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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, Greg Waits) Looking for tuba advice from non-tubists
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jackbird
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« Reply #120 on: Jan 02, 2018, 07:54PM »

Bonesmarsh,
I've heard from elsewhere that one group always started learners on Eb. So generalizations may not be what you think they should be. I've stated earlier in this thread that I was seeking help from tubists and non-tubists at the same time. Being an adult, I recognize the contradictory nature of internet advice, but thanks for restating.

I needed a little introductory information, which I now have. Its time to start playing instruments. I'll put together the experiences from playing with the contradictory internet advice.

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BGuttman
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« Reply #121 on: Jan 02, 2018, 08:05PM »

Please understand, Jackbird, that it really doesn't make a difference whether you use one name on each Forum or different ones.  I will resist any user trying to create two accounts on THIS forum, but that's just our rules (we had a few guys create one account to ask legitimate questions and another to be a troll).

I don't care which tuba you choose.  I think the BBb fingerings will flow better but my experience on several full size ones and Sousaphones was that they didn't fit ME.  I went Eb and eventually F and did fine.  But you may find a small BBb to be just the ticket.
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« Reply #122 on: Jan 02, 2018, 10:53PM »

As a sort of resolution to this issue, I went today and bought a Mack Brass tuba from Tom McGrady. I got a BBb 4 rotor 3/4 size (Cerveny 683 Arion copy Jinbao Jbbb220) . My initial reaction is God, its disconcertingly large. I can't hear the difference between F and Bb, I sound like a junior high school student.

This is why I doubted the need for a valve to play those five notes at the very bottom that never show up in parts anyway.  Don't know
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« Reply #123 on: Jan 03, 2018, 04:26AM »

Bonesmarsh,
I've heard from elsewhere that one group always started learners on Eb.



I would guess that those beginners may have started on Eb sheet music as well as Eb instruments, so until they advanced quite a bit they would be limited in playing music in concert pitch. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #124 on: Jan 03, 2018, 06:50AM »

This is why I doubted the need for a valve to play those five notes at the very bottom that never show up in parts anyway.  Don't know

It's not just about the low notes, which initially I can't play anyway. The 4th valve plays a huge role in intonation, which needs to be pretty good if this instrument isn't going to eff with my ears.

I've been picking up the instrument every hour or so and seeing if I can play a tuning Bb right out of the gate. I'm getting better at that. Scales, intervals, melodies. Trying to slur passages to make it sound like music rather than isolated blattts. I may be able to make this instrument work for me. The more I read, the more I find that people like this model, which is the same as the defunct Wessex Prague, Cerveny Arion 683. Plus, access to some of the smaller Eb horns in reliable condition is limited. Wessex seems to be sold out of the Champion, Solo, and Bombino, as well as the Junior/Imp. Mack sold me the smallest horn he had, although he supposedly carries a Yammie 103 clone w/4 valves.

Practice is clearly the key, but a smaller horn might have given me a leg up (mainly because of the air issue). This 220 has a .787 bore while some of the small Ebs have a .6x. That has to be more manageable. The BBb will go as low as I'll ever need to (or be able to) go. I have started exploring the "trigger" range, but have yet to reach the pedal range, and then pedal trigger is just a fog below that. It may be a while before I'm willing to play with other people. I've had the horn less than a week, so it's still too early to make predictions, but I am starting to enjoy it more. Playing some Rochut, and want to start playing some basslines off the page.
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« Reply #125 on: Jan 03, 2018, 08:56AM »

It's not just about the low notes, which initially I can't play anyway. The 4th valve plays a huge role in intonation, which needs to be pretty good if this instrument isn't going to eff with my ears.


Some tubas but not all have another harmonic series in the "trigger" range.  I guess they're false tones, but they don't feel like it.  If yours has it, open will be an Eb below your Bb, and your valves will work down from there.  If you're not playing that range yet on your 4th valve you probably can't check if these exist on your horn, but when you get there you should see. 
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« Reply #126 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:08AM »

I would guess that those beginners may have started on Eb sheet music as well as Eb instruments, so until they advanced quite a bit they would be limited in playing music in concert pitch. 

Some of those beginners were trumpet players who found the fingerings on an Eb tuba easier to follow since they would use the same "buttons" for a particular note placement on the staff.

Some of those beginners were small children for whom a large BBb is too hard to fill.

Jackbird, I found a 24AW way too big to fill.  I went to Helleberg style pieces.  I have a Schilke 66 that works well for me, as well as a Mirafone H2.  In fact, I have 3 different sized ones: the Mirafone being the smallest, the Schilke a little larger, and a Perantucci S25 (it has a new number now) as the biggest.  When I haven't played in a while, I need to use the Mirafone for a couple of days, then switch to the Schilke.  When I'm really playing a lot of tube the Perantucci goes in.
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« Reply #127 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:01AM »


Jackbird, I found a 24AW way too big to fill.  I went to Helleberg style pieces.  I have a Schilke 66 that works well for me, as well as a Mirafone H2.  In fact, I have 3 different sized ones: the Mirafone being the smallest, the Schilke a little larger, and a Perantucci S25 (it has a new number now) as the biggest.  When I haven't played in a while, I need to use the Mirafone for a couple of days, then switch to the Schilke.  When I'm really playing a lot of tube the Perantucci goes in.

The 24AW is what came with it, but a tuba playing friend also recommended the Helleberg. As I understand it, "Helleberg" is a style rather than a brand or model. Is that right? It's a conical mouthpiece? I like more conical shapes on my bass bone. What Helleberg model with a relatively small throat but possibly deep cup would you recommend?
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« Reply #128 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:08AM »

I liked the Mirafone H2 as a "starter" piece.  The Schilke 66 and 67 are both Hellebergs; the 66 being a little smaller.  Both are larger than the Mirafone.

Marcinkiewicz has a whole series of Hellebergs numbered H1 to H4.  I have an H1, but it seems a tad big; maybe the higher numbers are smaller.

Lots of tuba players like the Conn Helleberg but they are not made any more and you'll have to find a used one.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #129 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:16AM »

The answer to the Hellberg question is... both.  Conn made two versions of the Helleberg mpc.  Regular (120S) and 7B.  The 7B might have a slightly smaller rim diameter and a bit deeper, IIRC.  Both have fairly flat rims - but they do vary. 

Helleberg is also a style of mpc.  Most makers offer one.  The Schilke is especially nice and I have heard good things about the Faxx. 

When I started on tuba, I used an 18, which I thought worked well.  I then moved to a Conn Helleberg, also excellent.  I stumbled across a Schilke Helleberg - even better!  But the 18 is probably a better place to start.  They are plentiful and cheap.  Maybe the Faxx 18 if you want something new...
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BGuttman
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« Reply #130 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:12AM »

One other possibility is the plastic Kellyberg.  My quintet tubist started on one.  He's basically a Euph player but the Kelly worked great for him.  And the price was good.

My first tuba mouthpiece was an unbranded 25 (similar to the Bach, but probably not made as well -- how would I have known?).  Smaller than the 18.

One other suggestion to get you started.  I have a period (late 19th Century) tuba mouthpiece that is basically a more conical 1 1/2 G.  See if your bass trombone mouthpiece gives you better control over the partials.  As you develop you will discover that it's too small and can intelligently move on to something bigger.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #131 on: Jan 03, 2018, 05:41PM »

I liked the Mirafone H2 as a "starter" piece.  The Schilke 66 and 67 are both Hellebergs; the 66 being a little smaller.  Both are larger than the Mirafone.

Marcinkiewicz has a whole series of Hellebergs numbered H1 to H4.  I have an H1, but it seems a tad big; maybe the higher numbers are smaller.

Lots of tuba players like the Conn Helleberg but they are not made any more and you'll have to find a used one.
Conn still has two models of Helleberg still available the 120S (standard Model) or the 7B. 
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« Reply #132 on: Jan 03, 2018, 06:47PM »

Conn still has two models of Helleberg still available the 120S (standard Model) or the 7B. 

Yeah, I bought the S from Hickey's. They said it would make me sound like a pipe organ.  :D  Bigger inside diameter, smaller throat. We'll see.
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« Reply #133 on: Jan 06, 2018, 07:14PM »

I double the motion.

A Bb tuba would make the most sense to a trombone player without previous valve experience and the 3/4 school models can be found used cheaply. I have one.

I also have an Eb tuba.  It's more like a euphonium than a real bass instrument.



Robcat,

You kind of speak of it in a deprecating kind of way, but I'm interested in your tuba. First, you say it's kind of like a big euphonium. How tall is it? What's the bell size? What year was it born? How much does it weigh? I've watched your video a couple times, and I think the tone is ok. Do you know of other horns like yours?

I think that's the kind of thing that will work for me.  A BBb, even 3/4 is just too much horn for me, and I don't need all that low range. Something closer to the euphonium will be helpful. Is there anything you could say about it or how to find one on the used market?
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« Reply #134 on: Jan 06, 2018, 07:31PM »

His looks like mine, which is a Conn Worcester (made shortly after they bought out the Isaac Fiske company) from 1892.  Instruments from that period all seem similar (I've seen several).

A 3 valve Eb like mine will come pretty cheap; generally under $500 and maybe even under $200.  My tuba has a shank slightly larger than a bass trombone and I use a contra mouthpiece on it.  If you lived closer I'd be happy to let you try mine, but there's no way I can send it to you (besides, it's the main one I play when I need to play tuba).

Here's one that needs a little TLC (and a waterkey):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-C-G-Conn-Tuba/292337353748?hash=item4410aa0414:g:TA0AAOSwh1haEa59
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« Reply #135 on: Jan 06, 2018, 08:42PM »


Thanks for the link. This horn represents what scares me about the combination of my ignorance and the plethora of tuba options. How do you know it's an Eb? High or low pitch? Do the valves or slides work? Holes in tubes? Its represented as not working, so thete might be a whole lot more wrong with it than he discloses. Would it be too insulting to offer him $250 because of the lack of info and the risk it can't be fixed?
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« Reply #136 on: Jan 07, 2018, 10:04AM »

It's not just about the low notes, which initially I can't play anyway. The 4th valve plays a huge role in intonation, which needs to be pretty good if this instrument isn't going to eff with my ears.

There really is no valve scheme that solves it all. My preference is the 3-valve compensating tuba to address the intonation problem.

But you have that 4th valve now. When a double low C comes up at the philharmonic, you will have no excuses!

Robcat,

You kind of speak of it in a deprecating kind of way,

I call it skepticism


Quote
but I'm interested in your tuba. First, you say it's kind of like a big euphonium. How tall is it? What's the bell size? What year was it born? How much does it weigh?

My Eb tuba is 28" tall, the bell is 12.5" wide, it weighs about 9 lbs.

It was made by Goumat & Co around 1900 A.D.


Quote
I've watched your video a couple times, and I think the tone is ok.


I think it's the best-sounding $29 tuba on the planet.


Quote
Do you know of other horns like yours?

It's the only Eb tuba I've ever encountered personally and I've never heard of anyone else having a Goumat of any sort.


Quote
I think that's the kind of thing that will work for me.  A BBb, even 3/4 is just too much horn for me, and I don't need all that low range. Something closer to the euphonium will be helpful. Is there anything you could say about it or how to find one on the used market?

I think you should stick with the 3/4 tuba you have. I don't think an Eb is enough of a tuba to do the job.

The first time I tried a tuba was in high school when I brought home a sousaphone over the summer. My trombone mouthpiece at the time was a Bach 11C so the tuba mouthpiece felt impossibly large. I got some notes and scales going but nothing musical. I didn't have the air for it.

The second time I tried tuba was the last year of college after I had been playing bass trombone for several years on a Schilke 60 which is about as large as BT mouthpieces get. A tuba mouthpiece still felt too large to me so I wrapped a bit of tape on the end of my Schilke and used that in the tuba. I was able to play the conventional tuba range with appropriate sound and flexibility with that.

The third time I tried tuba was in recent years. I got the 3/4 tuba first and experimented with both the Schilke 60 and a conventional Conn Bach 24AW.  Each had pluses and minuses for me but experimenting back and forth over several months I got more comfortable with the regular tuba size and began to feel it was feasible.

Later I got a 4/4 tuba. The Schilke 60 didn't work well on that so I stuck with the 24AW. I got it to be manageable although I feel like my sound is on the pinched side. If I put years into it, as real tuba players do, I might fix that but it's not a priority in the grand scheme of life.



I think the leap from trombone mouthpiece to tuba mouthpiece is a huge one and the time you've had so far is not enough. The transition took a long time for me.

I suspect a smaller tuba mouthpiece would make sense for what you are doing right now (I haven't read the whole thread.  Maybe you are already on a small mouthpiece.)



« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2018, 03:29PM by robcat2075 » Logged

Robert Holmén

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« Reply #137 on: Jan 07, 2018, 03:48PM »

" Yammie 103 clone with 4 valves...."

When I studied tuba with the late great John Griffiths he was doing R&D for Yamaha. Yamaha was trying to do an endorsement deal with The Canadian Brass. Yamaha built the horns-- Schilke rebuilt them and cleaned them up, and gave them to the Brats. Then Yamaha introduced the stock horns that were supposed to be copies of the Brats horns-- except they weren't.

The 103 was designed to be a quintet horn with 4 valves in CC for Chuck Dallenbach. Yamaha copied the Dallenbach horn and beefed it up to BBb, and threw out the 4th valve. That was the 103. There was a 4 valve model in BBb that you'll NEVER find used. They're obsolete for about the past 30 years, like the 103.

So, a Yammie 103 clone with 4 valves is never to be found, but if you did, it'd be THE ONE. The original owners never let them go-- ever.

A note about Eb tubas. Modern tubas in Eb designed for Brit brass band work, and the very serious professional models designed for orchestral use, have 17" to `19" bells. If you want to go to TubeNet and get the 10 million page answer about which is better, suit yourself.
The smaller obsolete Eb tuba which is not big enough for any modern use, has the 12" to 13" bell.

John brought the original prototype BBb 103 to my lessons. He loved it. I loved it. I bought one, 25 years later.....and found it to be impossible to be played in tune by an adult with a proper mouthpiece.

Two things to look out for on any tuba--mouthpieces can be bought to make any tuba play better in tune-- the other ones make fantastically expensive paper weights and usually make 99.99999% of tubas play more out of tune....hence the hoards of amateur tubists who use community band owned tubas and still spend $1K a year on mouthpieces. ha ha hah hahaha
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« Reply #138 on: Jan 07, 2018, 06:15PM »

Bonesmarsh,
The 4 valve 103 exists as a Jinbao clone, I think called a 355.  http://www.mackbrass.com/MACK-TU520L__BBb_Tuba.php

I think I can find a voice for the small obsolete bass Eb. Even if its only in my practice room or my low brass quartet. I know my limitations and I don't have any interest in playing a contrabass.

Yeah, the dreaded mouthpiece quest. Well, I'll just find Mr Elliott at a show and have him sort me out. Avoid the expensive guess work.
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« Reply #139 on: Jan 08, 2018, 11:36AM »

Bonesmarsh,
The 4 valve 103 exists as a Jinbao clone, I think called a 355.  http://www.mackbrass.com/MACK-TU520L__BBb_Tuba.php

I think I can find a voice for the small obsolete bass Eb. Even if its only in my practice room or my low brass quartet. I know my limitations and I don't have any interest in playing a contrabass.

Yeah, the dreaded mouthpiece quest. Well, I'll just find Mr Elliott at a show and have him sort me out. Avoid the expensive guess work.
Be careful about calling the Eb obsolete, here in the states they have become less common than they used to be, but they are very common over in the UK, and still used quite a bit in Brass bands.  There are many Eb players around who will take offense at you calling their instrument obsolete.
 
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