Shires has partnered with Willson

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Macbone1
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Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Macbone1 »

I saw this news in my FB feed. What does either brand have to gain by partnering? Both are purveyors of high end, very expensively crafted instruments. Won't one brand "cannibalize" the other? Anyone have any insights?
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by bitbckt »

“Partnering” in this case means Eastman is buying Willson, as they did Shires. What that means for either remains to be seen.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Macbone1 »

Thanks. Jeez, why didn't they just say that plainly....
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by spencercarran »

It does say plainly on Willson's website that they are being purchased by Eastman (which has also been the parent company of Shires for some time now). Curious what this will mean for the Shires Q euphoniums, since my understanding was that the Q41 was developed with an intent to compete against the Willson 2900.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Macbone1 »

That's the product cannibalizing I was referring to....I wonder how that will be handled. I've played on Shires products and have had the privilege of trying a Willson symphonic tenor in Europe back in the 1990s. Very nice instrument, lots of emphasis on light weight and ergonomics. Inner slide tubes were either highly polished bare brass or some kind of gold colored plating - not chrome or nickel.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by elmsandr »

Macbone1 wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:57 am That's the product cannibalizing I was referring to....I wonder how that will be handled. I've played on Shires products and have had the privilege of trying a Willson symphonic tenor in Europe back in the 1990s. Very nice instrument, lots of emphasis on light weight and ergonomics. Inner slide tubes were either highly polished bare brass or some kind of gold colored plating - not chrome or nickel.
TiN coating (Titanium Nitride). Very common industrial coating with a VERY low coefficient of friction.

Cheers,
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by rabiddolphin »

spencercarran wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:03 am It does say plainly on Willson's website that they are being purchased by Eastman (which has also been the parent company of Shires for some time now). Curious what this will mean for the Shires Q euphoniums, since my understanding was that the Q41 was developed with an intent to compete against the Willson 2900.
It'll work almost exactly to what Schilke did with Greenhoe. The Shires Q series euphoniums will most likely be rebranded to say Willson on the bell.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Kbiggs »

elmsandr wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 10:47 am
TiN coating (Titanium Nitride). Very common industrial coating with a VERY low coefficient of friction.

Cheers,
Andy
Does it have a lower coefficient of friction than the chrome-plating of most inner trombone slide? If so, I wonder why it isn’t used more often? I know it’s less toxic to make and apply than chrome plating. Is it more expensive to produce and apply?
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by ithinknot »

Kbiggs wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 10:57 am Does it have a lower coefficient of friction than the chrome-plating of most inner trombone slide? If so, I wonder why it isn’t used more often? I know it’s less toxic to make and apply than chrome plating. Is it more expensive to produce and apply?
FWIW Willson didn't stick with it, and I've seen at least one of their basses for sale where a retube was mentioned... I don't know what the specific story is there.

You can't plate it straight onto brass/NS; it needs a barrier layer of electroplated nickel first, so there are various things to go wrong...
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by BoomtownRath »

Kbiggs wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 10:57 am
elmsandr wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 10:47 am
TiN coating (Titanium Nitride). Very common industrial coating with a VERY low coefficient of friction.

Cheers,
Andy
Does it have a lower coefficient of friction than the chrome-plating of most inner trombone slide? If so, I wonder why it isn’t used more often? I know it’s less toxic to make and apply than chrome plating. Is it more expensive to produce and apply?
I played on a 551 willson bass with the nitride coated inner tubes and it was by far the worst design ever, it just didn't work together with the nickle outer slide. The instrument was very responsive and I found the rotax valves the best part of the instrument but it didn't blend well with the likes of bach or holton in the same section. I also tried a large bore tenor but found it too light playwise.

The takeover will be good for both brands hopefully we'll see caidex valves as an option on shires trombones.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by tbonesullivan »

ithinknot wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 11:24 amFWIW Willson didn't stick with it, and I've seen at least one of their basses for sale where a retube was mentioned... I don't know what the specific story is there.

You can't plate it straight onto brass/NS; it needs a barrier layer of electroplated nickel first, so there are various things to go wrong...
I don't know if this is true, but I heard that they had to think up new ways to secure the slide tubes, as the coating did not adhere well to soldering and other standard construction techniques. However it was definitely an interesting experiment. I wonder if they have ever thought about it on piston valves.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Burgerbob »

Another one conglomerated.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Doug Elliott »

As I recall the Willson inner slide was assembled with clamps, not solder.

I doubt they'll change any names. Having the same company compete against itself is done all the time. They win whether you buy Shires or Willson. Think Conn-Selmer-King
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by JohnL »

I'd expect them to keep both brands going, but I'd also expect some "thinning of the herd" where the product lines overlap - much like what's happened to the various brands under the Conn-Selmer banner over the years.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Macbone1 »

Well if so I hope they do a better job taking care of overlaps than Conn-Selmer-King-Holton did. Of course, I'm sure everyone has their own opinion about what horns should have been kept on.

Not to digress too much, but once-mighty Conn offers the 100H as their only .500 bore model...Holton stopped the TR-100. Good thing the King 2B Plus is still being made.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by spencercarran »

Doug Elliott wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 8:44 pmI doubt they'll change any names. Having the same company compete against itself is done all the time. They win whether you buy Shires or Willson. Think Conn-Selmer-King
RIP to Benge though.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by BGuttman »

spencercarran wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 9:05 am
Doug Elliott wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 8:44 pmI doubt they'll change any names. Having the same company compete against itself is done all the time. They win whether you buy Shires or Willson. Think Conn-Selmer-King
RIP to Benge though.
Benge was known for trumpets. During Eldon Benge's time they never made any other brass. When they went out, King bought the NAME and used it to try to introduce a new trombone. I don't think C-S makes any Benge trumpets, and the trombones were "killed" before the mass consolidation.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Trav1s »

Get big or go home...

No Benge trumpets at CS either. I played both Bach and Benge trumpets before my move to trombone. Those Benge trumpets were beautiful and a real competitor for the Bach brand so it only seems natural the line was purchased and phased out.


As to the original post... I wonder what this will mean for their quality and the future of the Rotax valve. I still want to add a Rotax to a 60's 88H...
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Posaunus »

Trav1s wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 10:56 am Get big or go home...

Those Benge trumpets were beautiful and a real competitor for the Bach brand so it only seems natural the line was purchased and phased out.
It's the American way. Compete ... or eliminate the competition! :roll:
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by JeffBone44 »

BGuttman wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 9:54 am
spencercarran wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 9:05 am
RIP to Benge though.
Benge was known for trumpets. During Eldon Benge's time they never made any other brass. When they went out, King bought the NAME and used it to try to introduce a new trombone. I don't think C-S makes any Benge trumpets, and the trombones were "killed" before the mass consolidation.
My very first trombone teacher played a Benge and said he would never play anything else, he loved the horn that much. I wonder if he is still playing it.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by spencercarran »

BGuttman wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 9:54 am and the trombones were "killed" before the mass consolidation.
This is incorrect.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by elmsandr »

ithinknot wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 11:24 am
Kbiggs wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 10:57 am Does it have a lower coefficient of friction than the chrome-plating of most inner trombone slide? If so, I wonder why it isn’t used more often? I know it’s less toxic to make and apply than chrome plating. Is it more expensive to produce and apply?
FWIW Willson didn't stick with it, and I've seen at least one of their basses for sale where a retube was mentioned... I don't know what the specific story is there.

You can't plate it straight onto brass/NS; it needs a barrier layer of electroplated nickel first, so there are various things to go wrong...
Yeah… I think the answer is “well, it depends.” Maybe the spec is lower on a coupon, but I think you’ll find that surface prep. and mechanical alignment to be very significant factors to the action of a slide.. both are also significant affected by the choice of a TiN coating as is mentioned here.

That design is what can happen when you look at material specs and make a choice without considering any other main effects or noise factors on your P-diagram.

Works great on drills, tho.

Cheers,
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by GabrielRice »

Trav1s wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 10:56 am As to the original post... I wonder what this will mean for their quality and the future of the Rotax valve. I still want to add a Rotax to a 60's 88H...
https://www.virtuosityboston.com/conn-8 ... valve.html

I've seen this horn, and the description here is not quite accurate. The slide is not a Bach 42 slide - it was built by Lou Anderson, the tech at Virtuosity, using some Bach and some Conn parts. It's narrow like a Conn - I think the crook is from an 88H, and it's nickel, not brass.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Trav1s »

GabrielRice wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 4:21 pm
Trav1s wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 10:56 am As to the original post... I wonder what this will mean for their quality and the future of the Rotax valve. I still want to add a Rotax to a 60's 88H...
https://www.virtuosityboston.com/conn-8 ... valve.html

I've seen this horn, and the description here is not quite accurate. The slide is not a Bach 42 slide - it was built by Lou Anderson, the tech at Virtuosity, using some Bach and some Conn parts. It's narrow like a Conn - I think the crook is from an 88H, and it's nickel, not brass.
Oh now that's right up my alley!
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by iMav »

The Chinese production line made at Eastman are the Q series instruments…and all the Eastman subsidiaries have them. Bourgeois Q guitars, Haynes Q flutes, Shires Q trumpets, Q trombones, and Q euphoniums, Backun Q clarinets, and now Willson Q euphoniums (soon-to-be-released Willson Q90). It helps to bolster and maintain already good boutique manufacturers, and also builds up the parent company (Eastman)…giving them a leg up on other Asian manufacturers who have access to the same affordable labor and parts, but have inferior design knowledge.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by timbone »

The problem Willson has had in this country is distribution and marketing. Most recent there was their partnership with Getzen, and lastly the use of the Rotax rotor for Edwards. I don't think anything will change other than seeing Willson products at the Eastman stand at tradeshows. Again a big issue I see is the Eastman Shires salesmen willingness to sell the Willson product; in other words, sell it and not wait for just taking orders.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by WilliamLang »

That Conn with the Rotax valve up at Virtuosity is a great instrument. I think they just sold the slide but the valve and bell are lovely.
GabrielRice wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 4:21 pm
Trav1s wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 10:56 am As to the original post... I wonder what this will mean for their quality and the future of the Rotax valve. I still want to add a Rotax to a 60's 88H...
https://www.virtuosityboston.com/conn-8 ... valve.html

I've seen this horn, and the description here is not quite accurate. The slide is not a Bach 42 slide - it was built by Lou Anderson, the tech at Virtuosity, using some Bach and some Conn parts. It's narrow like a Conn - I think the crook is from an 88H, and it's nickel, not brass.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by WGWTR180 »

WilliamLang wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:23 am That Conn with the Rotax valve up at Virtuosity is a great instrument. I think they just sold the slide but the valve and bell are lovely.
GabrielRice wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 4:21 pm

https://www.virtuosityboston.com/conn-8 ... valve.html

I've seen this horn, and the description here is not quite accurate. The slide is not a Bach 42 slide - it was built by Lou Anderson, the tech at Virtuosity, using some Bach and some Conn parts. It's narrow like a Conn - I think the crook is from an 88H, and it's nickel, not brass.
It's a shame they split up the instrument. Why would someone do that?
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by WilliamLang »

I'm fairly sure it was a Frankenhorn in the first place, iirc it had a Bach slide, Rotax Valve, and Elkhart Conn Bell.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by GabrielRice »

WGWTR180 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 1:09 pm It's a shame they split up the instrument. Why would someone do that?
As Will says, it was assembled from various different parts anyway.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by WGWTR180 »

GabrielRice wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 1:32 pm
WGWTR180 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 1:09 pm It's a shame they split up the instrument. Why would someone do that?
As Will says, it was assembled from various different parts anyway.
Right read all of that. But if it played great.....
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Matt K »

Easy to see if the Conn slide was trashed and the valve knuckles were broken.
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Re: Shires has partnered with Willson

Post by Molefsky »

Everyone keep an eye on metal gauge/thickness.
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