Thoughts on two basses

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MTbassbone
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Thoughts on two basses

Post by MTbassbone » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:34 pm

Anyone have any experiences or own a Courtois AC502B or a Yamaha YBL-620? As many have seen I am in the search for a lighter bass. The only one I have found to be a possibility so far is the Yamaha YBL-830 which weighed in a 5 lbs.
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by GabeLangfur » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:26 pm

The Courtois basses I've seen have tended to have heavy bells, but I don't know that model.

Yamaha tends to make their student and intermediate models a bit beefier than some of their Custom and Xeno series, I assume so that they hold up a bit better to school abuse. But again, I don't know for sure about that one. I remember liking the way it plays, for a light instrument.

Kanstul basses can be very light in weight.

The axial valve section Shires makes for the George Curran model is lighter weight than standard. They do that by removing the braces from the tuning slides and also shortening the pull lengths of the tuning slides, so that there is quite a bit less tubing that overlaps. The change in response is noticeable, and some people (like George) love it. Shires can absolutely sell you a valve section like that without the fairly heavy bell that George likes. I don't know how much truly custom work they are taking these days, but it wouldn't be such a hard thing to make a similarly designed valve section with rotary valves instead, to reduce the weight further.

I'll bet the guys at M&W would do something very similar for you if you asked them nicely.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:02 pm

The 502 is lighter than the other courtois basses. It played very well, just not a sound that I found interesting. Good choice for a lighter horn.
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sirisobhakya
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by sirisobhakya » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:40 pm

I have no experience with the YBL-620G, but I have the YBL-612, which is the previous model from the same lineage. It weighs (by feeling, not by measurement) around the same as my YBL-830. So I would expect the -620G, with 9.5-inch bell instead of 10 to be substantially lighter.
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by blast » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:42 am

The 620G is not heavy and I have played at least one example that sounded and felt great. Gabe said some interesting things. Many modern designs feature a lot of brace work that could be removed. My Holton 169 has a Brasslab rotor set that I have de-braced to the point that it is about the weight of a Conn 88H overall. Plays wonderfully. You may need to go down that custom route.

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Matt K
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by Matt K » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:00 am

Another interesting possibility is some of the work that Butler is doing with carbon fiber parts. He is making something for Doug Yeo at the moment where they're making parts for his YBL822. I don't know what the status of that stuff is, I know they're almost ready with the slides... but could be an interesting option that would be substantially lighter than anything brass. Dont' know if it would work in the same way though since it's such a new thing but worth mentioning nontheless.
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Tooloud
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by Tooloud » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:00 pm

https://www.thomann.de/de/sierman_st_84 ... ombone.htm

Never had any lighter bass bone in my hands. Don't know, if this item is available in the US, but if you live in Europe is might be the way to go.
Quite well made, fairly priced. But: No real brand name, standard case, though the bell is detachable...
No risk, because thomann grants a 30 days money back guarantee.
timbone
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by timbone » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:35 am

I would not say the Courtois 502 B is a lighter horn by any means, however with weight comes sound. I think this is one of the beset standard rotor bass trombones on the market, and a great selection for school band or doublers.
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:11 am

Just looking at the Sierman, with a screw bell and edge-like bracing along with what looks like a harmonic bridge, that can't be a light horn. Lightness isn't necessarily a measure of how well they play, so that's a separate issue. Light horns that I've been in contact with have been the Olds P24g, Kanstul 1662, and surprisingly the Rath R9. For the Olds, I think it is the use of nickel silver because it is stiffer than regular brass, as well as the shorter G tuning and smaller bell. For the Kanstul and Rath, I think it has to do with the elimination of a lot of bracing. Also, the Kanstul is TIS, and the slide mechanism is lighter than the bell mechanism (because of the smaller diameter tubing).

I've played a similar Yamaha bass, and enjoyed it. I haven't played that Courtois, but from reputation it should be at least as nice as the Yamaha. The Courtois is independent and the Yamaha is dependent, which should probably be a factor in your decision. The best thing is obviously to play them. Several Coutois dealers in the US.
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Tooloud
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by Tooloud » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:40 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:11 am
Just looking at the Sierman, with a screw bell and edge-like bracing along with what looks like a harmonic bridge, that can't be a light horn. Lightness isn't necessarily a measure of how well they play, so that's a separate issue.
Believe me, I've had this in my my hands, and it IS really light!

So light, that I remenber this a the one feature I remember, For the sound, you are absolutely right in my opinion, was light, too. Maybe it was me not being used to such a lightweight instrument, but the sound I could produce on it, wasn't remarkable.

But as the TO is looking for a light trombone in several threads, I felt, I should mention this instrument. Maybe it can help him with the problems he seems to have. His sound on it will be a separate issue. And: It's always the man, that matters, not the machine!
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sirisobhakya
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by sirisobhakya » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:45 pm

If you don't need double trigger, there is also a Yamaha YBL-421. I think it is true that Yamaha make their student models sturdier (and heavier) than their pro models, but missing 1 rotor and tubings, and no tuning slide cross brace should make it lighter than the YBL-620G. It plays light, too. I thought it was a tenor trombone when I played it back in high school.
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MTbassbone
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by MTbassbone » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:58 pm

I had a chance to try a few other basses the other night. None of the ones mentioned, but basically concluded I need to focus on strengthening the muscular structure that is used to support the horn. I tried the Neotech grip as well. I couldn't find a comfortable way to hold the horn with it attached. Also it seemed to cut circulation off in my hand. I am waiting for a strap from Leather Specialties and might order a Get A Grip too just to try it out.
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by blast » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:35 am

It is both simplistic and incorrect to say that physical weight in an instrument has a direct relationship with the weight of sound it produces. I have tried many heavy, light sounding basses, whilst there are instruments around that are light weight and sound big and dark.
Of course you have to learn how to play light instruments with a big dark sound..... easier than getting some heavy horns to sound resonant and rich though.....

Chris
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Re: Thoughts on two basses

Post by jph » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:59 am

Gabe is right when he states that the school-directed Yamaha horns are generally made beefier ( and I feel it was the same way with the Holton intermediate lines, too). The new YBL-620 dependent bass feels like it has a substantially lighter gauge brass to it, however (didn't ask Yamaha...so I can't be certain), than the current Xeno models. It will edge out quicker at volume...at least in my test runs.
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