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Kuhnl & Hoyer Bart van Lier 480/88 MK II Tenor Trombone


Item Details

This is one of a set of three trombones made for trombonist Bart van Lier by Kuhnl & Hoyer in Markt Erlbach, Germany.  The others being of .500" and .512" bore.  This dual bore model is the smallest of the three.  Its .480"-.488" hand slide is akin to a classic King 2B, leading to a centered tone, a clear high range, good malleability, and nice sound on a microphone.  It's reminiscent of the 1940's style of trombone.

Kuhnl & Hoyer is one of the premier European brass instrument makers and these trombones are as beautiful as can be.  The design is a bit different as well.  The upper hand brace of the hand slide is curved, adding a more comfortable grip.  The bell brace is straight to give a slightly larger grip and more leverage, nice when things get crazy at the gig.  The hand slide action is perfectly smooth and quiet, even when clean and dry.  The bell rims are rolled and unsoldered in the style of classic Conn and Holton designs, with homage to the Martin 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.

These trombones include the proprietary K&H modular balance weight system.  What is that?  It's two differing brass rod-shaped weights that attach by torx bolts to mounting holes in the tuning slide brace.  You can use both or one or switch them.  Maybe it's better or not, who knows.  But what you will notice is that the instrument is more closely balanced above the lower cork barrel where you hold it with your left hand.  with this weight, the trombone doesn't want to flop over to the left as much.  It reduces torque at your wrist compared to nearly any other design.

The photos show the BVL personal model with the bronze hand slide. It has a beautiful rose tint to it and is quite stunning.  This personal model is the standard setup we carry.  It's the sweeter, warmer sounding small bore jazz horn.

Bart van Lier's opinion about the new bronze slide: “The warm tone of this slide is outstanding! Even the strongest fortisimo sounds warm and controlled. I can only recommend this bronze slide of Kühnl & Hoyer!“

The second model has the small bell and nickel hand slide, which has a bit more bite and bark, when you need to soar as a lead player in a dance band or large ensemble.  This can be had with the larger 195mm bell by special order.

Lastly you can have a detachable bell setup and buy several bells.  I'm not sure anyone is really doing this, it's built to order.  I mean, maybe buy a few more trombones until N+1 is a comfortable number for you.

JK Bart Van Lier 8E mouthpiece and Protec lightweight case are included.  Also includes slide lubricant, polishing cloth and modular balance weight torx tool.

The options:

  • Stock: Bart van Lier Personal Model with 195mm bell, bronze hand slide
  • Stock: Lead Model with 180mm bell
  • Custom: Standard Model with 195mm bell
  • Custom: Detachable Bell Model, choice of 180mm or 195mm


Finish is gold tinted lacquer.  Most options of the BVL trombones can be had by special order in 30-45 days.

I played the recently arrived BVL 480/488MKII Personal

This is one of my very favorite trombones in the store at first blow.  This plays slightly smaller, with a narrower tone than the 500, slightly less volume. It's compact.  But there’s no more resistance than the 500 and it doesn’t get barky like a King 2B.  It’s smooth and not brittle, good for close mic work. The variable weight is closer to the center of the instrument, reducing torque on my left hand. The straight hand brace fits my thumb bend at the further distal phalange as normal, the extra leverage of the larger grip feeling good. Slide action A+. - SF


Bart Val Lier Trio


Mr. Van Lier on the bass trumpet.  Bob Brookmeyer reincarnate?




...the K&H Bart Van Lier 500 arrived on Saturday in perfect condition as far as I can tell. I've played it quite a bit and I'm extremely happy with it. It has just enough extra width to be more comfortable, a wonderful slide, and a velvety smooth sound that brightens up nicely when pushed. I keep finding myself looking forward to playing it at the end of the day. I think that's a good sign.
I'd say this is a tremendous value. I admit that I haven't played any other new jazz horns; so I'm comparing to the near perfect condition Bach 42 that I've been playing. And I feel the quality of the sound and playability is on par. Seems a shame that they're so underrepresented here in the US. Thanks again for all your help! - GP

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