Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does a Shires Trumpet or Trombone cost?

A. Cick here for our complete retail price list.

Q. What finishes are available? How do they affect the sound of the instrument? How rugged are the available finishes? Do you have anything against leaving an instrument raw?

A. Complete trombones and trombone components are normally provided with a durable epoxy lacquer finish. Lacquer gives a clean, finished look to the instrument and adds to its durability. We find that the effect of our lacquer process on the sound is minimal; our studies have shown that while lacquer may cut down slightly on the high overtones, the effect is often a more refined sound. Trumpets are most often silver-plated.  MA state laws make in-house silverplating cost prohibitive but we have a great relationship with the best plater in the business, Anderson Silver Plating in Indiana.  We do all our lacquering here at the factory.  We have found that plated surfaces affect the sound less than lacquer.  Raw brass and gold-plated finishes are available on special order. We are happy to provide unlacquered trombone bells on request, but we recommend against leaving trombone valves or slides unfinished.

Q. Is a case included?

A. A case is not included in the cost of the instrument. We do sell our own line of trombone cases. Please inquire about case availability and delivery time when placing your order.

Q. How long will it take to receive my Shires trombone?

A. Delivery times vary by instrument type, back order, and production schedule. For the current estimated delivery time of the item that interests you, please inquire at The best way to purchase a Shires instrument quickly is from one of our dealers.

Q. Do you have financing available?

A. At the current time we do not have financing available.  As a small company we build each instrument to order and need a commitment from the customer before we obligate the raw materials and labor towards constructing your instrument.  For this reason we require a 50% deposit at the time an order is placed with the balance due upon shipping.  Many of our dealers have financing options available. 

Q. What is your return and exchange policy? What if I bought my Shires trombone from a dealer? What if I bought it used?  Can I trade in my older Shires components towards a new one?

A. Stock Trumpets and Trombones: When purchased from the factory you are entitled to a 2 week trial and evaluation period during which you can return for a full refund or exchange models or components, minus shipping costs.  After this 2 week evaluation period instruments are non-returnable/non-refundable and fall under our 2 year warranty.

Custom Trumpets and Trombones: If you have decided that a different combination of  leadpipe, tuning slide, or bell or valve set would fit you better than the standard models we regularly assemble then we would be happy to build a custom instrument for you.  The Trumpets have a set custom price while a trombone customization cost is assessed on a per case basis.  All custom instruments are non-returnable as they were custom built for you and will be difficult to resell to another individual.  On a custom trumpet purchase a customer does have the option of trying the instrument in raw brass to ensure it is the correct fit before we lacquer or plate it.    

Our dealers each have their own policies, but after your purchase from a dealer, we can work with you for exchange of components unavailable from the dealer. We are unable to exchange components from instruments purchased used and we are unable to accept trade-ins of older instruments towards a new one.  Many of our dealers will provide this service for you as they often work in reselling used goods.   

We can’t emphasize enough that we at S.E. Shires are 100% committed to building the perfect brass instrument for you, and that we will work diligently with you to accomplish that goal.

Q. What is your mouthpiece return policy?

A. Mouthpieces are available for a one week trial and are returnable within 1 week, with a $10 restocking fee.  After 1 week, mouthpieces are no longer returnable.

Q. Do you do repair and customization work? What about custom configurations or parts?

A. We are a custom brass manufacturer, so we will do most requested customizations of our instruments.  In addition to the standard line of trumpets we have a custom option where you can build your own instrument.  Please contact us to help guide you through this process.  We also make our parts available to other repair shops. The first priority in our factory is necessarily the manufacture of Shires instruments, but we do take a limited amount of customization work that will be worked in around current production; please call us at 508-634-6805 or email with your specific request and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Q. What if I want to change my Shires Trumpet or Trombone after my trial period has ended?

A. The trombones are all made using a modular system so it is easy to purchase another component that will swap out easily with your existing instrument.  Trumpet modifications can be made by purchasing parts from us and having your local repair tech install them or having us do it here at the factory for you. 

Q. What should I do to maintain the instrument, and what lubricants do you recommend?

A. The most important thing is to keep your instrument clean, inside and out, and to keep them well oiled. Simply wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a cloth before you put it in the case will retard lacquer wear, and cleaning the slides and valves regularly will prevent sluggish action and corrosion.

We find that most brass players don’t oil their valves nearly often enough. Axial-flow valves in particular need to be oiled frequently for best action, about every day or two. Rotary valves should be oiled about twice a week. We recommend oiling your valves before you put the instrument in the case, particularly after long practice sessions or heavy performances or rehearsals. This practice will help prevent wear over the life of the instrument.

Here at the factory we use and recommend Slide-O-Mix products for handslides, including the excellent cleaning system, and Hetman oils and tuning slide lubricants.

Click here for the 'Care and Feeding' guides for your S.E. Shires Instrument.

Q. Why should I pay so much for a trumpet or trombone?

A. This question really gets to the heart of our mission and slogan: Quality without compromise. First, large manufacturers are forced to produce models that will suit as many players as possible. For years, serious players at all levels have spent large sums of money customizing stock instruments; the economics of our model actually work better for the serious player than buying a stock instrument and making costly and sometimes unpredictable modifications to it. Our modular system and custom approach allow us to be relentless in our pursuit of not only the sound you’re looking for, but the feel as well. We can make an instrument that suits you with no compromises.

Secondly, we could certainly reduce our manufacturing costs by practicing the economy of scale of the large manufacturers, but we choose not to for several reasons. Could we find 200 employees that have the skills and care as much about the details of their work as the 30 or so that currently work here? We don’t think so. Most importantly, we are committed to keeping our current high ratio of research and development to production. Innovation in every field has always come from small companies and we are determined to remain at the forefront of innovation in brass instrument design and manufacture.

Q. What is the Warranty on my Shires Instrument?

A. Click here for the S.E. Shires Warranty Policy

S.E. Shires Co. Inc.
4A Spaceway Lane, Hopedale, Massachusetts 01747
(508) 634-6805 -

Copyright 2010 S.E. Shires Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved