Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

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imsevimse
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Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by imsevimse » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:36 am

I know this has been discussed a lot, but unfortunately the knowledge that was shared is now buried in the old forum and that forum might never go up again. I'm interested in these facts and new generations of trombone players might also be interested, so please share if you know the answers 😀

1. I know the 169 is considered to be outstanding, but have also read a 185 can be as good and share everything but the name with the 169. How do I know if a 185 is a 169?

2. Another question is if there is a difference between the two 185 models E185 and TR185 and what the difference is?

3. What is the real difference between the three models?

My question is to those who have experience from playing them or have memories from the old forum and can share what they remember about these models. If you could answer any of the question above I would be grateful.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
ngrinder
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by ngrinder » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:25 am

I’m no expert (paging J. Schatz!), but from viewing a 169 and 185 side to side, the 169’s throat is much larger. There’s a picture on Facebook I will try to dig up.

I own an E185 and have played a hand full of 185s, including an E185 that had the very same engraving and construction as my horn. Unfortunately the serial number on my horn is blocked by a trigger placement, but given how much variation was coming out of the factory, they could be very close in age.

To me, the earlier horns are more “orchestral.” The 169’s throat lends itself to broader attacks and gives a bit more uniform “Bach” like sound, while the 185s I’ve played have a bit more malleable color and presence, as well as immediacy of attack. The most responsive 185 I’ve played is very late in the 185’s manufacturing life (1970-something), with a red brass bell that looks like it came off an early 180.
bellend
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by bellend » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:10 pm

Having owned and played both I would say the bells are identical, both copied from a Fuchs Conn like the Bach 50
Last edited by bellend on Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
norbie2018
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:27 pm

I know that Fuchs is German for Fox. Can anyone give a history on this model?
Tbarh
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by Tbarh » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:49 pm

Ngrinder , how much of a difference are we talking about in bell throatsizes ? I could not see any the last time i was in a room with these three models .. Maybe i did not look close enough . :idk:

Tbarh
bellend
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by bellend » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:29 am

Originally knows as a "Fuchs" model, this single valve bass trombone was one of the first American made large bore and large bell bass trombones and featured tuning in the slide, which was very popular during the day. Designed with Robert Fuchs of the Chicago Grand Opera around 1915, it was marketed as the pinnacle of bass trombone development at the time.
norbie2018
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by norbie2018 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:43 am

bellend wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:29 am
Originally knows as a "Fuchs" model, this single valve bass trombone was one of the first American made large bore and large bell bass trombones and featured tuning in the slide, which was very popular during the day. Designed with Robert Fuchs of the Chicago Grand Opera around 1915, it was marketed as the pinnacle of bass trombone development at the time.
Is it known to be that spectacular?
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Burgerbob
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:11 am

norbie2018 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:43 am
bellend wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:29 am
Originally knows as a "Fuchs" model, this single valve bass trombone was one of the first American made large bore and large bell bass trombones and featured tuning in the slide, which was very popular during the day. Designed with Robert Fuchs of the Chicago Grand Opera around 1915, it was marketed as the pinnacle of bass trombone development at the time.
Is it known to be that spectacular?
Having played one, yes.
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ngrinder
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by ngrinder » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:03 am

Holtons.jpg
Holtons.jpg (152.03 KiB) Viewed 864 times
Here's the picture I was talking about. The horn on the left is a 185 from the 70s, I believe, and on the right is a 169 (both D valve sections were modified by Terry Pierce).

This is actually the only 169 that I have played, and the throat is indeed much wider than my horn and the other 185s I have tried. It's very possible that it could be a one off or a fluke, but I always thought 169ss had different throats than later Holton basses - of course I could be mistaken.
blast
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by blast » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:07 pm

Look at your picture and study the flare width... 185's were 9 1/2" or 10" in diameter whilst almost all 169's were 9 3/8" diameter, which makes the 169 look like a more open bell throat.
I have owned many 185's and 169's. 169 Holtons vary a lot.... thick bells and thin bells, different valve bores.... you have take each one as it comes. 185's are more consistent, have 9 1/2" or 10" bells that have a harder finish and generally have a slightly more commercial feel.
I have two 169's..... and a Conn Fuchs 70H.... and yes, the Fuchs is a bit special, and has a 9 3/8" bell.

Chris
imsevimse
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by imsevimse » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:32 pm

I now have two 9 1/2" bell TR185. Both from 1968 and both are great. One has the optional second valve in Eb and the original almost impossible thumb-setup to control both valves. What were they thinking? The other has a modernized D-valve which is manovered by the middle finger. Much more useful. Both trombones are very open and responsive.
One of my dream trombones is a 169. At least to give one a try to know the difference would be nice.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
eatanick
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Re: Differences Holton 169 verses E185 and TR185

Post by eatanick » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:35 am

Unfortunately, I have no experience with 169s or E-185s, but I have owned two TR-185s and another TR-185 bell section (it was really beaten up and now has independent Rotaxes).

One TR-185 and the extra bell are both from 1966 (only three apart in serial number), have 9 1/2 inch bells, single radius tuning slides and fit an original slot in valve (acquired separately to all three horns). The other TR-185 I owned was from the early/mid seventies I think, had a 10 inch bell, dual radius tuning slide and the slot in valve wouldn't fit properly (the slot in valve body would hit the main tuning slide before you could push it in far enough to be in tune).

I found the '66 bell to be maybe a little more dense, warm and refined sounding when compared to the '70s bell, but the '70s bell was a bit snappier feeling. I couldn't feel or hear a difference between tuning slides. The playing slides were very different, though, with the '66 slide feeling much, much better to play. I assumed it was a bad leadpipe, but the action wasn't great so I didn't even look into getting it removed.

Anecdotally, I think I remember reading about and even seeing a photo on TTF of one E-185 that had another small oversleeve on an outer slide slide tube. I remember it looking a bit like a ferrule randomly placed part way down the slide, but I could be making that sleeve thing up entirely.
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