underrated, overrated, rated....

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FOSSIL
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underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by FOSSIL » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:34 pm

Okay, we've read about the underrated, the overrated and simply rated.....
So I'm wondering what you guys and gals really look for in a horn ....sound, feel, visuals...what ??

Chris
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by tbonesullivan » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:39 pm

I look for a horn that I have to work the least with to produce the sound that is in my head. A horn that helps me, and doesn't fight me. Yes I know there is no such thing as a "perfect" trombone, but some definitely just didn't work with me. It's the same with any instrument.

Also the valve feel and action, if it has one, has to be something I like.
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Hobart
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Hobart » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:57 pm

I look for the best bargain. It's gotta play in a way I like, the ergonomics have to be half-decent, and (unless its free) the valve has to work adequately. Pretty much, I'd get a 77H for $200, rather than a 6H for $1000, if the 77H played almost as well. There's a lot of good deals out there, and I like to take advantage of good deals with a slight compromise on quality.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by BurckhardtS » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:58 pm

Something that is easy to play, and that matches as close to the sound concept that I want.
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Burgerbob
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm

I want to enjoy playing it.
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ArbanRubank
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by ArbanRubank » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:16 pm

Sound.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by hyperbolica » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:26 pm

I look for a combination of sound and feel. It's sometimes difficult to separate the two. I like a darkish sound with a light feel, and some tactile resonance isn't a bad thing. Ergonomics can really kill the deal too.

For example, I love the way a 32h plays, but the narrow slide makes it uncomfortable, so I've stopped trying to love that model. I played a Yamaha 651 that I liked, but the sound was very one-dimensional when played against any other 500 bore. I love the 88h and the 79h. My 88h is actually brighter and lighter than my 79h, but I like the more compact bell and the wider slide on the 79.

For newer horns, I've only found small and medium bores that I like much. Yamaha 891, Shires MD, King 3b, I've got a Wessex Urbie copy that I just can't put down, I think I'd love a Rath R2. I really fell in love with an R3 as well as a M&W 525 bore.

For basses, it's tough, because I'm not really willing to commit to the extra effort it takes to play a bass, but I've liked an older Bach 50 b2 and an Olds P24g, also an experimental Wessex big tenor with 2 valves. I think I'd really go for a set up like a C/Bb w/F valve (Gunter Frost type config).

I don't care much about lacquer, valve wrap, modularity, valve link type, TIS,... I have horns with and without those things, and by themselves, they don't make a great horn.

The stuff I don't like is hard to steer, heavy, dull, too expensive (don't feel really comfortable playing a collectors item or a work of art, I prefer a broken in tool).
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Posaunus » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:13 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:26 pm
I look for a combination of sound and feel.
If the slide (and valve, if applicable) isn't near-perfect, I lose interest fast. But I do want to make "my" sound.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Peacemate » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:17 pm

Trivia and rarity/age is nice.

To me, an instrument doesn't have character if it still has full lacquer on the neckpipe. Worn lacquer and known history is a plus, for cool factor.

Good ergonomics is basically a must. Have a 90s 88HN (nickel is cool) that I just don't really love playing since the slide is narrow. Why Conn, why? Hand hurt so bad when it was my main axe.

Now I use a 42BG with weird spots on the bell flare from unknown substances, but it was cheap and sounded good so I bought it. Corp, so cool, with weird problems like the tuning slide not being able to go fully in due to the small slide leg being soldered on too far out. The solder stain(?) is actually visible on the leg, so I call it cool.

Honestly also, the valve wrap is important. I think the stock bach wrap looks terrible, but still wins in a battle against the open wraps except for on the 50B3O.

Basically, good visuals are nice, but I do have ugly horns, like a 42B (not G). Played pretty good too, but less wide. That does have a glued valve now that I think about it though.
Student in Sweden, usually looking for more trombones
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ArbanRubank
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by ArbanRubank » Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:24 pm

Heck yeah, all above.

Condition: I usually don't give a bad-looking horn a second look, unless it's reported to have a fantastic sound.

Ergonomics: Difficult to play horns can be helped, some. My single-trigger bass was literally a pain to hold and play. But with a hand brace, it is now a joy.

Back to sound: If a horn doesn't sound good, no matter what - then all else is moot. Conversely, if the horn has a definitive trombone sound - a real head turning and memorable fantastic sound - then I really wouldn't care if it looked like it passed through an elephant's digestive system. I would play it proudly (after a thorough cleaning Lol).
CalgaryTbone
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by CalgaryTbone » Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:28 pm

First of all - sound. I like a horn that sounds rich and full, but I don't mind if there is a little "sizzle" around the edge of the sound at loud dynamics, while maintaining a full core to the sound. I realize that this will mean different things to each person who reads it, but for me, I know it when the horn delivers on this front.

As a Principal player, a good high range is a must, but I have a pet peeve about horns that don't have enough "solidity" in the lower range, particularly from low B flat to low E. Even though the Mahler 3rd has only come up once in my career, I want a horn that sounds "big" in that register - there are lots of other excerpts where that's important too, but that one is a clear example of the need for a low range on the tenor trombone.

Good feedback from the instrument as you're playing it. It has to sound good out front, but if it doesn't have the qualities I just mentioned from the players perspective (even if others tell you it sounds good on the other side of the bell) then forget it. Feeling really comfortable with what I'm hearing makes me play more comfortably.

Good thread Chris! It will inspire a lot of "dancing about art", but so what!

Jim Scott
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:53 pm

I look for and have found horns that play easily first, and have a malleable sound. I still have trouble with finding horns that play loud easily, but softs are great on my gear.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Doubler » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:52 pm

I'm a sucker for timbre; that's #1 for me, but ergonomics matter, as does ease of playing. Fighting a horn takes energy away from making music; not a good thing. Intonation is another thing that I don't want to have to overcome; the cost is in endurance. At the very least in this regard, overtones matter; I don't want to have to adjust when playing one to the next. The same principle applies to valved instruments, as each valve slide and combination thereof can help you or hurt you. I'm not a masochist, so I choose help. The slide has to be effortless; so do valves. Lastly, as a clean horn is a happy horn, for me a shiny horn is a happy horn, too. If I like the look of an instrument, I want to spend more time playing it, which has its own rewards.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by mahlertwo » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:56 pm

I try to find something that allows me to do what I need to do and sound how I want to sound without having to fight the horn too much.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by sirisobhakya » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:02 pm

My horn is rated at 512kN (115,000 lbf) at sea level. Equivalent to GE90-115B turbofan engine powering the Boeing 777-300ER.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by fwbassbone » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:17 pm

It has to feel good and sound good. I prefer a dependent bass but have played independents that I like because they felt good and sounded good.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Cotboneman » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:42 pm

I have always looked for a horn that I enjoying playing. That's an instrument that I sound good on, and one that I don't have to work really hard to get the sound that I want on it. There is also an economic factor at play for me as well. It makes no sense to go out and buy a $6500 bass, for example, when I know that I would never get my money back out of it, and I'm perfectly happy with my Getzen 1062 that I bought for $2000 back in 1998.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Finetales » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:50 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm
I want to enjoy playing it.
That.

I want a horn that I can't put down. It's more than just being easy to play over the entire range with a great sound...I've tried plenty of horns that fit that criteria that I didn't enjoy playing at all. In my experience, there's an X factor when a specific instrument is "the one" that instantly elevates it above anything else in the room, both to you and to anyone you know listening. That instrument is always the one that I can hardly stand taking off my face for a moment once I start playing it. Call me crazy but, at least in person, I think the trope "the horn picks you" is one of the best ways to describe it. You just know.

Of course, there are technical things that are important to address once you're able to come back to Earth for a second. Ergonomics and intonation are the big ones for me. I sent back the best euphonium I've ever played that I was absolutely smitten by because it was painful to hold for any extended period of time. I couldn't care less about visuals from a purchasing standpoint, but I do appreciate an exceptionally good looking instrument.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Savio » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:14 am

I look for something that might give me a chance to get close to my sound ideal. It has given me some surprises, like horns I thought was not so good at first try but after trying more they feel and sounds good. Then the happiness and joy follows. Happy new year Chris and all trombone players!

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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Trombo » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:17 am

Horn has to play well by itself. :biggrin:
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Geordie
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Geordie » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:32 am

Finetales wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:50 am
Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm
I want to enjoy playing it.
In my experience, there's an X factor when a specific instrument is "the one" that instantly elevates it above anything else in the room, both to you and to anyone you know listening. That instrument is always the one that I can hardly stand taking off my face for a moment once I start playing it. Call me crazy but, at least in person, I think the trope "the horn picks you" is one of the best ways to describe it. You just know.

Of course, there are technical things that are important to address once you're able to come back to Earth for a second. Ergonomics and intonation are the big ones for me.
This edited quote resonates with me. I’m not a gear head but, having tried a borrowed one, I was convinced I wanted an 88H. Tried several without finding ‘the one’. I reluctantly tried a 4BF suggested by a friend who brought it for me to try. Was a revelation. That was 15 years ago and it’s still my large bore go to horn. As said above - ‘you just know’ - don’t be too fixated by brands, quality of sound, ergonomics and build are key.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:36 am

I recently read a book that included a statistical method for finding your ideal spouse. Perhaps this would apply to trombones. I can't recall which book, but it was nonfiction and in other respects reading it was worthwhile.

Here is the method: date 10 people. Whichever one was best of the ten, fix that in your mind as the standard. The next time you meet someone better than that one, stop. Statistically you can't do any better. Marry that one.

Of course there are a lot of assumptions here! That person may not think you are the one. Fortunately trombones don't get to have a vote. At any rate, using this method on trombone choice could be a shortcut to that endless search for the "perfect" horn.

I'm pretty sure this wouldn't work for mouthpieces.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Chatname » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:53 am

timothy42b wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:36 am
I recently read a book that included a statistical method for finding your ideal spouse. Perhaps this would apply to trombones. I can't recall which book, but it was nonfiction and in other respects reading it was worthwhile.

New scientist: How Numbers Work?
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:25 am

This is getting kinda silly. Maybe we can agree on some definitions?

Underrated: The instrument performs better than its description or price implies. Example: the Yamaha 354, which performs extremely well as a lead jazz horn although it's presented as a student model. An underrated horn provides a lot of "bang for the buck".

Overrated: instrument that is hyped beyond its capabilities or priced very high so no matter how good it is it can't provide performance comparable to its cost. Example: Monette trumpets. Sure they are good, but $20,000 good? I had a salesman friend who used to joke "You can buy better but you can't pay more".

Which leaves us as "Rated": You get what you pay for.
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FOSSIL
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by FOSSIL » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:55 am

Bruce, please re read my original post.... I'm trying to find a conversation that is NOT tied to those parameters, but about why we choose what we choose. I think the why can be far more enlightening than the what.

Chris
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by bimmerman » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:08 am

A horn that is fun to play and not too much work to enjoy, since music is a creative outlet but not a career for me.

In simpler James May terms, it "gives the fizz"
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Finetales » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:19 am

bimmerman wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:08 am
In simpler James May terms, it "gives the fizz"
Hopefully with something better than a Citroen AX...
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by WGWTR180 » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:47 pm

I like this topic!!! I look for an instrument that responds quickly and along with the "sound I have in my head" one that allows me to achieve the sound that I need. One that blends when necessary and one that can be colored to certain situations. Must also be easy and balanced to hold.
FOSSIL
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by FOSSIL » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:21 pm

There were so many contradictory opinions in the other threads, I wondered if we looked at what we wanted from instruments, we might find more in common and we might understand better why people had such different views. Having been described as overrated, I dug out my 95 year old Conn Fuchs .....no, it's not overrated...it still feels very special indeed. The bell is still between 2nd and 3rd positions and it is flat with a modern mouthpiece, so it won't be my daily driver....but it feels and sounds special.
So, what do I really look for ?
First, my brands are limited to what goes down well with UK orchestras in general and my orchestra in particular. Within that constraint I always try to find instruments that totally wow me when I pick them up a play them. I have, up to covid, played for a good amount of time every day, so I want joy every time I pick the instrument up. We can sit listening to other players rehearsing for long periods, so my equipment must be easy and predictable in those situations. Classy and characterful, sonically interesting and safe, with a great feel. I don't ask for much.

Chris
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Neo Bri » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:12 pm

FOSSIL wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:55 am
Bruce, please re read my original post.... I'm trying to find a conversation that is NOT tied to those parameters, but about why we choose what we choose. I think the why can be far more enlightening than the what.

Chris
I love horns that are fun to play, comfie to hold, and look intriguing. I usually pick 2.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by FOSSIL » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:12 pm

Neo Bri wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:12 pm
FOSSIL wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:55 am
Bruce, please re read my original post.... I'm trying to find a conversation that is NOT tied to those parameters, but about why we choose what we choose. I think the why can be far more enlightening than the what.

Chris
I love horns that are fun to play, comfie to hold, and look intriguing. I usually pick 2.
Sorry, I left that one out...horns HAVE to be comfy....

Chris
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Bach5G » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:09 pm

Ergonomics. My TIS 62H was very hard on my right side tennis elbow. Especially during Mozart’s Requiem. :) My 6H never quite felt comfortable. Something about the location of the brace on the slide. I had an Edwards bass trombone set up that was put together by a pro-tubist and played like it.

Response, easy to play. This is key for me. I couldn’t make a new Conn 88HTO work for me whereas a Shires set-up of parts acquired from various sources is as good a horn as I’ve played and better than a previous Shires set-up. Got lucky, I think.

And, these days, it has to be something I’m curious about. A cool/funky factor helps. I bought a friend’s Benge 290 that met this test. Now I’m interested in a Benge 190.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by SwissTbone » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:45 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:12 pm
Neo Bri wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:12 pm

I love horns that are fun to play, comfie to hold, and look intriguing. I usually pick 2.
Sorry, I left that one out...horns HAVE to be comfy....

Chris
Number 1 for me too.

Then comes the rest. Sound, predictability and intonation.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by s3si1u » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:11 am

Comfort is the biggest for me. If I can't hold the thing comfortably for an entire practice session, preferably without any aids, then it's a no-go. After comfort, I like when a horn feels "easy" to play. Then comes everything else. I just want to enjoy playing it, sound good, and be able to do so comfortably.
I'm also a sucker for aesthetics, buttery slides, and short-throw valves. While shiny new horns are always nice, I love me some patina and "road wear".
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Nobbi » Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:58 am

1. the sound
2. the feel and ease of output
3. the age

I want to enjoy and give my emotional states an adequate way of leaving my mind. Music is my balance.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by sf105 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:01 am

The one that's just out of reach on eBay?

That said, as FOSSIL knows, I have a bunch of horns that I like the sound of in different ways, most of which have dreadful ergonomics. I'm still wondering about how they would compare to one of the modern bespoke horns, such as Noah's recent Fuchs tribute.
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Re: underrated, overrated, rated....

Post by Arrowhead » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:14 pm

overrated: modern Bach 42, Conn 32H, certain years for the 6H and 10H, Shires thayer valve F att., Conn 8H (heavy slide-gee whiz!). Olds Opera straight horn (why not just get an F att.?), modern King 3B and 2B, older Yamaha Xeno, Martin Committee, Olds P16 (plays no different than the Special).

underrated: modern Jupiter F att., certain years for the 6H and 10H, Conn 5H, Olds Symphony, Olds Recording.

Sound, comfort, balancing, response, malleable, range of dynamics, price and visual appeal.
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