History of King bass trombones

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BflatBass
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History of King bass trombones

Post by BflatBass » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:15 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but I'll give it a try.

For those that know about King trombone history, my question is this. Was the Duo Gravis the first two valve bass trombone for King? If not, what came before it and since the Duo Gravis is also a 6B, was there ever a 6B that wasn't a Duo Gravis and visa verse? I'm sure that the distinctions here may not be clearly defined but at the least maybe I can learn something from those in the know.

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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:21 pm

The 6B was the first dual valve bass made by King.

The Symphony (dual 0.536/0.547) was considered a single valve bass, but by today's standards is way too small.

The 7B and 8B were introduced in the mid 1970s as independent dual valve basses (the difference being bell diameter).
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by imsevimse » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:31 am

BGuttman wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:21 pm
The 6B was the first dual valve bass made by King.

The Symphony (dual 0.536/0.547) was considered a single valve bass, but by today's standards is way too small.

The 7B and 8B were introduced in the mid 1970s as independent dual valve basses (the difference being bell diameter).
Not a King but very close to it and as I've heard built on the King tooling is the Benge 290 indi dual valve bass. It is a better version of the 8B. It has been said "Benge is the best of King and Conn" and that is indeed true. From what I've heard Benge was a successful trumpet brand and did not build trombones before they were bought by King and later when King, Conn and Benge were under the same roof they used King and Conn parts to build their best indipendent double valved bass ever, the Benge 290. Unfortunately the Benge brand was abandoned and the bass model was put into the grave. Not because it was bad but because of tactic and strategic reasons. The company decided all basses and large bore trombones should be Conns and small bores should be King. They kept some popular models but all the King basses were abandoned and all the Benge instruments. The Benge bass is more of a symphonic King than close to a Conn when it plays.

/Tom
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:30 am

Tom, the question was "which was the first". The Benge 290 came much later -- after I bought my 7B.

I agree with your assessment. Benge trombones were excellent. It's a shame they didn't sell better.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by Bonearzt » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:00 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:30 am
Tom, the question was "which was the first". The Benge 290 came much later -- after I bought my 7B.

I agree with your assessment. Benge trombones were excellent. It's a shame they didn't sell better.
Agreed!!!

Benge are WAY underrated horns!!! Just sold a 290 to a local high school, and the assistant, also a trombone player, was amazed at the playability & sound!!


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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by imsevimse » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:35 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:30 am
Tom, the question was "which was the first". The Benge 290 came much later -- after I bought my 7B.

I agree with your assessment. Benge trombones were excellent. It's a shame they didn't sell better.
The question was the "History of King Bass trombones". I know the Benge 290 is not a King and I also know it came after the King 8B. Still I think it is related to the history of King bass trombones because it feels and plays very King like and it is built on King parts and with King tooling. All these trombones are now history and the Benge 290 got in the mix a while before the end of all the King basses and all the King basses and the Benge 290 were put in the grave by the same company at the same time. That's also history they share.

Since the Benge are underrated and people don't know much of them they go under the radar. They do deserve better on the after market. I have a King 6B and a Benge 290 and at least one of each of the Benge tenor models. I can compare them with a 2b, 2b+, a Silvertone 2b, and a couple of 3b's and the memory of 4b's and 5b's I've tried. The Benge share essentially much the same characteristics with King. The large bore Benge, 547 and bass are a tad more symphonic and the triggers and valves are much better. That's the main difference.

/Tom
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:38 pm

Was the 6B called the 6B at first? I was under the impression it was just the Duo Gravis for the first few years.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by sungfw » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:30 pm

imsevimse wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:35 pm
BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:30 am
Tom, the question was "which was the first". The Benge 290 came much later -- after I bought my 7B.

I agree with your assessment. Benge trombones were excellent. It's a shame they didn't sell better.
The question was the "History of King Bass trombones".
Eh, not so much: the TOPIC is "History of King bass trombones"; the QUESTION(S) was (were):
Was the Duo Gravis the first two valve bass trombone for King? If not, what came before it and since the Duo Gravis is also a 6B, was there ever a 6B that wasn't a Duo Gravis and visa verse [sic]?
The relative merits of the Benge and this Conn/King/Benge history are interesting tangents (and probably worthy of their own threads), but they're not really relevant to the OP's question.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by DougHulme » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:29 am

I personally dont have any knowledge of a double valve king before the Duo Gravis. But what do i know!
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by greenbean » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:38 am

I have never heard of a King double-valve bass marketed before the Duo Gravis!...

But I do remember reading on the old TTF that the Duo Gravis was designated the 7B for a brief period. Why?... Just to confuse future generations, I am sure!

EDIT: I just confirmed (an early 70's King catalog) that the Duo Gravis was introduced as:

1490 King 7-B Duo Gravis
1490S King 7-B Duo Gravis with sterling silver bell (no mention of "Silver Sonic")
Last edited by greenbean on Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by imsevimse » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:42 am

sungfw wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:30 pm
The relative merits of the Benge and this Conn/King/Benge history are interesting tangents (and probably worthy of their own threads), but they're not really relevant to the OP's question.
I should maybe apologise to the OP and start a new thread then? 🤔 I know people get ideas for new threads by reading old threads. I have personally picked up a lot of things that is interesting in threads besides the first question. Anyway the title got me inspired to write about the 290 for anyone interested in the fate of the great King basses and their relationship to the Benge bass. There is not much more to add about doubled valved King basses before the 6b and not much to add about their relation with the Benge 290 either, if not some guy who knows specific details adds to this thread and that's when this thread could become interesting. Oh, wait he should make that note in another thread started by someone asking that specific question. Either that or be forever quiet 😃 You can be annoyed about anything apparently even thoughts shared for free in the wrong context

/Tom
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by sungfw » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:16 am

imsevimse wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:42 am
sungfw wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:30 pm
The relative merits of the Benge and this Conn/King/Benge history are interesting tangents (and probably worthy of their own threads), but they're not really relevant to the OP's question.
I should maybe apologise to the OP and start a new thread then? 🤔
No, just recognize/acknowledge that it's tangential to the question under consideration.

Tangents within a thread can be useful and informative, but, out of courtesy to the OP (which, on another occasion may be you or I), they should remain that: tangents. When they derail a thread to the point that they become a primary focus of discussion (like this is threatening to do, if it hasn't already done so), they probably should be forked to their own thread.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by flotrb » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:11 am

Your Honor: I would like to enter Exhibit A
DuoGravis Patent.pdf
(1.01 MiB) Downloaded 101 times
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by flotrb » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:06 am

Exhibits B & C:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11265&p=92222&hilit=flotrb#p92222
1971 King catalog.JPG
1971 King catalog.JPG (21.94 KiB) Viewed 2114 times
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by flotrb » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:21 am

...and in; summation, King Symphony Bass trombones 1924-1964:

http://www.hnwhite.com/Trombone%20Page.htm#Bass

Thank you for your attention, I rest my case.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by JohnL » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:08 am

flotrb wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:11 am
Your Honor: I would like to enter Exhibit A
DuoGravis Patent.pdf
Not exactly a Duo Gravis patent, as the linkage described was never actually used. It does bear a resemblance to what's now called the Haynor (sp?) grip.

The fact that George McCracken went to the trouble of developing this design suggests that there were complaints about the DG linkage.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by SwissTbone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am

Another tangent: are there more desirable periods of Duo Gravis than others?
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by BGuttman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:56 am

flotrb wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:21 am
...and in; summation, King Symphony Bass trombones 1924-1964:

http://www.hnwhite.com/Trombone%20Page.htm#Bass

Thank you for your attention, I rest my case.
All the models mentioned were single valve instruments. Original question was whether the Duo Gravis was the first double valve bass from King (it was).
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by flotrb » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:49 pm

"A picture is worth a thousand words."
Attachments
King 6B Model #2106 Bb-F-D dependent.jpg
King 6B Model #2106 Bb-F-D dependent.jpg (138.68 KiB) Viewed 1952 times
1981 King 7B Model #2107  Bb-F-Gb-D inline.jpg
1981 King 7B Model #2107 Bb-F-Gb-D inline.jpg (107.17 KiB) Viewed 1952 times
1985 King  8B Model       # 2108    Bb-F-Gb-D inline.jpg
1985 King 8B Model # 2108 Bb-F-Gb-D inline.jpg (184.45 KiB) Viewed 1952 times
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by flotrb » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:56 pm

...and the winner!
I do not recall any of the King bass trombones models having the designation "Duo Gravis" (on the bell), with the exception of the 1490S 7B Duo Gravis Bb/F/D, which first appeared in the June 15, 1971 catalog.
Attachments
1971 King Duo Gravis 7B Model #1490S  Bb-F-D dependent.jpg
1971 King Duo Gravis 7B Model #1490S Bb-F-D dependent.jpg (2.78 MiB) Viewed 1952 times
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by euphobone » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:29 pm

George McCracken, who designed the Duo Gravis, and I think the 4B and 5B as we now know them (both .547, the 5B having the Larger "Symphony Bell"), is still alive, building custom French Horns. I have contacted him before, maybe I can get him to give me some information on the 6B development. I know for sure the valve attachments on the 4B, 5B, and 6B maintain their respective bore size. And that's how Mr. McCraken believed it should be, a true straight bore size. I read somewhere that his counterpart, who I think helped design the 7B/8B but definitely the Benge Bass, disagreed about the bore size, and maintained the standard .562/.580 was the best design.
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by elmsandr » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:54 am

flotrb wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:56 pm
...and the winner!
I do not recall any of the King bass trombones models having the designation "Duo Gravis" (on the bell), with the exception of the 1490S 7B Duo Gravis Bb/F/D, which first appeared in the June 15, 1971 catalog.
Oh, there are a LOT of Duo-Gravis engraved dependent '6B' type horns (if King had a consistent definition of 6B and 7B, that would be convenient here).

I would wager most engraved that way are the Dependent version rather than the independent version.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:33 am

As far as I know the Indy 7B was never engraved "Duo Gravis". I have one from 1980 and I think it's early in the model run. Mine simply says "2107".

I think the Duo Gravis label was only applied to the Dependent model(s).
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Re: History of King bass trombones

Post by elmsandr » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:21 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:33 am
As far as I know the Indy 7B was never engraved "Duo Gravis". I have one from 1980 and I think it's early in the model run. Mine simply says "2107".

I think the Duo Gravis label was only applied to the Dependent model(s).
I have a picture saved of at least one early independent horn engraved Duo-Gravis. It is on a USB hard drive and my USB socket is out of commission or I'd post it..

Cheers,
Andy
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