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.
The Stradivarius line from Bach has always been the custom trombone. Numerous options are available, and the 42 has several of note.
Introductory video of the new Bach 42AF with the Infinity axial rotor: