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    Vincent Bach Stradivarius 12 Tenor Trombone [27]

    Product Reviews   
    This review is the result of a twenty year evaluation of a Bach Stradivarius model 12 Tenor Trombone - standard weight slide - with a Bach 12C mouthpiece.

    MODEL 12 BACH STRADIVARIUS TENOR TROMBONE Key of Bb, .500" medium bore, 7-1/2" one-piece yellow brass bell, chrome-plated nickel silver seamless inner slide, brass outer slide, nickel silver handgrip, tubular nickel silver body braces, removable gold-plated balance weight.

    Click here to see a picture of the Bach 12 from the Bach Brass web site.

    At the time of my trombone purchase in 1984, the Bach Stradivarius Trombones and Trumpets were widely regarded in Southern California as the best horns around. Yamaha had a reputation for quality and was bringing a lower priced good horn to market. But if you wanted to be taken seriously as a brass player, you had to look into the Bach horns. I had already owned and played a Bach Stradivarious trumpet. That horn was a rare Model 25 large bore with a spring first valve trigger. I have since sold that horn for thrice what I paid for it. The tone of the L was unbeatable compared to any student horn. The clincher to purchase the Bach was probably this: The rumor was that the Trombone players in the NBC Orchestra for the Tonight Show (Starring Johnny Carson) were all playing Bach Stradivarius trombones.

    My Bach trombone was purchased at Zep's music in Burbank. This was also rumored to be the place where the NBC guys bought their horns. Now clearly, there are probably only a select bunch who could really verify that (Ernie Tack - Bass, Bruce Paulson - Lead, Matt Finders, Dan Johnson, Robin Eubanks, and Alex Iles to name a few). Top Jazz Trombonist Bill Watrous uses the slightly larger bore Model 16 with the lightweight slide. Tom "Bones" Malone from the Saturday Night Live band and The Blues Brothers band uses a Bach 16M trombone.

    In my first college audition, my horn was labeled a "peashooter" by the director. It was recommended that I use one of the King 4B large bore (.547") tenor horns for marching band, and Varsity band. It was also recommended that I use a bass trombone for Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Orchestra. I did eventually learn the Bass Trombone playing techniques, and also learned to appreciate that there is as much technique to working below the bass clef staff as there is to working above the treble clef staff.

    For Marching and Basketball bands, the 4B with a 6 1/2 ALS mouthpiece was great for being able to project sound out to a big stadium like the Rose Bowl. Performing in these organizations is hard on horns because of the amount of physical movement involved and because of the need to place the horn down sometimes. Symphony and wind ensemble is much more staid, and the horn remains in your hands or in a stand. The Bach horn is really at its best in a concert hall.

    I really had to put in more work with the 4B; especially in the notes three divisions or more above the bass clef staff. These notes took less effort with the Bach 12. The flip side is that you run the risk of overblowing your triple forte and blatting or buzzing in the Bach if you are used to the bigger bore. The tone quality of the Model 12 was unbeatable. Also, the lightning slide action was unmatched by any other trombone I have tried. Obviously, lubrication technique plays a big part. But the tolerances of the Bach must be such to allow little to no slide friction.

    More information about the Bach 12 trombone can be found here on the Bach Brass web site.

    I happened to catch Bill Watrous live in concert a few years ago, and heard him do amazing things with his horn that I never thought possible. I already knew that my talent was mediocre at best. But to hear Bill work that 16 gave me mixed emotions. I had both an inspiration to play, and yet a feeling of unworthiness and a need to put my horn away forever.

    If I were to go back again and purchase a horn, I might like to try a Bach 36 with a .525" bore and 8" bell with no F rotor. (I guess that "peashooter" comment has stuck with me for a long time.) But overall, the Bach Stradivarious model 12 is one of the best trombones in the world. When your student has put a few years in and starts to show promise, I highly recommend that a horn Bach Stradivarius line be used to step up.{BB}

    Added: October 11th 2004
    Reviewer: BB
    Score: 27    [27]

    Related Link: Vincent Bach Brass (Conn Selmer)
    Hits: 15917
    Language: english


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