Help...bass trombone mid life crisis!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Basstiger, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    Can anyone out there help me with some advice please??
    I've been playing bass trombone for almost 15 years on my Holton TR181 bass trombone. My band has a Yamaha YBL 612 dependant bass which I have used on occasions and found I can get more sound out of. I've recently bought an old Yammy 322 single valve bass which has been a revelation...I can really growl on it and for longer than I've ever been able to on the Holton. It obviously has the limitation of a single valve and for some of the stuff we play I really need the 2 but have become accustomed to the independant valves on my Holton and don't like the dependant valves on the band's Yammy....
    Here's the I keep the Holton, or swap it for a 613R or H? These seem to be like gold dust and I don't have the money to do other than a straight swap really....or does anyone out there have a 613 they want to swap for a Holton bass?
  2. theMouthPiece Related Searches

  3. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Keep the Holton, unless there is something wrong with it an ideal horn for the level you play and beyond as it is a pro model, and you are more than comfortable with it!
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Hmm. The Holton 181 is easy to play, and makes it easy to do that low register shouting thing that brass bands so love. But it's got a bit of a flabby sound to it when you're not shouting, and it's rather unresonant at p. The Yamaha 613 fixes these faults, but is not so easy to manouevre with. It really depends on what is important to you as a player.
  5. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    Thanks, I love the Holton but find I can get a much bigger all round sound from the Yamahas with no more effort, and our conductor is always asking me for more sound.....
  6. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Sounds like you have made up your mind, and a change is going to happen!
  7. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    I know exactly where you're coming from. I play an old Twin plug Sov Globe. Fantastic instrument, but limited. It was getting a repair done so i used the band's yam 613H. Well it sounded like two wet fish getting slapped together. I needed to completely change my style of playing to suit. The Yam is an easy option in your case. You need more volume so move to the Yam. Hope this help's.
    Bass trombone
    Manx Concert Brass.
  8. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    Anyone got a 613H or R they fancy swapping for a Holton TR 181?? I've had it from new (bought 1997) and it's in lovely condition, just had a crease taken out of the bell, there's a tiny bit of red rot on the slide crook. Slide is excellent, valves free moving. tiny dent on tube between the 2 valves. Couple of mute dings but tiny ones. Can provide pictures if anyone wants to see them.
  9. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    I know have just taken a 613H in part exchange for a Rath. It's fairly old so may be cheap, or they may trade in your Holton?
  10. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    You're just not trying hard enough, I tend to get the exact opposite....:biggrin:
  11. Brassbones

    Brassbones Member

    Never been able to get on with the TR181. With bog standard French horn valves and umpteen hair pin 180deg bends in the wrap it's hardly surprising you aren't blowing any walls down! Plus the bell is so short that 3rd position is in like 3.5 position! I know a lot of good players have used them, including Simon Chappel at the RLPO (who's just gone Rath) but rather them than me.

    My advice: Yamaha make nice keyboards and motorbikes. Suffer the Holton until you've saved up enough for a B454 :p
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  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It's strange how perceptions differ. I've always rather liked the Holton 181 valveset, finding them pretty much as good as older rotors get in terms of freeblowingness and consistency of blow. Plus you still have a little air resistance from the rotor design, which is often useful on a bass trom. Yes, they're not open like Thayers - but I don't think that's always a plus, musically.

    Certainly, compared to the Bach 50B2L I grew up playing and the Conn 73H I play now, the Holton valves offer a dreamily free and consistent blow. There's no bends in the Holton wrap that are sharp enough to disrupt the airflow - unlike the Conn, say, which has a 180 with a radius of curvature of about a cm as the air leaves the valve section (and another similar at the end of the 2nd (dependent) valve tubing - low C and B are filthy notes on it with those two bends to contend with!).

    A last point - I've blown down many walls on a 181. There's a particularly fruity recording of 'Prague' from the areas a few years back in my CD collection somewhere... If you get your air focussed right for it, and find the right mouthpiece, the design can do monstrously loud and cutting things.
  14. Mr_Chairman

    Mr_Chairman Member

    ...good job we are playing outside tomorrow then !!:)
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'm a well-behaved guest... Mostly... ;-)

    And am on the Conn anyway!
  16. Brassbones

    Brassbones Member

    I do recall envying the super quiet plastic linkage on the TR181 when I was playing my clanky old Back 50B3LO back in 1935 or whenever it was.
  17. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Agreed - the Holton 181 is a great all-rounder. What's almost unique about it is that the extra tubing is set close to your shoulder, so it doesn't take too much effort to hold it up, which can be the problem with open-wrap models. Those who say it isn't free-blowing aren't blowing it right, IMHO ;)

    Also, I'd steer well clear of "dependent" valves - if you're used to an independent set-up, I'd imagine you'd find the differences (and inherent limitations) of this arrangement difficult to get used to. Despite trying both the Yamaha (double thumb-trigger) and more standard arrangements, I've never got on with dependent rotors, even with hours of practise put in... Just my thoughts, anyway.

    No harm in road-testing something different, but the grass is often greener - be sure you know what you want before making a leap :)
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Must beg to differ, on the following grounds:
    1) The vast majority of users of independent bass trombones almost never use the 2nd trigger on its own, the only advantage of independent over dependent.
    2) An independent setup has two properties that can be slightly suboptimal when compared to a dependent setup - i) there are always two valves on the open tube, making the airflow more turbulent and the instrument more prone to unexpected unresponsiveness; ii) the start of the bell flare has to be pushed later to make room for the second valve.

    Don't throw out all dependent designs so simply... Some of them are great.
  19. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    Thank you all...I'm not doing anything hastily yet....I would like to try a Yamaha 613H though. I must say I've always found the valve set up on my Holton to be very free blowing, and I prefer the independent set up I have as I often use both triggers independently of each other.....and in the meantime have use of a 612 which I can growl on if needs be!
  20. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    f you get your air focussed right for it, and find the right mouthpiece, the design can do monstrously loud and cutting things.[/QUOTE]

    Right then....what would be a good mouthpiece for it? I have a LOUD LM31 stainless steel mouthpiece which is a one off and like a bucket, I've tried the usual Wick 0AL etc and have a Bach 1 1/2 GM with my 322.....
  21. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I used to play an independent set up and now play a dependent set up. To me the limitations are pretty small, and I can't imagine it taking hours of practice to get used to not being able to play an F sharp with 2nd valve and closed position rather than reaching out for 5th.....

    Then again, we're all different.
  22. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Depends on your playing. For me, it was something not too deep and moderately wide. The 0AL is a mad design that I can't make work on anything - deep deep deep but not very wide. Maybe try something in the 1-1/4 size range - worked for me, but ymmv. I think the main thing is to find a piece that will let you supply the 181 with a big airflow, which is what it thrives on.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

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