Sterling Silver Bells

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whitbey
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Sterling Silver Bells

Post by whitbey » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:28 am

I have a sterling silver bell that I love. It is a on a 547 Edwards tenor. Edwards bought the brazed bells from Germany and spun them at the Edwards factory. The sound is wonderful. There is a wonderful set of dark overtones and the brighter overtones too. The horn seems to teach me to play better because it really respond when you do things right. No matter how loud you go, it sounds really nice. The only issue is when playing in a larger orchestra or band it does not ever get that edge that directors want to hear your time. So I use the horn for quintet and pretty stuff. I have a brass bell for the big stuff.

I would love to hear thoughts on the Conn sterling bell as it is spun I understand and the Bach electro-plate bells.

Also the small bore and alto horns. Anyone?

One horn I have seen and wondered about was the Getzen Dude. Sterling bell and lots of copper bracing.
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BGuttman
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by BGuttman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:44 am

Not all Getzen Dude''s had Sterling bells.

The bracework is interesting, but is a nightmare if you need a repair -- it's just not adjustable in case you need to make a change. It was uncomfortable for me to hold, but others seemed to like it.
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bimmerman
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by bimmerman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 am

Disclaimer: I'm a materials and metallurgy geek, both on and off the clock. The different material options for trombones has always fascinated me.

I have always wondered about Edwards SS bells, I'd love to try one someday.

I have two sterling horns, a ~60s King 2B Silversonic (still HN White labelled) and a ~90/00s Sterling Silver Plus LT16M. I also have yellow brass versions of these horns. For those who don't know, the Silversonic is formed from a Sterling Silver sheet, just like a regular bell. It's ~92% silver ~8% copper if I'm remembering right. The Bach Sterling Silver Plus bell, on the other hand is literally elemental silver (~99.99%) that is electroformed/plated onto a mandrel to form the bell flare-- meaning, no brazing, no seams, it's all one piece of solid pure silver.

It's been a while since I directly compared them to their brass counterparts or to each other, but I'll try anyway from memory.

The King Silversonic is definitely heavier than the brass horn, and has a darker (lush-er?) and sweeter sound to my ears. It's a subtle difference. To me, the Silversonic takes more input from me before it wakes up and starts doing its thing, so responsiveness isn't as immediate or at as low a dynamic level as the brass horn. It holds together better at louder dynamics though.

The Bach Sterling Plus bell (at least on the small bore horn) is crazy lightweight and if you look at it wrong it has a new bell ding. It's noticeably lighter than the brass bell and is crazy responsive at all dynamics. The sound is a bit rounder, for lack of a better word. It's not dark or anything you'd associate with the Silversonic type bells-- smoother and livelier is how I'd describe it. It is such a fun bell to play and that response is just incredible. It wakes up and is ready to go, but holds together its tone at higher volumes. I haven't played Mahler 3 FFFFFF type volume on it, but it's worked very well in loud big bands, no blatty or crappy tone (at least, not because of the horn).

One of these days I've been meaning to take a video showing the difference between the various Bach bells (yellow, gold, sterling+)....but I've been spending my practice time working on my chop issues, so this won't be a soon-project. I've been keeping horn and mpc constant while working on that stuff.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by Neo Bri » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:25 am

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BGuttman
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by BGuttman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:06 am

I'm pretty sure the Bach bell is electroformed. As such they can make it a lot thinner (lighter and livelier) that a hammered and spun bell.

Funny thing is, all the kids want SilverSonic trombones until they get one -- and then suddenly they discover they are pretty hard to play.
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conn88Hagmann
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by conn88Hagmann » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:24 am

I tried a Conn 88H SGX.

Production was much harder. Very difficult to get it to speak quietly in the high register, Berg 3 orchestral pieces and Rhenish very hard work. (Should be on alto of course anyway but there it is).

I have a 3BF Ss, and I love it!
Last edited by conn88Hagmann on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
castrubone
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by castrubone » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:37 pm

In my experience the Conn 88HSGXCL responds faster, has more projection and more core/depth to the sound than the standard rose brass. The core is very dark, but heat's up with a nice bright quality at FFF. Very lively. Haven't tried silver on any other make.
conn88Hagmann
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by conn88Hagmann » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:58 am

That’s a polar opposite then. 😂

Of all those things, I’d have to say the one I played, which wasn’t a “CL” but an “O” didn’t respond faster. But could play louder without breaking up than you could ever ever need!
Last edited by conn88Hagmann on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
whitbey
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Re: Sterling Silver Bells

Post by whitbey » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:06 am

This must explain Edwards. When I bought my sterling bell, Christian really worked it over. First he had me play several bells. He recommended one that I sounded the best on. It was not real responsive as it was. Christian took the bell to the shop in the other building and annealed the throat three times. It was easy for me as I just sat there, played the horn and mumbled. Somehow he knew what was needed.
This horn play soft with a really nice sound.
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