Michael Rath trombone bell flares offer a wide variety and flexibility in sound, with each material giving a wide range of tonal characteristics. Bell flares 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 the sound, so that yellow brass bells will be more brilliant and sound brighter with fewer overtones than gold and red brass bells. Nickel silver bells tend to produce an extremely clear sound, but without becoming excessively bright; notably when coupled with the right 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 (R10, R1, R2); 8" for medium large bore trombones (R3); 8 1/2" for large bore tenor trombones (R4) and 9 1/2" for bass trombones (R9).In certain circumstances, a particular player may find that a different bell size is more appropriate for their needs - for example an 8" bell flare on an R2 medium bore tenor trombone, or a 10" bell flare for an R9 bass trombone.
All bell flares are stamped with the flare specification towards the top of the spout which indicates the type and gauge of material used when producing that particular bell flare. For example, a bell stamped "845G" was made from gold brass (G); with a flare gauge of 0.8mm and a spout of 0.45mm. Flares are available in standard, light and heavy weights.
All Rath bell flares are constructed in two pieces, allowing us to select the most appropriate gauge 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.