The Getzen Custom Series is a premier symphonic tenor trombone with axial rotor, built in Elkhorn, Wisconsin USA.
The Getzen Custom Series Trombones are based on the best designs from the Getzen Pro Shop. These are the top instruments from the Getzen factory. Hand spun bells, proprietary valves, modular components, hand fitted slides all make an instrument that's ready to soar the first time out of the case. The hand slides are absolutely silent - the best in the business. Removable leadpipes allow the player to customize their trombone to deliver the desired sound and response.
Axial flow valves have revolutionized the playing of the F attachment on the trombone. The operation of this valve keeps the air column entering the attachment relatively straight. This makes playing through the attachment much like playing through an open horn. Getzen high performance axial flow valves are smooth, quiet and easy to maintain. The axial design was originated by Orla Ed Thayer, who was helped by Zig Kanstul at the time. Several makers offer similar axial designs now. This rotor as used on Getzen and Edwards trombones is reliable and simple to service. The Thayer valve is an ingenious design. Instead of a hiccup in the neckpipe from a traditional rotor, the Thayer gently curves the airway like a railroad switch. This makes the feel of the Bb and F sides of the horn much more open and even. I especially enjoy playing an axial tenor trombone for brass quintet work, whose parts are often written for the full range of the trombone.
Sorry, these photos show the 3047AFR, which has a different color bell. The red bell is not currently available. I'll do new photos...but sometimes the web page must go up.
The advantage of the yellow brass bell is a slightly more stable sound with greater projection. It's less warm but easier to be heard. The unsoldered bell rim makes the response lighter and faster with more clarity and point to the attack.
Compared To What?
A similar trombone with axial rotor is the Bach 42AF. Compared to that, the Getzen hand slide has threaded leapdipes and hand slide with nickel end crook. These features give more of a shimmer to the tone, it's slightly hotter with more clarity to the attack. The Bach with its soldered leapdipe and all brass hand slide is stable feeling with less of a pop, solid really. Also quality...there are few comparisons with how good Getzen hand slides are. Kuhnl & Hoyer is that good, Adams too. Shires almost, but the rest of the makers trail far behind.
The bell contribution to tone is similar. The unsoldered Getzen 2-piece bell produces a bit more clarity, while the Bach soldered 1-piece bell offers stability and projection without as much "rattle".
The axial rotors are nearly the same design. The Getzen rotor uses traditional bushings while Bach offers cartridge bearings similar to Latzsch rotors. Otherwise they work the same. I can't say which lasts longer. They both can be restored to new top-sealing condition even after years of use.
The Getzen bell is removable like an Edwards, Bach Artisan or Shires. This is convenient for maintenance or cleaning, as the valve section is a smaller piece for your work table. You can also change bells for different styles of music or remove the rotor and install a straight neckpipe. The Bach 42AF is not modular - its brace connectors only exist to access the rotor. The fixed trombone can be stronger, though the Getzen has one additional screw on the back for the F-attachment which stiffens the instrument considerably.
The fiberglass case is nice - it's like a Bonna Light model, a little fluffier fabric but the same idea. Backpack straps are included.
Available separately: straight neckpipe and balance weight for those times when you prefer a lightweight straight Bb trombone.
Bore Size: .547" (with three interchangeable leadpipes)
Tuning Slide: Yellow brass bow
Hand slide: Hand straightened nickel silver inside tubes (chrome plated with barrel shaped stockings); Yellow brass outside tubes with nickel silver end crook and oversleeves
Bell: 8 ½", 22 gauge yellow brass with unsoldered rim
Mouthpiece: Griego CS5
Finish: Clear lacquer
Valve: Open wrap F attachment, Axial flow valve
Extras: Spare parts, lubricants
Warranty: Getzen Platinum Warranty