Lawler model 4, first impressions

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johntarr
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Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:18 pm

Just recently, I received a Lawler model 4, “Big Boy”. I’ve had a few days to play it so I thought I would write some of my first impressions. Right from the first note played, I knew this was something special. The horn is very easy to play with a warm and clear sound. After warming up and starting up the high range, I found it easy to find the notes above high F and play them securely with much less effort than I’ve ever felt on any other trombone. One aspect, however, seemed a bit odd and that was that the high Bb in first position was harder to center than all the other notes above and below it. Even the Bb in third position was better. In the mean time, I’ve found a way to make the first position Bb speak and sound good but it was kind of odd in comparison to all the other notes.

Since I’m visiting my parents, my mother, who is a cello teacher and has heard me play for many years, said she had never heard me play so effortlessly and with such a full sound. To be sure, I’ve been practicing more effectively than in the past so I don’t think it’s just the horn but I included her comments to add a perspective from another experienced musician.

At the same time, I’ve been trying out some mouthpieces from Doug Elliott so there are many factors in flux. Still, every time I play, regardless of which mouthpiece I’m trying, I feel the horn speak and respond unlike any other instrument I’ve played. Over the past five years or so, my jazz horn has been a Rath R10 but during this past year I began to feel that it didn’t fit with my evolving sound concept. I was also having trouble with getting the notes in the middle to higher partials in fourth and longer positions to speak cleanly. Ironically, I found them easier on my Rath R3F so sold the R10. Even though the R3F is a great instrument, it wasn’t what I wanted for jazz. Reading what others have said about the Lawler’s, I decided to take a chance and order one.

My choice for the model 4 was based the idea that I liked how .525 bore horns feel, even if they can require more air than a smaller horn. I also considered a model 3, which I’d like to try but decided on the 4. After a few e-mail exchanges with Roy Lawler, I ordered a model 4 in red brass, set back bell and nickel silver slide. I also ordered an extra bell flare with the intention of sending one back. The flares Mr. Lawler recommended were .22 red, .25 bronze and .25 yellow brass (7.5”). Each flare has its own sound and I’m not sure which one I’ll send back. I cajoled my parents into listening to each flare and their observations were different than mine. They found the .22 red brass to have the most projection and clarity with the least amount of warmth and over tones. The .25 yellow brass was the warmest and the bronze seemed to fall in between the other two.

The workmanship is excellent and the instrument is visually appealing as well. It does have a kind of “art-deco” look that I find pleasing. The slide is very light and easy to move.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and happy new year,

John
Bach5G
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Bach5G » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:34 pm

Pix?
walldaja
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by walldaja » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:23 am

No pictures, didn't happen :)
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Oslide
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Oslide » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:48 am

Dear John,
thank you very much for taking the time to share your impressions with us!
I wish you a Happy New Year!
Wolfgang
Ceterum censeo to fetch All of TTF
Mikebmiller
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Mikebmiller » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 am

Is Roy using different bell flares for this horn than the .500 bores? Or is it just the slide that is bigger?
johntarr
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:53 am

Mikebmiller wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 am
Is Roy using different bell flares for this horn than the .500 bores? Or is it just the slide that is bigger?
As I understand it, the bell section is different but the slides are interchangeable. I think the neck pipe is larger too, but take what I’m writing with a grain of salt.
johntarr
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:56 am

Oslide wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:48 am
Dear John,
thank you very much for taking the time to share your impressions with us!
I wish you a Happy New Year!
Wolfgang
You are most welcome Wolfgang. Because I’ve been helped by reading others’ post and appreciate the generous sharing of information, I wanted to contribute. Plus, when something made by a small company or, in this case just one person, I like to provide feedback in case others are interested.

Happy New Year to you,

John
Davidus1
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Davidus1 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:57 pm

Thanks for sharing and congrats on your new horn!
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TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:48 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 am
Is Roy using different bell flares for this horn than the .500 bores? Or is it just the slide that is bigger?
..
The flares are interchangeable across the line. The 525 slide is a bit wider but the tenon is the same so you can mix and match but probably with disappointing results. They play best when used as designed.

The neckpipe on the 525 is larger than the 500 or 508. I had a big boy for a short while but sent it back because I realized I am not a 525 kind of player. Typically great Lawler but not for me. I love my model one and model three.
..
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TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:04 pm

johntarr wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:18 pm
Just recently, I received a Lawler model 4, “Big Boy”. I’ve had a few days to play it so I thought I would write some of my first impressions. Right from the first note played, I knew this was something special. The horn is very easy to play with a warm and clear sound. After warming up and starting up the high range, I found it easy to find the notes above high F and play them securely with much less effort than I’ve ever felt on any other trombone. One aspect, however, seemed a bit odd and that was that the high Bb in first position was harder to center than all the other notes above and below it. Even the Bb in third position was better. In the mean time, I’ve found a way to make the first position Bb speak and sound good but it was kind of odd in comparison to all the other notes.

Since I’m visiting my parents, my mother, who is a cello teacher and has heard me play for many years, said she had never heard me play so effortlessly and with such a full sound. To be sure, I’ve been practicing more effectively than in the past so I don’t think it’s just the horn but I included her comments to add a perspective from another experienced musician.

At the same time, I’ve been trying out some mouthpieces from Doug Elliott so there are many factors in flux. Still, every time I play, regardless of which mouthpiece I’m trying, I feel the horn speak and respond unlike any other instrument I’ve played. Over the past five years or so, my jazz horn has been a Rath R10 but during this past year I began to feel that it didn’t fit with my evolving sound concept. I was also having trouble with getting the notes in the middle to higher partials in fourth and longer positions to speak cleanly. Ironically, I found them easier on my Rath R3F so sold the R10. Even though the R3F is a great instrument, it wasn’t what I wanted for jazz. Reading what others have said about the Lawler’s, I decided to take a chance and order one.

My choice for the model 4 was based the idea that I liked how .525 bore horns feel, even if they can require more air than a smaller horn. I also considered a model 3, which I’d like to try but decided on the 4. After a few e-mail exchanges with Roy Lawler, I ordered a model 4 in red brass, set back bell and nickel silver slide. I also ordered an extra bell flare with the intention of sending one back. The flares Mr. Lawler recommended were .22 red, .25 bronze and .25 yellow brass (7.5”). Each flare has its own sound and I’m not sure which one I’ll send back. I cajoled my parents into listening to each flare and their observations were different than mine. They found the .22 red brass to have the most projection and clarity with the least amount of warmth and over tones. The .25 yellow brass was the warmest and the bronze seemed to fall in between the other two.

The workmanship is excellent and the instrument is visually appealing as well. It does have a kind of “art-deco” look that I find pleasing. The slide is very light and easy to move.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and happy new year,

John
..
Thanks for the report and congratulations on your new Lawler.
..
Lawler model 1
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TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:09 pm

..
Concerning the bell section. Only the neckpipe on the model 4 is different (larger) as compared to the 500 and 508 models.
..
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:02 pm

Get Roy to make a valve and I can trade my Rath R3F for Lawler now.
TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:05 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:02 pm
Get Roy to make a valve and I can trade my Rath R3F for Lawler now.
..
A few years ago I almost had him convinced to do a valve but he'd rather not. He wants to keep it simple and just build straight horns.
..
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johntarr
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:44 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:02 pm
Get Roy to make a valve and I can trade my Rath R3F for Lawler now.
The Big Boy plays much more easily than my R3 with the straight neck pipe but the Lawler has a very different sound. It’s sound wouldn’t work for what I use the R3F for.
johntarr
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:47 pm

..
Thanks for the report and congratulations on your new Lawler.
..
Thank you Scott, for all the info you put out on the Lawler thread, which helped me to decide to order one in the first place.
TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:34 pm

johntarr wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:47 pm
..
Thanks for the report and congratulations on your new Lawler.
..
Thank you Scott, for all the info you put out on the Lawler thread, which helped me to decide to order one in the first place.
..
John, I am glad my comments were of benefit and I hope you get to play your Lawler to your hearts content.
..
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Mikebmiller » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm

johntarr wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:44 pm
Mikebmiller wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:02 pm
Get Roy to make a valve and I can trade my Rath R3F for Lawler now.
The Big Boy plays much more easily than my R3 with the straight neck pipe but the Lawler has a very different sound. It’s sound wouldn’t work for what I use the R3F for.
So it is essentially a big jazz horn, I guess. I have played ,525 horns as my main axe for years. Somebody slide me 3 grand so I can get me one if these :wink:
TheSheriff
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by TheSheriff » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:02 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm
johntarr wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:44 pm


The Big Boy plays much more easily than my R3 with the straight neck pipe but the Lawler has a very different sound. It’s sound wouldn’t work for what I use the R3F for.
So it is essentially a big jazz horn, I guess. I have played ,525 horns as my main axe for years. Somebody slide me 3 grand so I can get me one if these :wink:
..
Definitely a jazzer, just like all of his horns.
..
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by Bach5G » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:07 pm

3 grand?

“Complete units
*Bell section and slide in raw brass $2200.00
(Carbon Fiber Slide adds $400.00)
*Bell section and playing slide in Brush Lacquer $2375.00
(Carbon Fiber Slide adds $400.00)
*Bell section and playing slide and one extra flare all finished in brush lacquer with case $2800.00
(Carbon Fiber Slide adds $400.00)”
johntarr
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Re: Lawler model 4, first impressions

Post by johntarr » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:00 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm

So it is essentially a big jazz horn, I guess. I have played ,525 horns as my main axe for years. Somebody slide me 3 grand so I can get me one if these :wink:
Yes, definitely a jazz horn, at least to my ears. The slide is super fast and light!
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