Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

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HoosierTuba
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Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by HoosierTuba » Sun May 13, 2018 8:59 pm

Hello all,

I am a tuba player, but within the past eight months or so, I've developed an interest in doubling on trombone and euphonium (which I believe is a very common thing in the low brass world). I've been practicing daily on a vintage, Conn student model trombone. This horn didn't have a very good slide or tone quality, but it was good enough for playing at home and getting comfortable with slide positions and whatnot. However, in a few months, I'll have to give it back to the owner. I'd like to look into getting a used professional F-attachment tenor trombone that will be good enough to last me throughout college and beyond. I'd like to spend less than $2k, and I think that should definitely be enough to get what I need. I've looked at some of the Bach 42 models and they seem to be very solid horns, and most fall into my price range. If the Bach 42s are good horns, which models are the best? If not, what horns would you guys suggest? I'm open to any and all horn suggestions.

Having a silver Eastman CC tuba, I'd love to get a silver-plate trombone as well; however, I'm not sure if silver-plate on trombone has the same benefits as it would on a tuba. I'd appreciate input on this as well.

Thanks! :D
Eastman EBC632 CC Tuba
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BGuttman
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by BGuttman » Mon May 14, 2018 5:46 am

This is a perfect type of question for our new Trombone Wiki.

There are many more options than Bach, although you would think that's the only one from the type of chatter here.

For a good horn on a budget, consider the following instruments:

Benge 190. They are available with or without F-attachment and even one that is convertible. Good large bore instrument that never seemed to take off when introduced back in the 1980s. They go for great prices since they aren't well known. There is a medium bore 175 that is also excellent.

King 4B or 5B. It was considered comparable to Conn or Bach in the 1960s alsthough the build quality suffered a bit in the 1990s. Has been eclipsed by the Bach and Conn models and is not popular today. A nice 1970s 4B-F should be less than $1200.

Holton TR-150, 158, 159. The 158 was Jay Friedman's design. The 150 was designed by another symphony player. Holton has been absorbed into the Conn-Selmer agglomeration and is now extinct. But these are great instruments.

Olds Opera. There are two versions with F-attachment. One is all nickel silver, the other is brass.

Conn 88H. Some Abilene horns may fall into your price point. Test before you buy.

You asked about Bach models. There are certainly a lot of different flavors of Bach large bore trombones with F-attachment. First, there is the letter:

B is a rotor. If the horn has an open wrap (single loop) it also has an O.
A is a Hagmann valve. More open than a rotor. Only open wrap.
K is a Miller valve. Can be a problem with ergonomics -- it sticks into your neck. Only open wrap.
T is an Axial (Thayer) Valve. Only open wrap.

The A, K, and T versions were a response to a complaint that the regular 42B was "stuffy". This is a result of the 42 using the same valve and F-attachment stubing as the smaller 36B (where it's nearly perfect). Some find the A, K, and T versions "too open" and others prefer them. Try before you buy.

For some reason, silver trombones aren't popular. At one time (before the advent of good lacquer) silver was the best finish and many older trombones used this finish. Nowadays a lacquer finish appears to be the preferred one. Maybe it's an attempt to "tone down" the normally brash tone of a small bore trombone.

I should also point out that there are some really good instruments coming from China, usually fronted by a reputable dealer. Look into Wessex Tubas in particular for "low end" professional grade instruments.

Good luck.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
cozzagiorgi
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by cozzagiorgi » Mon May 14, 2018 6:20 am

Dont forget to look into Yamahas, very consistent in quality and readily available in the used market.

You dont have to look into the xenos or 8xx lines, they will be too expensive. But if you look into the YSL 6xx line you csn have great instruments!

For medium bore (.525) I would look into the YSL 645 or 648 great horns!
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BGuttman
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Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by BGuttman » Mon May 14, 2018 8:10 am

Thanks for that Giorgi. As a 682G player shame on me for omitting Yamaha!
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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greenbean
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by greenbean » Mon May 14, 2018 9:09 am

cozzagiorgi wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:20 am
...

For medium bore (.525) I would look into the YSL 645 or 648 great horns!
645, 630, and 683 are straight .525 horns. And the 646, 640, and 684 have F-attachments.
Last edited by greenbean on Mon May 14, 2018 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon May 14, 2018 9:18 am

A lot depends on what kind of music you intend to play, and you didn't mention that.

Just like with tubas, it can be a very broad question.
jchiang9
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by jchiang9 » Mon May 14, 2018 10:18 am

The Eastman Shires line would also be within your price range. Or if you can add a couple hundred to your budget you could get a Shires Q series.

And with $2000 and patience on the use market, there are many options! If you have the opportunity to go to a store to try out a bunch of horns to figure out what you like, it may help you find a horn that you will want to keep fit a long time.
Radar
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Re: Professional Trombone for Tuba Player?

Post by Radar » Thu May 17, 2018 12:38 pm

There are many options, it's hard to make a recommendation with out knowing what style of music you plan to predominantly use it for. As a Tuba and Euphonium player have you considered specializing in Bass Trombone, I play tuba (it's now my primary instrument) but find the Bass trombone an easier transition (not that I don't also play tenor as well, but it's easier for me to go from Tuba to Bass). If you play a Euphonium with a Med. or Large shank receiver a Bass trombone Mouthpiece in the 1.5 to 2G range works pretty well on both instruments. It's something to consider. In your price range for a pro-level trombone if you want a tenor you can't go wrong with a Bach 42 or Conn 88H, or Similar since Yamaha (but if you aspire to play lead in a big band setting you may want a smaller bore horn).
98th Division Army Reserve Band Retired:
Yamaha 612 Bass, Conn 88H Tenor, Yamaha YEP-321 (modified with a Euro/Med receiver), and Miraphone 186 CC Tuba.
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