Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

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Goodgig
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Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by Goodgig » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:53 pm

I have a 1940 Bach Mercury that is essentially a Bach 6 without the nickel trim. Sounds in many ways like a large bore tenor, but is very easy to play very quietly. Great horn! I’m considering getting a Bach 12, but there are none locally to tryout. Have any of you AB’d these to horns? How do they compare in sound and playability? Thanks.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:05 pm

I have played a couple New York 6s and a really nice 12. I liked them all.

I'm not sure any comparisons will help, though, since every Bach is going to be its own instrument.

Why do you want a 12?
cctbone
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by cctbone » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:16 pm

The Mercury I had was much lighter than my NY Bach 6.
baileyman
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by baileyman » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:45 pm

Mine has a really narrow throat, and squeals!
ngrinder
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by ngrinder » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:57 pm

I have owned, if I can remember, 5 Bach 12s, and have done even more experimentation with swapping 16 bells with 12 slides.

They can be really fantastic mainstays. At their best they are easy to color and can be like a chameleon in sections - zippy when gassed, but colorful and dark when you want to blend. At their worst, they’re....duds. Boring sound, unslotted high Bb, and pitchy middle C.

Anyway, it’s hard to know if you’ll get a good one, because there is a ton of variability, but I’ve had good luck with horns from the early to mid 70s and horns from the early 90s. I have owned a horn from the Mt Vernon era, and foolishly sold it. It was a great horn - really dark, and like you said almost like a “mini large bore.”

I think the best mod you can do is to pull the leadpipe - I never found a 12 with a good stock pipe (most of them are surprisingly short), and with the variations in leadpipes these days you can end up building a very versatile instrument. I know folks also thin out the bell - haven’t done that, but I can imagine it would color up a thunker if you really dig how it feels.

I also played a brand new 12 the other day. Really good horn, but didn’t come close to the range of color I feel I can get with my older setup (70s 16 bell matched with a 12Lt slide from the 90s. I also have a 70s heavy weight slide). For the price of a new one, you can probably buy 3 and mix and match until you find a good one.

Good luck!
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bellend
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by bellend » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:07 am

With any model of Bach horn it is essential to try as many as you possibly can as they vary wildly.

For me this especially true of the model 12 as I have played many over the years and never found a good one....ever.

Some fine players have used 12's so there must be some good ones must be out there but to me the 6, 8, and 16's are better horns, tread carefully.

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Goodgig
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by Goodgig » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:34 pm

Thank you all for your thoughtful help! I’m not in a great area for trying out equipment. At age 65 I was looking for something new to make life interesting. Based on my success with the Mercury I figured that a 12 would share some attributes but be a bit more usable. So I guess I’ll be happy with the instruments I have and keep my eye on Craigslist an eBay should someone locally have a 12 for sale.
mrdeacon
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by mrdeacon » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:38 pm

bellend wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:07 am
With any model of Bach horn it is essential to try as many as you possibly can as they vary wildly.

For me this especially true of the model 12 as I have played many over the years and never found a good one....ever.

Some fine players have used 12's so there must be some good ones must be out there but to me the 6, 8, and 16's are better horns, tread carefully.

BellEnd
Similar experience. Haven't tried a 12 or 16M that really stuck out to me but wooo I've played some really good 6, 8 and 16 horns.
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dukesboneman
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by dukesboneman » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:09 am

I am primarily a Bach player
I have 2 exceptional 12`s An Lt12G with a Kanstul W6 leadpipe. This is my daily duty horn.
Great upper range and pretty sound.The other is a 1st year elkhart horn. more than likely Mount Vernon parts
Yellow brass bell / standard weight slide. Very free blowing in all registers.
I also have an Lt16MG another free blowing dark tone horn ,
I`ve played some amazing 6`s and 8`s. I`ve always wanted an 8
Oslide
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by Oslide » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:52 am

Goodgig wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:53 pm
--- snippet ---
I have a 1940 Bach Mercury ... I’m considering getting a Bach 12... How do they compare in sound and playability?
I have a 1941 Mercury and a 12 from 1978. For me the 12 is as 'easy' as the Mercury. The latter has a slight tendency get 'blatty', whereas the 12 has a more refined timbre, for lack of other words. Certainly worth to look around for a good one. Good luck! :good:
bimmerman
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by bimmerman » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:07 pm

It's funny, a 6 and a 12 are the Bach small bores I don't have, other than weirdo models.

I have had excellent luck buying Bachs from forum members or from sellers like BrassArk. Takes some of the crapshoot out.

I have an awesome LT8G, a MV 9 (with a 6vii bell?), an 80's LT16M ('standard gooseneck'), a 00's LT16M Sterling+ ('open gooseneck'), and a frankenhorn NY 16 slide with Elkhart 16 bell with 36 valve. I just dig Bachs. Of them all, the 8 and the 9 are just insanely good, with my 80's 16M close behind. That 16M is home base for me though, have owned it since high school and it's never leaving.

The best part of that is you can swap bells and slides to your heart's content, though the 00's horn components don't fit well with the rest. I'm guessing a fixture changed, because the rest all interchange without issue.
Pre59
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Re: Small Bore Bach Tenor Bones

Post by Pre59 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:27 pm

My Bach 12. No safe high Bb in 3rd, heavy brass slide, lifeless upper register etc.. What's to like?
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