Shires Trombones Today ?

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CharlieB
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Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by CharlieB » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:57 am

I see on another thread that Steve (Stephan) Shires has left the employ of Eastman. I wasn't aware that Eastman had kept him on after their purchase of his company.
I haven't seen any discussion of Shires/Eastman trombones recently. What has happened to the trombones since Eastman acquired Shires? Are the trombones still the same as those made while Steve owned the company? Made at the old factory? Any of the Shires employees kept on? Or, did Eastman buy out Shires for the name/reputation and put it on Asian mass-produced instruments?
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SwissTbone
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by SwissTbone » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:16 am

From what I understand, all the Shires trombones have alway been made at the old factory by the same employees.
Now for the Q Series and the "Eastman by Shires" thats another story.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:24 am

Eastman by Shires are gone and have been for several years.

Shires Custom are made in Massachusetts.

Shires Q parts are made in Massachusetts, then assembled in China.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by bbocaner » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:29 am

Well, they have moved to a new Massachusetts factory since the acquisition, so the term “old factory” is a little misleading, but I haven’t detected any real shift in quality or design since being acquired.
CharlieB
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by CharlieB » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:24 pm

New Massachusetts location, from Shires Online site:

260 Hopping Brook Road, Holliston, MA, 01746, United States 508-634-6805 info@seshires.com
TuckerWoerner
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by TuckerWoerner » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:02 pm

One quick note: most people seem to think the Q-Series instruments are comparable to the past intermediate models offered. They are on par with Xenos, Strads, etc. in build quality, sound, and price.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by castrubone » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:30 pm

When I visited the factory I was told that even some of the small parts used on the custom line are made in China now. Possibly the crooks for handslides and maybe tuning slides, can't remember exactly what they said.

The Q series is certainly similar in price to Bach 42s, Xenos, Getzen's and 88H's but the comparison ends there. I recommend the latter to my students and steer them clear of the former.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:44 pm

I'm not a fan of the "China" part of the Q series, but it's hard to deny that they are really great horns, especially for the price. I don't think I would recommend a worse horn over a Q.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by Tbarh » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:11 am

But, who's in charge?
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by whitbey » Mon May 04, 2020 7:06 am

Who is the design guy now?
Not a big fan of anything China anymore.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by bassboy » Mon May 04, 2020 8:16 am

I remember being told that a number of Shires parts were being made in China, well before Eastman took over.

That being said, I know several folks who have gotten new Shires horns over the last few years and they sound great and feel good about the quality of their respective instruments.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by GabrielRice » Mon May 04, 2020 11:57 am

bassboy wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:16 am
I remember being told that a number of Shires parts were being made in China, well before Eastman took over.
Miniball linkages. And not even all of them.

Older models of cases.

AFAIK that's it. And I was there most days for a lot of that time.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by bassboy » Mon May 04, 2020 1:48 pm

GabeLangfur wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 11:57 am
bassboy wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:16 am
I remember being told that a number of Shires parts were being made in China, well before Eastman took over.
Miniball linkages. And not even all of them.

Older models of cases.

AFAIK that's it. And I was there most days for a lot of that time.
My mistake.
I wasn't trying to disparage Shires build quality or reputation. In rereading my comment, I definitely could have worded that differently.
To be clear, I love Shires' horns. My own of 8 years I still feel to be the best instrument for me. That said, if I were in the market for a new horn, a new Shires today would still be my first choice.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by BurckhardtS » Mon May 04, 2020 2:35 pm

I believe Shires still uses almost all Steve's designs still.
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Bach42t
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by Bach42t » Wed May 06, 2020 11:43 am

Well you sort of know that the Eastman-Shires relationship may have hurt the brand image when many a used Shires are sold with the description as "pre-Eastman Shires". I quite frankly don't care, as long as parts are quality and readily available. There are some other nuance for example, the engraving used to be hand-engraved in the 00s which has nothing to do with Eastman.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by Digidog » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:05 pm

Well, I'm considering custom ordering a Shires. I hope it still will be possible to do that when the pandemic has petered out.....

I'm thinking a sterling silver bell, .500 bore, nickel silver outer slide..... I haven't thought through all available options for taper, beads et.c. yet, but I've got time.

Am I on to something with that, ya think??
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by GabrielRice » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:04 pm

Digidog wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:05 pm
Well, I'm considering custom ordering a Shires. I hope it still will be possible to do that when the pandemic has petered out.....

I'm thinking a sterling silver bell, .500 bore, nickel silver outer slide..... I haven't thought through all available options for taper, beads et.c. yet, but I've got time.

Am I on to something with that, ya think??
Yes. Those small bores with sterling bells are pretty great.

Shires is still Shires. AFIK all the parts of the custom instruments that were made in the factory when I worked there are still made in the factory - which is everything except miniballs and cast parts like waterkeys.

Steve was not running the day-to-day even for the last couple of years before he decided it was time to leave. The production manager is James Monaghan, who has worked for the company in various capacities since about 2004. The bell spinner (Steve's hands-on production job when I was there) is a guy named Rodrigo (I don't know his last name) who was trained by Steve.

Eastman was founded and is owned by a man who was born in China but went to college in the US and has lived here ever since. Eastman is also the parent company of Haynes Flutes, which are still made near Boston and have seen a resurgence under the new ownership. Everything I've seen suggests that Eastman recognizes the value of the Shires brand and will protect it.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by BrianJohnston » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:28 am

My custom shires tenor from 2015 is one of the greatest horns i've ever played on. Only horns i've liked better are Jay Friedman's Corp Bach from 1971 & my buddy in San Francisco ballet who's got a 1978 corp. I've heard maybe the shires horns are a bit different from a few years back, but they still sound fine to me.
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Re: Shires Trombones Today ?

Post by WGWTR180 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:00 am

For those who criticize the "China" aspect of certain companies some of you have a long list of instruments made by certain manufacturers who claim that everything is made in america. Might be true. But the origin of the metal is another thing. Do your research. :)
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