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S.E. Shires Custom Small Bore Tenor Trombone


Item Details

This is a custom trombone made by the S.E. Shires Company in Hopedale, MA, USA.  It is one of the very finest trombones you could ever have, and it is customizable to your desires.

This was the third instrument developed by the Shires Company, following the symphonic tenor trombone and the bass trombone.  Steve Shires was always a fan of the rare Earl Williams Model 6 trombone, which was made in Los Angeles from the 1930's through the 1970's.  A good synopsis of Earl Williams' story is written by Robb Stewart.  The Original Williams trombone reminds us much of the King 3B with its large throat 8" bell.  The Williams, having a smaller .500" hand slide, felt more efficient, but its all brass construction kept the trombone from feeling brittle.  On the contrary, the Williams was broad and warm but had a light touch and a velvety smooth tone.

And that is the trombone that inspired this beautiful instrument by S.E. Shires.  Even with the .500" hand slide option, the Shires feels like a larger instrument.  It has so little resistance that you can just breathe into it.  It has a fast response and it's really nimble.  You'll wonder how you did lip slurs on another instrument after you feel how light a touch is needed to play a Shires.

The many options available, along with our meager e-commerce prowess and limits on stock make this Shires a challenging online ordering situation.    If you choose your favorite option above and add them to the shopping cart, you're not beholden to purchasing a Shires.  This page simply sends a us a request for quote, and we'll get back to you with a time frame to deliver the trombone, along with any similar options we may have available sooner.  We try to keep all components listed above in stock.  So do go ahead and click Buy Now if you seek something specific, or contact us directly.

If you would like to order any components separately, click here for a list including accurate stock levels.



Popular Setups

The Williams

Choose the lightweight brass .500" hand slide (T00LW), the W6 tuning slide, and the 8" medium weight bell (7YM).

The Steve Shires

Substitute the all nickel .500" hand slide (T00NLW) for a bit more center and edge to your sound.  This is the most popular setup here. It's the perfect mix of clear and ethereal.  This reminds us of a Minick 500 trombone as well.

The Six H

The C.G. Conn 6H was built in several variations in Elkhart, Indiana and elsewhere from the early 1910's through 1985.  Many players used these for bands, orchestras and shows.  Most memorable was Frank Rosolino, one of the greatest virtuoso trombonists ever, who met a tragic and untimely end. He endorsed both Olds and Conn, but Frank's style of playing epitomized the brittle and brassy Conn 6H.  If you'd like a horn like that, order a #8 bell, which has an unsoldered rim like the old Conns.  It's a little less metal out on the edge, and the horn really sings.  The bell to get is the 8YMT7 7.75".  Pair that with the .500" brass or nickel slide, the W6 tuning slide, and you'll have a stunning solo horn.  It'll have clear but covered attacks, malleable tone, and a blazing soloistic sound.  We hardly hear from players seeking such an instrument, so this is our rarest seller, but it's memorable.

The King Man

If you like a classic King 2B+ kind of feel, try the .500" nickel hand slide (T00NLW) with the 3B tuning slide and the smaller 7.5" lightweight bell (7YLW)

The Big Boy

If you like to push the big air and like a really open feel on your jazz horn, try the larger .508" all nickel slide (T08NLW), the 3B tuning slide and the 8" medium weight bell (7YM).


If you'd like something different from these, like a gold or red brass bell or a different bore hand slide, do contact us directly.  We're glad to make any combination happen for you.


The Components

Hand Slides

T00LW - Standard slide in brass with a nickel end crook

T00NLW - Standard slide in all nickel

T08LW - Large slide in brass with a nickel end crook

T08NLW - Large slide in all nickel

T8595NLW - Small slide, King 2B style, dual bore in all nickel

Tuning Slides

The standard tuning slide is the SY 1.5, a newer design—improved intonation and response/feel characteristic of classic small-bore instruments—the most popular small-bore tuning slide.  Others are also available by special order.

SY 1.5 MD Yellow - Michael Davis tuning slide in brass

SG 1.5 MD Gold - Michael Davis tuning slide in gold brass

SYS W6 - Williams 6 style tuning slide

SY 1.0 3B - King style tuning slide

SYS 1.5 Seamed - Seamed model is made of sheet brass and hand hammered for improved projection


7YLW 7.5" - Light weight bell, small diameter

7YM 8" - Medium weight bell, large diameter

8YMT7 7.75" - Medium weight bell, Conn style, unsoldered rim, small rim wire, medium diameter

7GM 7.75" - Medium weight bell, gold brass, medium diameter



Each Shires trombone includes 3 removable threaded mouthpipes in differing tapers, usually numbered, 1, 2, 3.  Other mouthpipes are available by special order.  A 3-piece engraved balance weight is included.  Cases are available separately.


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