Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post Reply
johntarr
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by johntarr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:20 pm

I’ve read that a ballroom (setback) bell gives better acoustic feedback for the player and makes mute changes easier, so I’m wondering why most modern trombones have their bells set farther forward.

Any thoughts?

John
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 2046
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by BGuttman » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:28 pm

Setback bells don't sell well because people are used to using the bell rim for a visual slide position.

I'm no virtuoso, and I haven't seen the setback bell to be an advantage. But others seem to feel so.

If you want to get into setback bells without going broke look for a Conn Ballroom model. The 0.500" bore TIS model 40H is pretty common and I haven't had to break the bank to own one.

In fact, I have one I'm not using (needs a bit of repair though) if you are anywhere near southern NH.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
johntarr
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by johntarr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:04 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:28 pm
Setback bells don't sell well because people are used to using the bell rim for a visual slide position.

I'm no virtuoso, and I haven't seen the setback bell to be an advantage. But others seem to feel so.

In fact, I have one I'm not using (needs a bit of repair though) if you are anywhere near southern NH.
Well, I’m wondering what determined the standard. If all bells had been set back earlier, then that would’ve been the norm. How did we arrive at the standard we have today?

I’m nowhere near NH, but thanks anyway,

John
bimmerman
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:15 pm
Location: Menlo Park

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by bimmerman » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:07 pm

Might take some google-fu, but there was a thread on here where a number of posters provided mouthpiece receiver to bell flare distance measurements on a variety of horns. There are probably some ballroom ones in there?

In general, Bachs and Williams models are on the shorter end, Kings the longer, Conn all over the place since there are a half-billion *H models.
hornbuilder
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by hornbuilder » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:06 pm

I didn't realise there "was" a standard today for where the bell is located.
Matthew Walker
Owner/Craftsman, M&W Custom Trombones, LLC
Bass Trombonist, Opera Australia, 1991-2006
User avatar
HawaiiTromboneGuy
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:37 am

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by HawaiiTromboneGuy » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:16 pm

The bells on Williams definitely sit a lot closer to the face.
Professional bum.
Pre59
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
Location: Devon UK

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by Pre59 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:39 pm

johntarr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:04 pm


If all bells had been set back earlier, then that would’ve been the norm. How did we arrive at the standard we have today?



John
The bell spout would have had to been narrower?
bimmerman
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:15 pm
Location: Menlo Park

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by bimmerman » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:49 pm

https://www.trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?t=2034

^^ that's (one of, at least) a thread I was referring to, check last couple posts for measurement data.

Conn Ballroom model 24H was measured as ~10.5" from receiver to bell flare, as are standard Bach and Williams. Conn and Kings standard models were about an inch longer. Owning a few Kings/Bachs and now a Williams, I don't think the bell setback matters as much as a number of other design aspects, unless you use the bell as a visual aid in tuning. But, I also don't have situations that call for mute changes frequently at all.

The real takeaway is there is no standard length / set back distance.
RJMason
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:04 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by RJMason » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:53 am

I like the set back bell. It may not matter as much to the audience but I tend to prefer the sound I hear from my Bach’s and Williams...maybe because they are closer to my ears!
imsevimse
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by imsevimse » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:20 am

I never have used the bell as reference, because there are too many variations of trombones when it comes to intonation and bell distance. I do not look at the instrument at all when I play. No fingers to touch the bell either.

Advantage with a ball room model:
1. The advantage could be when using a plunger, because the shorter distance makes plunger work a lot easier, especially if you have short arms.

Disadvantage with a ball room model:
1. I know many tuch the bell when they play and I understand then this give you a problem when you change and the bell is located differently.

2. The disadvantage is sound from those old style TIS horns (Conn 40H and Conn 38H). A friend described them as having a "daft" sound. I think it comes from the heavier TIS slide and the more conical goose neck.

The Conn 24H is not a TIS and for me it plays with good sound. I guess if I ever would do acrobatics with a mute that horn would be a good choice.

/Tom
My profile on facebook with new videos from concerts: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.hillerbrant

My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic

"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
User avatar
Trav1s
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:06 am
Location: The Iowa Cultural Corridor

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by Trav1s » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:04 am

Another Conn 24H owner here and they are great horns. Essentially a 4H with the bell closer to the player and some other minor changes.

Also, the Conn 78H/79H have a setback bell and IIRC 72H have the setback bell. I do not have a problem with playing them but I can see how someone would of they used the bell as a reference point for positions.
Conn-vert since 2006
24H Artist - LT101/C+/D2
79H & 80H - LT102/D/D4
TheSheriff
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:11 am
Location: Deep in the Ozarks of Missouri

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by TheSheriff » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:28 am

johntarr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:20 pm
I’ve read that a ballroom (setback) bell gives better acoustic feedback for the player and makes mute changes easier, so I’m wondering why most modern trombones have their bells set farther forward.

Any thoughts?

John
..

I do not know why most horns are bell forward, I just know that I prefer a set back bell because they provide better feedback and better balance.

..
Lawler model 1
Lawler model 2
Lawler Model 3
Williams 6
Williams L
Kanstul 1606
Conn 71H
User avatar
UncleTsune
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:25 am

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by UncleTsune » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:35 am

Is 79h a setback bell?
I have both 24h and 79h.
Competed both, 79h bell is about 1” farther.
I also have a 62h, it’s also setback bell :idea:

Trav1s wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:04 am
Also, the Conn 78H/79H have a setback bell
UncleTsune
Conn 62h
Conn 79h
Conn 24h
Attachments
8A69D453-9F25-4D72-977E-88558C4631C4.jpeg
24h and 79h
8A69D453-9F25-4D72-977E-88558C4631C4.jpeg (2.02 MiB) Viewed 1125 times
UncleTsune
Conn 62h
Conn 79h
Conn 24h
willie's mouthpiece
timbone
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:14 pm

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by timbone » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:40 pm

I played a William and Wallace with a set back bell for many years- why- it played and sounded great! Short bells for me have no effect on slide position, but long bells have a strange effect altogether. I know someone (young) who developed carpal tunnel in the wrist from plunger use on standard length bells.
timothy42b
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by timothy42b » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:48 am

I don't like a nose heavy horn. It would seem a set back bell might balance better fore and aft. Side to side torque is still a problem.
johntarr
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Ballroom Bells: advantages/disadvantages?

Post by johntarr » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:14 am

So it seems that the only possible disadvantage would be the visual reference to slide position.

Possible advantages could be better feedback, less weight forward (especially with a mute) and easier plunger use.

I wonder how makers determine the bell length to receiver distances in the first place.
Post Reply

Return to “Instruments”