably even be closer to a "bach" feel but more open than a single radius King 3B crook would be.

Food for thought.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
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john sandhagen
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 28, 2016, 08:05AM »

One thing to consider...(that I have forgotten aboout several times)...is that when you modify your instrument, will it fit back in the case?

RE the wide glide, I'd rather make the instrument ergonomic than adapt myself to a piece of plumbing.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 28, 2016, 10:27AM »

What about the Jupiter 710 "ergonomic" ? 
See here: http://www.jupiter.info/en/posaunen-gesamtuebersicht/ergonomic.html
Could this be a mod for other horns?
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timothy42b
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 28, 2016, 11:27AM »

That Jupiter ergonomic is what I was picturing.

But when I look close, I'm not sure it can work.  That curve looks like it will be behind the head, instead of on the neck where needed. 

Also, the straighter you hold your horn in front, the less room.  Those players with a sharply downward slide angle might make it work, but if you play close to straight in front the curve is farther behind.

Anybody try one? 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 28, 2016, 11:38AM »

What about the Jupiter 710 "ergonomic" ? 
See here: http://www.jupiter.info/en/posaunen-gesamtuebersicht/ergonomic.html
Could this be a mod for other horns?

I was actually surprised at the 710 when I played one at Dillons. Its a pretty respectable horn and is surprisingly comfortable despite how ridiculous looking it is (at least in my opinion). The hand grip is very comfortable to the point where I tried to order the part to see if it would fit on my Shires, but apparently Jupiter doesn't sell the part.

I didn't think the neck pipe being bent would do much on it either, but it actually did make it a little easier to hold. Don't know if Jupiter would sell that part but it may well be a decent solution to this particular problem. Although I'd imagine a wide glide conversion would be better and cheaper than swapping out the neckpipe for this particular part. I'd be really surprised if the neckpipe length was the same between the two horns. Would probably require some other kind of reworking and cause some kind of intonation issue but I could well be wrong about that.

For what its worth, I'm a Reinhardt IIIB (I think that's what Doug told me anyway) and have a very high and slightly left placement.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
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BMadsen

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« Reply #17 on: Dec 28, 2016, 11:41AM »

Making the slide wider will change everything about how the horn plays. That would effect resale value unless you spent the money to have it returned to original shape if sold. So what is cheaper? I would think bending mps would be more cost effective in the long run.

This is not necessarily true, depending on how you approach the mod. I wanted a wider slide on my 3b for ergonomic reasons, but wanted to have no to minimal effect on the way the horn played. There were no stock made crooks that would accommodate this change, so I had a custom crook made by Brad Close that was the exact bore of the original crook, with a single radius bend. I had the tuning slide pulled out on that horn so much that I had the ability to push in enough to compensate for the extra length. When it was all said and done, the horn plays so similar that it's hard for me to know if the change was me (the natural variation in chops from day to day), my expectation of change, or the horn itself. All in all, I was in about $400 for all of it. My slide is the width of a Bach 42, so it still fits into most cases just fine.

I went to more extreme lengths than most would - most people I know who have tried this buy a ready made crook, and results are mixed - some are happy, some are not. So, depending on your budget and goals, you may or may not be pleased.

As a side note, I know someone who had their gooseneck bent like the Jupiter. They are happy with the ergonomics, but they said the blow changed tremendously - it's a lot more stuffy now.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 28, 2016, 12:04PM »


As a side note, I know someone who had their gooseneck bent like the Jupiter. They are happy with the ergonomics, but they said the blow changed tremendously - it's a lot more stuffy now.

To the sound wave, a bend "looks" like a wide spot in the tube, which is counterintuitive.  You might have to redesign the gooseneck to be narrower there. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 28, 2016, 12:14PM »

May have changed the overall length of the horn. If you put a bend in it, it'll make it longer. If you make it longer, it'll be flatter and definitely change the overtone series.  The Jupiter was designed with a particular length in mind and does seem to be shorter as a result.  If anything, the Jupiter plays a little bit too bright, at least for my tastes, but is not stuffy at all. Or at least the one I played was not.

What I think would be interesting is doing an A/B comparison where the neckpipe was made interchangeable with a bent and a "traditional" straight neckpipe. I'd imagine you could bend the bell brace such that you could make it fit the bell connectors with the "shorter" bent pipe and leave the posts where they were on a horn that has a traditional straight neckpipe.  That way you could compare the bend itself without comparing both the bend and overall length of the horn. Would probably be fairly pricey though.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
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