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Conn 88H Trombone

Conn 88H Trombone


The Conn 88H is the classic large bore symphonic trombone, made famous by Emory Remington and generations of great players since. Played in Los Angeles by Ralph Sauer, Byron Peebles, Sonny Ausman, and Jim Miller of the LA Philharmonic. Also played by Bill Booth and Jim Sawyer of the LA Opera Orchestra, Dave Stetson of the Pacific Symphony, Alex Iles of the Long Beach Symphony, and by freelancers Andy Martin, Loren Marsteller, Charlie Morillas, Ira Nepus, Ron Minor, and many many others.

The classic vintage Conn 88H trombones made in Elkhart, Indiana, like this one have been in high demand, but many players think that the new horns, now made in the King factory in Eastlake Ohio, are the best that Conn has ever made. The new horns are different in that the bell rims are soldered around the edge, like Bach and other brands. This gives more projection and a smoother attack to the sound, really a more modern style. Also, the two piece bells are no longer soldered at the seam, but are instead tig welded, which uses welding rod of the same material as the bell, and fuses the bell parts into one piece. Cool.

And...there are countless options. Gone is the day when you could walk into a music store, lean on the counter and mumble, "88H" and get exactly what you wanted. Now you have to decide.

The vintage Elkhart Conn 88Hs had an 8.5" thin rose brass bell and a .547 slide with a soldered in lead pipe. The original old style lead pipe was designed to accept mouthpieces with a Remington taper, which makes most Bach style mouthpieces wobble a bit. Now the new Conn 88H trombones have the more common Bach taper lead pipe as the stock S leadpipe.

Conn now offers the traditional thin rose bell, a heavier rose bell, and a yellow bell all with soldered rim. A new addition is the large throat 9" K bell in rose brass, formerly seen as the King 5B bell.

The new Conn rotary valve was formerly used on the King 4B. It has more rounded curved ports into the valves and a sleek valve cap. Ball and socket linkage replaces the old string linkage, but unfortunately the throw is a little longer. It's still reasonable, with a very light action. The paddle, now flat like a Bach 42B paddle, can be adjusted closer or farther away from the pivot. The open wrap F attachment tubing is the most open shape around.

Need a new Conn? Then read on and pick the options you want, and we'll put a horn together for you.



Delivery Time

8.5" thin rose brass bell, standard .547" bronze slide, stock S leadpipe, rotary valve, open wrap F attachment, case and 5G mouthpiece

Our most popular seller in the Conn lineup has a thin Elkhart style rose brass bell with an open wrap F attachment and the new standard rotary valve. Open wrap F attachments have fewer curves and tight tubing bends, respond better in the lower range, and tend to blow more like the open horn. They are the standard now on the top horns. Just be careful not to bump the F attachment crook on anything behind you, like the wall, or the choir members with their omnipresent folders, as the F attachment tubing sticks out a fair amount behind the tuning slide. Still, the open wrap plays well, looks very clean, and costs no extra. Includes case and mouthpiece , choice of slide.

$2409 Usually in stock

8.5" thin rose brass bell, standard .547" bronze slide, stock S leadpipe, straight neckpipe, no valve, case and 5G mouthpiece

The 8H also has its own page here

$1949 Usually in stock

8.5" standard weight rose brass bell, standard .547" bronze slide, stock S leadpipe, rotary valve, open wrap F attachment, case and 5G mouthpiece

This bell is the new heavier rose brass bell. If you want a bigger, solid sound more like a Bach 42B, this can do it. You can play louder with less edge, but still get fast response and a clear tone. Sometimes the heavier bell can feel dull to me at low volumes, but it still has a very warm sound. Not as popular an option as the 88HTO.  This one is pretty heavy for a red brass horn.

$2409 Usually in stock

9" large throat standard weight rose brass bell, standard .547" bronze slide, stock S leadpipe, rotary valve, open wrap F attachment, case and 5G mouthpiece

This is a totally new bell for the Conn 88H. It is made of the standard weight rose brass, in a 9" diameter, with a large throat, or faster expansion. It works. It's got a big modern sound, not unfamiliar to Bach 42 players. The 9" bell isn't really too big, and centers well, and I can hear the pitch well too. It's not big and woofy like one might think. It's just a little step up in the Wars of the Larger Arsenal, which is fine, since the bass trombones and tubas have tended to creep up in size, and some folks just want a darker instrument from Conn. No problem, here it is. If the bell was this same larger throat model, but cut off to a 8.5" diameter, no one would bat an eye anyway. The larger flare just reflects back some of the high overtones in the sound, so you get some more darkness. Turns out this bell has been seen before as the King 5B bell. Seems like a good idea to me to offer this bell with the fine 88H setup. This bell is available with any 88H slide or by itself to use with your old slide. This bell is also useful with a .562" bore bass trombone slide as a smaller, lighter sounding bass trombone. Includes case and mouthpiece, choice of slide. Call for availability.

$2539 by special order

Options on Conn Trombones

Silver plate add $250


Slide options

SLF4747 - stock slide - .547" bronze outer tubes, standard S leadpipe is soldered in, new Morse taper fits standard shank mouthpieces.

This is the standard .547" bore slide with the soldered S lead pipe. This slide is included with the base 8H and 88H purchase price. The lead pipe now has the most common Bach mouthpiece shank taper. Brass with nickel outer sleeves and narrow nickel end crook.

no charge
SL4747 - .547" - same as above with 3 removable leadpipes

The standard .547" bore slide, same as the SLF4747, but includes 3 removable lead pipes, two with the Bach shank taper: S and M, and one with the Remington shank taper, R. Brass with nickel sleeves.

add $200
SL2525 - .525" - medium bore with 3 removable leadpipes, 1 large shank, 2 small shank

This is the medium bore .525" slide, very similar to the old 78H slide except for the larger connector. The Conn catalog mentions gaining high range stability with this slide. That isn't quite right. This slide makes you soar in the high range. It has a lighter, more compact, brilliant sound, and is so easy to play. For fans of the old 78H, an 8HT with this slide is a great updated version, but with the larger 8.5" bell. Occasionally used by Ralph Sauer. This slide includes two lead pipes that accept a small tenor shank mouthpiece, T and H, and one lead pipe that accepts a large bass shank mouthpiece, X. Brass with nickel outer sleeves.

add $200
SL2547 - .525"/.547" - medium/large bore with 3 removable leadpipes, 1 large shank, 2 small shank

This is the dual bore slide, with a .525" medium bore top tube, and a .547" large bore lower tube. The idea with this slide is to give the ease of playing of the smaller bore, and the big sound of the larger bore. It does that well, and also give the 88H a more characteristic tenor trombone sound. Jeff Reynolds found this to be his favorite, and still got a great tenor style sound even with his bass trombone mouthpiece in this slide with the 88HO bell. Includes the same 3 lead pipes as the above SL2525 slide, T, H, and X. Ralph Sauer also uses this slide much of the time. Brass with nickel sleeves.

add $200
SL4762 - .547"/.562" - large/xlarge bore in lightweight bronze with 3 removable leadpipes

This is the large dual bore slide with a standard .547" top tube and a larger bass trombone sized .562" lower tube. For players who like to play really loud, you can get a huge warm sound on this slide. Lightweight version is brass without nickel sleeves. Includes the same S, M, and R 3 lead pipes as above. This is a favorite among Bach players because it plays so open.

add $200
SL6262 - .562"/.562" - xlarge bore, bass trombone sized, Chicago style in lightweight bronze with 3 removable leadpipes

This is a lightweight bass trombone slide in .562" bore, with three lead pipes from the Conn 62H bass trombone, B, C, and D. You can get a great low range and a big loud but smooth sound with this slide, at the expense of losing some brilliance in the upper register. Light weight style, brass without nickel sleeves, very fast response.

add $200



88HTO bell only, with case $1800
SL style slide with 3 leadpipes, any size $1150
SLF4747 slide with single leadpipe $950
88H hard case $200

These horns ship in 1-2 business days if in stock, in 15-30 days otherwise.