A bad Thayer or a bad me?

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sirisobhakya
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A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by sirisobhakya » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:58 pm

Last week I had a chance to test various horns at Yamaha and Bach official dealers. It was the first time I had experienced Thayer valve, on a brand new Bach 50AF3. To my surprise, it played quite unevenly. At first I cannot slur from F down to C without significant shift in embouchure and air pressure, while it needs little effort on every rotor I have had a chance to lay my hands on. It is also unfocused even with full blown air. Also, low Bb to low F is also hard to focus as well, but better than the F -> C.

Is this because I am not familiar to the Thayer valve? Is this the characteristic of the valve type, or does the horn has a bad valve?

(In the herd of horns I tried, from Bach 42 Centennial, 50AF3, 42A, Yamaha 882OR, and 421 bass, I seems to like the 42A the most.)
Last edited by sirisobhakya on Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Specialk3700 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:13 pm

I've had a similar experience with Bach's AF valve on a 50af3 and 42af at the Midwest clinic. They play poorly imo. I only noticed an issue with a Axial valve on the Bach's at Midwest. The shires, edwards, ECT, horns with axials all played much better.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:15 pm

I've played a good 50AF3, but I've played many more bad ones.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Tooloud » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:36 am

On the list of trombones you mentioned the instrument in question is the only real bass trombone and you said that you like 42 best.

Maybe you are not sufficiently accustomed to large basses? This might explain the lack of focus in sound better than blaming the valves for it. For why should any valve eliminate the embouchure-shift in the low rage? To me this seems to be more the problem of the player than of the instrument.

Just my humble opinion derived from waht you've written. If a student came up with a similar issue, that's what I would try to find out before ruling out the instrument.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by sirisobhakya » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:08 am

My main horn is a Yamaha YBL-830 double valve bass. While it is not a "large bass" by any means (.562" bore with 9.5" bell), I don't think it is small either. Also I occasionally play Yamaha YBL-612 (10" bell) and Bach 50B3L (10.5" bell monster!). All have no aforementioned issue. So if the problem lies with me, I believe it is at least not because I am not accustomed to large basses.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Tooloud » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:58 am

Sorry then! Ususally the fix is quicker when fixing the player - and better...
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by GBP » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:36 am

The reason I sold my 3062 was because after playing on my Greenhoe as my main instrument, it took a very long time go adjust back to the thayers. I my horns now , except for my single, are rotors.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:25 am

Personally I'm not very fond of Thayers on bass trombones. I have an Edwards T350 tenor with a Thayer, it is a keeper, but when I'm on bass I like a little more resistance from the valve in the low register and the Thayer just doesn't do that. It just sucks air and that is why I like regular rotors better on bass.

Some months ago I play tested about 20 rebuilt old bass trombones who had got Thayers and had been converted to doubles (old Conn 62h's, old Conn 70h's among others) but to be frank no one was good. Since I have the originals at home it was very easy to compare Every attempt to modernize those old horns was a big mistake (my opinion). Let the old horns be!

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:42 pm

Oof! A lot of Thayer hate here, as usual.

Thayers need serious time in them to get used to the blow. If you're used to small rotaries, then you won't like them at first glance.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:33 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:42 pm
Oof! A lot of Thayer hate here, as usual.
No hate, just very different to play and to me very air consuming. I'm sure it can be learned. What I don't like is when people destroy old horns and put Thayers on them. That's kind of close to hate :evil: The horns loose their souls and blow. On new horns you can do what ever you want, but I would never buy a rebuilt old Conn 62h with Thayers :good:

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:58 pm

I don't see many 62Hs with Thayers.

I think this is a bit of a silly point, but I doubt my Bach 50 would be better with the original valves than it is now.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:15 pm

That's not possible to know, or did you play it both before and after?

I've played a few rebuilt horns, both various Conns and Bach 50s who got a single Thayer or inline double Thayers as an improvement. Better is a dubious description. What I'm talking about is the feel of an old vintage Elkhart 62h in original and one that has been chopped up and rebuilt. As a collector I wouldn't know what to expect other than it is no longer an old vintage Elkhart 62h. It will have lost it's charm. Better or worse is the personal choice. Split triggers and a D-slide instead of the original in E on the other hand are improvements I would appreciate.

/Tom
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by TheBoneRanger » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:19 pm

I’m not sure I’d blame the valve, but perhaps how the horn was built.

I’ve played 3 factory Bach’s with the new style of Thayer:

- a bass that was ok, but a little foggy all over.
-a 42 that was yuck
- another 42 that was spectacular.

So don’t be too hard on yourself.

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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Matt K » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:24 pm

Another thing to consider is that, particularly stock thayers, are a lot more leaky by their design. If you pick one up at a store that hasn't been oiled in awhile, it's probably not going to seal very well whereas if you do the same with a rotor, it'll be a lot more forgiving. (The oil actually helps it form a seal)
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:33 pm

TheBoneRanger wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:19 pm
I’m not sure I’d blame the valve, but perhaps how the horn was built.
Maybe so, but that is not something we would be able to check. It is different to play a Thayer. I think we can agree to that. People who buy old vintage well regarded horns and chop them to convert to double inline Thayers might get what they are asking for, but a collector like myself would consider the instrument less valuable after the conversion than before. If you are after an Elkhart Conn 62h then an Elkhart 62h double Thayer is not the same horn, it's a bastard. To some this is what they want, but then they need to play test the result. Why do they then buy an Elkhart Conn 62h, that beats me? Changes that not affect the genuine sound like the second valve in D instead of E and split triggers is okay. I would consider this as an improvement. To me such changes add value.

/Tom
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Oof! I think this guy doesn't like Thayers!
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:23 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:21 pm
Oof! I think this guy doesn't like Thayers!
No you do not read my posts right. I don't like to see old well regarded horns destroyed. I've said they are air consuming for me to play. I've nothing against people who play Thayers :hi:

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:39 pm

If a horn is being used for its original purpose... I think it's doing just fine. In any case, quite a tangential point to the OP.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:04 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:39 pm
If a horn is being used for its original purpose... I think it's doing just fine. In any case, quite a tangential point to the OP.
Maybe or he is interested in people's view on Thayers and how they play in general.

The OP played a new horn with Thayers and thought some things was strange with the horn. I think (for me) a Thayer is more open in feel, and this is a thing that some like and some don't like.

One thing that struck me today when I play tested a Yamaha 321 together with a guy who is a real good bass trombone player usually on a Shires with double Thayers is he thought that Yamaha 321 felt very small. I've never thought any normal bore bass as being a small bass. The double valved Martin .536 bass I have is to me a small bass. I wonder of the "small" feeling comes from he is used to play on a Thayer-horn?

/Tom
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Matt K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:24 pm

Bruce mentioned something similar not too long ago about that model Yamaha as well and I think it's not an unreasonable characterization perhaps even independent (pun intended) of the valve choice. It is a student horn after all and the Yamahas of that ilk that I've played have all had fairly 'tight' leadpipes (which others may describe as 'easy', from a different point of view). Another perception thing can be the bell. If you're used to a 1 piece bell like a Bach (w/o soldered bell bead if I recall?) and suddenly play something with a 1 piece, soldered bell bead it's going to feel like its borderline articulating for you which can feel like 'cruise-control' (as I've called it before) to some and 'peashooter' to others.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:28 pm

imsevimse wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:04 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:39 pm
If a horn is being used for its original purpose... I think it's doing just fine. In any case, quite a tangential point to the OP.
Maybe or he is interested in people's view on Thayers and how they play in general.

The OP played a new horn with Thayers and thought some things was strange with the horn. I think (for me) a Thayer is more open in feel, and this is a thing that some like and some don't like.

One thing that struck me today when I play tested a Yamaha 321 together with a guy who is a real good bass trombone player usually on a Shires with double Thayers is he thought that Yamaha 321 felt very small. I've never thought any normal bore bass as being a small bass. The double valved Martin .536 bass I have is to me a small bass. I wonder of the "small" feeling comes from he is used to play on a Thayer-horn?

/Tom
The 321 is a small bass. It's got a small bell throat.

There's a difference between liking Thayers and noting small changes in Thayer setups, like the 50AF3 problems many have noted.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by sirisobhakya » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:45 pm

I can confirm that Yamaha's leadpipe even on the 830 seems to be tighter than that of Bach's bass. When I play-tested them side-by-side (50B3L and 830) the Bach seemed to try to suck me in, while the Yamaha fights back a little. However, I didn't remember having problem with focusing when using the valves.

I saw another bass exhibited at the store when I bought my 830. It is XO double Thayer model which spec states ".571" bore". I don't know if they get it correctly or not, but if correct, that's HUGE.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Matt K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:49 pm

sirisobhakya wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:45 pm
I can confirm that Yamaha's leadpipe even on the 830 seems to be tighter than that of Bach's bass. When I play-tested them side-by-side (50B3L and 830) the Bach seemed to try to suck me in, while the Yamaha fights back a little. However, I didn't remember having problem with focusing when using the valves.

I saw another bass exhibited at the store when I bought my 830. It is XO double Thayer model which spec states ".571" bore". I don't know if they get it correctly or not, but if correct, that's HUGE.
That's actually the valve bore. The Jupiters have he same valves for both bass and tenor, so their tenor valves are oversized relative to what they 'normally' are (usually 562) and their basses are undersized (usually something like .593).
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by sirisobhakya » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:58 pm

Matt K wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:49 pm
sirisobhakya wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:45 pm
I can confirm that Yamaha's leadpipe even on the 830 seems to be tighter than that of Bach's bass. When I play-tested them side-by-side (50B3L and 830) the Bach seemed to try to suck me in, while the Yamaha fights back a little. However, I didn't remember having problem with focusing when using the valves.

I saw another bass exhibited at the store when I bought my 830. It is XO double Thayer model which spec states ".571" bore". I don't know if they get it correctly or not, but if correct, that's HUGE.
That's actually the valve bore. The Jupiters have he same valves for both bass and tenor, so their tenor valves are oversized relative to what they 'normally' are (usually 562) and their basses are undersized (usually something like .593).
It is stated like this in their website also http://www.xobrass.com/trombones/bass-trombones. Normally manufacturers don't state valve bore in this manner, or do they?

Tangential: that bass was listed first at JPY650,000 vs JPY500,000 of my bass. Then the price gradually went down over a year or so. The last time I saw it, the price was JPY350,000. Someone was desperate to sell it...
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Matt K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:11 pm

It's probably a miscommunication on the part of the marketers. Unless something has changed. As of say, a year or so ago when I talked with some people in the know about it, the slides were the 'standard' size but the valves were under-/over-sized depending on if it was bass or tenor respectively.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by sirisobhakya » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:13 pm

Interesting. But doesn't that means the playing characteristics is all over the place? I haven't play-tested any XO yet so I don't know.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:25 pm

the XO basses are very good, IMO.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by Matt K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:41 pm

Well, compared to a King bass (the 7B and 8B have the same rotors as the Duo Gravis/6B right?) it's larger but compared to most contemporary horns they're smaller. I haven't played one in a few years but when I last played one, I thought it played really well. But I was mostly a tenor player at the time so that isn't very surprising. I didn't notice anything particularly odd about the way either the tenor or the basses played. I also played extensively on a Duo Gravis for a little over a year and also liked the way it played so I'm not convinced the rotor bore (or even the rotors themselves) are actually THAT important relative to the many complexities of the design of the remainder of the horn. There are a LOT of variables. Now, if you put a .530 bore rotor on it... yeah that might cause some problems. But as long as its generally conical, myriad other things are going to contribute to how a horn feels and sounds as well.

Actually, I"m not unconvinced that another reason that valves give the impression that they are playing differently (provided, of course, they aren't badly leaking or something mechanical) is that they are basically the closest thing to our left ear. So the feedback we get is going to be slightly altered depending on what is making contact with our neck. The induction that we get form the instrument is non-trivial to say the least.
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Re: A bad Thayer or a bad me?

Post by BillO » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:39 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:25 pm
the XO basses are very good, IMO.
I agree.

I have such an animal - maybe I will try to measure the bore through the valves - tomorrow(ish)...
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