bass trombone recommendations?

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justinbarleben
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bass trombone recommendations?

Post by justinbarleben »

Hey everyone,
I recently joined my college's jazz ensemble, and am looking to buy a bass trombone, preferably with an independent dual rotor setup. Unfortunately, I have no clue about brands, models, etc. Is there a "go-to" model of bass trombone? What would the TNFJ recommend?

Thanks!
Justin
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by jonesbrass »

Shires.
Willson 3050S CC, Willson 3200S F, B&S PT-10, BMB 6/4 CC, 1922 Conn 86I
Gone but not forgotten:
Cerveny 681, Musica-Steyr F, Miraphone 188, Melton 45, Conn 2J, B&M 5520S CC, Shires Bass Trombone, Cerveny CFB-653-5IMX, St. Petersburg 202N
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by theanalogkid »

The Shires is great if you can afford it. What is your price range?
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Chadtuba »

On the budget side I have and love the Jupiter 740. Its a copy of the Conn 112H and plays great in the big band setting. I've had mine for about 4 years now and use it constantly without any problems, or at least without problems that I didn't cause like knocking it off the stand :oops: That was an emberassing day, only had the thing for about 2 weeks when I did that.
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J.c. Sherman
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by J.c. Sherman »

If you are not in the know about what instruments to buy, choosing to exclude different types of instrument is a little like saying you'd rather a Viennese 6-valve F when you've never tried one. A double independent isn't the be-all and-all. And it's certainly not always ideal to learn on.

You want to find a well-balanced instrument - basses are heavy and awkward to just "pick up". You'll want a very standard configuration. Big 10.5 inch bells with dual bore slides are for trombonists who have been at it a while and can maintain the characteristics of the more common profile when moving to the larger set up. Just because you're a tuba player doesn't mean "filling" a bass bone is going to be easier. In fact, it might very well hinder you. A Bach 50, or similar instruments are terrific benchmarks, and used instruments can be very, very good.

While I'm at it, don't leap into a large mouthpiece just "'cause". Two of the finest bass trombonists I've known/I know played on Bach 2G and 3G mouthpieces. A Bach 1G or Schilke 60 is like adding 5mm to a PT-88. They are obscenely large mouthpieces. And the most important attribute of a bass trombonist is??? …. A good HIGH range!

Nearly any tubist can pick up a bass and play a pedal F. But where most doublers fail is above the staff. Sometimes big band charts go up to High C – that may point out the need for balance in the whole instrument.

The dependant valve system - for me - is easier to focus, perhaps because of the longer gooseneck, especially on my model which has a long bell section (Getzen 1062-FDY [highly modified]).

Look for a good Yamaha, Conn, Bach, even the modern Jupiter is a good start. Reynolds are gems. Recommending a Shires is like recommending a Yorkbrunner to a neophyte tubist. More, remember that the slide is what is idiomatic to the trombone – and the bass trombone is a trombone first and foremost, not a tuba on a stick. Stay off the valves when you learn. You can always use them later.

Probably overstating everything, but this is not a simple double – but many think it is, and they sound like it :-) Whatever you choose, enjoy yourself – it’s a whole new world!

J.c.S.
Instructor of Tuba & Euphonium, Cleveland State University
Principal Tuba, Firelands Symphony Orchestra
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Ace »

Benge 290 with Schilke 58 or 59 mouthpiece.
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Tuba Guy »

I play a Kanstul 1585T, and couldn't be happier with it. Figuring out how to get it in tune at low dynamics still, but it can really pump if I want it to. I've had music down to pedal F (pedal Ab while in college), and have always used the 2nd valve for the low B (obviously), but also most of the time for D and lower.
Not necissarily a cheap horn, but compared to the Yamaha double dependant I used in hs, it is the best bass trombone ever built (don't get me started on the Yammie...the valves didn't work, the slide was terrible and you had to hold it together with string...I know it was a school horn, but I loathed that instrument)
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by tubafatness »

I've always been happy with my former bass bone setup, which was a Getzen 1062-FDR with a Schilke 59, (which, as some people have pointed out, is a nice middle-of-the-road mp.) I don't mind having a dependent setup, and you'll probably find that there are plenty of players out there who do just fine on their dependent horns, (Dave Taylor is one that comes to mind, and you can't argue with his chops.) The absolute best bass bone I have ever played was a custom double in-line valve Greenhoe/Conn model horn. That thing blew everything out of the water. Then again, that horn is also upwards of $6000, so I'm willing to bet those horns are out of your price range.

Moral of the story:
I am re-iterating the support for the Getzen models.
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Davy »

If you can get a Bass like mine (YBL 613H) Get it. you may not, because that model is discontinued. I would consider a Conn (62HI or 112H). Getzens aren't too bad either... Shires are ok, but really expensive


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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by J.c. Sherman »

bloke wrote:For those of us who double and who are working to master the technique of bass trombone playing, the question of "which one?" isn't as significant as "how much time are we willing to spend on it?".

A great player can make most any good-enough bass trombone sound great.
Right on the money, bloke!

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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Bob Kolada »

I like the sound of Bach bass trombones, but I would never choose one for primarily jazz band playing. Too heavy and too odd in the low range for me. But I would love to try out a 42B (maybe with a dependent valve?) in a big band!!

I also suggest an INdependent. Even if you don't use the 2nd trigger that much at first, odds are likely you'll love it down the road.

What level of music? A single trigger horn, even a 5B or the like, might be a good fit. I often feel that my 1062 (even with a shallow mouthpiece) is too heavy for me for big band (small bore Conn, small Olds, 42BO on tenor).

A 1052 would be a great horn for big band, and they don't seem to have the factory problems that many 1062's do.

With 2 mouthpieces (in my case a Yamaha 60B and soon to have another contra mp; taking forever to get here!) I can cover a lot of stuff. I use the 60B for big band and lighter bass stuff, and will use the big boy for quintet and trombone choir.
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by MartyNeilan »

Bob had a (very) bad experience with a 1062 and probably equally bad support from the retailer that sold it to him. I know a number of pros playing 1062 that sound great on them. I had a 1062 for a number of years, and it is a great all-around horn that can bridge the gap between symphonic and orchestral. If I was a freelance bass bone player, this would be the one horn I could bring to any gig. Many players wouldn't want to use a Bach 50 in a jazz environment, and a great big band horn like my Reynolds gets way too edgy for serious orchestral work. 1062 splits the difference, and you can choose a more orchestral bell (yellow) or more commercial (rose) to slightly lean one way or the other - either still works equally well.
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by J.c. Sherman »

You can also "mod out" a 1062 with a few Edwards parts. I would recommend and rose tuning slide (on the yellow bell) and a bullet brace. I also have a sterling leadpipe, but I don't use this horn for jazz. But the rose crook makes the timber a little more flexible on the yellow-bell model.

J.c.S. (proud 1062 owner).
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Bob Kolada »

MartyNeilan wrote:Bob had a (very) bad experience with a 1062 and probably equally bad support from the retailer that sold it to him.
Correction- the problems were with the horn(s), retailer, and Getzen (surprisingly terrible). :shock: I know several other people who have had problems with 1062's. That does seem to be the only model with problems though.
I know a number of pros playing 1062 that sound great on them. I had a 1062 for a number of years, and it is a great all-around horn that can bridge the gap between symphonic and orchestral. If I was a freelance bass bone player, this would be the one horn I could bring to any gig.
I do really like how this horn plays. The only thing I would change would be to get a yellow bell instead (the red seems a bit "bwah" at times) and for it to have independent valves. The 1052 plays quite differently.
Many players wouldn't want to use a Bach 50 in a jazz environment, and a great big band horn like my Reynolds gets way too edgy for serious orchestral work. 1062 splits the difference, and you can choose a more orchestral bell (yellow) or more commercial (rose) to slightly lean one way or the other - either still works equally well.
I wouldn't have a problem at all with playing an edgier bass trombone in orchestra. Most big and loud stuff (Prokofiev, Shostakovich,...) doesn't really sound right played at fff with what might be charitably described as a "keyboard brass sound." :D


Marty, when you sell your tubas have you considered selling your Reynolds as well and getting another 1062?
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Bob Kolada »

MartyNeilan wrote:...that can bridge the gap between symphonic and orchestral...
Bwah?? :D
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by MartyNeilan »

Bob Kolada wrote:Marty, when you sell your tubas have you considered selling your Reynolds as well and getting another 1062?
I love the sound of that Reynolds - blows free with the single rotor and really has a lot of
Image

With one 4/4 sized tuba and the bass bone, I can pretty much cover all my playing needs right now and do not see the need for any additional equipment in the immediate future, unless I ever decide to take another run at Grad school.

Subbed on that Reynolds with the Nashville Praise Symphony last week, and got to cut loose on a couple numbers. Received a few positive comments about the edginess / brassiness. For commercial style charts that works great. If I ever find another bigband to play with, this would be the horn to keep the bari in check. I might eventually mess around with having da Bloke or someone fabricate a dependent trigger, but I don't want to mess up a good thing. Low C is fine as-is, and I have more than enough pull for the occasional Low B.

As an IT slave, I don't have the practice time to attempt to be a classical bass trombonist in my current environment while still maintaining tuba proficiency. If I was going that route, I would just buy a second horn. A -GOOD- Bach is a great orchestral horn, but they are increasingly hard to come by. I have seen way too many Bachs made in the last 20 years that have been total dogs. Maybe a yellow 1062, maybe even a Shires or Eddie if I could afford them (or a TIS Rath!) Maybe even a Kanstul for an all purpose horn, although they do tend to lean more commercial, but they are making some great bass bones these days. A friend of mine just bought the new Yamaha Xeno Yeo - wow, what a horn!
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by justinbarleben »

Wow, thanks for all the responses!
-I think the only reason I requested an independent setup is because it's what I played in high school. I am definitely willing to pass over that "need."
-I'm hoping for my price range to be in the $1500-$2000 area, and I have no problem with buying a used horn.
-I think I'm going to look more into the Jupiter 740, the Benge 290 and the King 7B (yes, I know they are all independent setups, but they're all in my price range too :mrgreen: )
-Another question...On the WWBW site, there is an option on the Jupiter 740 page for a "lacquer blemished item," which is about $400 less expensive. Would there be any playability issues with this, or is it simply cosmetic?

Thanks for all your help, everyone!
Justin
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by imperialbari »

By normal marketing standards lacquer blemish would be purely cosmetic.

I cannot disagree with your considering of the King 7B. Mine is from the early 1990-ies and it fulfills my two main criteria for bass trombones:

It is an excellent player all over the range normal also for a tenor trombone.

And it responds well in the valve range. It has smooth slurs between Bb & Bb (open pedal note and the same note with valves and long sixth position), Bb & B natural, and Bb & C.

Whether one likes the brighter King sound or the heavier Bach sound is a matter of taste and playing style. When I lip trill on King (or Conn) trombones, I feel comfortable in my lips. When I lip trill on Bach trombones my lips start hurting. They kind of slot too violently for me. For me smooth lip slurs tell that a given trombone also allows for a smooth and fluent legato playing.

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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by Chadtuba »

justinbarleben wrote:Wow, thanks for all the responses!
--Another question...On the WWBW site, there is an option on the Jupiter 740 page for a "lacquer blemished item," which is about $400 less expensive. Would there be any playability issues with this, or is it simply cosmetic?
This is how I bought my 740 and quite honestly I couldn't find anything wrong with it when it showed up. For the money it is a great horn in my opinion.
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Re: bass trombone recommendations?

Post by bububassboner »

justinbarleben wrote:Hey everyone,
I recently joined my college's jazz ensemble, and am looking to buy a bass trombone, preferably with an independent dual rotor setup. Unfortunately, I have no clue about brands, models, etc. Is there a "go-to" model of bass trombone? What would the TNFJ recommend?

Thanks!
Justin
Maybe this is a silly question but...
Does your school not have a bass trombone? The only reason I bought a bass trombone was because I won a paying job on bass trombone. If there are no bass bones there you might be able to get the school to buy one for you to use in their groups.

Just a thought...
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