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Our largest trombone, the Model 1690 F contra bass met with immediate success when introduced, and is used in symphony orchestras around the world. Considered one of the top contra bass trombones in the world, we're proud to see it used by many of our friends in the Los Angeles studios.
One of the difficulties of designing such a large trombone is ergonomics. The size and weight of such an instrument can become a burden for the player, and without proper ergonomic design simply exchanges musicality for stress. The ergonomic design of the Model 1690 properly fits the trombone to the human hand - distributing the weight in a sensible manner - and is adjustable. Large diameter ergonomic cork barrels and rounded connector nut, a neoprene covered hand pad, and adjustable trigger paddles allow a player to remain comfortable and focus on the business of music.
Though the vintage BBb contrabass trombone may be more famous, Zig Kanstul chose the key of F for his instrument to create a nimble voice that works with the player, rather than against him. As a solo, orchestral, or studio instrument, you'll find that mastery of our F contra bass comes quickly, and any transpositions and longer hand slide positions are quickly learned. Any perceived advantages of a BBb contra bass are quelled after one blow on a Kanstul. For the experienced bass trombone player, the addition of the Kanstul contra bass will add extra opportunity for you to share your craft.
Some of our favorite players currently using the 1690 include top studio players Phil Teele, George Thatcher, Craig Gosnell, and Bob Sanders; also Jeff Cortazzo of the U.S. Army Blues and Capitol Bones, Joe Barati (Harry Connick, Jr.) and Paul Pollard of the Metropolitan Opera.
The Model 1690 can be heard on Mychael Danna's Oscar-winning score for Life of Pi; and also on Sufjan Stevens' "Planetarium" tour in 2013.
This trombone features a dual bore .562"/.608" nickel slide with extended water key, and removable press-in mouthpipe. The inline CR rotors are stepped bore, in .630" and .670" to improve low range response. The bell is 10 1/4" diameter yellow brass.