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Dave's Equipment Page

"I'm not an equipment junky, really"

 

Trombones
My playing situations have changed over the years. The 16 piece big band gigs are much fewer and the smaller group with one or two trombones are more common.  This means  more high parts,  more solos and more stress on the chops.  The Olds Recording that was great for playing 3rd part in a big is really not suited for playing the lead part.  The Stratodyne that is poorly suited for the bottom part is superb on lead. 

Right now the Martin Urbie Green Model is getting a lot of use in the Strictly Sinatra Band where I play a combination of 1st and 2nd parts.  It has a great range and sounds good on the lower notes.  All of the horns in the band (6) are mic'd and the band is fairly loud.  I have used other horns that I liked also  including the Stratodyne 67 and a King 2B with a very responsive bell.  The Urbie Green works best for me mainly because the at times I have to belt out some low notes.  If we played without mic's then it would be a different story.  I would probably play the 2B or the 6H more than the Urbie Green.

I have used a Conn 79H on a few big band gigs playing 2nd and third and really liked it.  

The Conn 52H with a .525 slide pretty much takes care of the rest of my work.   I have tried a variety of .547 horns and did not like any of them for my type of playing.  I do have an Olds Opera, straight nickel with a .551 bore that I like but have not really found a place to play it.

Holton Stratodyne 67
George Masso told me that although he played a King 2B for many years his favorite trombone was a Holton  Stratodyne. It has also become one of my favorite horn.  It has an incredible sound for such a small horn.  I have played many other horns in this size but none of them comes close to the Stratodyne except for the Model 65 which is another great trombone and is the model that Buddy Morrow played.  

King 2B
I was never a fan of the 2B until I tried one with a very vibrant bell.  It was completely different from other 2B's that I had tried.  2B's vary all over the place.  Many  of them have a tendency to blow with a blatty sound. The ones with a vibrant bell play completely different.  The problem is to find a good one.  

Conn 6H
This is a great all around "jazz" horn.  Great sound, easy to move around.  The 6H a great lead horn and a great horn to solo on.   The resistance of the 6H is unique and takes a little getting  used to.  I can understand why it was a favorite of Carl Fontana and Frank Rosolino. I have been using my Conn 79H more and more where I used to use the 6H.

Olds Recording
The Olds Recording is a muscle horn.  It has a great tone with great projection.  I've used this horn as my main horn for several  years, especially for playing in a blues band with a three instrument horn section.  It is not my first choice for playing big band lead, but
it is great for just about anything else.  It has its own distinctive sound which I really like.

I recently traded the Recording for a Martin Urbie Green  .500 bore.  It just happened that a customer had one to trade and my Recording had been sitting around for a awhile. The Urbie Green is a great blowing horn that is light weight and easy to hold.  It has become my main horn for Playing with the Strictly Sinatra Band where all the horns are mic'd and I'm playing higher parts.

 

Olds Recording

Martin Urbie Green Model

Conn 79H
One of the trombonists in the Coast Guard band plays a 79H.  I was always impressed with his sound with this horn and one day I got the chance to buy one.  It has not disappointed me. It  has a .525" bore and an F attachment.  It has become my first choice for situation where I need an F attachment horn or just when I need a bigger sound. The 79H is more like a 6H on steroids rather than a small 88H.  So much so that I pretty much stopped using my 6H.

 Conn .525 bore slide with a Straight King 5B  
This is a one of a kind horn.  The F attachment has been removed and the slide receiver changed to accept Conn Slides.   I use it for playing brass choir work where an F attachment is not required.  It's also a great jazz horn.  I used this horn for several years playing 3rd chair in the Dick Campo Big Band.  Bill Watrous once commented on how nice it sounded.

I also started playing a Conn 52H bell section with the .525 bore slide.  It is the best F attachment horn that I have used with this slide.  It is a keeper.  Great for lower parts and solo work.  Doodle tonguing is a dream on this horn. The 52H  combines the design of the 88H with a King 4B.  The bell flair is a 4B which is why I think I like is so much more than the 8H/88H Conn bells I have tried.

 

Mouthpiece
After a long search for the perfect mouthpiece I settled on the Jet-tone Studio D.  I had a local custom mouthpiece maker (Lou Diorio) make a couple of modular mouthpieces based on this mouthpiece.  He modified the backbore and rounded the edges on the inside of the V cup thus greatly improving the Jet-tone design.  He made an extra shallow cup that works well on the Olds Recording.  He also made a special shank for the Recording and another large bore shank.  I have been using this setup for about 4 years and never looked back. I still like the Jet-tone though.

Slide Lubricant
Super Slick with the Plus 1 treatment.  On every slide. 

Electric Trombone Equipment