The Brass Ark is proud to be the exclusive US dealer for the new trombones made by Stephen Shires out of his small shop in Vermont. Of course, Steve is a legendary trombone builder with arguably some of the most significant upgrades to the instrument in recent memory. More professional trombonists use SE Shires trombones than just about any other brand. Steve left SE Shires 2 years ago and began developing his limited release french horns and I'm happy to say that he has triumphantly returned to the trombone making business with limited production models made by Steve. Initial offers will include tenor trombones and a special order "Brass Ark" model developed with me. Bass trombones will be added late in 2022. The first instruments will arrive for sale in April 2022, email now to inquire
The Brass Ark is proud to be a dealer for the exciting new custom crafted instruments from Matt Walker and Michael McLemore or M&W Trombones out of Jackson, Wisconsin. Matt and Michael started honing their craft building the original Greenhoe trombones and curate their attention to detail with their new musical offerings from their own brand. These trombones are stunning, being built with only top tier materials and craftsmanship the results are impressive!
Well, how do they play??? The first thing I notice about M&W Trombones are how solid they feel in your hands. Everything is in the right place, feels exactly how it should. There is weight here, its not a lightweight design, but it is a solid design, I appreciate that. The next thing you will notice is how easy and comfortable the instrument is to play. The valve is balanced, the bell is thin and responsive and the slots are well defined. When you blow a centered sound you are rewarded, when your air isn't as focused the instrument helps guide you back to the center. At the heart of this design is an orchestral trombone, that's the sound it makes and it does this extremely well.
I will endeavor to keep one of these instruments in stock at all times, but as demand increases I expect new instruments to arrive every 3-4 months. Custom specs and special orders are welcomed, I will gladly offer my expertise to help tailor an instrument to your tastes. Prices go up in early 2022.
The Brass Ark Series Two is our second generation custom trombone, designed by Noah Gladstone in consultation with Thomas Zsivkovits and Jay Friedman. These new trombones will be made only in small batches, made per order and can be customized in a variety of ways. The concept behind this new design is to offer a unique orchestral tenor trombone committed to being its own thing, it is not a rehash of a Conn 88H or a Bach 42. Old world hand craftsmanship with attention to detail is our goal. These instruments are made by master Stephan Schmidt in Germany for The Brass Ark with each piece being made specifically for each individual instrument. A true handbuilt custom trombone. The sound is everything you'd expect: warm, vibrant, colorful, nuanced, brilliant, rich and balanced. For version two, I wanted to offer more options, for the first time we are offering a closed wrap configuration for those old school players, but with a twist on the design inspired by the vintage Conn trombones of the 1920s designed by Jake Burkle. Our open wrap features elegant sweeping hand bent tubing with minimal bracing, yielding one of the most responsive bell sections on the market. The newest feature of this model is the special bronze rotary valve, made specifically for this instrument by one of the most well respected valve makers in Germany. The bronze core and bearing plate will ensure years of professional use. Bells are one piece and available in ultra thin red brass, or standard weight yellow or gold brass with soldered rims. All crooks are seamed and hand bent. To place an order, please email for a free consultation with Noah and we can set up a time to discuss specs for your own instrument. 50% deposit at time of order, with balance due upon arrival of your trombone. Since these are all hand built to order, 4-6 months delivery. Sold without case.
The Brass Ark model 1213 "Vintage Orchestral" Trombone was designed by trombonists Thomas Zsivkovits and Noah Gladstone to finally fabricate a modern trombone that captures the essence of the "classic American orchestral trombone sound" but improves the playability and stability that contemporary bores and valve technology offer. Departing from Noah's personal collection of important vintage trombones, we carefully selected and meticulously recreated the components that work in harmony with each other to yield an original sounding instrument. This is not a worn out copy of a Conn 88H or a Bach 42 or the like, but something new and exciting to play. A trombone that creates nostalgia and is an instrument to be passed on for generations. The model 1213 is built in Germany exclusively by Stephan Schmidt for The Brass Ark and is only available through this website. Please see the dedicated page for more information about this instrument.
We start with a good playing original Bach 42 and disassemble the entire trombone. We then rebuild the slide with new outer tubes, make a custom threaded receiver and install one of the Brassark seamed dual radius bass slide crooks. The bell section is outfitted with an open port oversized rotary valve and we build an open wrap. We do some voodoo spells on the bell flare (sorry trade secret!) and reassemble with no stress. A custom trigger lever is created and we turn a brass thumb paddle, which has a really nice weight to it. The throw of the lever is not short and not long, but medium to give you maximum control over when your valve actuates.
The finish is not always perfect with these instruments as we are starting with vintage pieces, but we're very happy with the way they play and hope that this offers another unique instrument for trombonists to consider when looking for the sound that makes them happy. Please see the dedicated page for more information about this instrument.
Currently working on vintage Elkhart Conn 88H refit Sawday/Ark Trombones. E-mail for more information
Handmade alto trombone in Eb fabricated by Markus Leuchter at his small shop in Germany. This alto trombone is the next generation of the famous model originally designed by the famous trombone maker Herbert Glassl. The Glassl alto trombone is well known around the world for being a fabulous instrument for orchestral and soloistic playing. This new instrument from Leuchter uses the original design but improves the instrument in slide construction, leadpipe design and bell fabrication. The results, one of the finest alto trombones in the world.
Handmade professional bass trombone, fabricated by Markus Leuchter. This beautiful instrument has many features not found on a variety of factory produced instruments. Each bend is handmade to fit perfectly without stress on any joints. The instrument is fabricated out of high quality very thin German red brass (including the valve wraps) and German nickel silver. This instrument is designed to be a good balance point between traditional German trombones and the American style Trombone, incorporating aspects of both. Each instrument is built to order, so it can be set up any way desired.
A brand new Markus Leuchter contrabass trombone in F. Totally stunning and epic giant trombone. I personally use one of Markus's contras and I can't say enough good things about this instrument. It is by far one of the best sounding and easiest to play contras available in the world. Made from all gold brass, chrome inner slide and totally handmade by my good friend Markus in Herzogenrath. This one has inline extra large bore rotary valves in F/C/Db/A. Alternate tunings are also available on request. I usually receive two Contrabasses from Markus per year. Arriving February 2021 $9500 with case.
Very exciting to be offering these fine handmade instruments from HAAG in Switzerland
The body is gold brass with yellow brass valve wrap with custom inline precision axial valves in Bb/F/Gb/D. One piece bell with a large taper bell throat, makes a grand noise. The hand grip and bell lock ring is unique, curved brace for comfort and the lock ring doesn't protrude into your palm, very clever! Its a stunning instrument to play and the tone and color projects so well! Brass Ark is proud to be the US dealer for Musik HAAG. Included is a black leather Lion gig bag, super nice. $7500
Introducing a new high quality line of sackbuts from my shop mate and friend, Brad Close. These instruments are very exciting and have many players in the early music community very impressed. These are 100% handmade instruments built in our La Crescenta shop. They are hand hammered, burnished and scraped like the originals and the bells are extremely thin and responsive. Based on historical examples, these new line of sackbuts from Brad tick all the right boxes and offer a playable instrument with an authentic sound and feel for a reasonable price. Basic models have simple decoration and a hand engraved bell garland, chrome plated inner tubes. Hand engraving like the original instrument is available for $350 extra. Bells are made in 3rd or 4th position. Sterling Silver bell garlands are available for $250 additional. Details on the models below.
Delivery times between 4-6 months. All instruments are unlacquered and do not include a case. No mouthpiece is included. A Close sackbut mouthpiece is available for $125 in raw brass or $160 in silver finish. A Kariso hardcase or Brass Bags UK case can be sourced for your instrument for an additional fee. Classical alto and tenor bells are now available on request and can be made as standalone instruments or optional bells to fit with your sackbut slide. Prices for classical bell sections are $1600 in raw brass for alto/tenor, $1800 for bass.
High quality Eb alto sackbut made by Markus Leuchter in Germany. Designed with input from sackbuttist, Harry Ries, as well as incorporating elements from other makers and original instruments, Markus has been able to create a fabulous playing alto sackbut. The sound and playing characteristics of this instrument are both of high quality and the craftsmanship is top notch. As with all of Markuss historic brass instruments, you get a lot of horn for you money. Playing as well as some of the most famous and respected current historic makers but for a bargain price for a handmade instrument. The standard model features a hand-engraved bell garland, ornamented bell stay and a 3rd position bell. A tuning slide has been incorporated into the design because it is useful and easy to integrate. Recommended in raw brass finish.
On a side note, I personally own a Leuchter alto sackbut and Im very satisfied with it.
Handmade Bb tenor sackbut made by Markus Leuchter. This tenor sackbut is designed using historic instruments and incorportating some of the upgrades of modern trombones without sacrificing the integrity of the sackbut. Modern chrome slide tubes give a smooth slide action, tuning slide allows for the player to adjust to their surroundings and a water key allows for you to empty condensation quickly. These design elements enhance the playability of the instrument and allows for the musician to fully realize the potential and beauty of the sackbut. Each piece of the instrument is handmade by Markus, the level of craftsmanship and detail is high. Recommended in raw brass finish.
Finally, A high quality bass sackbut in F that wont break the bank. This is a fabulous instrument with everything a trombonist needs to play the low parts and look good doing it (this large sackbut will certainly turn heads). This instrument is an original design by Markus using other F bass trombones and incorporating some of his own ideas. For a bass sackbut, this is a user friendly instrument being easy to play and integrating some nice features to allow the modern trombonist to feel comfortable on a period horn. A kruspe style water key is standard and actuates when placed on the floor.
Ewald Meinl, formerly Meinl & Lauber, made by hand in Geretsreid, these are some of the most well regarded historical brass instruments available in the world! All of their instruments are modern reproductions of originals with modernization for playability and comfort. All tubes are rolled and seamed in the old way, no commercial brass is used in the fabrication process. There are many options and configurations, so please email for a specific quote. Instruments are usually delivered in 5-6 months. I personally own and perform on Ewald Meinl sackbuts and classical trombones. Jay Friedman owns and performs on a Meinl Romantic alto trombone in Eb (which is fabulous!)
Pierre Ribo makes some of the finest serpent instruments in the world! This unusual instrument was invented in France inthe late 1500s and was played consistently up until the 1800s. PIerre's shop is in Brussels, Belgium and he has dedicated himself to not only preserving this historic brass instrument, but improving it as well. I must say, the quality and craftsmanship on Pierre's instruments are some of the finest I have ever seen. His serpents are true playable artwork. When you play it, the sounds will immediately excite you, as the resonance and arcane beauty of the sound will certainly strike at the core of what makes brass playing so obsessive. Pierre offers his serpents in C and can make them from maple or walnut. They are covered in calf leather and can be left natural, dark brown or traditional black. Crooks are available in A-440,430 and 415. Optional keys are available as well (B Natural, F sharp, E flat, C sharp)
The Brass Ark is proud to be a dealer for the exciting new custom crafted French Horns from maker, Stephen Shires. These instruments are built out of Steve's small shop in Vermont. Valve clusters are sourced from a respected valve maker in Germany, while the remaining components are fabricated and assembled by Steve with meticulous detail. Two models are available, a series one which is based on the Carl Geyer design and a series two which is Steve's take on a Schmidt wrap with the ergonmics and playability much improved. A variety of bell options are available, including various thickness and materials, as well as hand hammered flares. These horns are quickly becoming in high demand and can be heard in many orchestras from the Met Opera to Symphony Orchestras around the World. This one is raw brass unlacquered and sold without case and one bell flare of choice. $10,500