Use of a Plastic Trombone?

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by DocFox, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Those who keep up with eBay have seen these inexpensive plastic trombones. My back is sore, and I thought holding up a lighter horn would let me practice more.

    So I bought one. Interesting bone. The slide is plastic on plastic. No oil, trombotine, etc. Soapy water is used as a lubricant.

    I thought the tone would be awful -- but to my surprise if you throw out the plastic mouthpiece and put in a good mouthpiece, the tone was fair.

    My thought is it could be used to beginners. But in the US, bands play for US Football games - sometimes in the very cold and snow. Most buy cheap $50 bones to play in pep band and or to march with. The plastic bone might work well for that kind of work.

    There is a problem with a self-test. You tend to hear things the way you THINK it should sound. Very hard to be objective -- you need a brass player you trust to listen to how it sounds.

    Anyone one else have thoughts? I have not tried putting the slide on a different horn. The slide is very light and smooth and the bell is the most important sound part of any bone.
  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I seem to recall that there was some discussion of plastic instruments - maybe not a thread about but rather in passing within a thread - about six months ago. A friend had (and maybe still has) a Pbone and liked it for very casual use.

    Pbone and Tromba have a reasonable name, Trombas might be more difficult to find but from what I've read they are the better of the two by a not large margin.

    Christopher Bill plays a Tromba and does a comparison with top rate brass instruments. Chris has many youtube videos and is, IMHO, a real joy to listen to. I suggest you look some of his videos out.

    The Pbone and Tromba are both 0.500" bore and light so I'd have thought that they would be light on air (use) and easy to hold. I also like the idea of plastic trombones being quite hard to damage - brass trombones are so very easy to damage - and think that overall they are a very useful alternative to better sounding but fragile and expensive traditional instruments.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  3. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    This might help - search youtube for pbone and there are many others/ Enjoy!

  4. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    I've got red pbone that I use for messing about on, and also I did a few outside busking events with it at Christmas. The slide is smooth but very noisy, and it is a little more difficult to play at ff and above as the plastic does not resinate as much as brass. It feels sturdy and well made, and you don't worry about banging it in it's little gig bag.

    The mouthpiece that comes with it (Pbone 11C) is not the greatest IMO, but I've also got a plastic Kelly 6 1/2 AL that I've started using with it, and that suits me a little more.

    Overall, I think it is a good instrument for the correct situation (I've even played it a full rehersal) but I would not play it for a serious gig other than for a novelty piece.
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Well...... We started with Brass Bands, then we had Silver Bands. Soon it'll be Plastic Bands and I suppose the natural progression will be to Rubber Bands :)

    ~ Mr Wilx
  6. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    lol - Nice one Mr Wilks!
  7. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Plus 1, that made me rofl
  8. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    I have a pink pbone bought for mucking about with and also am using a kelly 6 1/2 with it. I have tried marching with it on a parade but found my bell mounted lyre slipped off the bell (no metal rim) and even when I addressed that problem with a square of butile rubber the instrument flexes too much with movement and therefore music moves so much it becomes difficult to read.
    As a bass trombone player I find the mid to low range quite difficult to sound well also. But it was excellent for outside Carol jobs at Christmas. The slide is very noisy though, but is getting smoother with use.
  9. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Are the noisy slides apparent to an audience, or is this more an issue just for players to deal with?
  10. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    My slide gets quieter all the time. Soap and water and some ramming. On YouTube you cannot hear it much, but YouTube compresses the sound so tight that it is hard to hear much at anytime. But constant cleaning a lots of soapy water for a lubricant and the slide is not bad.

    My guess is the audience could hear it in an unaccompanied solo, but it would not be a big distraction.
  11. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    It would only be heard if you were playing something very exposed, or perhaps if you were playing mic'd up for some reason perhaps? That last bit is a guess, admittedly.