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Thread: Chinese bass trombones

  1. #1
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    Chinese bass trombones

    Yes, I know that the place to ask these questions is really on the trombone forum(s). But I might in fact get more useful information for my purposes here, and without the introduction of axes that some might to grind on those forums. Also, when I tried to join the trombone forum last year I was not permitted to do so since the moderator refused to add me because I didn't own a trombone at the time. I can probably satisfy the stringent criteria now since I own a broken Chinese trombone from an unheard-of maker. But I thought I'd ask here first.

    I'm thinking of getting a bass trombone. While finding a reasonable old used one is a possibility, I think it's relatively remote in the the time frame I'm looking at and within my budget. As in the case of euphoniums, it is now possible to get a very good instrument at a pretty low cost. I'm hoping in the the range of $800 or even less. Having both a Chinese tuba and a Chinese euph, I know full well what the advantages, disadvantages, and trade-offs are. But I do have some questions which I hope might be answered by people with ACTUAL EXPERIENCE of the instruments in question -- rather than on the basis of total speculation of "I have a friend who ..." or "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." or "My repair tech says ...". So with that preamble ...

    There seem to be primarily two (and maybe three) variants of these things floating around. There are the Yamaha 830 clones (Mack Brass TB831, E. F. Durant 1031B, and various Ebay vendors), and the King 7B clones (E. F. Durant 1030B, Schiller SCHM60, Wessex, and various Ebay vendors). Schiller also has one with Thayer valves that looks as though it may be a Conn clone, but I'm not really interested in Thayer valves.

    Prices range from about $460 (Durand 7B clone) to $1,225 (Wessex 7B clone), with some very low prices from some Ebay vendors. Warranties vary as well, but most have a 2-yr warranty of some sort (which I'm inclined to ignore except for Wessex and Mack). I would have high faith in getting a good instrument from either Mack or Wessex. The others I might be willing to take a chance on if that's all the money I'll have.

    My main questions are these:

    1. Has anyone on this forum tried both the King and the Yamaha clones? Any comments?
    2. Has anyone tried the Yamaha and the King originals? Any comments on that? My impression is that the Yamaha seems to be generally preferred by trombonists, but I'd be interested in some insight.
    3. These all seem to be independent rotor designs. Anyone know of a Chinese clone of a dependent rotor design?
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  2. #2
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    I don't have experience but I have read a lot on the trombone forum about them, particularly the Wessex, and you're right not to ask over there, a lot of people have hard opinions on them.

    But over there, a member visited Wessex in their new complex and said that they have more selection then on their website. Their website is slightly outdated only because the move to their new facility has kept them from updating it. Contact Wessex and ask what exactly they offer just in case they offer something intriguing that's unlisted.

  3. #3
    Msan tells it like it is. But there are some people on there that might just have something in that range of pricing. I wouldn't rule out reconstructing a Bach 50. Kinda what I did for around $1,000. That would be sourcing parts/sections from DJ Kennedy, Graham Martin, and Matt Kingsbury. Those guys might know where a good used horn is. Graham provided a nice slide with a Shires bow, Kanstul inners/Bach outers (b stock), and allied service parts. As for the clones, it's Mack or Wessex. I've played on a Mack, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one. The boutique level horns aren't sold whole, they're parted out in bell, valve sections, mounting hardware, and handslides. Bbocaner would be a guy to ask too.
    Last edited by Markmc611; 01-25-2015 at 01:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Of course, then there's something like this that I think might be ideal for me, but I can't manage to get it just yet (and it will be interesting to see how far this gets bid up): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-YBL42...item3cf1472bbf.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    Central North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markmc611 View Post
    Two qualms about something like this:

    1. From what I've seen, Bach bass trombones seem to get dumped on by a lot of bass trombonists. I have no idea exactly what the issues are or how to adjudicate them, but I see a lot of complaints about the Bach basses compared to other models.
    2. I'm really planning on spending less than this. I can get a King 7B or Yamaha 830 Xeno Chinese clone from either a reputable or "semi-reputable" supplier for somewhere in the range of $460-$795 (some of them including shipping, and some with a warranty that I KNOW will be honored). So spending almost twice as much, or more, for my use and purposes, doesn't seem like an attractive alternative.

    What has become my main concern is this: Can I really hold a bass trombone comfortably to the point that I can enjoy playing it for, say, an hour and a half? This is a genuine concern because I used to have a Holton TR181. This was a fantastic horn in terms of sound and playability -- except it was very fatiguing for me to hold for any length of time (even after I added a ring below the mouthpiece). So I'm starting to think of maybe a large-bore tenor with F attachment like the Mack YSL-620 clone. Otherwise, I'm wondering if the 7B clones wouldn't be more manageable than the 830 since in some cases I've seen it referred to as a "lighter" horn.

    Well, in the next few days I should be able to try the different varieties and at least make THAT decision.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  7. #7
    They do make hand braces to support/even out the stress on the hand. I've had a Rath handrest for about two years. Edwards makes a nice one, called the Bullet Brace. If one chooses the BB, make sure it is the right on for the horn, as there are different mounts.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    Of course, then there's something like this that I think might be ideal for me, but I can't manage to get it just yet (and it will be interesting to see how far this gets bid up): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-YBL42...item3cf1472bbf.
    Take a close look at the trigger photo on that horn. It looks to me like the tubing leading from the valve to the loop is crushed. If that's the case, a repair might be $$$.
    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garcky View Post
    Take a close look at the trigger photo on that horn. It looks to me like the tubing leading from the valve to the loop is crushed. If that's the case, a repair might be $$$.
    Yes, that appears as though you may be right -- unless that's a trick of the light. However, that's something I might tolerate for the right price. It looks as though you could replace that by dealing with two brace joints and three tubing joints -- and either get the exact replacement part from Yamaha or make it. So not totally out of the question. But I'm definitely shying away from anything with significant bell or hand slide issues.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,039
    I've seen the hand braces. I'm just not sure that they'd help me sufficiently. It requires some investigation.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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