This is the second of a set of three trombones made for trombonist Bart Van Lier by Kuhnl & Hoyer in Markt Erlbach, Germany. The others being of .480" and .512" bore. This .500" bore model is the middle size of the three and has been the most popular request here for many years. Its .500" nickel hand slide promotes a wider dynamic range and more open blow than the smaller 480 model. Some brittleness at higher volumes, but still with a wider breadth of sound than a King. I think the King is a power horn, This is a nuance horn, but it still had loudness ready to go.
Kuhnl & Hoyer is one of the premier brass instrument makers and these trombones are as beautiful as can be. The hand braces are curved, adding a lovely aesthetic and a more comfortable grip. The hand slide action is perfectly smooth and quiet, even when clean and dry. The bell rims are left unsoldered in the style of classic Conn and Holton designs, with homage to the classic Urbie Green model. This bell style leads to a livelier response and lighter effort needed to manipulate the sound to your liking. The BLV trombones are sweet like that.
I have usually ordered these with the round balance weight but have recently become acquainted with the variable balance weight system, exclusive to Kuhnl & Hoyer trombones. I think it's an improved design. The tuning slide brace with the Torx screws looks to be solid rod rather than the hollow tube on most other instruments. Attached to that are up to two optional weights. It's more ergonomic because the mass of the balance weight is closer to directly over the trombone grip. It reduces torque and stress on the left hand, making the horn feel lighter, even though it weighs the same. In the many years of selling other K&H instruments, I had never seen this balance weight in person to view the attachment method. Having tried it, I might always order them this way. These folks make the best trombones.
Finish is gold tinted lacquer. Round balance weight is matte finish, as is the water key.
Klier 8E mouthpiece and lightweight case are included.
The 500 model has several options. Choose from the drop down menu above to see current pricing.
Most options of the BVL trombones can be had by special order in 30-45 days if not in stock here.
Our take on the recently arrived BVL 500...
This plays louder, clearer and brighter with more edge when flared than the 80/88, it’s very satisfying. It’s a live show horn, more warmth and body to the tone than the King, more subtle attacks, smoother. Reminds me of Conn 100H, Martin Urbie Green, but better. It's the rare unsoldered rim bell that send me to those images. The hand slide feels very light, A+ action. Normally sold with round balance weight, this one has the variable weight. I may always buy them this way now, the ergonomics are superior for me. The two curved hand braces make the grip smaller, and my thumb fits the brace at my closer proximal phalange, it’s comfortable, maybe has less torque for pivot, but nice for medium size hands. Except for the different weight, this is the standard model I’ve stocked over the years. If you like the King 2B+ you'll love this.
Bart Val Lier trio.
Mr. Van Lier on the bass trumpet. Bob Brookmeyer reincarnate?