The Bach 42 is one of two archetypes for the modern orchestral trombone of the 20th century, the other being the Conn 88H. Developed in 1954 at Vincent Bach's Mt. Vernon, New York factory to meet the growing demand for larger bore orchestral trombones, the Bach 42 was designed to compete with the newly popular Conn 88H.
Originally, Bach had developed the model 36 in the 1930s. The 36, a medium bore (.525") trombone, was the popular orchestral tenor model of the time. Mr. Bach originally hesitated at designing a large tenor trombone, but relented as the trend of larger bore trombones became the industry standard. In doing so he created one of the most widely used professional trombone models of the century: the Bach 42.
In 1935, Bach had also designed the model 45 as a small bass trombone. The 45 had either a straight .547” slide or dual bore .547”/.562” with a 9 or 9.5” bell taper (smaller throat than the model 50 bass trombone). The 45 was sold through 1969.
Bach's 42 bell taper fell in between the model 36 and the model 45 bells. It shares the same slide crook as the model 50, and has a wide slide.
Bach’s one piece bell and larger throat taper were a difference from the two piece narrower bell of the Conn 88H. In conjunction with the wide slide and larger slide crook, the Bach 42 yielded a broader and more direct tone when compared to the darker and nuanced sound of the Conn.
When trombone with F-attachment became de rigueur, the 42B was the new standard. Its rotor valve with compact wrap and sleek pull-to-E was helpful when tenor-bass trombone was more of the thing. Since open-wrap F-attachments have become the style of this day, the 42BO has been the benchmark for a great symphonic trombone. Its long F-attachment is lighter, with fewer braces than on the traditional 42B. Pull-to-E is not an option on the 42BO, but it's rarely required anymore.
I have a selection of Bach 42 trombones in stock at the moment:
Most of these can be had with your choice of Bach hand slide. Beside the standard brass or nickel, I have brass or nickel with 3 threaded leadpipes, and narrow brass (like Conn) also with 3 leadpipes. Leadpipe threads use Conn 88H fitting.
Three pipes are standard, open, long open.