Michael Rath Custom Trombone bell flares offer wide range of tonal characteristics, each material giving a variety and flexibility of sound. They are available in yellow brass (70% copper, 30% zinc), gold brass (85% copper, 15% zinc), red brass (90% copper, 10% zinc) and nickel silver.
The higher the copper content in the material, the darker and warmer is the sound. For example a yellow brass bell will sound more brilliant and brighter than gold and red brass bells with a consistency of tone. Nickel silver bells tend to produce an extremely clear sound, but without becoming excessively bright. When coupled with the right main slide, tuning slide and leadpipe, nickel bells can also sound dark, full and resonant, particularly on our bass trombones.
For most players our standard bell size and weight will be the best choice - 7 1/2" for medium bore tenor trombones (R1, R2, R10 and R12); 8" for medium large bore trombones (R3); 8 1/2" for large bore tenor trombones (R4) and 9 1/2" for bass trombones (R9).
However a player may find that a different bell size better suits their needs hence other bell flares can be ordered. For example an 8" bell flare on an R2 medium bore tenor trombone, or a 10" bell flare for an R9 bass trombone. Bell flares can also be ordered not only in standard weight but also in light and heavy weights.
All Michael Rath bells are constructed in two pieces, a flare and a spout, allowing us to select the most appropriate gauge (or material thickness) for the bell flare and spout independently. They are produced entirely by hand in our workshop and are finished in clear lacquer as standard, although various other finishes are available.
Bell flares are stamped with the specification indicating the type and gauge of material used. For example, a bell stamped "750R" is made from red brass (R); with a flare gauge of 0.7mm and a spout gauge of 0.5mm.