Trombones? Trigger or Straight? What are your views?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by oliwlliams, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. oliwlliams

    oliwlliams New Member

    In the process of looking around for a new trombone, and i'm at a crossroads. I prefer straight troms, I prefer how they feel and how easy-blowing they can be, but as I play in a brass band, orchestra and Jazz band sometimes I can't live without my trigger despite how little I like them. Is it worth sacrificing the trigger for an instrument I prefer and having to do a lot of position 1 to 7 movements or sacrificing my preference and sticking with a trigger. What are your views on whether or not they are important and what you rather :)
  2. Chris Thomas

    Chris Thomas Member

    Triggers are the devil's work.
  3. oliwlliams

    oliwlliams New Member

    Knew you'd say something along those lines Chris haha, i've tried both and always been scared to sacrifice the trigger, organised a trip up to taunton in April to try out some more. Maybe its time I did get rid of it and go for what feels best
  4. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    What is your current set up? are you looking at a large bore?

    Brass band 1st trombone very rarely if ever needs a trigger, but as BB players now use a large bore as standard you are looking at Conn 88H, or Bach 42B, you could consider buying a Shires or Rath and having an interchangeable straight gooseneck, so you can play it as a straight most of the time and add the trigger set up as needed!

    Conn also do an 89H which is the same idea.

    You then get into the choice of valve system, tru-bore, rotax etc etc only limit is your wallet size!
  5. Trum

    Trum Member

    Well, I'm a bass trom player - so I am probably more biased towards triggers - but my first trom player increasingly has to use a trigger for speed rather than range - so that's something to consider.

    If you can get something with Thayers or Haagmans - they are quite different to the old fashioned triggers and so tend to be more free blowing than the old style ones - which do bottle neck the air. A good idea of Vegasbound's about having an interchangable valve/straight section too. Best of both worlds - if a little wallet bashing!
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

  7. oliwlliams

    oliwlliams New Member

    Vegasbound, I'm currently on a Conn 88H and the trigger itself is very problematic, with the lever itself sticking down nearly each time I play it, despite sending it off to get the screws tightened, and most people I know who own one have had to do some frankenfixes in order to get it to go back up after you press it down. I'm not a big fan of raths, when I depped for a band I was given a Rath and the haagman valve was much better than the standard one on my conn, but I definitely didn't like the feel of it, after that I tried one or 2 that my friends have and I'm not a fan, plus the high price tag....I don't exactly understand the hype about them.

    I never thought about the interchangeable gooseneck....cracking idea will definitely look into it, especially the conn (as long as it doesn't have the same trigger system as the 88H). I'm gonna spend a good day up in Taunton trying different trombones out just to see which I prefer. Wallet is not exactly busting at the seems....I'd probably say £2500 is my limit.

    Trum, using a trigger for speed yes, it is handy not having to use 7th position, I'm gonna try a variety of bones when I go up to Taunton, both straight and with a trigger, take a good couple of pieces up with me making sure they're ones which require a lot of trigger (or 1-6 and 1-7 movements) and see if I can afford to sacrifice a trigger and go for my preference, if not then I'll look into saving up some more and looking at interchangeable goosenecks
  8. Trum

    Trum Member

    Packers - I take it. They're good down there and generally have a good selection.
    If you can get to one to try and can stretch to one - I'd say try an Edwards. I really like Thayer valves and the general build is fantastic (I have one of their BT's.)
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sounds like either you have a dodgy trigger on your 88H or that you don't oil it enough or correctly... I've never encountered anyone among the multitudes I've met playing 88Hs who had that problem (or had that problem with my 88H myself, despite it regularly spending weeks at a time out of use, as I do most of my playing on the bass). Don't write off 88Hs because of the trigger mechanics - they're good bones, and the problem is not typical. If you get an older one (prior to Gen 2), you will also find that they use the string trigger, which is a notably different mechanism, although that will entail a stuffier trigger blow.

    With regard to Raths, don't write them off on the basis of a small number of instruments, each of which may well have been set up in a way that doesn't suit you. Choice of leadpipe or valve (Hagmann vs Rotax) makes a big difference to the blow. Ring Packer's up before you go and make sure they have a variety of Rath parts in stock before you travel - they're an accredited dealer, and can offer you sound advice about mixing and matching parts. Also note that Packer's retail the new Rath R400 - a non-modular rotary-valved cheaper 'standard' version of the custom R4F - for only £1500 new. Definitely worth a try.
  10. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Oli - If you're having problems with a trigger sticking, I'd say get the valve itself looked at - how old is your Conn? My 88H took a few years for the valve to bed in, and if it's a new one it may be a case of the tolerances being too fine between the valve body and casing, or a bit of burr or gunk making the valve stick. The unibal joints used in the Conn triggers are usually fine once properly adjusted - over-tightening can in fact make the problem worse, so it may be a case of trial and error. I'm just speculating.

    I've only tried Hagmann and Thayer valves a few times, and actually found the decreased resistance problematic - that, coupled with the larger bore on the F section etc. has often led me to feel I'm losing air faster than I can supply it. A bit of resistance can be a good thing, if it makes you work harder to get a good sound. Nothing worse than 'going' for a nice juicy low note on the bass trombone only to have it fall away from you!

    I use rotor valves and closed wraps on both my 88H and Reynolds bass trombone. Unless I've got a very good reason not to, I always use 6th and 7th positions for the low F and E (G and F# for brass band tenor players) because the sound is invariably different. I have a good 'plug' sound, having been taught early on to practise such passages both with and without the plug - but what we often forget is that a trombone in Bb/F effectively becomes a different instrument when we put the trigger down - that's why it's called Bb/F! Hence the different slide positions etc. etc.

    As with anything new, you're doing absolutely the right thing by going and trying out different set-ups. But I wouldn't discount entirely your current horn simply on the basis of what sounds like a basic mechanical fault, which could be easily rectified - shiny new toys are not always the best answer.

    Best wishes

  11. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

  12. Get a straight edwards. Job done. Cushty.

    Or if you have more money than sense and you want the "versace" trombone be a numpty and get a shires. Oooh baby.
  13. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Get the horn to Adrian Jarvis and get the rotor overhauled, then re-evaluate when the horn is back to top shape!

    As you are a Conn player, you may not like the edwards as they are very 'Bach' like, but as someone always said 'try everything, use what works for you!'

    And would like Ceri to expand on the statement?
  14. Bones

    Bones Member

    How about an interchangeable Conn 88H with a Hagmann
  15. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I'm on an Elkhart Conn 8H, the best trombone I've ever played, but damn I miss the trigger! Brass band b-natural (concert) is so well (or over!) compensated these days I have about a millimeter of slide left and a dislocated shoulder trying to get the note in tune.

    The search for that perfect horn continues...
  16. Elliebone

    Elliebone Member

    I reluctantly relinquished my Elkhart Conn 8H 3 years ago for a custom-made Rath R4 with interchangeable goose-neck. Had used the Conn for 30 years. Since week 3 always played it with the trigger attached. Very happy with it. Would recommend trying out a variety - we are all different. I couldn't play a Bach or an Edwards to save my life!!
  17. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    I always used to use a Conn 88H - initially had problems with the trigger - stuck very easily - but after dismantling it and using some Silver polish works very well indeed. I then started using my old Conn 8H (straight Bb) and found I preferred playing that. However, I bought one of the early Rath R4s a couple of years ago and this is a fantastic 'bone, plays wonderfully smoothly. I only ever use my 88H on the very odd occasion I can't get away without a trigger. I also find that when using a Bb/F or bass 'bone, I much prefer co-axial or Haggmann valves with open wrap - so much less resistance.The bottom line though is to go try as many as you can until teh shop either runs out of instruments for you to try (or time to spend with you) or you get bored - what I like you very well may hate. Go with what works best for you but I am tempted at some stage to get either the Edwards or Rath with both the F attachment and gooseneck!Have fun!
  18. craigster

    craigster Member

    In my collection at home I have a new Shires with trigger, as well as a Conn 88H and and 8H. Both my Conn's have the thinwall bell (8HT and 88HTO).

    My definite preference is the 8HT for 1st trom in the brass band, even over the expensive Shires. Looking at getting a straight neck for the Shires so I can take the big trigger off once and for all.
  19. Bones

    Bones Member


    I have a 89h with interchangeable leadpipes and a removable closed wrap Hagmann F section which I am looking to sell. No reason other than I dont use the trombone at all these days, and and it is a shame to see this trom lying around.

    PM if you are interested.

  20. oliwlliams

    oliwlliams New Member

    Not been on here in a while so a lot of comments to reply to haha.

    I think I must add (which I didn't in my initial comment for some reason), My Conn 88H actually belongs to my dad, decided to buy a trom and get his playing back up to the standard he was again, but didn't have time and donated it to me, but now as he has more free time he wants to pick it up again. And as I'm in uni 80 miles away we can't obviously share haha. So thats why I'm looking to buy a new one.

    The problem is with the bit you press down (lever...not a clue what its called haha), you press it down, then leave go, the valve comes back up but the lever stays down...meaning I have to put my thumb under it and push it up each time I use the damn thing! No matter how hard you tighten the screws, after a week or so it happens again. The mechanism itself isn't of good quality at all, i'd much rather some string...or even an elastic band I think haha (thats a reference to one of the frankenfixes). You're right the 88H is a cracking instrument (minus the ****** trigger of course), the sound is so good. With regards to Raths..., please wallet won't be able to deal with it haha.

    Conn is around 3 years old, its really difficult to explain haha, a visual demonstration would be so much easier. You press the lever down and everything is fine, you let go, the lever more or less sticks down but the valve goes up. Its to do with the screws, i've had them tightened/replaced twice and just after a week the same thing happens again, now each time I use the trigger I have to push it back up with my thumb. The valve is fine, its just the mechanism itself...its very very poor quality, old 88Hs are brilliant and the trigger works fine, the new ones which have the metal link between valve and trigger lever all have this problem (we have 2 or 3 in band, mine, a friend of mine in uni with the same trombone). I know that shiny new toys aren't always the answer, but my dad really wants his trombone back and i've been saving up for a while, I've only been playing trom for 3/4 years, was a clarinetist for 13 years before that, so I know what to do when it comes to trying new instruments, been writing up some exercises on sibelius ready for me to test every aspect needed (doing so saved me from buying a £3000 clarinet a few years back and ended up settling with a £500 model which I found was a million times better suited for me despite what the dealer said haha).

    CPM: Edwards or a Shires?...I don't have that kind of money....haha :p. Made my mind up of what i'm gonna try anyway, a mix of different trombones valved and straight different bore sizes, different raths!

    Vegasbound: Trom had an overhaul before christmas, valve is fine its just the mechanism, once again difficult for me to explain over here...haha. When my dad gets it he can do what he wants with it and join the collection of frankenfixes i've seen :p I've only ever tried a 'Bach' once...I was playing with uni big band and was drunk at the time so don't really remember how it was haha, but I have a couple of bachs on my list to try. A mix of Bachs/conns/yamahas and a courtois (just to try it), a mix of valved and straight, and different bore sizes so should be able to pick out my faves then work from there...

    Good idea will defo look into it before going to Taunton next week

    Oh yes bottom B is always fun! I got lent a John packer medium bore straight trombone whilst mine was off being fixed, and in uni orchestra I had crotchet Bb to B during the final few bars....i remember needing a lot of deep heat on my shoulder after each practise haha.

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