Screwbell Pricing

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Matt K
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Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Sat May 12, 2018 4:47 pm

Anybody have a horn converted recently? What was the total cost? Where'd you/your tech source the bell ring?
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Neo Bri
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Neo Bri » Sat May 12, 2018 5:53 pm

I got a VERY casual estimate...extremely ballpark...said MAYBE $400-500...I'll be watching this topic.
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Matt K
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Sat May 12, 2018 6:00 pm

That sounds pretty close to what I was expecting. Although that also seems to be in line with french horn screwbell pricing, but trombone should be at least a little cheaper because you don't have to disassemble it to do it right from what I understand.
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Sat May 12, 2018 6:18 pm

the conversion must alter the playing character dramatically
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Matt K
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Sat May 12, 2018 7:27 pm

PhilipEdCarlson wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:18 pm
the conversion must alter the playing character dramatically
Maybe! Generally it is recommended to do it to an already lighter horn to 'balance' it out so to speak. I don't have a specific horn in mind for this, or even a bell, but I really like some of these spiffy screwbell cases coming out would love the portability.

One of these days I will have a Ralph Sauer bell! Love that thing to death although the amount of classical gigs I get is pretty miniscule compared to the commercial stuff so I'm trying to focus a little in that arena first.
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Jimkinkella » Sun May 13, 2018 12:45 pm

$400 to $500 is accurate.
I've had John Sandhagen do 2 for me, one ring from Shires and one from Instrument Innovations.
The Shires is lighter, and the screw is tighter / a little tougher to get lined up.
The Instrument Innovations is a lot closer to the old Holton screw feel, but it is a bit heavier.
Neither changed the sound or feel of the attack much, the heavier ring did change how much energy comes off the back of the bell a little, kinda threw me off a bit, but didn't really change the sound.
As far as weight of the horn, adding a ring to a heavier horn made less of a difference, none really, adding a ring to a light horn was more of a difference.
Since you're thinking about doing this to an alto, there have been some Pfretzschners hanging around already with a ring.
Or you could start off with a Yamaha 350C, or make your own if you wanted it to sound like a tenor.
Attached is a 350C with a holton bell in a 3/4 viola case, still working on the case.
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Matt K
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Sun May 13, 2018 2:00 pm

That's really cool. Yeah the Wessex is one horn I'm considering; also thinking about a 356 I just picked up. Too many cool options these days. What a problem to have!
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by boneagain » Mon May 14, 2018 10:30 am

Matt K wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:00 pm
That sounds pretty close to what I was expecting. Although that also seems to be in line with french horn screwbell pricing, but trombone should be at least a little cheaper because you don't have to disassemble it to do it right from what I understand.
I'd love to know how to add a ring to a trombone without disassembling! The stem end of the ring must go on over the stem. So the bell has to come off.

Also, a LOT more horns have screw bells than trombones. To get the ring right where it needed to be on my Benge 190F, McCracken has to machine one from scratch. Same deal for one he's mounting on a Shires bell for another former apprentice.

Even with horns, McCracken finds it necessary to go to great lengths to get exactly the right angles to match at the cut line.

To me, seems like a bargain at $400 :)
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Matt K
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Mon May 14, 2018 10:36 am

I'd love to know how to add a ring to a trombone without disassembling! The stem end of the ring must go on over the stem. So the bell has to come off.
By only adding screwbells to horns you've made or intend to make modular :biggrin:

That's good information. I also have been told by horn players that a non-trivial factor is the saw one uses, but I'm less privy on why that is important!
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by JustinCooper » Mon May 14, 2018 4:02 pm

I've done a few of these for trombone and horn and usually charge around $400 for both. The reason for keeping the price the same is that even though horn bells require a lot more solder joints to undo/redo, the rings are usually easily sourced, whereas finding a ring for a trombone means taking some measurements and doing some trig. If it's a make/model of trombone that I've done before and already know where to get the ring from, then I'll do it for $350.

I also play on a screwbell tenor and absolutely love it! I bought my Shire a little over 2 years ago (Chicago model, but with a 2RVE bell), but had to send it back after a few months for some warranty issues. Yes, as a repairman I could have fixed them myself, but there's also the principle of spending a lot of money on something and wanting it to be right! While it was back at the factory I also had them do the screwbell conversion, as I had been contemplating doing it myself and figured why not have them do it and factory finish it while it was there. And they gave me a great deal, seeing as the horn was back with them for manufacturing issues.

Having played the bell both uncut and cut, I can definitely say I prefer the cut version. The extra weight of the ring on the light bell improved the response and slightly darkened the sound, all while maintaining the original character/sound of the horn. Overall improvement was maybe 2-3% better, but when a horn is already so close to perfect, that's a pretty good! I'd definitely recommend it!
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Neo Bri » Mon May 14, 2018 4:11 pm

Jimkinkella wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:45 pm
$400 to $500 is accurate.
I've had John Sandhagen do 2 for me, one ring from Shires and one from Instrument Innovations.
The Shires is lighter, and the screw is tighter / a little tougher to get lined up.
The Instrument Innovations is a lot closer to the old Holton screw feel, but it is a bit heavier.
Neither changed the sound or feel of the attack much, the heavier ring did change how much energy comes off the back of the bell a little, kinda threw me off a bit, but didn't really change the sound.
As far as weight of the horn, adding a ring to a heavier horn made less of a difference, none really, adding a ring to a light horn was more of a difference.
Since you're thinking about doing this to an alto, there have been some Pfretzschners hanging around already with a ring.
Or you could start off with a Yamaha 350C, or make your own if you wanted it to sound like a tenor.
Attached is a 350C with a holton bell in a 3/4 viola case, still working on the case.
Jim! Great to see you here, and it's been too long, my friend. Love the Bobelock case. Reminds me of my string-playing days.

Though I'm having a difficult time imagining what you're going to do with the slide.
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boneagain
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by boneagain » Mon May 14, 2018 6:03 pm

Matt K wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 10:36 am
I'd love to know how to add a ring to a trombone without disassembling! The stem end of the ring must go on over the stem. So the bell has to come off.
By only adding screwbells to horns you've made or intend to make modular :biggrin:

That's good information. I also have been told by horn players that a non-trivial factor is the saw one uses, but I'm less privy on why that is important!
There are jewelers' saws, razor saws, fine dovetail saws, less fine backsaws, and all kinds of hacksaws. Two big differences: finish on the cut, and width of kerf. To take it to an extreme, would you want a 1/8" table saw blade-worth of kerf taken out of your bell? The bell tapers enough near the typical ring location that less is non-linearly better. Think, for instance, of how much the flare changes in the last inch of length. It's not THAT much at the ring location, but still usually past the much more gradual tail taper.

I wish I had added a ring to my tenor back when I had chops. An addition to the nice things mentioned by others in this thread, I find that I can NOT push the horn far enough for it to break up. My chops give up first. And since the horn is not breaking up, the "ripping sheet metal" effect is considerably less.
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Neo Bri » Mon May 14, 2018 6:48 pm

boneagain wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:03 pm
And since the horn is not breaking up, the "ripping sheet metal" effect is considerably less.
Bummer. That's the effect I LOVE.
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Matt K
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Matt K » Mon May 14, 2018 7:50 pm

I see! Yes, that does make sense.

And Justin, thanks for your recommendation about the Shires bell. My large bore is a 2RVET7 bell and I've thought about doing it myself... I actually really dig the RS bell too. I'm torn between ultimately buying an RS bell or converting my current one. I don't get enough large bore work to justify either at the moment but man do they play great.
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by boneagain » Tue May 15, 2018 12:45 am

Neo Bri wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:48 pm

Bummer. That's the effect I LOVE.
ROFL
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Re: Screwbell Pricing

Post by Mv2541 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:58 am

I don't know if it's cool to drop names so I won't, but a very popular NYC tech quoted me at $400. I would have gone for it except you can't really reap the benefits without buying a new case.
Some food for thought: the new Weston Sprott mode Courtois does not have that many changes but I think it plays a lot darker and with more core than the regular 420. I can't say the screw bell is THE reason but it must be part of it.
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