Help with "woolly" sound

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by gcbtrom, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Quick brief...

    After the Rememberance Sunday parade, I thought I'd give my Conn a quick clean before last nights rehearsal - didn't bother with the full brush and soak etc, just quickly gave it a rinse with some warm water and a bit of fair liquid. (Haven't had any problems with this method before).

    Dried the bone off, and re-greased tuning slides and re-oiled the slide (with Slide-o-Mix)

    Had a quick blow just to check the slide moved freely etc. Didn't think anything of it.


    Went into the rehearsal with a positive mind (as you do) but as soon as we played the first piece I knew this was going to be a hard blow - not because of the music - but because by bone felt like it had a blockage somewhere restricting the airflow.

    Gave the bone to "Ken" our bass player and he said it felt woolly - as a slight difference, I had a quick blow on his Yamaha Bass bone which was 10 times easier to blow - even up high!

    Our director had a blow as well and said the same (about mine)


    Question is - what could it be?
    It's the first time something like this has ever happened!

    Trombone is a Conn 88HO
  2. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    could you have maybe dislodged a bit of gunk (vaseline or whatever) into the tubing? Try giving it another rinse through with slightly warmer water and detergent to see if it shifts.
  3. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    No idea - but you haven't lost a bath sponge at about the same time, have you? ;)

    I would suggest a proper "full brush and soak" might initially be the way to go here....
  4. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    Obviously there is a blockage somewhere, try purchasing a compressed air aerosol and blowing whatever it is through.
    Suggest that you run very hot water through first. (NOT BOILING)
  5. bigE

    bigE New Member

    Used to have exactly the same problem with my Conn whenever I washed the instrument out. Found that if I washed the slide out more regularly to keep any gunge from collecting inside the slide, which is a problem with trombone slides, the lubricant collecting at the bottom of the inside slide, then it played better all the time.

    I came to the conclusion that when it was washed occassionally, I got used blowing with the slightly smaller bore as the lubricant collected at the bottom, then when it was washed the bore became larger all of a sudden and my sound became wooly for a few days.

    Started washing it every week religiously - problem solved.


    Sounds 'woolly'......sounds daft but have you checked the cork on the water key?
  7. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    For thos who replied with cleaning advice etc. I'm going to put it in the bath tonight with some hot(ish) water and some let it soak for a good few hours (hoping that any build up of grease etc. will dislodge itself). Then I'll use my snake brush to clean the tubing out and hope that the entire trombone will be free of any "GUNK".

    FlugelD, No chance of losing a sponge - didn't use one...

    TUBAWAY ARMY: No I haven't check the cork. Didn't really have time to do a proper "inspection"
  8. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Not daft at all, those bits of cork are notorious for slipping or falling off when you soak them a bit.
  9. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    take the sock out.
  10. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    I usually get told the opposite :frown:
  11. Fair enough imho...
  12. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Can't argue with that Mr Threepster (imho... :wink:)
  13. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Right quick report back.

    Couple of good points - the soak in the bath has cleaned the tuning slides and now move a lot easier than before (probably due to the amount of grease that has been applied over the past year or so.
    The second is the slide moves fine... :)

    Bad Points, and I don't know if this is common with New Gen Conns or not, but I'm getting some "green aged copper" blotches on some of the joints - almost like corrosion!!
    The second, again I don't know if this is a common problem, the lacquer on the bridge of the inner slide is peeling.

    Starting to get worried now - I've had the instrument 18 months or so, but it looks a lot older than that! Lacquer is in Top condition everywhere, except for the odd scratch at the end of the outer slide and the hand grip etc but thats normal.

    Is it worth getting it sent away for a "mini restoration?" Ie, brass surface clean up and re-lacquer etc..?
  14. hicks

    hicks Member

    Sounds about right for a new Conn. The lacquer on my slide started peeling off after 2 weeks. I took it back for repair, and the day after I got it back, the lacquer again started to go. I exchanged it for a Yamaha Xeno. The general concensus is that the build quality on newer Conns is not as good as it used to be.
    I wouldn't bother getting it re-lacquered if you're happy with the sound. Re-lacquering can often result in big changes to how the instrument sounds.
  15. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    I went the other way... Had a Xeno then swapped it for a Conn... Only reason is my mate had one and first blow I loved it, so got one...

    The only reason I'd get it relacquered, is to get rid of the corrosion etc. Take it back to bare metal, dip it to clean it, then polish and lacquer. As you say the build quality is pretty poor, maybe an overhaul will solve that problem.

    Well at the moment it sounds naff, hence why I cleaned it in the first place... so not really that bothered. The sound can only get better as far as I'm concerned.

    Oh if I only had the money for a Rath... :rolleyes:
  16. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Ok, bringing this back up. I've had two rehearsals and something is still not right. Our director says its still wooly and sounds like there is something stuck somewhere.

    Had a quick blow on our bass trombone players bone and with 2 valves, double the pipework and a bigger bore, was much easier to play than the conn...

    Getting slightly peeved off now because our Christmas Concert is coming up and I can't play a whole concert with my bone the way it is.

    Any suggestions?? PLEASE!!!!!!!!
  17. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Did you ever check that water key cork? It does sound like you might have a leak somewhere. Is the trigger working ok?
  18. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Everything is working ok, the the water key/cork is ok as well.
  19. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Have you checked the alignment of the valve? Take the valve cap off and check that the lines match up.

    Or buy an Elkhart!
  20. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    Valve lines up fine, it has too- as the plate that holds it in wouldn't affect the position, as the valve stem and the minibal linkage has only one way to sit/fit.

    Was thinking of buying an Elkhart but can't really afford one withy Christmas coming up. Saw a nice restored 8H on Ebay but again its the money side...

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