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Conn 88HCL Symphony Series F Attachment TromboneThe 88HCL Series features a .547-inch primary bore combined with a .562-inch bore as the original 88H Series, but with an open wrap F attachment and CL2000 Christian Lindberg rotor for a short throw and an almost seamless transition to the F attachment without a change in resistance.
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Specific horns may be great. But these horns are very mass produced. Quality control is terrible in the valves and you have probably a 40% chance of getting a defective valve. I have friends who have both good and bad valves. They both agree it isn't truly worth the risk and recommend a Greenho valve.
I have owned one of these "Lindberg" horns for almost 4 years now. I originally bought mine used, and it is one of the older, earlier models. Thus there may be a few differences from it and the ones you will find in most stores (mine has a gold brass bell and virtually no nickel plating on it, except for the inner slide. It's pretty much all gold). That being said, this is a horn I love to play on. Sure it isn't a Shires or Edwards, but there are a lot of great things about this horn, and it works well for me. Let's start with the Valve, it's extremely FAST. This is for 2 reasons, 1) (contrary to what one reviewer said below me) it is extremely light weight because it's inner construction is made of aluminum, and 2) it has a very short throw; meaning the turning angle of the rotary valve is very small. It is without a doubt the fastest valve on the market. In terms of openness I would say it has less resistance that a Greenhoe/traditional rotary valve, but a little bit more resistance than a Thayer/axial flow valve. For me that makes using the valve section on this horn less work, and ultimately more comfortable.
NOTE: the fact that this valve is made out of aluminum can also be a CON if you do not take proper care of it. Aluminum is a very brittle metal and will begin to fall apart if scratched or severely damaged. Never attempt to clean this valve by running a wire brush through it! It is the scratching of the aluminum that often causes this valve to seize or work improperly.
Another reason this horn works for me is because of the slide construction. Conn slides are very different from those of Bach or Edwards. The crook, or end, of a Conn slide is neither as wide nor as squared off as a what you'd find on a Bach, this is something that adds to the distinct Conn feel and sound.
One of the big reasons I play this horn is due to it's flexibility. That is not something I can find in as many other big name horns even including Shires and Edwards. I feel this horn gives me the flexibility to change my timbre, or tonal color, much more easily across all dynamic levels (which I will admit sometimes makes things more difficult because I have to maintain precise control).
The last point I would like to touch on, regards the process of purchasing a horn at all. With ANY horn you seriously look at, it is INHERENTLY IMPORTANT that you play it BEFORE you buy it. Give it a solid test run with some warm ups, long tones, scales, a solo you're currently looking at, maybe any orchestral excerpts or etudes you know; simply play as much rep as you can on it! That way you can find out whether or not it fits you. No instrument is "one size fits all." Also keep in mind when buying from a company like Conn, Bach, King...the list goes on, that these are mass produced factory made horns and one might not be like the other. If you play on one you like, buy THAT one!
I hope this review helped!! Good luck in your search for a new trombone!
This trombone is an extremely satisfying instrument. I really like this instruments versatility that can be made by adjusting your ombisher, so the tone can go from warm and mellow to having that perfect edge without sounding like it will shake to peices. One thing you will have to look out for is this instruments weight. Due to the much bigger rotor (Which has an incredibly low amount of throw and is very freeblowing) the instrument is very heavy, so that takes getting used to. The instrument does not come with the mouthpeice shown in the picture either, rather it comes with a Conn 5G mouth peice. I personally perfer playing it with a Shilke 51D mouthpeice (Which I am purchasing soon). This bone is capable of going anywhere from Jazz, concert band, orchestra, and even funk! All of the tone is controlled with your lips, so do not buy if you have bad tone. This bone will greatly enhance your tone ONLY IF ITS GOOD.
For the price, this horn is definitley not worth it. I've played 2 just to make sure I didn't get one that had a defective valve in a store... They both did not sound 'up to par' at all. I would definitely not reccomend this product unless you try it first for yourself. Everyone is different but this horn defintely is not for me.