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Deluxe Trombone Care Kit
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Holton TR181 Series Bass TromboneThe Holton Model TR181 Bass Trombone is in the key of Bb. .562" bore, 10" hand-hammered red brass bell, chromeplated nickel-silver inner slide, nickel-silver outer slide, traditional wrap with F tuning and G/Gb slide, inline independent dual triggers with ball-and-socket linkage, lacquer finish. Holton includes mouthpiece and deluxe wood shell case with the TR181 Trombone.
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This horn has a great sound, but the rotors are sub-par. They expectantly loosen, and the screws fall out. when it is oiled, the action improves, but the screws come out faster. I've talked with several people that play this horn, and say similar things are happening. It may be a uncommon thing, but this is happening to 10+ year old horns. Without the rotors, the horn has a good sound slide.
i had wanted a bass trombone for a long time and came across an old, used holton at a pretty good price. how old? 34 years old. but that means absolutely nothing, except i have played other examples of this horn and i feel the older holtons feel and sound much better than any brand new holton bass. the person i bought it from told me this was originally mike suter's horn, which i didn't believe until my band director told me that he has played alongside mike suter and that this isn't the first time he's seeing this horn.
the sound that comes out is huge, warm, and beautiful. i am told this is one of the standards for big band, but i think it would equally fit into any orchestra, as it can produce a very rich sound (or bark) when you want it to. it is quite heavy, but then again i have mike suter's D slide on the second valve, as i obtained this horn without the stock G(b) slide. although it is nice never needing to play through both valves. being 34 years old, a some of the chrome is missing on the stockings, but the slide action is still pretty good.
This bass trombone is a wonderful instrument. The ability to switch between D and Eb by removing the extension on the second trigger has been helpful in pieces I've performed. It is a beautiful instrument and can pack a powerful punch!
the TR-181 of today is a little bit different than yesteryear. Once upon a time they only had a 9 inch bell, not a 10. Bear that in mind with the reviews you see here (it is more difficult to produce a focused sound on a larger bell than a smaller one)
I cannot reccomend the TR-181 as a professional horn, and here's why... it's still (after all these years) a closed-wrap horn, which means it offers a lot of resistance when you play with the valves down, and secondly the plastic linkages on the valves (although quiet at first) eventually wear out after a few years and create a lot of noise.
This is an excellent horn for someone first learning the dynamics of the bass trombone.. and the option to set the second valve to G is very nice. It is capable of producing a very quality sound, but there are so many other horns on the market that do it easier.
I began playing this horn in HS in 1983. Ever since I have received compliments on my big beautiful sound on the bass trombone. Could it be me or the horn with the 10 inch bell? I think its both! Throughout my career as a musician I have only used the TR181 for bass bone. I highly recommend this horn.