Cheaper bass trombones - experience please

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Basstiger, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    I have spent the last year or so playing on an ageing Yamaha YBL321 Bb/F bass trombone and I love it. However the slide isn't very good and I really miss the versatility of having the second plug. What I would really like to know is people's experiences ie what they know about the cheaper chinese made instruments, not what they have heard. I'm on about John Packer, Wessex, Coppergate, Peter Gane, Catalinet etc. I am not going to spend mega bucks on a trombone that I have no real need of and I am the first one to accept that it is probably better to spend on a good second hand instrument than on a new copy one. The only preference I have is that it must be independent.
  2. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    I am a fan of John Packer instruments. I have been to a few shops that retail them and have had a blow on the various cornets, horms, trombones and Eb bass.

    I am currently playing a JP 371 cornet. I think JP are open to learning hence the collaboration instruments such as Rath for the trombones. They are also well priced.

    I certainly think they are worth a try if you are in the market for a cheaper instrument.
  3. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    I've been a brass player all my life but started on bass trombone at the beginning of this year so that I could join a big band. At first I borrowed a very nice and hardly used double plug Bach Strad, but when the time came to give the instrument back I bought a Coppergate from Gear4Music, I can't comment on the longevity compared with a pro instrument, but I bought it with a 4 year warranty and it still cost less than £400. It does not blow quite as freely as the Bach but the slide feels as good as does the operation of the valves. The second trigger lever is right at the end of it's adjustment to make it reachable by my fairly small hands. If you had tiny hands, you might need to lash up some kind of extension. Yes, overall it's a worse instrument than the Bach Strad, but it is only a tiny bit worse. If I was a top quality player, I'm sure I would think paying extra for 10% better performance was worth it, but at my level, I can easily get much better results by practicing more, than I can by using a better trombone!
  4. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    Well I did go down the Gear4music route and what turned up was obviously not a particularly good example of the above (slide wasn't properly aligned), plus it had a massive crease in the bell which may have been done by the courier so back it went.......G4M were very apologetic it must be said and very quick to organize a courier to collect, and to refund my money. So today I went to John Packers in Taunton to see what they had..................and came back with a pristine (almost) Yamaha YBL613H which is what I sold in the first place. More than I wanted to pay, but hey, they don't come along very often! Happy Basstiger :)
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Glad you found something nice! Dropped in on Wessex Tubas yesterday morning (in Andover - so about an hour from you) to have a look at their new range of sackbutts, and rather got distracted by trying their extended trombone range.

    There are some nice-blowing instruments for sale there. In particular, there was a single-valve bass there that made a great 'compact' bass sound and blew well down through the valve register; a very easy instrument to sound like a bass trombone on, and one I'd recommend to any player who wants playing bass trombone not to be a physical challenge. They also had a couple of really rather nice large bore tenors (one of which was very like a Bach 42B, but more consistent to blow than any Bach I've tried, and without that dead 'thunk' to the sound that 42s and 50s often suffer from), and some decent smaller tenors as well as a couple of alto options. The sackbutts still need a bit of R&D but will be good once properly ready - they already blow well.

    Having arranged to pop down at the last minute, I found myself there with not one but two immensely respected professional trombone players and design anoraks who were aiding Jonathan with design thoughts - one of whom left him with custody of a very rare 1934 Conn 70H customised with a later Conn Elkhart dependent valveset, with the aim of creating a Wessex copy. Their trombone range is in good hands, for sure.
    ROBTHEDOG likes this.
  6. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    I did think about going there but was tempted by the Packer JP232 bass trombone. I was going to try that and the Rath R900 bass but ended up with the Yamaha. Hey ho. I loved my original 613H but it wasn't a very good example of one (bought on ebay.....had previously been stolen and recovered and cosmetically awful with a twist in the bell, lovely slide action and smooth valve set though) This one is almost mint and beautifully balanced and I could if I felt that way blow walls down with it I think!
  7. DocFox

    DocFox Supporting Member

    One that I think plays very well and is often overlooked the Weril from Brazil. A few years back they spent over a million to upgrade the plant. Since then, I think the instruments play very well and are not an arm and a leg.
  8. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I used one for several years, was happy with it until I played something better and realised what I was missing
  9. DocFox

    DocFox Supporting Member

    I traded my Weril for a Yamaha 603. I would love the have the Weril back. But instruments fit people.

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