Hi everyone...need some advice as I am looking to upgrade from my first student trombone (been learning for 6 years).
I play in a brass band, jazz band, wind band and orchestra
So not surprisingly i'm a bit stuck for what to get...out of those I would say that I enjoy brass band the most and but i'm thinking of giving up orchestra. Lots of options so will say my current thoughts and opinions would be really appreciated.
So far I have only really thought of these three:
Conn 88H - Only heard good things about it. However from what i've heard it's good in orchestras (my least interested style) so not sure how it would act in brass/wind. I would probably still use my old trombone in jazz if I got the conn.
Conn 8H- Heard that it is exactly the same as above but without F attachment. I feel I am the sort of player that would prefer a light trombone and have been putting up with 6th to 1st for 6 years without being annoyed too much. Although have never played one with a F attachment for more than 5 mins so not sure how much of a benefit it really is.
King 2B/3B - Still need to go to a music shop to try all of these but always liked king trombones. Although probably not particle other than for jazz which my old trombone is best at.
Any other ones I should look at or general advice? Much appreciated as getting it right is crucial as unfortunately i'm not made of money.
My advice is to go with your priorities and not try to go for a ''all-around'' horn. Because a horn that is good at everything is also great at nothing. Your best option is to choose something that is great in what you want but that still allows you to sound good in the rest and blend with your section.
Unless you quit all classical stuff or buy 2 horns (one for jazz, one for classical), I would not go for a King. Maybe now your colleagues play on student horn, in which case the blend would be good, but soon or later you will find yourself in a section with horns adapted to the type of music. When sitting between a bass bone and a Bach 42 for example, you won't be able to blend if you have a King. The opposite is also true, a Bach 42 in big band would have trouble blending with small bore horns.
The option of keeping your old horn for jazz playing is a good one, as many student trombones make great big band lead horns. This would allow you to not worry about the jazz qualities of your new horn and concentrate on getting THE sound you want.
Regarding your question about the Conn's : a Conn 88H sounds great in orchestra, and also in wind and brass bands, however, it would not blend very well if the rest of the section plays on small bores (which might be the case now, but not in the middle or long term). It would also be useable in jazz, especially if you play the lower parts in big band, and in small jazz ensembles, it would have a very mellow, smooth tone.
Here are some other other horns you have not mentionned :
Strictly jazz horns : Bach 6 and 8, Old Conn's : 4H, 6H, 9H, 10H (50's/60's small bore with a big bell, some have a 'Coprion' bell which is steel covered with copper sheets)..., Yamaha 697Z.
Stricly classical horns : Bach 36 (medium bore) and 42 series (If going with Bach, I don't see any real good reason to go with a 36, if heading in that direction you will want a 42 soon or later)
Classical horns that can blend in jazz (especially if you are on the lower parts) (straight/Bb-F) : Conn8H/88H, that you mentionned, Yamaha 681/682B and 881/882O Xeno.
I think the most versatile option would be to buy a Conn 8H/88H or an equivalent Yamaha model, and keep your old horn. This would allow you to have a good orchestral sound in orchestra and brass and wind bands, while still blending in big band, whith the option of using your small bore horn when you want a brighter tone.
In any case, you should try as many horns as you can, ideally with an experienced player trying them too and listening to you playnig on them.
Hope it helped
Oh, and about the F-attachment : it is (very) useful for the extended range (between low E and pedal Bb) and alternate positions (for C, B, Bb and A). Some 2nd trombone parts in advanced band pieces require a Bb/F horn because of the range, while many solo or advanced ensemble pieces are much easier with the alternate positions (Bb in 3b/4#!). It does make the horn less open, which is why first trombonists in orchestras sometimes use straight horns (but playing first in orchestra, you rarely go down in the low register were the advantages of the valve apply). IMO, someone who plays classical stuff needs his main horn to have a F-valve.
Instead of a 42B/42BO, though, I would recommend a 42T or 42A. Bach rotary valves are terrible (too small), and the Thayer or Hagmann compensate for the increased resistance of having a valve. The difference in both openness and valve action between the 42A's I tried and my 42BO was so big that I bought myself a Hagmann kit and I'm having my horn converted.