Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

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Mrgrzesk
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Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Mrgrzesk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Hello,

I have been doing some research and came across BAC (best American craftsman) trombones. I am interested in the San Francisco model- it’s a part of their artist series. 2400.00. If anyone has any experience with this or other instruments from them please comment. The look very nice and seem to have a few good reviews online- but not much info. Thanks !
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Neo Bri
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Neo Bri » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:12 pm

Oh boy. You're probably going to get some really interesting posts on this. Personally, I have a bit of a problem with them as they would never bother to return my calls or emails about a horn I had of theirs...and I've heard too many stories from reliable sources to consider them trustworthy.
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Mrgrzesk
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Mrgrzesk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:25 pm

Oh boy. Thanks for the message. Do you mind if I ask what other types of issues you’re having with them? They responded to my email right away but simply reiterated what was written on their website. Any information is appreciated. I really like the look of the horn but I am a little concerned, especially for $2400
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Matt K
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Matt K » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:37 pm

There were a number of threads on the TTF about them. I'm not sure if they made it into the archives here or not. The reviews were very mixed with a number of people who were immensely satisfied with them and others who were... not.

I will caution against gaining a perception of them based on something at a convention or of someone's impression at a convention. Particularly when Mike et al. weren't present. E.g. WWBW always seems to have a few of these that they keep in pretty poor shape. I've played horns that were actually owned by people that were very good instruments. Note, however, that these were the refurbished/worked on existing models (King 3Bs and the like), not full BAC horns. To the best of my knowledge, I've never known anyone who had a full BAC while I was gigging with them but I've known a number of people who have had work done by them. Possibly more than might be realized as they don't always do the loopy counterweight, but frequently do.

Specs wise, the horn you're interested in seems pretty straightforward. I really don't like their horns appearances... looks quite goofy to me... but I know others really dig the way they look and I too have some horns that are, admittedly, fairly silly looking. So if you're concerned about resale if you don't like it or something, that could potentially be a consideration. They do have some horns that are either gimmikcy or really creative (like the steel bell flares). This doesn't seem to be one of those horns but for some I might also hesitate to buy for the same reason: potential difficulty in reselling. (And maybe extra cost for no actual benefit, but I don't know that to be the case one way or another so I fully reserve judgment in that respect).
Mikebmiller
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Mikebmiller » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:37 pm

They are very active on FB. You could probably find some people on there that have experience with their horns. I think it's cool that they seem to think out of the box a bit with some of their designs. But I have never played one of the horns.
bimmerman
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by bimmerman » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:18 pm

I would want to try before buying, much more so than I would with more benchmark brands.

With the more mainstream horns, you have a better idea of what you're going to get from the horn with respect to intonation, response, sound, and where they might fit in with a band. Eg, Kings have relatively out of tune partials relative to positions but have great projection and rich sound (and a 3rd pos Bb), Bachs have relatively in-tune partials and not as great projection with a denser sound (and no 3rd pos Bb), etc etc. These are wildly general statements, and individual horns vary a lot, but there's a trend. You buy a 2B or 16 or 6H and you have a pretty good idea how it SHOULD behave if it's a good one, and you know good ones are out there.

The BAC stuff is fairly new and uncommon. Could be good horns, could not, but without trying them, I wouldn't be interested. Same with any boutique horn, really. They're good horns, but they're more personalized/able than the standard 3 jazz trombone designs, so until you play them you don't know what you're getting.

My 2c on the matter, anyway.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:38 pm

I work with a guy that plays a BAC full time. He loves it and sounds great on it! I know another monster player that gave up a Rath and and Edwards to play an Elliot Mason horn full time.

I've played a couple of their horns, including a bass. They were pretty good.
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mrdeacon
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by mrdeacon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:34 pm

Neo Bri's impression is similar to the one I have. Having seen all the trombone threads and knowing a couple of cats encounters with them from the tromboneforums it raises some red flags for me.

Combine that with the significant wait time and downpayment you have to pay to get on the wait list, I'd be hesitant to buy a horn sight unseen from them.

Some of their horns really do play well though. It definitely seems like a crap shoot (or at least in the past) if you get a good one or not. Considering you can pick up a brand new custom Lawler or used custom Rath or Shires for a fraction of the cost I would go that route instead.

Burgerbob when did you try one of their basses? I know there are only a handful floating around... did they have one at NAMM? Their newest bass actually intrigues me a bit, looks quite a bit lighter then their first horn. Their first bass had a ridiculous amount of bracing and a strange layout for the valves...
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Pre59
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Pre59 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:37 am

bimmerman wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:18 pm
Bachs have relatively in-tune partials and not as great projection with a denser sound and no 3rd pos Bb
I'll never understand how Bach thought that was ok..
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Vegastokc
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Vegastokc » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:14 am

Since I live in KC, I sort of fell obligated to throw in my $0.02.
To be honest, I really do not know much more than what has already been said.
BAC has a good reputation in town (and around the country) for repairs.
Their retail shop is all the way cross town for me, so haven't had a chance to visit
The factory, however, is in the downtown historic Jazz District. Apparently they have a museum and give tours with appointment. Looking to see if I can convince my kids band director to schedule a field trip that I can chaperone. :biggrin:
I am curious to try them out especially since I am in the market for an F-attachment. It is my understanding that only the Custom line is completely handmade in KC. All other horns from the pro level Artist down are Chinese imports fine tuned in KC factory upon arrival. That is not necessarily a bad thing since Jupiter and Wessex are also Chinese imports that have decent reputations for quality.
There is a Windy City model currently for sale on craigslist KC: https://kansascity.craigslist.org/msg/d ... 22103.html
Have not seen too many on ebay or craigslist lately.
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Mrgrzesk
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Mrgrzesk » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:43 am

Thanks for all the responses, I wasn’t sure if these horns had some kind of secret following, they been around for a few years anyway so I thought if people were buying them I would get some kind of feedback. Either good or not. I guess we will find out, thanks again for all the replies
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Gribnes
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Gribnes » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:53 am

I tried a few BAC at the ITF this last week. A one off dual .525 -.547 straight configuration commanded my attention. I went around the room to get a sense of comparison as best as I could. The BAC had more core and response than any other by far. It has a single bell brace instead of the usual two. I suspect that is one reason amongst many that the horn is so alive. My current go to is a 1929 Conn 14H TIS. The Conn has more rich center focused sound than any horn I have ever owned. This BAC stands next to that. Even though the 14H has a pancake valve section it is close to the aliveness of the BAC. I visited with Mike at BAC to thank him for the fabulous job they did on repairing the slide on the 14H when it was dinged in shipping recently.
This BAC dual bore could go either way for legit/commercial. I played it with a Hammond 11 small shank. KHammonds states this is a 4G Bach equivalent but feels far easier to me.
I inquired further about adding an optional f valve as the 1929 14H tubing/valve are no match for modern generous tube/rotor configurations. I was informed it could be done but either in fixed or convertible the horn would not be as open by comparison, and that is where this particular horn shines. Additionally adding a valve, either fixed or convertible adds nearly 2/3 cost as well.
Bottom line is two thumbs up..
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Matt K
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Matt K » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:22 am

I can understand the 525/57. It's definitely among my favorite combinations of components. I have one for my sort-of-Conn88 style Shires setup that I have and I totally adore it.
bbocaner
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by bbocaner » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:53 am

I'd avoid. I had a terrible experience with them both on what should have been very simple repairs and with a custom instrument. I have no doubt that he and his team are capable of making nice stuff, but I also know that their ethics and customer service skills leave much to be desired.
Jgittleson
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Jgittleson » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:01 am

I had them do repair/minor custom work for me. Price was fair, horn plays well and work was pretty good. There was a couple of small things in the finish i thought could have been done a little better, but i should also say I nit pick things, so I'm not sure everyone would agree with me. Overall it was a positive experience.
chunk
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by chunk » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:48 pm

bbocaner wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:53 am
I'd avoid. I had a terrible experience with them both on what should have been very simple repairs and with a custom instrument. I have no doubt that he and his team are capable of making nice stuff, but I also know that their ethics and customer service skills leave much to be desired.
Ethics are probably my biggest issue, with what I know. You don't claim things that I know he has claimed to me and I know he claimed to someone else.
If someone asked, I could go into detail. But I'd rather keep it at that without prodding.
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dukesboneman
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by dukesboneman » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:52 am

bimmerman wrote: ↑Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:18 pm
Bachs have relatively in-tune partials and not as great projection with a denser sound and no 3rd pos Bb
I beg to differ with you on this. I have 2 bach 12`s, 16MG, 36, 42G and 42BO and all have solid 3rd position Bb`s
and I`ve never had a problem with projection.
Driswood
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Re: Looking for info on the BAC Trombone.

Post by Driswood » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:14 am

dukesboneman wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:52 am
bimmerman wrote: ↑Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:18 pm
Bachs have relatively in-tune partials and not as great projection with a denser sound and no 3rd pos Bb
I beg to differ with you on this. I have 2 bach 12`s, 16MG, 36, 42G and 42BO and all have solid 3rd position Bb`s
and I`ve never had a problem with projection.
Your 12 nails Bb in third. I had a 1985 16M that wouldn't lock in at all. It never worked for me.

UNTIL I put a counterweight on it. Wow. Suddenly, the Bb worked. Not as well as the 5H or 2B I played before it, or my 6H I play now, but it was finally usable.

I have heard that some folks have trouble with Bb in third on the smaller Bachs, but never a problem with a 36 or 42. My 34B was solid as a rock in third.
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