Antique Musical Instruments/Holton Special Trombone


Hello, I saw your 2007 answer about a Holton 65 trombone on line.  It was excellent and helpful.  I owned a pristine 1940 "military" model in silver plate at that time, but foolishly sold it off last year.  I had a King 2B but find them uncomfortable to hold and sold it too.
I didn't want to go down the "rabbit hole" and gamble with unfamiliar Olds, Conn, Bach, etc. models.  So I've been trying to find another 65, 67, or 69, with the 8 in bell.  I found a 1975 "Holton Special" on line and bought it.  This is a nice horn with the larger bell, but the slide bore looks tiny, smaller than my 65 even.  It is too well made with original case being too fancy to be a student model.  My calipers show it to be not smaller than .485 though.  My 65 FELT much bigger and blew just like a .525 bore horn.  Were the old 65s really only .485?  Coulda fooled me, as they say.

The Holton company was sold to Leblanc in the early '60', and then became part of Conn-Selmer.  At that point, Holton wasn't really a brand any more, it was more of a tradename or model.

The Holton Special was a model from the early 20th century.  It had a 7 in bell and was a peashooter with an approx .474 bore.  It would have been friction fit, with no slide lock.

My chart says the 65 had a .495 bore with a 7.5 bell.  

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Kenton Scott


Please note: My area is BRASS instruments, not other wind, string or percussion instruments. I will provide information on antique, obscure and out of production BRASS instruments. 1) Please don't ask for evaluations, I'll not provide them on this site. 2) I am often asked very similar questions, so I'd invite you to first check on Much of the information I have garnered about this topic, I have posted on this WEB site.


I perform in several historical bands, have informally researched the area, repair brass instruments, and operate a Forum dedicated to the topic at

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