Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

winning trombone bid

american-triumphI “won” an eBay auction on a horn I just had to hold. It is probably around a 1950 build from Elkhart, Indiana – a time and place some famously good playing horns came from.

For $68 + $38 shipping, I HAD TO take the chance I would score another nice playing horn … I’ve been pretty lucky at buying and restoring lately.

It is an American Triumph made by Harry Pedler … the production line and artisans that became Conn, that produced my Conn 6H, among other vintage desirables.

My initial straightening of quite badly bent inner slides along with a serious session for upper and lower parts in the bathtub was happily rewarded, but that merely took it from awful to really bad.

So I got serious about removing lots of years worth of oxidized brass. The slide worked my hands to the point of cramping up. I ended up polishing the inside of the outers with a brite pad oozing Brasso as nothing else was working.

It is now playable without beating my lip up with catches in various positions. It is officially “okay” in my rating system, which means I can fool around with it once in a while, but won’t love it. It is the worst of my four slides.

It is a bright, punchy sound that is a fun change from my regular fare, but will likely go see a pro with some proper tooling for smoothing the action a bit more.