Tenor Trombone T396-A

Tenor Trombone T396-A

Tenor Trombone T396-A

When Joseph Alessi is not playing in the back row of Lincoln Center, he can be found performing solos in front of orchestras and in recitals. His music versatility requires an instrument that will meet his needs. The T396-A meets those needs, and then some.

First and foremost, Mr. Alessi is a principal orchestral player. His instrument must crown the low brass section while blending with the orchestra. This balance was of the utmost importance when designing his signature trombone. But we also could not ignore Mr. Alessi's considerable solo capabilities.

So we set out to provide Mr. Alessi with a horn that gave him the correct timbre and feel no matter the musical setting. This is more difficult than it sounds. A lot of timbre comes with having an instrument that is tonally flexible without becoming unstable in different registers. We feel we achieved our goals due to the fact that the T396-A is the first "acoustically-tunable" fixed instrument. We are excited to make an instrument available that is as unique as each and every one of our customers.

US Pat No 8,247,675

Standard Features

Bore Size
.547" bore
Slide and Leadpipe

Once again we exhausted all possibilities when coming to a consensus on a slide. Mr. Alessi played on several end crooks searching for the one that not only balanced the instrument, but also gave him the correct amount of feedback.

We place a lot of emphasis on feedback at Edwards. It's important that a player has the proper amount in order to assess an instrument. We don't subscribe to, "It's there, trust me." That just takes away from a musician's ability to make his/her own musical decisions.

It's no secret that minor changes in the leadpipe and mouthpiece can have a major impact on playing. Mr. Alessi worked through myriad options before picking a sterling silver custom leadpipe with numerous proprietary elements. The leadpipe will be fixed into the slide.

The final result includes a slide with nickel oversleeves, specially-treated rose brass outer tubes, a yellow brass end crook and Mr. Alessi's Signature Silver Leadpipe.

After years of development -- and countless flights from Wisconsin to New York -- we are extremely proud of the Alessi Model T396-A. We are indebted to Mr. Alessi for taking the time to help us make the next great Edwards Trombone. Breathe into this horn and it will come to life.


The Alessi bell is the result of Mr. Alessi trying countless combinations of mandrels, gauges and materials. The payoff is a bell that not only sounds wonderful in the New York Philharmonic, but also allows Mr. Alessi to play solo recitals at the levels he demands.

The bell is constructed of yellow brass (70% copper and 30% zinc). The rim is unsoldered yet maintains a depth of sound. There are many proprietary elements that will not be discussed here for obvious reasons. To all the equipment junkies, we apologize.

Tuning Slide
The tuning slide has a single radius and is rose brass. It is designed with unique trim points and construction materials to strike the perfect balance between sound and feel.
Valve Section

Throughout the years, Edwards has taken pride in building horns that have allowed many trombonists to win auditions and be successful in their jobs. There's no question that the T350 has become the benchmark instrument for orchestral tenor trombonists.

That being said, we are committed to building instruments that fit every trombonist, some of whom may not mesh with the Axial Flow Valve. The Alessi Model was built around the Rotax Valve by Willson. This valve provides a great sound and feel for the player and is constructed using solid brass manufacturing principles.

Rotax Valve

We did our homework when deciding on a valve for the Alessi T396-A. Seeking the sound and feel he was after, Mr. Alessi tried every available valve on the market. Some provided a great tone or a nice feel, but rarely delivered on both. Other valves had build and playability issues. We wouldn't feel comfortable offering anything other than the very best on this instrument. Neither would Mr. Alessi. After all, his name is on the horn.

The Rotax valve is an integral part of the Alessi Model design. It is machined to the standards demanded by Willson Instruments; as a result, the Rotax is the highest quality rotor we've seen. From a player's perspective, it responds quickly and helps produce a wonderful large bore tenor sound.

Harmonic Bridge (US Pat No 8,247,675)

Consumers (and even some manufacturers) often overlook the importance of bracing. It's vitally important for two reasons. First, a solid brace design allows manufacturers to build stress-free instruments. Second, an instrument's playability and response will be exponentially better with braces in the correct nodal positions on the instrument. This means the Alessi Model will sing for you.

The T396-A utilizes the Harmonic Bridge (US Pat No 8,247,675) and Harmonic Pillars (US Pat No 8,247,675). More information on these will be coming in December.

Valve Wrap

Some of you will undoubtedly recognize the wrap that shares similarities with the Minick wrap. Used by instrument companies since the 1970's, the Minick wrap concept provides a smooth transition in and out of a conventional rotor.

The material within the wrap is a combination of rose and yellow brass. Blending alloys helped us achieve the unique sound Mr. Alessi was after. Construction allows the air to maintain its direction without hidden gaps or spaces. The F tuning slide has a single radius.

Harmonic Bridge & Pillars Demonstration

Mike Dugan and Christan Griego recently got together in the Pro Stop to demonstrate the Harmonic Bridge and Pillars on the Alessi horn. The audio is actually quite good, so you should be able to hear the differences in tone as Christan adjusts Mike's setup.

Photo Gallery

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Alessi Model Trombone Artists

Artist Model
Alessi, Joseph T396-A
Bencze, Csaba T396-A
Brickens, Nathaniel T396-A
Crimi, Jason T396-A
Dixon, Joe T396-A
Dugan, Michael T396-A
Faske, Bruce T396-A
Ferro, Nicola T396-A
Giussani, Ermes T396-A
Hao, Jay T396-A
Hearn, Barry T396-A
Jeffs, Stan T396-A
Mannix, Natalie T396-A
Mannix, Natalie T396-A
Mulcahy, Craig T396-A
Myers, Timothy T396-A
Osborne, Ben T396-A
Pire, Alain T396-A
Randazzo, Jonathan T396-A
Raycraft, Jonathan T396-A
Robertson, Jemmie T396-A
Rogers, Lee T396-A
Scipioni, Gianluca T396-A
Scipioni, Gianluca T396-A
Sharp, Russell T396-A
Stewart, Amanda T396-A
Timmons, Will T396-A
Yoo, Jeon-Sik T396-A
Base Price:
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International customers should contact a dealer in your area for your pricing.
Ships in 90-120 days

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In Their Own Words

David Perkel

"I have been playing Edwards trombones in orchestras, solo recitals, chamber ensembles, jazz ensembles, and commercial settings for almost twenty years. These instruments allow me to get the sound I desire, are free-blowing, and they have such amazing evenness in all registers. They are, without a doubt, the best trombones I have ever played. Working with Christan to find the best orchestral and jazz horns for me has always been a fantastic experience! He is extremely knowledgeable about each model and has always helped select the horns that suited me best."

David Perkel
Principal Trombonist, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
Lead Trombonist, U.S. Navy Band Commodores