Dating a Shires Horn

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CharlieB
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Dating a Shires Horn

Post by CharlieB »

Looking for a little help........
I purchased a used Shires horn. (Terrific horn). I would like to learn the date of manufacture. The serial number is 37XX. If this information is on the Net, I was unable to find it. I also tried twice to contact Shires with this question, but I got no response.
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Altposaune
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by Altposaune »

Is your "serial number" on the valve section? For what it's worth I have two Shires valve sections: one bought from the factory Sept. 2003 numbered 12xx and one bought new from a dealer June, 2011 numbered 62xx. I looked into the mystery of Shires serial numbers a few years ago and got about as far as you have. Good luck.
-J
CharlieB
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by CharlieB »

Thanks for replying, Josh.
Still no response from Shires. Very disappointing.
My horn is a small tenor .500 bore.
Based on your information, if all Shires trombones are in the same serial number sequence (?) I can estimate about 2005 - 2006 for my horn. That's a big help. Thanks again.
CharlieB
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by CharlieB »

Update here.
Finally heard from Shires. Email from somebody "in sales." No name.
The info is that ten years ago Shires adopted a new serial numbering system, and there are no remaining records of serial numbers for horns prior to that time. My horn's serial number format does not conform with the new format, so Shires can only confirm that it was made prior to the change, or at least ten years ago. Of course, that doesn't explain why Altposaune (above post) bought a new Shires horn with an "old" serial number in June of 2011, unless maybe it sat unsold on a dealer's shelf for a long time. I'm very happy that my horn has the beautiful Sherry Huntley hand engraved bell instead of the newer laser engraving. I wonder when Sherry stopped engraving the Shires horns?
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MalecHeermans
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by MalecHeermans »

I just purchased an earlier Shires small bore. It's a regular weight brass .508 slide and a 7.75" 2RLW bell. I purchased it from the original owner who got it from Shires in 2003 - it was in the classifieds here.

Serial number is 26xx, but it has the laser engraving with the "S.E. Shires USA" mark.

I'm surprised about the answer to the serial number question. Shires just posted on facebook about building their 10,000th trombone and talked about the serial number:



I'm interested to know how that jibes with the two different serial number systems.
ronnies
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by ronnies »

Resurrecting an old thread here but I've just bought a Shires Tru-Bore bass with the serial number 35XX. Shires replied very quickly to an email saying it was an 'early' model for which they had no records but the person who answered had a trombone from 2012 that was in the 69XX range.

So with the info here it looks like mine might be around 2005.

Ronnie
Shires Tru-Bore (Bb/F/Gb/D)
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paulyg
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by paulyg »

I went on a few dates with a nice tenor, but she and I didn't get along and parted ways. Still friends and talk time to time, though.
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tombone21
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by tombone21 »

My advice is just to take it slow, listen twice as much as you speak, and don't believe what your friends say, they weren't there man.
Tombone12
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by Tombone12 »

Bought mine in 2007. 46xx
JKBone85
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by JKBone85 »

Hi Everyone,

This topic has come up on more than one occasion and I hope to be able to help. We do have a chunk of records that are missing, but we should be able to ball park approximately what serial numbers were stamped in that time period. What records we do have are from a few different databases we have used over the years, including a few thousand logged in some notebooks. In the upcoming new year I hope to build a more comprehensive list and hopefully an online location where this info can be accessed.

2/22/2006 -- Serial #3700 built
4/21/2006 -- Serial #3799 built
Last edited by JKBone85 on Wed Oct 18, 2023 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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tjonz
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by tjonz »

My Shires horn, serial number 24xx, was purchased from Steve at the factory in 2003.
walldaja
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by walldaja »

Unfortunate how records end up lost. I bought my Shires Q in 22 for an unbelievable low price. Would have been looking for cops if I bought it on the street but was at a major university's trombone day. I was curious about the build date and the answer was before 2014. Serial is 603x.

Guess it was a demo hanging at the store for eight years.
Dave

2020ish? Shires Q30GR with 2CL
1982 King 607F with 13CL
Yamaha 421G Bass with Christian Lindberg 2CL / Bach 1 1/2G
Bach Soloist with 13CL
1967 Olds Ambassador with 10CL
1957 Besson 10-10
Jean Baptiste EUPCOMS with Stork 4
CarlVicVogel
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by CarlVicVogel »

paulyg wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:47 pm I went on a few dates with a nice tenor, but she and I didn't get along and parted ways. Still friends and talk time to time, though.
I heard she wasn't wrapped that tight.

:o
Bach two 42BO's (silver & lacquer)
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JKBone85
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by JKBone85 »

walldaja wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 7:17 am Unfortunate how records end up lost. I bought my Shires Q in 22 for an unbelievable low price. Would have been looking for cops if I bought it on the street but was at a major university's trombone day. I was curious about the build date and the answer was before 2014. Serial is 603x.

Guess it was a demo hanging at the store for eight years.
I did some digging through my files, and we received Q's 6000-6100 towards the end of 2020. Keep in mind with the Q's, the serial numbers account for the entirety of the Q line. For example, Q6034 is not a 30GR. Also, the Q line didn't come into existence until Eastman purchased Shires in 2014. There are some Eastman/Shires joint venture horns from pre Eastman ownership, but the Q's really didn't become a line until 2016, and we definitely hadn't built 6000 Q instruments by 2014. My educated estimate as to the age of your horn is it was probably built in the summer of 2020.
walldaja
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by walldaja »

JKBone85 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:10 pm
walldaja wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 7:17 am Unfortunate how records end up lost. I bought my Shires Q in 22 for an unbelievable low price. Would have been looking for cops if I bought it on the street but was at a major university's trombone day. I was curious about the build date and the answer was before 2014. Serial is 603x.

Guess it was a demo hanging at the store for eight years.
I did some digging through my files, and we received Q's 6000-6100 towards the end of 2020. Keep in mind with the Q's, the serial numbers account for the entirety of the Q line. For example, Q6034 is not a 30GR. Also, the Q line didn't come into existence until Eastman purchased Shires in 2014. There are some Eastman/Shires joint venture horns from pre Eastman ownership, but the Q's really didn't become a line until 2016, and we definitely hadn't built 6000 Q instruments by 2014. My educated estimate as to the age of your horn is it was probably built in the summer of 2020.
Apparently the response I got from Shires wasn't based on any facts. Your estimate is probably much more accurate. Thanks.
Dave

2020ish? Shires Q30GR with 2CL
1982 King 607F with 13CL
Yamaha 421G Bass with Christian Lindberg 2CL / Bach 1 1/2G
Bach Soloist with 13CL
1967 Olds Ambassador with 10CL
1957 Besson 10-10
Jean Baptiste EUPCOMS with Stork 4
JKBone85
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by JKBone85 »

If you are going by Custom serial numbers, 2014 is about when the early 6000’s came out, so the approximation is correct there, someone was just not looking in the right place. An understandable mistake.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by harrisonreed »

With the custom horns, even if you go to the shop and piece it together there, the only thing you will have a distinct date for is the valve section, right? I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bell or slide deep in storage there from the early days, maybe some weird spec that never was paid in full, that might still wind up on a much newer valve once someone else orders the weird spec part again.

Seems kind of impossible to know for sure, especially when the date/serial is on the part potentially most likely to be replaced. How many valve conversions have been discussed here, where people replace the valve on their vintage horns? With this logic, boom, those Mt. Vernon's are now built in the year 2024 (obvs not, but maybe that was the only place with a serial number). "I upgraded my Trubore to a more conventional Shires rotor. Such an improvement!" Boom, your original bell spun by Steve is now built in the year 2024.

Do the bells, etc, have any distinguishing factors to help ID the date they were made?
JKBone85
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by JKBone85 »

harrisonreed wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 am With the custom horns, even if you go to the shop and piece it together there, the only thing you will have a distinct date for is the valve section, right? I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bell or slide deep in storage there from the early days, maybe some weird spec that never was paid in full, that might still wind up on a much newer valve once someone else orders the weird spec part again.

Seems kind of impossible to know for sure, especially when the date/serial is on the part potentially most likely to be replaced. How many valve conversions have been discussed here, where people replace the valve on their vintage horns? With this logic, boom, those Mt. Vernon's are now built in the year 2024 (obvs not, but maybe that was the only place with a serial number). "I upgraded my Trubore to a more conventional Shires rotor. Such an improvement!" Boom, your original bell spun by Steve is now built in the year 2024.

Do the bells, etc, have any distinguishing factors to help ID the date they were made?
Unless you are buying showroom stock, all of your components are made to order. The instances in which someone abandons an order in one way or another and we end up with an A-stock component without a home is very, very rare. There are a couple instances of prototype things that are hanging around, but those never became retail offerings. It is safe to assume if you bought a horn new from us, at least in the last 10 years, the non serialized components are very close to the same age as the valve section.

We do stamp the last 2 numbers of the production number for the handslide on the handslide to keep track of corresponding inners and outers, but the only serialized part we produce is the valve section. We can fairly accurately date most of the Shires valves built. The first few thousand were keep in hand written journals in a garage in the mid 90's, before moving to the tiny airport space in Hopedale. Since becoming part of Eastman, record keeping is much more detailed and technology based, and therefore accurate.

As for how to ID the age of a bell; I'm working on this. You can ball park based on engraving, and I'm working on putting a timeline of these engraving style changes together.
Dennis
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by Dennis »

JKBone85 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:36 am
There are a couple instances of prototype things that are hanging around, but those never became retail offerings.

As for how to ID the age of a bell; I'm working on this. You can ball park based on engraving, and I'm working on putting a timeline of these engraving style changes together.
At least, they don't become retail offerings until they're sold.
JKBone85
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by JKBone85 »

Dennis wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:40 pm
JKBone85 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:36 am
There are a couple instances of prototype things that are hanging around, but those never became retail offerings.

As for how to ID the age of a bell; I'm working on this. You can ball park based on engraving, and I'm working on putting a timeline of these engraving style changes together.
At least, they don't become retail offerings until they're sold.
True. I guess prototype is not the best description of the things hanging around. It's really better described as R&D results.
Dennis
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Re: Dating a Shires Horn

Post by Dennis »

JKBone85 wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 6:30 am
Dennis wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:40 pm

At least, they don't become retail offerings until they're sold.
True. I guess prototype is not the best description of the things hanging around. It's really better described as R&D results.
And you probably don't intend to make any additional versions of these things.

I own two of those prototypes/R&D results or whatever you want to call them. My tenor bell is a lightweight Type 5 bell spun on the TI mandrel. For me, it's magic--combining the best features of a Bach bell and a Conn bell. This bell caused me to question why I'd been a Bach guy all my adult life. My new bass bell is the BI Type 7 lightweight with a red brass tail and a gold brass flare. It's also an amazing bell that I'm still getting to know.

So thanks for making the results of your R&D available to us.
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