3704 Foothill Boulevard
LA CRESCENTA, California
4420 East Village Road
LONG BEACH, California
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|Steve Shires is known for making some of the finest
trombones in the world. Commercial and symphony players all
over the globe are gravitating towards these fine horns.
Why? Because they are the most versatile and well crafted
trombones you can buy. They are handmade in the
suburbs of Boston in a small shop with a few dozen
craftsmen, respond very fast and easily, and have many
options to tailor the horn's characteristics to your own
style and performing situation. There can be limitless
options, but we have found some trends that seem to be the
most popular and we try our best to keep them in stock.
These options are detailed below. We are one of the
biggest and most knowledgeable Shires dealers in the
country. Know what you want already? Great, we usually
have everything in stock ready to ship. Had a trombone dream
last night and want a nickel slide with a yellow crook? No
problem, we are glad to special order items for you with
perhaps the fastest delivery times you can get on custom
items. Have a look at our "Horns in Stock" page to see what
we have now.
A custom bass trombone like a Shires is an investment. At $5945-$6245 plus case, you're putting out some serious cash compared to some other brands on the market. However, we've found that no one misses the money. These are the best trombones, carefully made, artfully executed, beautifully engraved. They are designed for the professional player who's tried a few horns, has been around a bit, and wants to customize their new axe to respond at the highest efficiency for their playing style. This is a long page with a lot of text about the Shires options, so start here with a few things to think about when designing your own custom bass trombone.
|Single or dual bore slide?
Stacked or inline valves
Rotary, axial flow, or Tru-bore valves
Medium or large crook
Bell taper, weight, and color
Examples of Shires Bass Trombones:
|Here are the details of individual Shires parts. Pick one each from the tables below, and we'll put a horn together for you. Pricing details are at the bottom of the page.|
|Slides are incredibly smooth and quiet. Slide tubing
is heavier than Getzen and Edwards tubes, especially on the dual
bore, making for a more solid sound.
B62 - the standard slide, .562" bore, brass outer tubes with nickel over sleeves, nickel end crook, in wide Bach width. This is a very fast responding slide, with a great hot sound, I prefer it for the more commercial style playing I often do.
B62YC - same as above with a wide Bach style yellow brass end crook. Adds stability and a little darker sound.
B6278 - the dual bore slide, the similar to the B62, but the upper tube is .562" and the lower tube is .578", for a more modern orchestral style sound. It takes a little more air, but is very open down low. It can feel like stepping off a curb to the uninitiated. It's very popular among symphony players.
B6278N - dual bored slide, standard weight nickel silver. Yields a focused, quick responding feel.
B6278YC - same as above, but with a wide Bach style yellow brass end crook. It makes a slightly darker and more stable sound.
The above slides are also available in lightweight versions, which eliminate the nickel over sleeves at the hand brace, and are also available in all nickel.
|$1330 including 3 leadpipes|
|Pipes are available in yellow or gold brass, nickel or sterling,
in regular or long length, several tapers. We try to keep as many
variations of the pipes in stock, including some stranger custom pipes.
Looking for something specific? Give a call and we might be able to
steer you to a non standard pipe. Pipes
other than those listed below are best ordered direct from the Shires
Model 1 - Smaller taper, fast responding, Bach style
Model 2 - Most popular, more open
Model 3 - Very open
Model 2.5 - In between 2 and 3, good pipe, works well with B tuning crook
|$130 each in brass, gold brass, or nickel, or $305
each in Sterling silver. Three brass pipes are included with each
Shires trombone slide.
Here are some examples of favorite bell choices, but others are available, just ask.
Shires Tuning Crooks
B - standard medium size, faster responding, may feel tighter down low
C - larger taper, more open, most popular here
* seamed crooks are available on special order. They are made in the old style. Sheet brass is formed into a tuning taper and then brazed together. Very nice playing crook. Available in yellow, gold or red brass and in B and C tapers. We particularly like the Red brass crooks. They are $520
Y- Yellow brass for clearer sound, the standard, can work well with gold bells for more clarity
G - Gold brass for warmer sound, less harshness during loud playing when used with a yellow bell, works well with the 62H style bell (2RLWT7)
R - Red brass for the creamiest bass trombone sound. Only available in a seamed crook
|Stacked rotary - the classic style, with the first F valve placed on the neck pipe, and the second D valve is off to the side. This allows the proper conical taper of a long neck pipe, and a very open sound, often better blowing pedal tones. If you don't mind giving up a few alternate positions, and use the D valve as an extension of the F, this is the setup. Made in house at Shires, this new oversize rotary valve maintains constant bore throughout the air passageway. It's a larger, nicer made version of the classic rotary valve. Shires has a new rotary porting system that significantly enhances the blow of these valves, we like them very much. These rotaries have a more centered, compact, focused sound than axial flow valves, with a shorter lever throw, and more ergonomic shape for those players who find axial flow valves too wide. These play similarly to Greenhoe valves, whose design is based on a similar concept. Earlier Shires horns had Greenhoe valves on them. New tubing wrap style on the stacked rotary valve section is said to play more consistently between Bb, F, and D, though some players (including me) report that the tubing wrap intrudes into their neck placement. The older very clean looking wrap style is occasionally available. New style includes adjustable thumb rest.||$2860|
|In line rotary - with both valves in on the neck pipe, there are more versatile fingering options because you can use the second valve by itself, which is pitched in Gb. You can play C and F in second position with the second valve only, along with many other interesting alternate positions. Both valves together are still pitched in D. The neck pipe is shorter with less of a conical taper, so some older bass trombones suffer in the pedal range or by having a colder, harsher sound. That difference is minor if it even exists on Shires at all, due to the high quality valves and the open feel all these horns have. I find that in line rotary valves make a snappier more commercial sound with more present high overtones in the sound. New style includes adjustable thumb rest.||$2860|
|Inline Axial Flow - the classic Ed Thayer design, made in house at Shires to very tight tolerances, as some similar valves from other makers have been leaky. This is the best sealing valve of this style, very open feel, big broad sound. These valves may need oiling and cleaning more often, the lever throw is a little longer, and some players get bothered by the intrusion in to their neck due to the large size of this valve. If you're a symphony player, you might consider these valves as a chassis. New style includes adjustable thumb rest.||$2860|
|Stacked axial flow valves are rare from other companies, but we've sold quite a few on Shires horns, and they play very, very open, and have a long tapered neck pipe. They don't intrude much into your neck space compared to in line axial flow valves. Pictured at left is a custom lightweight version made for us. What can I say, very cool. New style includes adjustable thumb rest.||$2860|
|Inline Trubore - This new proprietary patented valve from Shires
allows the airway to go straight through the valve on the Bb side.
No bends. On the F or D side, the air is gently channeled out the
back, in a similar manner to a Hagmann valve, but with fewer
opportunities for leaking. The valve is placed slightly off axis
to avoid intrusion into your neck placement. The price penalty is
$150 extra per valve, so that's $400 extra for most bass trombone
players. Shown at left is a single Tru-bore valve on a Shires
tenor trombone. It looks big, but the action is fast, and it's out
of the way. Double Tru-bore valve sections for bass trombones are
mostly made in the inline setup. Once in a while we get a dependent
set of these. The response of a horn with these valves is just stunning.
It is absolutely effortless to start a note, even down low. We've also
found that the upper register is more solid on these valves. Because
these valves are heavier than a standard rotary, I'd say the sound is
somewhat in between that of an axial valve and a traditional rotary.
Think of it as free blowing, Thayer sounding, awesomeness. New
style includes adjustable thumb rest.
Also available in a stacked setup, also $3160, which is the most open Shires setup available.
Buy a Shires
How to decide? Let us know what you play now, and what you want similar or different from your current axe. Choose a slide, valve setup, bell and crook style, and we'll send you one. We are experts on Shires horns and can assist you with your choice. Drop us an email or give us a call to open a dialogue. Includes 3 lead pipes,. Case and mouthpiece are sold separately.
|Double valve bass trombone, complete, rotary or axial||$5945|
|Double valve bass trombone, complete, Tru-bore||$6245|
|Single valve bass trombone, complete, rotary or axial||$4795|
|Single valve bass trombone, complete, Tru-bore||$4995|
|Slide w/3 pipes||$1330|
|Tuning Crook||$425, $535 seamed brass|
|Double valve section, rotary or axial flow||$2860|
|Double valve section, Tru-bore||$3160|
|Single valve section, rotary or axial flow||$1710|
|Single valve section, Tru-bore||$1910|
|"No valve" straight neck pipe, yes, Shires make a straight bass neckpipe!||$410|
|Lead pipes||$130 brass or nickel, $305 sterling silver|
We offer the following cases for Shires bass trombones:
Glenn Cronkhite in leather or cordura
Marcus Bonna MBB