I had the explicit pleasure of visiting the S.E. Shires factory and try out a wide range of their trombones. They are located in an humble industrial area in Hopedale, Massachusetts. It is about one hour drive from Boston, and four hours from New York. The factory building is very discreet, and you would not think that a world class brass instrument manufacturer is based within such a timid building, but do not let the appearance fool you, they are serious about their business, and really know what they are doing! And how to do it. And why. And probably when too. Great New York trombone player (and Shires artist) Michael Davis were kind enough to give me an introduction to Steve Shires himself and Ben Griffin (Shires sales rep and pro trombone player). Ben has a deep knowledge about trombones in all sizes, and was very helpful during my visit. He set me up in the Shires showroom, and kept feeding me with new trombone parts for several hours.
Since I knew I would be buying a small bore horn, this was where I started out. Unfortunately I never got around to try out their large bore trombones, which gives me a good reason to visit them again in the future! In this test, I will review both the parts I tried, as well as the Michael Davis Signature Model, and of course tell more about the model I settled for.
These are all the trombone parts I tried:
T00NLW My choice
T95NLW, YRC (from the Michael Davis model)
T0 2N (Nickel with #2 venturi, .500 bore) My choice
T0 2.5 (Brass, #2.5 venturi, .500 bore) My alternative choice
SY1.5 My choice
S.E. Shires Vintage 6 1/2 AL
S1YLW 8 (Light weight yellow brass, soldered bead 8″)
S1RGLW 8 (Light weight, dual alloy, red brass stem and gold brass flare, soldered bead 8”)
S1YLW 7.75 (Light weight yellow brass, soldered bead 7.75″) My choice
S1YLM 7.75 (Medium weight yellow brass, soldered bead, 7.75″)
Michael Davis signature bell (7.5” bell)
Click next page to read the full trombone test