What Bass Trombone do you use???

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by basstromboneboy, Jul 19, 2008.


which Bass Trombone do you use

  1. Holton

  2. Bach

  3. Rath

  4. Besson

    0 vote(s)
  5. Yamaha

  6. Conn

  7. Edwards

  8. other...

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. hi all

    i recently bought a Rath bass trombone and i was wondering what makes and models everyone else uses or has used and what they thought of them

    mine is a Rath R9 with just the standard build, No special add ons, but it is the best i have ever played!!!!!


  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    None. I play tenor horn.
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    You're a lucky chap, Joshua! I had to make do with a knackered old Bach 50B2L that had a patch on a bell, a slide like sandpaper, a terribly stuffy trigger response, and a first trigger that kept falling off until after I'd finished university.
    Even now, having bought myself a new bass trombone last year at the age of 28 after having had a decently-paying job for 7 years, I couldn't afford a Rath! How do people do it?
    Anyway, enough jealousy...

    I play a Conn 62HCL (single bore slide). I'm engaged on a bit of a mouthpiece safari at the moment, but I keep coming back to my old Bach 1-1/4G.

    Edit: At least, that's what I use for brass band - for various smaller ensembles, I'll consider using my 88H, one of my G basses, or F valve Czech bass - maybe we're getting an inkling of why a Rath was out of my price range! :)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Ahem! :biggrin:

    Your secret's safe with me.

    This might help:
    Paul Milner (LSO): Bach 50B2
    Roger Argente (RPO): Edwards
    Christian Jones (Philharmonia): Conn 62
    Les Lake (ENO): Reynolds Contempora
    Keith McNicholl (ROH): Old Elkhart Conn
    Alwyn Green (CBSO, just retired): Bach 50B2
    Dave Gordon (Birm. Royal Ballet): Conn
    Rob Goodhew (BBCNOW): Conn 62
    Alan Swain (WNO, just appointed): Bach 50B2
    Kevin Smith (Bournemouth): Conn

    Other top freelance players:
    Dave Vines: Edwards
    Darren Smith: Edwards
    Pat Jackman: Holton
    Andy Fawbert: Conn or Yamaha
    Andy Waddicor: Conn

    So you can see, there's quite a mix of instruments being used by the top pro players. Interestingly, I don't know many Rath users. Perhaps Rath trombones might be more suited to brass band or jazz playing than orchestral. Does anybody else have a viewpoint on this?
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Don't worry, I haven't claimed yours! I have three of my own... All narrow bores, alas.

    Interesting list, btw. I wonder if one reason pros don't play Raths is that becoming a professional musician isn't a career move likely to leave you with pots of spare cash. Another reason presumably is the conservatism inherent in instrument choices - the people who book you want to hear the same thing as you gave them last time. Perhaps when Raths have 'worked through the system' a bit, we'll start to see more - when there are people playing professionally who grew up playing a Rath, in other words.

    Does Mark Frost still play a Rath?
  6. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    It certainly looked like his Rath that he was playing when I saw him with Opera North the other week.

    I play an Edwards bass with a gorgeous Red Brass bell. Tis a lovely bit of brass!
  7. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I think the other thing we can say from this list is that the players change instruments quite often. When I was playing and working in London a couple of years back I know that some of those players/instruments listed were different. Surprisingly less Edwards than I remember. It seems these have been tried and replaced in favour of Conns . . . .
  8. the main reason i got my trombone was because i had to! as i am moving up north i have to change bands, but to go visit them you kind of need a trombone. also i am starting to get into alot of other ensembles and it was the most sensible idea to get a trombone that i could rely on and that would last me.

    thats still not to say that we can now afford to pay for it!:-?:-?

    ps, i also started on a knackered old bach!!!!!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  9. i do know of a few orchestral players using Raths but not many, so i agree, it seems that rath is suited more to the brass band and jazz market, but i do still think that they sound fantastic in an orchestra also.
  10. Fatman

    Fatman New Member

    I use a Holton TR181 at the moment. Have been playing it for some months. I don't have much playing experience on many Bass troms (my only other trom was a knackered old Yamaha), But love my little Holton!
    Does anyone else play one of these?
    I'm interested to see what others think of it!
  11. andybt1984

    andybt1984 Member

    I have a Rath R9 and also a Courtois 500. I play the Rath more as it is easier to play in brass bands. The Courtois is absolutely huge and is very difficult to get any kind of edge on. I'm actually thinking of selling both as I want just the one instrument that covers all my playing.
  12. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    Well well Josh, seems like you have struck gold then, you lucky fella.
    Good luck ooop north by the way, i'll keep an ear out for you!

    Personally i know a couple of people who had Edwards then bought Rath then went back cos they couldnt get on with them. :confused: not sure why?

    I played on a Holton 181 previously. Sort of liked it, but found the ditstance between the bell and the mouthpiece and the width of the slide bit weird compared to other trombones, especially tenors. From memory i think the bell was a fair bit closer? Not sure if anyone else has ever come across this?

    My weapon at the mo is a K&H, only because its the band inst but i seem to get on OK with it. I guess Rath is kind of fashionable to have at the mo, just like Edwards were a few years back, but spose it depends on what sort of cash you have to spend. As with most things so much choice!
  13. TubaPete

    TubaPete Member

    Orchestrally, I sit next to Ian S Davies (ex. Opera North and now freelance) 3 or 4 times a year and he plays very nicely on a couple of custom Raths.

  14. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    I used to play on a Holton, it was a super instrument with a great sound, but always backed up and got really stuffy when double plugged. When only using no/one plug it was a cracker though. Pity they never did an open wrap version! Although as Jim says...

    ...the slide width and thus the length of the bell was really weird. I didn't so much notice it so much at the time, but when I moved bands and was given a Bach I found that all my slide positions had drifted out of whack and had to recompute everything!
  15. Fatman

    Fatman New Member

    I have noticed that about my slide positions too- I play Tenor trom occasionally (not by choice!) and noticed almost immediately the difference in positions between the Holton, my Yamaha dinosaur and my tenor.
    As I said I haven't had the pleasure of playing a variety of top quality Bass Troms, but I'm hoping I will in the near future!
  16. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    Thank god for that, for years i thought i had one that had been built wrong!
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Now I'm wondering if I did - never had any trouble like that with the Kidlington band TR181...
  18. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Never a truer word said about the money mate! Both my tenors don't add up to the cost of a Rath bass!

    Re. Mark Frost, I'm not sure what he plays as I don't know him. He's on a Rath according to the website, but manufacturer's websites don't always speak the truth!

    By the way, I voted for Conn to reflect the Bass Trombone player in the band I conduct. Jonny Heeley plays on a Conn 112H and makes a fine noise on it!
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  19. basebonetone

    basebonetone Member

    Bass Trombone brand

    I thought I'd throw a comment in. I started on a Holton 181, went to a Bach 50BL and now have a fantastic custom Rath with a dual bore bronze slide, frosted laquer bell and additional weighting systems etc - I wont bore you with the rest. The beauty of the raths is the ability to get the instrument sound you want using the combinations of setup choices and this was the reason I spent nearly 4 grand and 9 months getting it as close to the sound I need for the work I do! On the issue of band/orchestral etc I find simply changing mouthpieces and lead pipes gives enough of a difference to the sound to meet the requirements and there is no need to start swopping bells etc which I find ridiculous. I play in orchestras, show bands, brass bands and big bands as a freelance player and agree with the adage that once you have got a decent instrument then it is up to the player to do the rest of the work! Too many players spend years trying different mouthpieces, instruments etc when simply practising more effectively would serve them better! I often get asked what i think of the Rath and I always say I'm happy with it as it does everything I need it to do - you only get out of the bell what you put in the other end !!!!

    Tony Robertson