A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

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Burgerbob
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A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:30 pm

Image

That's right, all three in the same place!

Oddly enough, both tenors are Corporation instruments that were later converted.

The 36 is mine- pictures incoming of my widened slide with Shires brass .525 crook, courtesy of Benn Hansson.
pompatus
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by pompatus » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:57 pm

That’s a “pretty” valve section on the 50. It looks like it might weigh a ton with the K valves, though. How does it blow?
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Hobart » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:41 pm

The 50 doesn't carry the K-valves awfully gracefully, but how does it play compared to normal rotors? I'm curious.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:42 pm

It blows... ok. Each valve by itself is fine, but both together is more resistance than I like. The thing about that particular 50K3 is that it sounds very, very good. Dense, wide, orchestral Bach sound. You can forgive some things for that!
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:55 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:42 pm
Dense, wide, orchestral Bach sound.
Oh to be playing again in an orchestra! :weep:
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Kevbach33 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:20 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:42 pm
Dense, wide, orchestral Bach sound.
This is exactly how I felt the sound was play testing a 50K3 a few years ago when a local store had a used one available. It would not be as easy to play in a big band, though doable. I wonder how many were made with gold brass bells.

As for feel, yeah, open individual valves, but some resistance with both (between rotors and axial flows). As a rotary bass trombonist, I didn't mind that feel one bit. I kinda dig the look as well, mostly for being different, though I did find it heavy.

I couldn't get over the "legit" sound of the horn, though, so I passed.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:26 am

Bachs are like that... they cover quite a wide spectrum. My current gold bell horn sounds large, but doesn't have that same obvious "ochestral" sound. Even the 36 in this photo doesn't sound like the other 36 I borrowed recently. I'm sure there are less legit sounding 50K3s out there.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by chromebone » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:28 am

The best 42 I ever played was a gold brass belled K valve owned by a fellow student at MSM who had one that was personally selected for him by his teacher, Dave Finlayson. I remember everyone who tried it wanted it badly. It sounded incredible, was easy to play, but that damn value was just so heavy and slow. Even with that downside, it was worth it because it sounded so great.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by tbonesullivan » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:11 am

NICE! Those valves really are underrated. Maybe a BIT oversized, but they have a nice feel. On the 36, not sure it really helps, but it definitely looks nice!
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:21 pm

tbonesullivan wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:11 am
NICE! Those valves really are underrated. Maybe a BIT oversized, but they have a nice feel. On the 36, not sure it really helps, but it definitely looks nice!
I personally think they play quite well- the problem I have is getting in and out of the valve, say valve slurs. There's quite a long period where there's no ports open at all, and it's a heavy valve, so it's quite easy to whiff something like low G to low F in a quick passage. This is where Thayers really blow them away- there's no real point where a Thayer can't be blown through at all (not to mention the aluminum valves are quite fast) and it just feels better to move through the valve.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm

There are two unique things that I have noticed about K valves over the years.

1. The valve has so much mass that it makes the trombone flat. Thus, the 42Ks and the 36Ks have shorter main tuning slides. I have heard that Bach actually sent some of them out as prototypes with normal length tuning slides and people complained that they were flat, so they shortened the tuning slides when the K valve went into production. I really don't know how much of that story is true, so please correct me if you know better.

I don't know if the 50Ks have a shorter main tuning, but I imagine a double K valve would really need it due to the high mass. In Burgerbob's photo, the main tuning slide on the 50 looks VERY short, but that could have been an after-market customization.

2. The valve ports absolutely MUST be aligned correctly on those K valves. Back in the 90s, I was hearing about players who struggled with those horns. The complaint was that some pitches in mid-range were very dull sounding. When I starting doing repairs/custom work and people brought in horns with K valves, I noticed that most of the K valves were horribly aligned. Once the valve ports were trued, the K valve trombones played so much better. If you have a K valve that doesn't play well.......don't give up on it! Take it to your tech and have them look at the port alignment with lights/scopes etc..... If the bumpers are trimmed correctly, some of those K valve horns play rather well!
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:14 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm
There are two unique things that I have noticed about K valves over the years.

1. The valve has so much mass that it makes the trombone flat. Thus, the 42Ks and the 36Ks have shorter main tuning slides. I have heard that Bach actually sent some of them out as prototypes with normal length tuning slides and people complained that they were flat, so they shortened the tuning slides when the K valve went into production. I really don't know how much of that story is true, so please correct me if you know better.

I don't know if the 50Ks have a shorter main tuning, but I imagine a double K valve would really need it due to the high mass. In Burgerbob's photo, the main tuning slide on the 50 looks VERY short, but that could have been an after-market customization.

Based on my sample size of 1, you're right. My 36 has shorter legs and receivers than either of my 42s.

Benn cut his 50K3 down pretty substantially. As per usual, 50s are hard to play up to pitch with larger mouthpieces... no surprises there. Mine is cut down as well.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Elow » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:27 pm

Anyone know if there was a stock 45K?
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:32 pm

Elow wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:27 pm
Anyone know if there was a stock 45K?
Nope. No 45s made that late, until the couple bells they made in the '00s.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:20 pm

It's interesting that more mass is proposed here as a way of getting away with shorter tuning legs (always a plus in my book). Does it matter where the mass goes to get a horn to go flat?
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:34 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:20 pm
It's interesting that more mass is proposed here as a way of getting away with shorter tuning legs (always a plus in my book). Does it matter where the mass goes to get a horn to go flat?
I think mass in this case is length. Some valves add more length than what they replace.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:47 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:34 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:20 pm
It's interesting that more mass is proposed here as a way of getting away with shorter tuning legs (always a plus in my book). Does it matter where the mass goes to get a horn to go flat?
I think mass in this case is length. Some valves add more length than what they replace.
Aww... Got me excited. In that case, it probably added even wonkier length than what needs to be removed from the straight tuning sides
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:57 pm

Bachs are also super long in general. I play basically slammed on my 42 and 36 to play Bb on the bumpers.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by elmsandr » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:16 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:32 pm
Elow wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:27 pm
Anyone know if there was a stock 45K?
Nope. No 45s made that late, until the couple bells they made in the '00s.
If somebody has a bass section lying around I’d be happy to adapt it to my 45 for the photo op. (That and I have a thing for obsolete valves)

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:48 am

If somebody has a bass section lying around I’d be happy to adapt it to my 45 for the photo op. (That and I have a thing for obsolete valves)

Cheers,
Andy
Speaking of obsolete valves......I would love to get my hands on a Miller valve. The Miller valve was supposed to be the K valve that was done with higher precision and had better playing qualities. Anybody out there have a Miller valve?
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:12 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:48 am
If somebody has a bass section lying around I’d be happy to adapt it to my 45 for the photo op. (That and I have a thing for obsolete valves)

Cheers,
Andy
Speaking of obsolete valves......I would love to get my hands on a Miller valve. The Miller valve was supposed to be the K valve that was done with higher precision and had better playing qualities. Anybody out there have a Miller valve?
From what I've heard... they're worse in every way. Plastic valve cores!
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:02 pm

Are you sure about that? A plastic valve core could have been a prototype. After all, the prototype Thayers had plastic valve cores (I know a repair tech who has one).
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:48 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:02 pm
Are you sure about that? A plastic valve core could have been a prototype. After all, the prototype Thayers had plastic valve cores (I know a repair tech who has one).
It's the word on the street. Designer was a lawyer.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by BrianJohnston » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:00 pm

Posaunus wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:55 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:42 pm
Dense, wide, orchestral Bach sound.
Oh to be playing again in an orchestra! :weep:
:weep:
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:14 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:48 pm
Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:02 pm
Are you sure about that? A plastic valve core could have been a prototype. After all, the prototype Thayers had plastic valve cores (I know a repair tech who has one).
It's the word on the street. Designer was a lawyer.
Wow! It's amazing how information just disappears. I did multiple searches about the "Miller Valve" designed by Robert M. Miller in St. Louis and found almost nothing. 10-15 years ago, there was chatter all over the Internet about those valves. I knew that not too many were made, but I always thought they were considered great valves. Anybody out there have one, every play on one, or do tech work on a Miller Valve?
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by deanmccarty » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:31 am

Kevbach33 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:20 am
Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:42 pm
Dense, wide, orchestral Bach sound.
I wonder how many were made with gold brass bells.
I had Bach make a 50K3 with a heavy gold brass bell, a nickel slide, with interchangeable leadpipes... I REALLY liked the way the valves played, and that sound in an orchestra... WOW... but it was limited. It did not function well in the studio or any commercial playing. I ended up selling it a few years later and went with a Shires... 9 years later, I moved from Shires to Rath. I wish now that I had the Bach along with my Rath... but I would probably want the Bach with only one valve with extended tubing.
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Nhtrombone » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 am

I’ve got a mid-90s 42k yellow brass bell and standard slide and I really like the way it plays. The valve is large and loud but it blows nicely. I, honestly, don’t notice much difference between the k and the Thayers on my getzen custom bass. Definitely more open than the standard rotor on my Yamaha.

And, I’ll admit, I clicked on this thread multiple times just to look at that picture. #hornporn
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Re: A Bach 36K, 42K, and 50K3 walk into a bar...

Post by Bach42t » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:40 pm

I special ordered an LT42KD in 1997 with a yellow, removable-bell option, lightweight slide and lead pipe options my freshman year of college. I knew I had to wait a year because that's how crazy in demand Bach instruments were back then, so I bought a beater 42B from a pawn shop to get me through my freshman year. At some point, Bach began to offer Thayer Valves into normal production so I switched my order to the Thayer. I do know that music store in Montgomery, AL got that particular horn delivered, before my 42T so someone else bought it. All I can say is the world is better place because I gave it at least one more K-vavled Bach, RARE AS HEN'S TEATH. All that being said, the "K" valve is based off the name of the original engineer at Bach who developed it.
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