Trombone advice

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by teletext45, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. teletext45

    teletext45 New Member

    Right guys I've got a bit of a dilemma. I picked up an olds ambassador Bb/f for £150. Its pretty beaten up and the lacquer is quite bad. In a nutshell I've been offered a trade for a pretty mint yamaha 356r Bb/f if I trade my instrument along with £150. Sounds a good deal, what are the modern yamaha instruments like??

  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    In your position I'd go for the trade. The Ambassador might be something special to someone who likes older Olds Trombones but the Yamaha has a good reputation on the US Trombone Forum so one in decent condition would make a nice intermediate tenor trombone for wind and brass band use. I'd buy it for the right trade.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  3. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    You need to play them both and see which feels best for you and which produces the best sound with you driving it.
  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Wish I'd said the above; my thoughts were more along the lines of: brass band, intermediate player, easy blow, market value and sound kit rather than your particular playing which might include jazz and/or big band - sorry.

    I believe that the 356r has a rose brass bell and that will give a 'darker' sound than the gold (?) brass bell on the standard 356g
    See: , response 12 and,54266.msg773521.html response 2.

    It might be that the rose brass bell isn't bright enough for your non brass band playing ........ but a smaller shallow mouthpiece might make it jazzier ??? Your style and your choice(s).
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'll just insert (with a bit less caution than I usually do there as it tends to make people there upset - there's a lot of emotionally-invested mythology talked about bell metals there, by a lot of very eminent players) the usual warning about the effects of bell metals on playing.

    1) It's small. Way way smaller than the effect of changing between brands, changing between models, and changing bore size, all of which are on the table here. Also way way smaller than the effect of changing mouthpiece. Or any other component that involves altering the bore profile.
    2) It doesn't reach out front. On trombone it's solely to do with what reaches your left ear through the side of the bell. If you put the same blowing input into the instrument with two different otherwise-identical bells the audience won't hear a jot of difference. Nor will the baritone or horn players sat in front of you.
    3) Manufacturers love to emphasise their bell metal options, and often talk a lot of mythology while doing so ('dark' etc. It is interesting that recently elsewhere on TTF someone tried to define a whole spectrum of terms like this precisely, but it immediately became clear that there was little consensus on meanings). It's not expensive for them to do, and it gives the appearance of dramatically increasing the number of options on the instrument without really being accountable to anything.

    This isn't to say that it can't be a valuable very-fine-tuning difference to a fine-tuned player that likes a particular model and wants to fine-tune it - but that it only impacts on your personal listening feedback, not on anything else.

    Regarding the OP's question, I would take that deal. Yamaha 356 in good condition for effectively £300? That's a good price - those are instruments that have a reputation for being much better than their 'student' designation, and have been on occasion used professionally.
  6. teletext45

    teletext45 New Member

    Drum roll please.......



    Really pleased with it and really I think it's a bargain!

  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

  8. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Good, I'm delighted for you if very very green. IMHO you've had a stroke of luck and made a great choice.
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Wouldnt it be a lot quicker and easier for all concerned to of just swapped it for a Baritone !
  10. yoooff

    yoooff Member

    Or a Banjo? Or anything but a trombone?
  11. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    A nice looking trom and a great price, if you're happy with how she blows I think you've done really well. Happy blowing!
  12. DocFox

    DocFox Supporting Member

    It does look good. And Yamaha (except when they were new in the business) makes a good bone. Break your banjo in half ;). I used to own a music instrument store. Before Schilke did his famous study on lacquered trumpets vs. silver trumpet and found the lacquer dampened the sound (that is why all Schilke products are in silver) the silver vs. lacquer made a big difference.

    Today they use a very thin lacquer, more like what they use on jet aircrafts. Hence the metal can make a difference in sound, but it is very small. They used to use a cellulose lacquer that was 20 times or so thicker than today's lacquers, hence the damping effect. Different bell metals are now more for looks. I personally love the copper bell. But hey, I have one of those plastic trombones (for giggles) and it sounds fine.

    The player always makes a larger difference. But as I used to tell my customers, YOU have to like the instrument. Just because someone else likes something better may only be what they are used to! I think you bought a good bone that looks great.
  13. teletext45

    teletext45 New Member

    Had a good play with it, experimenting with a few mouthpieces a Getzen, a Bach, Denis wick and the Yamaha that came with it. Really pleased with the deal, it's put me into a much better instrument then I thought I could afford. I'm just too scared to use it now! hahah too nice for me! :p

    But really, thanks for the advice and feedback ladies and gents, it's greatly appreciated!

  14. 08cbinns

    08cbinns Member

    (If it's what the model I think it is) They're great trombones and you've got it a bargain there!! I played on one for years and never let me down once.

    Happy parping!

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