Here’s the story about my new trombone. For 18 years I played a Benge 190F and was very happy with it. I have never been that much of a gear geek, so I didn’t really experiment much, and hadn’t really tried out many other horns – and when I did, I never liked them as much as my Benge. Then, in the summer of 2004, just for fun, I tried out three different instruments for three different performances of Anne of Green Gables, and although I wouldn’t have traded my Benge for any of them, each one had something that I liked better. The instruments I tried were a Conn 88H-CL (Lindberg), a Yamaha YSL682B (Bousfield), and a Bach 42BO. The experience made me realize that there was probably a better horn out there for me, and that I should start looking for it. Very soon after, I saw a Shires trombone listed on eBay, and it was located in Canada – in London, Ontario, to be exact. Now, since I had spent a year studying in London, and 7 years living nearby in Toronto, I thought there was a good chance I might know the seller, so I clicked on the button to ask the seller a question, and sent a simple message saying “Do I know you?” A reply came back from one Justin Bartley, who had attended UWO the same year I was there. His reply: “Yes, you do.” This was great for me, as I was able to ask him lots of questions about the instrument, and since I trusted him, I knew I could bid with confidence. Interestingly, he had bought the instrument from David Martin, who was the trombone teacher at UWO when we were there, so I was able to ask him about it as well. Dave had bought the instrument for one of his stints with the Montreal Symphony! Anyway, armed with information and confidence, I took part in a bidding frenzy during the final minutes of the eBay auction, placing my final bid within the last few seconds. Holding my breath, I refreshed the screen… and then spent several days praying I hadn’t just wasted a huge pile of money. I hadn’t. Um, anybody want to buy a Benge?
There have been a couple of people who have visited my website and have emailed me wondering about the specific details of my Shires, so for anyone who is interested, here it is: Bell: 2RVE. Valve: older Greenhoe. Tuning slide: B. Hand slide: TB47. Leadpipe: 1. (Mouthpiece: Greg Black 5G). These numbers may mean nothing to you unless you visit the Shires website. Interestingly, if I were to piece together my perfect horn, or what I imagine would be my perfect horn, I would start with a 1G bell and a T47 slide. Maybe someday I will make it to the factory in Boston to try the dozens of possible combinations that exist. Oh man – is it possible I have become a gearhead? 🙄
UPDATE: Sept. 12, 2012 – I have lately made some changes to my Shires set-up, and now have a 3GM bell (the “3” series was the predecessor to the current “7” series) and an axial flow valve. I also replaced the crook on the handslide with a tenor crook, so technically I now have a TW47 slide. I am also making the transition to a Griego 5 mouthpiece (New York blank) which seems to require a lot less work, but the rim – which is a little wider than what I am used to – is taking some getting used to.
Interesting to hear about – it may be worth a trip to St. Louis to try these out.
Dale a gearhead? Have I slipped into a parallel universe where water is not wet and the sky is not blue? Congratulations Dale on your Shires acquisition. I wonder if I will ever be able to take the Shires route?
very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
I am not much of a gear guy either, until I tried out the Edwards t-350. I fell in love with it and have been playing it ever since.
Good work man. Sounds like your doing well. In fact I’m a Trombonist my self and I’m loving it.
How does the Edwards stack up to the Bach 42B? I have been looking at a second trombone for my son, and am not really sure which has the best sound for an orchestral setting. Barry Zornberg
Neat. I am looking at possibly buying a new marching horn, what brands do you recomend?
Thats awesome! When I’m ready to buy another trombone to replace my 42BO I’m definitely looking into Shires’ horns!
Interesting! I’d never heard of Shires’ horns before.
I’m guessing you had no trouble selling your Benge?
It sounds as if you are an official gear head 🙂 In any case, how has that horn worked out for you? The Benge is not a bad horn by any means. I would not get rid of it.
I Started playing trombone in forth grade, i was the only girl playing then soon the only one in the band playing at all. My band teacher put so much pressure on me. She said i was to far behind compared to the others in the band, i need to read my notes faster. I hated her, but i kept on playing. I still have trouble with my notes, i think because my teacher never helped just said “practice!” witch i did but if i don’t know how to do it correct practicing the wrong thing never helps. But I never gave up.
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