PBone - The Plastic Trombone

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Peach, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Peach

    Peach Member

    Yours for £50.
    Is this the future of beginner trombones? It might just be...
    A fraction of the cost, half the weight, more durable(?), sounds good enough to do a recording session with BBC Big Band on.


    Any thoughts?

  2. davejenkins

    davejenkins Member

    I'd love one, but they're out of stock.
  3. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Member

    A sky blue and white trom, there's a thought. Might be fun down at Eastlands.
  4. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    That sounds disgusting! ;)
  5. Playabit

    Playabit Member

    Pity they dont do a BBb.....save carrying that heavy thing about...lol...
  6. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Haven't seen Liam Kirkman for years. I remember when he had hair!
  7. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Having heard a couple of people play these live - a good player can make it sound reasonable. For a lesser player it didn't match the sound of a regular trombone.

    If I am being picky, the slide wasn't exactly smooth either - almost as much noise was coming from the slide as the bell.

    Certainly an interesting idea though - the combination of one of these and the assorted Kelly mouthpiece colours could produce some interesting looking beginner bands :)
  8. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    An interesting addition to the "metal type makes a big difference to the sound" argument!
  9. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Although it looks an interesting 'kids band' idea, presumably if you dropped one of these it would crack, and be unrepairable, unlike a dent which just adds character to your tone......
  10. Bones

    Bones Member

    Actually, had a toot on one on monday with my trom quartet, and as a training aid I think is a cracking idea. We ran through quite a bit of stuff and as for resilience, i think they would take a knock or two. Certainly withstand a knock or drop.
  11. saltyboy

    saltyboy New Member

    I am the proud owner of a pbone! Some observations;

    1. It doesnt have the same sound as a traditionally built instrument, but it isnt a million miles away - it still sounds like a trombone!
    2. The slide was a nightmare to 'fix'. The outer slide is made of carbon fibre, as is the inner stocking. The inner stocking has metal ends (this and the counterbalance weight are the only parts of the instrument that are metal as far as I can see) and the friction noise was unbearable at first. However after cleaning it 6 or 7 times with cleaning rods et al, it is now perfectly usable with the friction noise almost eliminated. (soap and water didnt clean it!). I don't know if the carbon fibre residue in the manufacturing process was the problem, but a lot of muck did come out the instrument.
    3. It plays remarkably well, and is very well in tune through all registers.
    4. It is an easy blow, and moving between the partials is astonishingly good.
    5. It is very light - much lighter than the manufacturers claim. I think my standard VB metal mouthpiece is heavier than the fully assembled pbone!
    6. My guess is that the bell section is almost indestructable, as it is a big chunk of 'plastic'. Not so sure about the carbon fibre slide, but I tried a few 'experimental drops' and my guess is it will cope with even the roughest treatment.
    7. It came with a red plastic mouthpiece and a polybone gig bag.
    8. It is a medium bore instrument and takes 'normal' mouthpieces as well as mutes.

    In summary, I think it is a work of genius! I'm no teacher, but I think kids would love it because it has the features of a real instrument, but is really light in weight and looks really cool. For the money I think it is great value. I bought it with the intention of using it on the many Christmas caroling jobs on the horizon. Great for cold weather I hope!
  12. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    :eek: Carbon fibre dust is really not the sort of stuff you want to be breathing in....!

    EDIT: Looking on the link it says the slide is glass fibre, which is slightly better [only slightly though]...
  13. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    How much are these things?

    Do they make a large bore tenor?
  14. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    The guy selling them smashed it so hard against a table that the people in the office were more worried about the table! He then proceeded to drop it and then fling the slide across the room. His point........ they are practically indestructible. Made out of same plastic as crash helmets.

    We have 50 of them at work for big beginner groups ("wider ops" if you're a teacher). So far so good.
    Main problem I have found is that because they are a push fitting and not screw the kids so far tend to not put them together tight enough and so half way through playing they come apart.
    That and the slide noise is a bit loud.

    Current gig bags 2 zips broken already, but I have been told that they are only temporary gig bags as these are the first to be produced and will get replaced with better bags when they are finished.

    Having played one though I thought it was great. For plastic it is remarkable. At the price they are I was tempted to get one just for fun.

    Good for young kids as they are not too heavy.
  15. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    Not yet anyway.....

    I was told they would look into other instrument if they make money on the trombones! Probably have brass valve blocks though.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Be interesting to see some blind listening tests. The two YouTube videos I've seen of people playing these sounded pretty convincing to me [though irritatingly they were mostly show-offy jazzy noodling when long tones would have given us a better idea of the instrument's quality]. I would expect the quality of sound feedback to the player not to match up to the quality of sound as perceived by the audience.
  17. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Wont the resonations be dfferent because of the different materials?

    Be good if they are Ok. Pehaps we will have PCorn, PHorn, PTone, PEUph etc etc if the Pbone is a success?
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Like Daniel wrote above, it's an interesting point when one considers the much smaller differences that people claim to be able to detect via playing, such as bell metal alloy composition. Richard Smith (of Smith-Watkins, ex B&H Physicist) has an online paper in which he demonstrates that even the best pros can't reliably tell the difference blindfolded between the various metal options when weight distribution differences are accounted for. Very revealing. A plastic bell would be an extremely interesting addition to the experiment.

    As I have it in my head, there's a certain amount of energy in the wave. A small amount of this couples to a vibration in the pipe wall. Then a small amount of that couples back to both wave in pipe and wave in room. A small fraction times a small fraction = a completely insignificant fraction.
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    This could very well prove to be one of the most important developments in brass playing I'll see in my lifetime. Just because it's instantly cut the price of getting started to an absolute fraction of what it would normally be.

    I hope they have plans to do a bass bone. (Although the trigger issue could prove problematic.) I've always thought Bass trom sounded like fun, and for the price of a couple of 2nd hand PS3 games I'd be first on the list!

    Wonder if they could do one in black and white stripes.....
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    To be fair, you can pick up a beginner trombone for £50 anyway.

    I'd be surprised if they produced a bass version soon - valves = more moving parts = significant extra complexity.

    Anyone know what the bore size is on these?

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