5 Stars By B-row on 2012-12-28
Plastic trombone? Why not. Don't expect it to be brass
I gave this 5 stars with a "but". It 5 stars isn't because its the best trombone in the world. It is just better than anyone would expect from a plastic and fiberglass trombone; especially from china.
Its light, the slide moves very freely. No sticking at all, even for its light weight. Rest the slide on the ground and yank the trombone up as fast as you can and the slide won't leave the ground. Lose your grip and it'll go flying. Best thing, when you pick up your just dropped slide, it still slides perfectly.
Its super light. I thought it would be a bit heavier. Feels a little fragile and I'm sure it is. But if you're used to treating your brass horn nicely, it shouldn't be a problem.
It sounds like its made of plastic. That is, the brass it doesn't have, doesn't ring. It sounds a little muted. You can still blare but it plays quietly. (i've been on a big bore horn for a while, it may be my imagination). I can play this quieter than any other brass instrument in my house (several). It sounds a bit more like a baritone/euphonium than a trombone. That's fine for around the house though.
The slide is noticeably loud. Its raw fiberglass (not gel coat) against brass and you can hear it. We'll see if that gets better over time. I'm getting some black "sludge" off the slide, and the brass ends are showing polishing, so it may be getting better.
Mouthpiece is a very small cup size. Not what I'm used to, but it seems to make the horn very playable.
I haven't had any trouble with any octave range like one reviewer said somewhere. Plays very easily. Very responsive. Maybe its the tiny mouthpiece more than the horn.
The "jiggs pBone" and "made in china" logo are silk screened on and not the kind that flakes off easily with a thumbnail. Good for keeping the logos looking "good" but I was really hoping it would be a vinyl decal I could peel off and make it look like an enameled horn. Using a small hard plastic widget I was able to get the "CE" logo off the made in china decal with little residual marking. I'll continue on this and then hit it with some rouge and a buffer wheel and see if I can get the pBone label off later.
There's a seam that runs down the horn as well. Its not sloppy but its visible. They polished it off the inside of the bell, but its quite noticeable on the outside of the bell and down the spine of the horn. That slightly misaligned mold type thing. a right hand bump on the top, left hand bump on the bottom. Nothing to really do about it. It is thick enough where it could be sanded and buffed to make it unnoticeable, but why? It already says "pbone" on it.
Worth a shot for a practice horn or just a conversation piece. I bet it would be nice for caroling or street playing in the cold. Packing it on your back on a bicycle etc. Super light, and the case is tiny and light too.
Just had a funny image of the "around the campfire" crowd. Instead of someone pulling out a harmonica or a small guitar... pull out your trombone and play some songs around the campfire. Just don't get too close, or your horn will melt.
3 Stars By mattmattmatt on 2014-01-05
In a way, it's cooler than the real thing...
As an instrument...I have to say, not half bad--especially if you use a metal mouthpiece. I bought a couple of those cheaper Blessing ones, a 12c and 6.5al and honestly it sounds pretty decent. It's definitely way better than what I was expecting, even after reading all the effusive reviews. What's more, it looks cool as hell. It actually looks cooler than it is...as though it should be able to play power chords through a guitar amp!
The slide is on the scratchy side. I bought that Selmer Slide o mix...it's awful. It reminds me of dish soap and after it dries it gives the slide a sandy granular feel that really sucks. Even so, I love this thing. It looks so cool, I just want to play it all the time...and that's really half the battle with this instrument. I had a beautiful silver Vincent Bach that I let slip through my grasp. This ain't no Vincent Bach! It has no low-end and you'll really feel it missing something at low Bflat down through the pedal tones. But it's still pretty cool in its own right. And from F on the staff, all the way up, it sounds 95% there, which is good enough for me.
I honestly think the whole plastic instrument thing is a game changer. Especially for marching bands. I haven't tested, but I bet cold temps won't affect pitch like real brass. Also, it's just plastic. If it gets messed up, just get another. Now people won't have to be so precious about these instruments because like all plastic stuff, the price will come down with demand. The color of this thing is too cool man...I love it! I think this is good for the instrument and once this thing gets down below $50, it could cause a real craze that nobody ever could have predicted.
One year in and the spit valve just snapped into pieces as it sat by itself! The plastic just got brittle and splintered on its own. I'm in SoCal and the humidity fluctuations are minimal. This was just a cheap design unfortunately. Without the valve it actually sounds pretty bad--worse than I'd have guessed. I guess I'll try and jury-rig something or look into buying another slide. If not, I can't say if I'll buy another one of these or not. Down from five stars to three because of the spit valve.
5 Stars By BKarno on 2014-10-26
Amazing Piece of Plastic
I'm not a trombone player myself, and it was my son who I ordered this for. When it arrived we did a quick comparison between this pBone and his brass Yamaha. I was really amazed at the tone of the pBone. I was expecting it to sound noticeably muted, but it had a nice ring to it. The brass can be played to louder volumes and rings out more, but the pBone is plenty loud when it needs to be. The best part is that my son now has 2 instruments so he can practice more at home and doesn't have to transport an instrument back and forth from high school every day. He is not allowed to use this instrument for marching band, but the kids do use them for pep band, and blue is the school color. We could feel that the slide is smoothing out now that he has been playing it for a while, and while it was pretty noisy at first it has gotten quieter as it has smoothed out/worn in. He has not used any lubricant on the slide because we wanted it to wear in, and the manufacturer says lube is not necessary. He has also had to run some cleaning patches through it and wipe the internal slide tubes since the wearing in produces some fine black bits/dust, but we expected this. The included plastic mouthpiece is listed as an "11C" and he has always played a 12C. He said he didn't notice any real difference in the feel of the cup, but we ordered a metal Blessing 12C here on BTA-MALL and he prefers that mouthpiece to the plastic one. The included soft case is rather thin and cheap, and offers no real protection to the pBone. He had a soft backpack style case that he uses with his Yamaha, and now he uses it for the pBone. The finish is also a bit uneven, but we waxed it up an gave it a nice shine and it actually looks really good. One of the things he also loves about the pBone is the weight. He is not only able to practice more often, but he is able to practice longer. All in all just a great purchase. He is able to practice more, he has a fun instrument for pep band, and he has become a better player.
5 Stars By David G on 2017-03-01
Great trombone for beginners - durable and play pretty well
OK, so I've played trombone for several years. I have a really nice Bach 42bog. This doesn't sound anything like my nice horn.
But I'm teaching my kids how to play. I'm not going to hand over my nice trombone. I have more sense than that. I know what I did to my trombone when I was a kid...
These play pretty well. They're cheap. And my kids have dropped the slide several times and I haven't had to take it to a repair shop to get the dings taken out of the slide. So they're pretty durable.
One thing - getting the slide to move well was a bit tricky. I didn't like how the slide oil was doing, so I used trombotine. Works great.
on 2013-10-18 Awesome little horn!
I picked up the pBone after not playing for about a decade, and I have to say that it's pretty awesome! It's not quite as responsive or bright as a brass horn, but it does pretty well for what it is-- also plays a little on the airy side, especially with the included plastic mouthpiece but it can be played with a standard small shank mouthpiece.
There is a bit of break-in to using the fiberglass slide, but it works well once it's done.
I found a post on the pbone site recommending a break-in procedure, but I've modified it a bit and think it works better.
Basically, you use an oil (the article suggested Holton Trombone Slide Oil
, though Al Cass Valve Oil, 2.0 fluid Oz.
seems to be the same thing with less of an odor) on the slide, and work it vigorously. After a while, it will 'gum up' and you wipe the inner stalks with a paper towel to clear off all the bits of shavings. Continue to work the slide for a bit, and re wipe. repeat.
take the outer slide off after wiping the inner stalks, and fill/agitate/drain with water in the shower until the water comes out clear.
Repeat this whole process a few times and it'll really do wonders in getting your slide properly working-- using a cleaning rod with a towel helps a lot too.
While it will still sound a little scratchy, I tend to play it without any lubricant once it was properly broken in.
Anyway-- I was impressed with it for what it is, and it's definitely nice to not have to worry about knocking it around a bit, too!
4 Stars By GregoryDearth on 2014-04-22
Anybody that complains about the tone just needs to practice. Any search on Youtube will show pros like Jiggs himself playing like a champ on the pBone. So the tone is fine. It is not quite as bright as a brass horn, but a smooth dark sound is also quite pleasing.
Mine arrived quite filthy. Seemed everybody had handled the horn before putting it in the sealed plastic bag. Pledge multi-surface worked well to make it shine. However, the paint is not very glossy. The all black model looks a LOT better in the photo than the actual product which is more like a dark grey than a true black.
The pBone sticker on the side of the bell is upside down when holding the horn normally. It also has "made im China" in bold large letters near the tuning slide. I intend to paint over them.
The horn is indeed plastic, but none of the photos show the SEAM. There is a seam running down the bell.
The outer slide is flat black, not semi-gloss like the rest of the horn. Even on horns of other colors, the outer slide is flat black like the inner slide.
The slide is super sticky. Sure you can use water as a lubricant, but wow is this slide loud. Evidently the slide gets better as the brass slide rings inside the outer slide wears on the PVC inner slide. Again, if you are worried about speed, watch some of the videos of pros working this instrument. Even dry and brand new 16th notes are not an issue. After an hour of use it is indeed getting faster and quieter. Keep cleaning the brass slide contacts and it gets quiet pretty quick.
The mouthpiece is not horrible, but seems to work better in the alto range than on low bass notes. Still, it does permit one to work the whole typical range of a trombone. It works even better with a metal mouthpiece.
The overall shape of the horn is great. It has a larger bell than my actual brass Conn Director trombone. And of course, the pBone is dent-free. The union between the bell and slide halves is by friction alone, but the shank is long enough that this is not an issue and the angle between the slide and the bell holds quite strong and tight.
The horn is ridiculously light and the area your left hand grips the instrument is ergonomic and comfortable. It will be a pleasure for carolling and practice. And even with the imperfect paint that is not glossy or black enough, it is pretty cool to have a stealth trombone.
4 Stars By Brian on 2016-08-27
Better than renting!
Better than renting for my 10 yr old son. First one came with smudged silkscreened black logo on the purple bell. BTA-MALL promptly sent us a new instrument in perfect condition. The slide is a bit noisy but I'm told that it will get better with time. The music instructor says this instrument will be adequate until maybe 8th or 9th grade band at which time we'll purchase real brass horn (if he still plays). This horn paid for itself in 3 or 4 months of saved rental expenses. Note: Many trombone players are not thrilled with the plastic mouthpiece so they buy a traditional metal mouthpiece, which works fine with this plastic horn. That's what we did. Finally, fun colors available for these plastic instruments really up the "cool" factor.
1 Stars By M. Dever on 2016-12-28
Company reships returned- defective product. Mine was labeled "SQUEAKS" ...
Company reships returned- defective product.
Mine was labeled "SQUEAKS" tag, and they re-shipped it to us anyway.
Buy, from someone else.
4 Stars By roofrabbit on 2013-01-05
pBone Plastic Trombone -- Air Force blue color
I gave this plastic trombone as an Xmas gift to my son-in-law who plays trombone in the U. S. Air Force Band in Washington DC. He says that he likes it very much because of its novelty (good!, because the pBone could have been a gag gift gone sour). His band provides my son-in-law with his choice of instrument --> an Edwards trombone costing about $5600. Of course the pBone is no competitor for the Edwards, but is more of a recreational instrument suitable for beginning students of the trombone. Being a musician myself but not a trombonist, the following remarks are my understanding of his comments about the pBone.
Be aware that the pBone has no F attachment. The trombone requires a short-shank mouthpiece. The plastic mouthpiece supplied with the pBone has a cup diameter that is too small for a serious student of the trombone, but any metal short-shank mouthpiece can be substituted for the supplied one. Comes with a flimsy gig bag. The main advantages of the pBone are the light weight and the minimal cost. The pBone bore is smaller diameter than the usual bore expected of an orchestral instrument (but larger than the "pea-shooter" that many beginners start upon), so that its sound is brighter and less sonorous than the orchestral instrument. The intonation is surprisingly good for such a cheap trombone, but not perfectly on pitch.
Recommended for beginning students, or for trombone teachers who want to play the same trombone as their beginning students during lessons. Also good for school marching bands whose directors want to display trombones in their school colors, as two-color or even three-color pBones are available.
The small size of the plastic mouthpiece, in my own opinion, is a drawback that ought to be corrected by the manufacturer since school marching bands sometimes have to play in cold or freezing weather when a metal mouthpiece is uncomfortable to play upon. However, there are plastic rims that can be fitted to a metal mouthpiece to alleviate the discomfort of a cold mouthpiece.
5 Stars By Cake Chica on 2015-07-20
Great for Practice and 1st time players
My Son was 1st chair in H.S. and was so sad he wouldn't be able to play after graduation. A brass piece was not in my budget so, I went with this choice. We were both amazed at the sound! He said he needed to play to loosen up the slide a bit but that was a good thing! We admit this isn't a complete replacement for the real McCoy BUT it's great for practicing and I would think a great "training" piece before making that huge investment! I highly recommend!