Our customers have been asking for a Rotax bass trombone for quite some time. After years of development, we’re happy to announce that the B502 is now ready for purchase. We’ve been testing it in the marketplace for over a year. In that time, refinements have been made to our original designs. As we continually strive for perfection, we reserve the right to make changes to the B502 (and all of our horns).
Our goal when building the B502 was simple — to maintain a consistent sound throughout every register. More to the point, we wanted that sound to be “trombone-like”, especially in the mid and upper registers. Gone are the WOOFTONES of the 90’s. This horn has plenty of clarity and sparkle, allowing you to express your musical ideas no matter the setting.
The B502-I has independent Rotax valves, either an unsoldered yellow or rose brass bell, and your choice of a single or dual bore slide. The slide has rose brass outer tubes, a yellow end crook, and nickel oversleeves. The leadpipe is removable to allow you to find the best mouthpiece and leadpipe combination to fit your needs.
B502’s with yellow bells have rose brass valve wrap tubing which provides some brilliance when played at louder volumes. You’ll also be amazed at how resonant this instrument is at softer dynamics. Many times, an instrument can become “small” when played softly. This results in a distant sound for the listener. We overcame this tendency through numerous sessions with the incredible talent we’re fortunate to work with in their home venues. The independent B502’s was designed with James Markey of the Boston Symphony. We started this project while he was still a member of the New York Philharmonic, so we heard the B502-I-Y performed in New York City, Boston, and Tanglewood during development.
Like the B502-I, the B502-D is available with with a yellow or rose brass bell and a single or dual bore slide. Mark Hoelsher (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Gerry Pagano (St. Louis Symphony) were instrumental in the development of the dependent version. Mark came to Elkhorn every month to work with us until we were completely satisfied that this horn met all of his musical needs. After that, we put the first prototype in Gerry Pagano’s hands. He immediately enjoyed the resonance and character of the sound and helped us to refine the horn even more over the next two years.