Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

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SteelDeRosa
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Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by SteelDeRosa » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:21 pm

Might any among you identify Charlie Vernon’s tenor and bass equipment? I’m sure this is set out in detail on the internet somewhere, but y’all are, doubtless, a more reliable source.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by paulyg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:37 pm

He apparently has THE Mt. Vernon Bach 50 Bell mounted up to some Thayers.

I'm sure his mouthpiece philosophy is "grab 'n go," I think he has a different one in every video/picture I see of him.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:49 pm

His bass has been a Laskey 95D, unknown leadpipe (he does use one now), Edwards dual bore slide with no oversleeves, Shires axials, Bach New York 50 bell.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by bassbone721 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:01 pm

On the Brass Ark Website: "Charlie Vernon: MV42 seamed nickel silver, NY50 seamed nickel silver". If that is up to date, those are his leadpipes.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:06 pm

bassbone721 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:01 pm
On the Brass Ark Website: "Charlie Vernon: MV42 seamed nickel silver, NY50 seamed nickel silver". If that is up to date, those are his leadpipes.
Usually those are listing all the pipes that those artists have bought, not necessarily that they are currently using them. My teacher is on that list and he doesn't use his.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Amconk » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:49 pm
His bass has been a Laskey 95D, unknown leadpipe (he does use one now), Edwards dual bore slide with no oversleeves, Shires axials, Bach New York 50 bell.
Wow, talk about cherry-picking your favorites! I guess it means he knows what he likes, and that’s not a bad thing.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:39 am

The Shires axial set that I know of was built for him while I worked there. It's custom in a couple of ways. First, the main bell brace had to be in a different place in order to avoid moving the diamond flange on his bell (more on that below), and second, he needed it to be as light in weight as possible, so it has no braces in the tuning slide loops, and the tuning slides themselves are shorter so there is much less overlapping tubing. We made a handslide for Charlie as well, but I think he prefers the Edwards because the tube walls are a bit thicker. And the shape of the crook is probably different as well.

The lightweight valve section is a feature of the George Curran model Shires as well. George happened to come by the factory when a valve section was completed for Charlie to try on a complete Shires bass trombone. George loved the quick response and broad sound, and asked for one for him to play as well. Later on it became part of his signature model.

I had the opportunity to play Charlie's favorite NY Bach 50 bell quite a bit when we had it in the shop. I've never played another bass trombone bell like it. It's extremely lightweight overall, and so thin at the end that you can run your finger lightly along the inside of the bead and see the movement on the other side. But it doesn't have the instability or nebulous pitch center that I often feel when equipment is that light; the pitch center is very clear and easy to play in the center of. Charlie calls it a magic bell, and it's hard to argue.

The reason they couldn't move the diamond flange is that that had been done once before when Charlie needed a new valve section, and it made the bell do very strange things. I had a lesson with him at that time, and the low C would vibrate so much that he couldn't play it in tune. He had to go back to his previous valve section and have the flange moved back. That valve section failed in the middle of a recital I was in the audience for at ETW. He had to go offstage to get it moving again. It was at that point that he asked us at Shires to build him a new custom valve section and sent us the bell so that it could be built to it.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:44 am

Great info, Gabe!!

I'm having a valve section made right now with the Shires lightweight axial setup as a pattern- less bracing and shorter tuning slide legs. I had no idea it was a Charlie thing first.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:48 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:44 am
Great info, Gabe!!

I'm having a valve section made right now with the Shires lightweight axial setup as a pattern- less bracing and shorter tuning slide legs. I had no idea it was a Charlie thing first.
I don't know if Steve Shires had ever done that before, but the first one I ever saw was the one built for Charlie to try. It was certainly Steve's idea. I still want to try a TruBore section built that way. But $$$.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by timothy42b » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:14 am

GabeLangfur wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:39 am
I had the opportunity to play Charlie's favorite NY Bach 50 bell quite a bit when we had it in the shop. I've never played another bass trombone bell like it. It's extremely lightweight overall, and so thin at the end that you can run your finger lightly along the inside of the bead and see the movement on the other side.
Interesting.

Some years back Gary Greenhoe was on the OTJ, and he said in his opinion the formula for a good trombone was a thin light bell combined with a heavy weight slide.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by brtnats » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:23 am

GabeLangfur wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:48 am
I don't know if Steve Shires had ever done that before, but the first one I ever saw was the one built for Charlie to try. It was certainly Steve's idea. I still want to try a TruBore section built that way. But $$$.
I wonder how much of that was influenced by Friedman’s preferences for lighter equipment. I remember an article he wrote about ten years ago talking about his equipment choices and the need to create a ton of warmth and resonance because of their hall setup.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by TheBoneRanger » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:06 pm

Main tuning slide?
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Carter1016 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:40 pm

TheBoneRanger wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:06 pm
Main tuning slide?
I believe he’s using a NY Bach tuning slide too. He told me that he traded a complete MV horn for the NY bell and tuning slide
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by hornbuilder » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:11 pm

The most recent Chicago Symphony Brass concert, Charlie's slide was most definitely NOT an Edwards.
There was no question that it was a Bach made slide. It was all yellow brass, and had no sleeves, but did have a soldered in pipe.
My understanding is Bach made some dual bore slides for him a few years ago.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:15 pm

Bach has also been experimenting with their Conn large tubes (the .580 ones) to make a Bach dual bore. They had made him a couple so far.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Elow » Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:02 am

Anyone knows what he uses for his alto? He doesnt sound like the typical nasally alto
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by GabrielRice » Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:11 am

Elow wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:02 am
Anyone knows what he uses for his alto? He doesnt sound like the typical nasally alto
The alto I've seen him play (a dozen years ago now) is a large bore Pfretzschner. .525-.547 I think.

I know that sounds strange, but the sound is more in the bell taper than the slide bore size. A friend of mine used to have one like it. It's a big alto sound, but definitely an alto.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by miketrombone » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:40 am

I recently read this thread and I decided to try shortening the inside tuning slide legs on my rotor section that I felt played a bit tight in the valve register. I had my tech cut off 1 inch from each of the 4 legs and I have to say it does make a difference! It opened up the blow and made the sound closer to that of the open horn. It’s a pretty good bang for buck mod! I did get the impression you could go too far though, so I stopped at one inch.

Cheers
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:00 am

Elow wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:02 am
Anyone knows what he uses for his alto? He doesnt sound like the typical nasally alto
That's because he knows how to play alto.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by LeoInFL » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:53 am

miketrombone wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:40 am
I recently read this thread and I decided to try shortening the inside tuning slide legs on my rotor section that I felt played a bit tight in the valve register. I had my tech cut off 1 inch from each of the 4 legs and I have to say it does make a difference! It opened up the blow and made the sound closer to that of the open horn. It’s a pretty good bang for buck mod! I did get the impression you could go too far though, so I stopped at one inch.

Cheers
Mike Szabo
Forgive me for being off-topic, but I just wanted to thank Mike for his youtube posts. You're one of the players (with Brian Hecht) that I try to emulate with my bass sound and technique (yes, I set my bar really, really high). Please keep those videos coming! :good:
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by BurckhardtS » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:24 am

Elow wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:02 am
Anyone knows what he uses for his alto? He doesnt sound like the typical nasally alto
Charlie has a .547 alto, I've played it before. It's a tank but he sounds great on it.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by miketrombone » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:18 pm

LeoInFL wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:53 am
miketrombone wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:40 am
I recently read this thread and I decided to try shortening the inside tuning slide legs on my rotor section that I felt played a bit tight in the valve register. I had my tech cut off 1 inch from each of the 4 legs and I have to say it does make a difference! It opened up the blow and made the sound closer to that of the open horn. It’s a pretty good bang for buck mod! I did get the impression you could go too far though, so I stopped at one inch.

Cheers
Mike Szabo
Forgive me for being off-topic, but I just wanted to thank Mike for his youtube posts. You're one of the players (with Brian Hecht) that I try to emulate with my bass sound and technique (yes, I set my bar really, really high). Please keep those videos coming! :good:
Thanks for your kind words, Leo! The videos are just a side project I do when I have time (and am in shape) or we have something really meaty that I happen to get a good take for. I will put them up from time to time....very glad you like them and grateful that they are of benefit to you.

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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by WGWTR180 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:37 am

timothy42b wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:14 am
GabeLangfur wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:39 am
I had the opportunity to play Charlie's favorite NY Bach 50 bell quite a bit when we had it in the shop. I've never played another bass trombone bell like it. It's extremely lightweight overall, and so thin at the end that you can run your finger lightly along the inside of the bead and see the movement on the other side.
Interesting.

Some years back Gary Greenhoe was on the OTJ, and he said in his opinion the formula for a good trombone was a thin light bell combined with a heavy weight slide.
Allegedly works both ways. Light bell heavy slide, heavy bell light slide. It's all about balance.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by EOlson9 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:47 am

WGWTR180 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:37 am
Allegedly works both ways. Light bell heavy slide, heavy bell light slide. It's all about balance.
What about those going to carbon fiber slides AND bells? I guess that's just sort of a different balance?
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by WGWTR180 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:24 pm

EOlson9 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:47 am
WGWTR180 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:37 am
Allegedly works both ways. Light bell heavy slide, heavy bell light slide. It's all about balance.
What about those going to carbon fiber slides AND bells? I guess that's just sort of a different balance?
Not sure I understand.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Elow » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:38 pm

Since were talking about it, his video playing fountains of rome was what made me want to play bass, so thank you
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:21 pm

WGWTR180 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:24 pm
EOlson9 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:47 am

What about those going to carbon fiber slides AND bells? I guess that's just sort of a different balance?
Not sure I understand.
I think he means, a full carbon setup is light everywhere.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:45 pm

EOlson9 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:47 am
WGWTR180 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:37 am
Allegedly works both ways. Light bell heavy slide, heavy bell light slide. It's all about balance.
What about those going to carbon fiber slides AND bells? I guess that's just sort of a different balance?
Apples and oranges, I think. Lightweight brass setups are not equivalent to carbon fiber, which is just literally lightweight.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by EOlson9 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:31 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:21 pm
I think he means, a full carbon setup is light everywhere.
That is correct.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by WGWTR180 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:24 am

EOlson9 wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:31 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:21 pm
I think he means, a full carbon setup is light everywhere.
That is correct.
Ok. So are you stating that because the overall setup is "lightweight" that there's no need for the "heavy/light, light/heavy" setup?
Also keeping on the Charlie Vernon topic I first heard him play at Brevard Music Center when I was 17 years old. I had never heard anything like that in my life. Pines of Rome is still etched in my brain from 1978.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by pfcastor » Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:58 am

Charlie Vernon Story ….

I am and Olds Trombone enthusiast. Several years ago I purchased on the cheap an Olds S-23 Bass F-E Dual dependent with 10” bell. The Olds valves on this horn are considered small by today’s standards. As a result many complained that the horn played a bit stuffy. Back in the day Olds sold an optional slide extension for the E rotor to convert it to a D but it was a special order so only a few were made.

I wanted to have it cleaned, the valves opened up and an extension to the E Rotor made to make it into an F-D dual dependent. I took it to a well-known Chicago Metro area brass tech to have all of the work done.

After the work was completed, I went to pick up the horn. As I was checking out with the tech’s front desk person, the tech came rushing out of his work shop all excited to tell me about my horn. He told me that Carlie Vernon was a regular customer of his and that a few days prior Charlie was in the shop picking up some slides. He saw my Olds S-23 and wanted to try it. The tech said Charlie was really impressed with how my horn sounded and played.

If only I could make it sound like it did when Charlie was playing it!
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:21 pm

The was your chance to get the work done for free. "Wait, you did what? I've never heard of this Charlie guy and now my horn is full of his germs!"
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by EOlson9 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:37 am

WGWTR180 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:24 am

Ok. So are you stating that because the overall setup is "lightweight" that there's no need for the "heavy/light, light/heavy" setup?
Yes, sorry I should've been more clear. It's all lightweight so yeah, no need for one heavy/one light.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by WGWTR180 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:31 pm

EOlson9 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:37 am
WGWTR180 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:24 am

Ok. So are you stating that because the overall setup is "lightweight" that there's no need for the "heavy/light, light/heavy" setup?
Yes, sorry I should've been more clear. It's all lightweight so yeah, no need for one heavy/one light.
I still think it's all relative to the specific instrument. I cannot imagine that the slide and bell section are identical weights.
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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Savio » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:09 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJMHAwGgfL4

I dont know what he play on this video but its one of the most fantastic chamber musicianship I ever have listen.

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Re: Charlie Vernon’s Tenor and Bass Equipment

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:50 pm

Savio wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:09 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJMHAwGgfL4

I dont know what he play on this video but its one of the most fantastic chamber musicianship I ever have listen.

Leif
Bach with aftermarket Thayers... in any case, he does sound amazing there. Just listened to it all again yesterday.
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