Slide end bumper?

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BrianJohnston
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Slide end bumper?

Post by BrianJohnston »

Ok, the bumper at the end of the slide that keeps it from sliding from underneath you when it's rested on the ground...

Does it make a "noticeable" sound difference on and off?

I'm only re-bringing this ridiculous can of worms to the forefront because I've noticed many major trombone sections play WITHOUT them. I want to double check what the popular opinion is.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by norbie2018 »

Try it for yourself. I felt there was an improvement in response, but nothing came through that I could notice when recording. Feeling more secure in the high range isn't a bad deal for the cost.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Burgerbob »

Everything makes a difference. Whether it's worth it is up to you.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Doug Elliott »

Business opportunity - slide bumpers in different materials and weights.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Posaunus »

Doug Elliott wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:44 pm Business opportunity - slide bumpers in different materials and weights.
And shapes. Remember - some of us listen with our eyes!
Last edited by Posaunus on Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by ithinknot »

Get yourself a nice pink one that doubles as a long range eraser

BrianJohnston wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:32 pm Does it make a "noticeable" sound difference on and off?
Yes, the slide hitting the floor is noticeably louder with it off


I'm all for freedom of conscience on this issue, but the idea that "popular opinion" would be of interest is, well, interesting...
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by GabrielRice »

I took it off in college and never put one back on. I notice a small difference.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by BGuttman »

I don't play well enough to notice the difference, but I like having it there so my slide doesn't move around on the floor when I'm in rest position. Note that the Martin in my avatar doesn't have provision for one.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by hornbuilder »

"I" vary more, day to day, than the difference made by the bumper.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 »

When I remove the rubber bumper on most trombones, I feel like my attacks are more immediate and I have a little more articulation clarity. However, it appears to be mostly my personal feedback. When I played with and without the rubber bumper for some of my brass playing peers (they are solid musicians) in a concert hall, they heard no difference.

However, I have heard from other players that have tested instruments with and without bumpers for peers musicians and the observers did notice a difference in clarity. Of course, different performance venues can create favorable or unfavorable conditions to hear subtle differences in sound.

I like the way some of my horns play without the rubber bumper. In the end, I choose to keep the bumpers on because I am fearful that I will rest the slide on a hard surface floor and the bumperless crook guard will slide around and cause damage to the crook and/or slide!
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Doug Elliott »

ithinknot wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:14 pm Get yourself a nice pink one that doubles as a long range eraser
That was actually the first thing I thought of.

I often move the music on the stand with my slide bumper. That doesn"t work without it.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by ithinknot »

Doug Elliott wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 9:27 pm I often move the music on the stand with my slide bumper. That doesn"t work without it.
But without it you can skewer the small mammals that prowl the cafetorium - sure, it's a trade-off, but it's still a free lunch
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by DonH »

I remember something about looking for hair on your palms....
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by greenbean »

I have one bumper that is blue! I don’t know where I got it, but it is the best playing bumper of all the ones I have. Very resonant.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by calcbone »

My bass definitely responds better for me without it.

I haven't really bothered experimenting with it on my other horns. My Bach 8 didn't have one when I got it. My 36 is VERY lively, so I wouldn't want to try it without the bumper. In any case, I've avoided resting my horn on the slide for many years, so sliding on the floor isn't an issue :good:
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by LIBrassCo »

Doug Elliott wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:44 pm Business opportunity - slide bumpers in different materials and weights.
Hold my beer
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by KWL »

(Checking calendar) Nope, not April 1st.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Posaunus »

greenbean wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:02 am I have one bumper that is blue! I don’t know where I got it, but it is the best playing bumper of all the ones I have. Very resonant.
I have a blue rubber plunger. I use it when playing jazz and blues. Very fine match! I can really color my tone :good:
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Danitrb »

It's so hard to notice differences while you play with or without a tiny piece of bumper. I'm sure if you listen without looking, or play with a blindfold wouldn't notice any difference. Maybe people who notice difference have put it in their head that playing without bumper will make them play better. It's just a mental trigger. Put the bumper on end of slide and protect the floor of your home or any other rooms.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Kbiggs »

The placebo effect is real.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by GabrielRice »

I stand by my earlier comment. I'm a very good player and I notice a difference.

Two of the best trombone players I've ever heard - Scott Hartman and John Kitzman - are adamant about removing the slide bumper. Kitzman used to remove them from the slides of all his students and keep them in a drawer in his office at SMU.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by BrianJohnston »

I "like" how this has become a "joke" comment thread.

I'm serious about my question. It's discussed at a higher level, and definitely not placebo effect.
Last edited by BrianJohnston on Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Kdanielsen »

BrianJohnston wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:31 pm I "like" how this has become a "joke" comment thread by many trombonists who probably can barely play their instruments.

I'm serious about my question. It's discussed at a higher level, and definitely not placebo effect.
Not placebo. I can feel the difference. Not sure anyone can hear it.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by greenbean »

Man, I had no idea! Sorry if my jokey comment was disrespectful. I have never heard of this. I do recall a thread or two on the old TTF but they were not very serious.

More seriously... I suspect that, like a lot of equipment tweaks, the difference can be heard from behind the bell but much less so - or not at all - in front of the bell.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by WGWTR180 »

BrianJohnston wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:31 pm I "like" how this has become a "joke" comment thread by many trombonists who probably can barely play their instruments.

I'm serious about my question. It's discussed at a higher level, and definitely not placebo effect.
Maybe this has turned humorous but I wouldn’t assume the level of someone’s playing that you don’t know.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by BGuttman »

Each time we have had this discussion we get people who claim they can hear/feel a difference. Generally these are people with a lot of time on the horn playing at very elevated levels. For us plebiana, it probably makes no difference. For those of you who can hear a difference, good luck however you choose to play.

Personally, I would doubt that the presence or absence of the bumper is going to be the margin that makes you win a prestigious audition but if it makes you happy you will play better and that would make the difference.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by JohnL »

Has anyone ever tried cutting/filing off the boss that holds the bumper? Or even removing the entire crook guard?
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Doug Elliott »

Has anybody tried a blind test and been right 100%?
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Danitrb »

My comment was not joking. I have thought many times about this and my conclusion is: if I were blindfolded I would not notice any difference. Almost all top players play with bumpers.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by ithinknot »

BrianJohnston wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:31 pm I "like" how this has become a "joke" comment thread by many trombonists who probably can barely play their instruments.

I'm serious about my question. It's discussed at a higher level, and definitely not placebo effect.
Oh, fine: I'll return to my original - and entirely serious - point.

As a serious player, if the difference is meaningful and significant to you on whichever grounds... why do you need to ask?


I would never claim that the change couldn't be noticed. Certainly, minor weight changes at the crook end have a relatively significant effect on ergonomics given the leverage involved. Last year I rebuilt a slide with a slightly heavier crook arrangement (somewhere around 8g, IIRC) and it felt like a completely different beast in the hand. I don't doubt that a back-to-back difference of 2g or so could be noticeable on a well aligned slide with which one is familiar. Whether any difference in response is significant at a level that survives blind testing or outweighs the practical/precautionary function of the bumper is another matter.

It's interesting that Thein always uses especially large spherical bumpers, presumably to make the response especially bad. Or is that what makes them so expensive?

And from the serious world of applied physics: have you considered the degree to which excess water key spring tension is affecting the vibrational mechanics of your slide crook? Enjoy the nightmares.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by SimmonsTrombone »

I was always taught the slide should never touch the floor, so I don’t find the bumpers necessary.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by LIBrassCo »

Doug Elliott wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:41 am Has anybody tried a blind test and been right 100%?
There's no way, I'd take that bet right now. I'd take the same bet for a slide lock too.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Matt K »

I'm not saying that this is directly comparable to this, but there is precedent for people at very high levels of performance to still be influenced by something that I believe to completely or at least majorly be the placebo effect in the form of "balance hologram braclets" from about a decade ago:
power balance.jpg
At least a few athletes believed (or maybe still do?) that a hologram bracelet increased their balance and energy levels.
“I don’t know how it does what it does,” said Odom, who turned Lakers Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar onto the bands. “But wearing it helps my agility and has kept me from falling to the floor as much as I used to. I feel more energy and flexibility. So every game, I wear Power Balance.”
Source: https://www.ocregister.com/2010/06/14/p ... must-have/

I think there's a much more compelling basis that a firm piece of rubber at a critical point of an instrument can alter how something it's attached to vibrates. However, I don't anticipate that someone would be able to perceive the difference on the other side of the bell with 80-90% consistency while blindfolded. I likewise find the difference to be at least perceivable on the player side. Still, as mentioned, I doubt I'd be able to consistently identify which was which while blindfolded.

Remember that the crook itself is not very heavy, so a rubber nipple may constitute some meaningful percentage of its overall weight. A couple of things that someone could try if they were so inclined would be to see if:

1) Is the change as obvious if the nipple is comically large (perhaps like a light foam ball)? Or filled with material (but still light), such as a stress ball filled with water or sand?
2) If the tip is removed and replaced with a small piece of something such as masking tape?
3) If the tip is likewise attached to the crook, but not by sliding it over the tip, but perhaps taped to the crook? (In other words, is the tightness of the rubber against the tip causing it to dampen sound? Or is it the actual mass of the rubber?)

If all of these consistently change the sound, I would suggest that it is likely not completely placebo. With something so small, though, I doubt anyone would be completely impervious to a placebo even if the effects themselves are real (in other words, the effect could be possibly exaggerated rather than manufactured).

Although... the benefit to proving or disproving placebo may be dubious. Placebo is such a strong influence that people who know that they are receiving a placebo still have physiologically, measurable response to it. Therefore, if you think removing the nipple will help your playing, even if it does not, it will.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by bigbandbone »

I never let my slide touch the floor, so when I built my slide I went with a light weight guard without a bumper.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Kdanielsen »

I will say that my alto, which is very light, has a huge solid rubber spherical bumper. It’s goofy looking. That definitely changes things a lot. It’s better with it on.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by biggiesmalls »

I often buy horns with missing slide bumpers.

As a compromise between a big soft bumper and nothing at all, for years I have been using a short length of shrink tubing, cut a few millimeters longer than the bumper boss, shrunk onto the boss with a heat gun or a few quick passes with a butane lighter. Available in multiple colors at most auto parts stores for those who are into making a fashion statement. Being a traditionalist, I usually just go with black.

Never really considered how it affects the sound or response of the horn, but I do like the way the shrink tubing keeps the tip of the slide from sliding around on the floor.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 »

ithinknot
And from the serious world of applied physics: have you considered the degree to which excess water key spring tension is affecting the vibrational mechanics of your slide crook? Enjoy the nightmares.
Actually…….yes. I like King water keys. Why? Because they have almost infinite flexibility in how you can bend/adjust them and attain the perfect angle of alignment with the water key nipple. Thus, I have replaced many other brand water keys with Kings. Granted…..they are larger and heavier (they are solid brass) than other brands (many other brands are nickel). I just like the way that they can be bent to accommodate corks of assorted heights without resoldering the water key saddle.

The problem……..the standard size spring that is sold to accompany the King water keys is ridiculously too strong. So strong that I refuse to install it at its original tension. I go through a ritual of bending and twisting the springs to reduce the tension before installing them.

Does it make an acoustical difference? I really have no idea. My primary reason for doing is to reduce the probability that the spring will pop the solder connection of the saddle loose! I imagine that the original tension of the King springs would place a lot of stress on the crook and impact the sound.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by WGWTR180 »

biggiesmalls wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:12 am I often buy horns with missing slide bumpers.

As a compromise between a big soft bumper and nothing at all, for years I have been using a short length of shrink tubing, cut a few millimeters longer than the bumper boss, shrunk onto the boss with a heat gun or a few quick passes with a butane lighter. Available in multiple colors at most auto parts stores for those who are into making a fashion statement. Being a traditionalist, I usually just go with black.

Never really considered how it affects the sound or response of the horn, but I do like the way the shrink tubing keeps the tip of the slide from sliding around on the floor.
Some here would say that heating the bottom of the slide will also affect the sound. Should this be a new thread? :lol:
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by elmsandr »

Kdanielsen wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:38 pm
BrianJohnston wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:31 pm I "like" how this has become a "joke" comment thread by many trombonists who probably can barely play their instruments.

I'm serious about my question. It's discussed at a higher level, and definitely not placebo effect.
Not placebo. I can feel the difference. Not sure anyone can hear it.
So, not to be argumentative, but just because you perceive a difference, does not mean that it isn’t just placebo effect.

To wit, there was a recent medical study to define the strength of the placebo effect for some particular condition. For this, they even told some participants they were getting only a placebo. There was still a perceived and measureable effect.

That said, I would be happy if I could perceive any difference in my horns with and without. I haven’t really tested personally. I have been up close and personal with 10’s of ‘$000s of recording equipment with some mentioned is thread…. It doesn’t come through the mics. But if it works for you, go for it

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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Kdanielsen »

elmsandr wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:35 pm
Kdanielsen wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:38 pm

Not placebo. I can feel the difference. Not sure anyone can hear it.
So, not to be argumentative, but just because you perceive a difference, does not mean that it isn’t just placebo effect.

To wit, there was a recent medical study to define the strength of the placebo effect for some particular condition. For this, they even told some participants they were getting only a placebo. There was still a perceived and measureable effect.

That said, I would be happy if I could perceive any difference in my horns with and without. I haven’t really tested personally. I have been up close and personal with 10’s of ‘$000s of recording equipment with some mentioned is thread…. It doesn’t come through the mics. But if it works for you, go for it

Cheers,
Andy

Dude you are WINNING at trombone forum now! Good work!

But you spelled "measurable" wrong so negative '000s of points...

It's impossible to measure how my trombone feels to me. It's not medical science. It's not even any sort of science. It's perception and it's art and it's subjective. I'm not going to claim anyone can hear a difference between having the rubber thingy on or off (regardless of microphone cost), but I do think that some people can feel the difference at their chops. If we are going to say that everything about trombone equipment that is unquantifiable or unprovable in terms of feel is placebo effect, and in turn assume that those things do nothing because they are placebo, where does that leave us?

If it works for you to ignore how your equipment feels, go for it.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by harrisonreed »

This thread is ridiculous, not the premise, but just the whole circus going on here. It's absolutely worth trying out for yourself, but not something to get hung up on. Here's some anecdotal evidence why:

I noticed that the Pershing's Own all played Alessi 396's, and we're using the counterweight harmonic brace to hold their ear plugs. That doesn't mean that it's something to notate and seriously consider as meaning anything at the professional level. That's just a funny thing they were doing.

A section having no bumpers on their slides is the same thing. It doesn't matter. They could be doing it to prevent a disaster like having the slide bumper accidentally wind up in the rotor during transport in the case. It's happened to me. Halfway through a set my trombone broke -- flat out stopped making noise in the middle of a solo -- and it turned out that the slide bumper was INSIDE my F rotor. It must've popped off putting the slide away. Imagine if that happened in the middle of an orchestra gig! Take it off. Problem solved.

I bet the section would feel bad if their artistry and approach was tied to a question about whether the slide bumper is on their trombones or not. Those poor folks.

Someone related a story about Christian Lindberg one time. He does all kinds of crazy things, like wrapping up his bell, using heavy valve caps, wearing crazy outfits, using a silver trombone with gold trim. What have you. Anyways, in a review of one of his concerts, the critic just talked about how the color of the inside of his bell was different than the outside. And for a very long time after that you would see Lindberg appear with no gold accents on his trombone, and he stopped using the bell wraps. Poor guy must've been horrified that his concert was boiled down to "his trombone was gold inside the bell, but silver outside". And to tell you the truth, he sounded like Christian Lindberg either way. No idea if that story is true, but it's somewhere on here.

No consensus will be reached here on the subject, and that is for the best. Do what works best for you. Only you can answer the question for yourself, of it it makes a difference or not.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by henrysa »

That's enough, I'm taking the Oedipus self-imposed punishment and gouging my eyes out, never to see or not see crook nipples again as an additional bonus punishment.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Matt K »

Harrison, are you suggesting that my dressing like a clown when I practice all this time HASN'T made my playing better? This would be a disappointing revelation to me.
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by harrisonreed »

Matt K wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:35 am Harrison, are you suggesting that my dressing like a clown when I practice all this time HASN'T made my playing better? This would be a disappointing revelation to me.
No I'm saying that only you can discover if it makes it better or not. Others be damned!

:D
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Matt K »

Big relief. I have decided to try to be a little more efficient, I'm thinking that I can replace putting on my clown nose and instead switch to something like this: https://brasstache.com/collections/shop ... n-and-tuba

Image
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by elmsandr »

Kdanielsen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:20 pm
elmsandr wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:35 pm
So, not to be argumentative, but just because you perceive a difference, does not mean that it isn’t just placebo effect.

To wit, there was a recent medical study to define the strength of the placebo effect for some particular condition. For this, they even told some participants they were getting only a placebo. There was still a perceived and measureable effect.

That said, I would be happy if I could perceive any difference in my horns with and without. I haven’t really tested personally. I have been up close and personal with 10’s of ‘$000s of recording equipment with some mentioned is thread…. It doesn’t come through the mics. But if it works for you, go for it

Cheers,
Andy

Dude you are WINNING at trombone forum now! Good work!

But you spelled "measurable" wrong so negative '000s of points...

It's impossible to measure how my trombone feels to me. It's not medical science. It's not even any sort of science. It's perception and it's art and it's subjective. I'm not going to claim anyone can hear a difference between having the rubber thingy on or off (regardless of microphone cost), but I do think that some people can feel the difference at their chops. If we are going to say that everything about trombone equipment that is unquantifiable or unprovable in terms of feel is placebo effect, and in turn assume that those things do nothing because they are placebo, where does that leave us?

If it works for you to ignore how your equipment feels, go for it.
My dude… I’m not arguing with you! I’m just trying to share what can be quantified and measured for known placebos. If we spent the millions on a trombone trial that they do on drug trials, we could measure it. Even a subjective “do you feel like this is better” is a measurement of sorts. And if it works, use it!

My theory on this is that we alter our inputs based on feedback that is very small and difficult to measure. There are tools (here I mean data analysis tools) we can use to define those interactions, even on very subjective outputs… but it would take a lot of time and $$ for probably very little conclusive, measurable results.

If I were to argue on this.. I might take offense to the leap from having a slide bumper to “ignoring how your equipment feels”. Seems like there might be a few steps between the two. :D much like a recent comment I had with one of Burgerbob’s reviews, I agree with all your points, I just chose a different result.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by baileyman »

Looking forward to the study examining the placement of the rubber bumper and its effect, and the number of such bumpers, and their orientation to each other and significance of same. It may show that one bumper precisely centered on the end of the slide crook is the only place where there is significance.
Kdanielsen
Posts: 405
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:35 pm
Location: New England

Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Kdanielsen »

elmsandr wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:26 am
Kdanielsen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:20 pm


Dude you are WINNING at trombone forum now! Good work!

But you spelled "measurable" wrong so negative '000s of points...

It's impossible to measure how my trombone feels to me. It's not medical science. It's not even any sort of science. It's perception and it's art and it's subjective. I'm not going to claim anyone can hear a difference between having the rubber thingy on or off (regardless of microphone cost), but I do think that some people can feel the difference at their chops. If we are going to say that everything about trombone equipment that is unquantifiable or unprovable in terms of feel is placebo effect, and in turn assume that those things do nothing because they are placebo, where does that leave us?

If it works for you to ignore how your equipment feels, go for it.
My dude… I’m not arguing with you! I’m just trying to share what can be quantified and measured for known placebos. If we spent the millions on a trombone trial that they do on drug trials, we could measure it. Even a subjective “do you feel like this is better” is a measurement of sorts. And if it works, use it!

My theory on this is that we alter our inputs based on feedback that is very small and difficult to measure. There are tools (here I mean data analysis tools) we can use to define those interactions, even on very subjective outputs… but it would take a lot of time and $$ for probably very little conclusive, measurable results.

If I were to argue on this.. I might take offense to the leap from having a slide bumper to “ignoring how your equipment feels”. Seems like there might be a few steps between the two. :D much like a recent comment I had with one of Burgerbob’s reviews, I agree with all your points, I just chose a different result.

Cheers,
Andy
I was crabby when I wrote that. Sorry! This rubber bumper topic gets me all riled up…
Kris Danielsen D.M.A.

Freelance Musician & Educator
droffilcal
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:41 am

Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by droffilcal »

I heard that Kitzman would listen to his students play with and without bumper and was always able to tell the difference without looking.

Does anyone know if this is true?
Posaunus
Posts: 2762
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Location: California

Re: Slide end bumper?

Post by Posaunus »

I guess it's time to perform that experiment I've been postponing on the acoustic effect of rotary valve stop bumper materials. Cork, Plastic, Rubber (Neoprene, Buna-N, EPDM, Viton, ...), Silicone, ...
I'm sure there will be a difference. But will I be able to hear it? Will the audience hear it? Does anyone care?
:idk:
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