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Thread: Schiller bass trombone: an initial review, Part 2

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    Schiller bass trombone: an initial review, Part 2

    I thought I'd update this report with the latest development and my continuing impressions of the instrument.

    After playing this horn for over three months, I decided that it likely would benefit from having a different lead pipe. This would have the added benefit of solving the problem of the mouthpiece receiver being out of round and having to use Teflon tape on my mouthpieces in order to avoid an air leak.

    Yesterday, my trusty repair tech and I collaboratively removed the lead pipe (cost: $40), and I'm now using a Brass Ark BH62 "press fit" lead pipe (cost: $130). This also allows me to experiment with other lead pipes, although I like the result of the BH62, which is a more open feeling, easier control at lower dynamic levels, and a more colorful tone quality. The BH62 in this horn gives (to my ear) a good rich "commercial" sound that's great for bands and small groups. I think that if I wanted to play this in an orchestra I might look for a pipe that would give me a "darker" sound, but then the 7B has never been particularly popular as an orchestral horn.

    (Late edit ...) While I originally thought that the new lead pipe hadn't substantially contributed to any significant improvement in the double-valve register, I started playing around with other mouthpieces. I was about to sell my Doug Yeo replica mouthpiece since it had previously resulted in a rather dull and stuffy sound (and I'd had the same experience with one in a Mack Brass Yamaclone bass trombone). But in this horn with the new lead pipe it's FANTASTIC. Great sound and response in the middle and high registers, and all of the resistance and stuffiness in the double-valve register is just GONE. I'm REALLY happy with this result.

    I remain very happy with my purchase of this horn and it has definitely met or exceeded my expectations -- given, in part, that I had a realistic attitude and expectations going into it. It's the kind of horn I wanted, overall workmanship/fit/finish is very good, the slide (aside from the out-of-round problem with the receiver) is great, and I expected I'd want to tinker with the horn a bit in terms of lead pipe and such. I would otherwise have had to spend probably four times as much to get something comparable (even used), and then I'd likely still have put money into a different lead pipe. Altogether, I've ended up with a very serviceable double-valve bass trombone for a bit over $750 (and some effort). At the moment, I'm not even thinking about replacing this with something "better".

    I'd like to report that Jim Laabs music has been highly responsive to the few problems I've encountered, and in fact their attitude and response in email correspondence has been cordial, accommodating, and encouraging. In one case they got me a replacement part in a matter of just a couple of days. In the case of getting me a replacement slide to correct the problem with the mouthpiece receiver, I've been told for several months that this is "on order" and they will send it when they receive it. However, given my decision to replace the lead pipe on the otherwise good slide, delivery of a replacement has become a moot issue, and I've told Troy Laabs that it won't be necessary.

    Now I just need to work on skills development.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 01-06-2016 at 10:53 AM.
    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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