Saw this in a thread that was just revived, where it received no replies, and thought that it deserved a thread of its own: In regard to generalising about bass trombone makes: I think there's a lot of interesting questions hiding in this idea, revolving around the central one: What makes a "good" brass band bass trombone sound, and how does it differ from a "good" bass trombone sound in other ensembles? Band playing on the bass trombone presents a set of challenges that I haven't found duplicated anywhere else while playing that instrument - you have to be able to roar and whisper, and maintain a degree of stamina that isn't necessary elsewhere; you have to be aware of a wide range of different playing styles. I've found some of the comments that people have made in the currently dormant "Who's the best bass trombonist?" thread very interesting - in particular, the way so many of the contributors have eulogised the ability to play extremely penetratingly above all else. Is this really what defines a great band bass trombone sound? It seems to me that there is a lot more to it than this, but this is what apparently exclusively grabs many listeners' attentions. For me, the best instrument to use in a brass band is one that offers more weight of tone than a tenor (not excessively so), but will 'focus' in that characteristic trombone way at dynamics from approximately a loud mf upwards. I don't mean the coarse 'edging out' a la the old tiny bore G trombones, but a more controlled version. This is where some difference from the ideal orchestral model appears - edge is used more sparingly there. I wonder if anyone has specifically sat down with, say, the people at Rath, and produced 'ideal' bass trombone designs for symphony orchestra and brass band? Here are some of the possible differences that I would consider when moving from orchestral to band designs: - Tighter leadpipe - more 'focus' - Larger mouthpiece - more power (but a little less focus at medium dynamics) - Maybe a smaller slide bore - .547/.562 dual instead of .562 single, perhaps - more focus at medium dynamics Essentially, the instrument is needed to do both a 'symphonic' job and a 'big band' job (to generalise crudely) - both giant sonority and biting edge have to be easily available. What do you think?