This is a Czech company which mass produces cheap-ish instruments.
A small instrument manufacturer located in Lübeck, Germany, which produces hand-made high-quality trombones (as well as distributing Blessing instruments in Germany). In addition to the customary straight and Bb/F instruments, Amrein also produces a novel Bb/F trombone which has an unusual small bell apparently used in conjunction with the F attachment. This link and the comments about the company were kindly contributed by Heinrich Voellmer, who regrets being unable to afford the Amrein 6I model (Heinrich says this copy of the classic Conn 6H plays like a dream).
Gerhard Baier is a German manufacturer of professional-quality handcrafted instruments.
E.K. Blessing are at the moment perhaps best known for their student instruments and for offering low-cost versions of well-known and well-regarded makes from other companies. For example, one trombonist described to me the B88 trombone range as offering 90% of the refinement of the Conn 88H for 50% of the Conn's street price.
Boosey & Hawkes
This reknown British company currently manufactures its tombones under the Besson brand. While not as popular in the symphonic setting as their American cousins, Besson trombones and euphoniums dominate the UK brass band scene. The Besson brand is also highly regarded amongst the marching, military and symphonic bands in Malaysia (where I come from) and Singapore.
Antoine Courtois is a French instrument manufacturer owned by the German conglomerate Triumph-Adler AG. Their instruments are distributed in the US by G Leblanc.
The Edwards Instrument Company is an off-shoot of the Getzen company, and in fact manufactures its instruments on the Getzen site. It specialises in the production of custom (i.e. expensive) professional-quality trombones and trumpets. Their website is unusual amongst manufacturers' sites in that you can purchase instruments and accessories online directly from them. If you're looking for a Bb/F instrument, do note that Edwards only offers Thayer valves (at least at the time of writing).
Exbrass (German language site)
Exbrass (English language version; currently under construction)
A rather small but interesting German instrument manufacturer, whose (expensive) trombones are designed by the experienced instrument designer Romeo Adaci. Their most successful trombones have been their bass trombones, which are apparently favoured by trombonists in Viennese orchestras. This link and the comments about the company were kindly contributed by Heinrich Voellmer.
The Getzen Company manufactures student-, intermediate- and professional-quality instruments. Some of their professional-quality lines are very competitively-priced relative to instruments of similar quality from other manufacturers. An off-shoot of this company is the Edwards company, which specialises in custom professional instruments.
Musik Haag AG is a small German company which manufactures custom brass instruments. Trombones ranging in size from Alto to Contrasbass are available. Hagmann or Lätzsch valve options are offered. I have heard recently that their contrabass trombones are excellent.
After decades working for Olds, Reynolds, King (Benge) and Conn, Zigmant Kanstul started his own instrument manufacturing company in 1981. I've come across rumours that Kanstul has contract-manufactured Besson instruments and that Kanstul currently uses ex-UMI tooling for its own-brand instruments. Can anyone confirm these?
Kromat (German language version)
Kromat (English language version)
Hans Kromat Brasswind Instruments is a small German company who produce trombones ranging in size from Alto to Contrasbass. They also produce "Renaissance" models. Correct URLs brought to my attention by Axel Koch, a student of the jazz trombone from the Netherlands. Alex says that he normally entrusts his trombone to Kromat for repairs whenever he has a problem with it.
Kühnl & Hoyer Instruments
K&H are a well-known German company who have strong sales both in Europe and the USA. Famous trombonists who play their instruments include the Dutch Bart Van Lier and the Briton Brett Baker.
Lätzsch (German language only)
Herbert Lätzsch KG is a small Bremen-based German company (similar to Thein) specialising in traditional German designs. Their clientele consists mainly of classical trumpet players, but they are also patronised by some classical trombonists. This link and the comments about the company were kindly contributed by Heinrich Voellmer.
Lawler trombones are legendary for their wonderful playing characteristics and gorgeous looks. The Lawler trombone website has been down for a long while for reasons unknown to me, but the important thing is that Lawler trombones are back on the web! Currently, the trombone site consists of a single page; hopefully, Roy Lawler will add more to his site soon. If you like Lawler trumpets though, you will find abundant information. Many thanks to Boneslinger for the link.
The legendary Holton range and the Martin Urbie Green model are manufactured by G. Leblanc.
The "original" F.E. Olds started out in California, and the company made its name making top-quality instruments. By the late sixties or early seventies, although still producing some top-of-the-line instruments, the company had become better known for mass-produced student instruments. Construction quality declined as production quotas were emphasised. That plus competition from other companies and cutbacks in school music budgets led to the firm going out of business in 1979. The Olds and Reynolds names (Olds merged with Reynolds in 1964) have since been bought and revived by a company based in New Jersey.
Michael Rath handcrafted trombones are made in the UK. They have garnered rave reviews and a following in places as diverse as Alaska and Australia. Since these instruments are aimed mainly at professionals they are, unsurprisingly, very expensive.
Schagerl(German language only)
A small Austrian manufacturer (and distributor of Blessing instruments in Austria), Schagerl is one of a few companies which still offers trombones with tuning-in-the-slide. Their instruments are popular with Austrian symphonic trombonists. Intriguingly, it seems that their prices are not as high as one might expect from such a company, so they may be worth investigating if you are seeking a new slide-tuning instrument. This link and the comments about the company were kindly contributed by Heinrich Voellmer.
Schmelzer is a German company which produces professional quality bones. Accounts from several trombonists in America who have tried Schmelzer instruments suggest that these instruments are at least comparable in quality to trombones manufactured by Edwards, Shires and Rath.
Selmer own the reknown Vincent Brand marque. The Bach Stradivarius 42-series of trombones has for many years served as a benchmark in the symphonic setting. Sadly, word is that Bach have taken their eye of the ball. Consequently, quality control is not what it used to be, and trombonists seeking to purchase a Stradivarius 42 are advised to try several instruments rather than jumping into buying the first one they see.
Steve Shires set up a company in the mid-90s to manufacture custom trombones. Those who've tried his instruments generally rave about them. Beware the price tag though!
This German company is owned by two brothers, Max and Heinrich Thein. It makes a full range of trombones (from picollo to contrabass), some of which have received rave reviews by trombonists from Europe and America. The famous Dutch bass trombonist Ben van Dijk endorses Thein trombones and has assisted in the design of several Thein models.
United Musical Instruments
UMI make the following brands: Conn, Benge and King. The Conn and King pro-quality trombone lines (in particular the Conn 88H- and the King 2B- and 3B-series) are widely used by professionals in the symphonic and jazz scenes, respectively.
Vienna Wind Instruments
This is an Austrian company about whose products I have not been able to find out much.
Jürgen Voigt is a German manufacturer of handmade trombones. Aside from "American"- and "German"-style models, his workshop also produces "Baroque" trombones.
Weril is an up-and-coming Brazilian company who produce mainly student- and intermediate-quality value-for-money instruments. They do have a Pro trombone range, the "Gagliardi" series, but how good these instruments are I haven't a clue. I have chosen to link to the website hosted by their US distributors DEG rather than the Brazilian website, as I believe the US site to be easier to use.
The Swiss company Willson Band Instruments produce a range of artist-grade (i.e. professional-calibre) brass instruments. I have heard good things about their euphoniums and trombones. Their trombones utilise "Rotax" valves.
Yamaha's trombones used to have a poor reputation for durability, but the firm is now reknown for the excellence of its quality control. Their student and intermediate horns are generally considered to be great value for money. A significant number of professional trombonists now use (or at least endorse) their professional-quality bones and mouthpieces.