Saturday, February 24, 2018

Weltklang German Alto Trombone

Hello trombonists!  Any of you know anything about this instrument?  I have not been able to locate much on the web.

Made in or near Markneukirchen by the DDR conglomerate Weltklang, possibly as late as mid-1980's.  It has a very small dual bore, around .440/.460, no leadpipe, no bell nut, no water valve, and minimally braced.  And a tight scratchy slide.  I believe the mouthpiece is original; it seems a perfect fit, small diameter and funnel-shaped.  The horn has a clear, elegant sound and is very easy to overpower.  You have to play with care and precision.  I think it would be appropriate for Mozart Requiem, most choir accompaniments actually, and practically any alto part in a small orchestra if you can get trombones 2 and 3 to play medium-bore instruments.  This sort of section makes a terrific sound, and won't overpower voices and strings.

Shown here beside my Yamaha for scale.

Monday, February 5, 2018

High-Mileage Bicycle

There were at least 500,000 miles on this machine before it was lost:

A mid-80's Schwinn mountain bike, totally rebuilt multiple times.  A good bike, bought new and owned by the same person all this time.  Three cranksets worn out in the years I worked on it, also dozens of tires, four saddles, three forks, three wheel sets, many chains and freewheels and brake pads, etc. etc.  I think not a single component was original to the bike.  This rig survived numerous accidents, in weather of all types, on- and off-road, and was stolen and recovered at least once.  The owner found a number of local "bike shops" who refused to work on it, who only wanted to sell him a new bike.  "Too old," they said, "not worth the repair," they said, "can't get parts for it," they said.  "Bull," I say.  It's too bad, that kind of snobbery which is one of the things driving customers out of bike shops and onto the web.  Or in some cases out of cycling entirely.

New Gig

Hey friends, I'm wrenching at REI Denver flagship now-come in with your bikes for a spring tuneup or just to say "hi."