Compensating Euphonium : How it works

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I thought this might be an interesting question...

How exactly does a 4-valve compensating euphonium differ from a non-compensating?

If the 4th valve works like the F-attachment on a trombone, and puts the instrument in would seem to me that the low C in the valve range would be sharp and the B below that unreachable.  According to the fingering chart in the back of the Bowman/Alessi Arban's...the compensating euphonium doesn't have this problem while the non-compensating does.  It's not making sense to me, if they both have the same amount of tubing added by the valves...shouldn't they both have the problem?

BTW...I play on a Jupiter this a compensating euph?  the jupiter website doesn't seem to be much help.

Here's an article:


So what's the difference between a compensating euphonium and a regular four-valve model (above left), you ask? More than you might think. The four-valve does extend the range and offer somewhat better intonation, as well as the 1-3 substitution possibility mentioned above, but it's just a fourth valve. The compensating valve actually reroutes the air through a different tubing system for the other three valves (which retains a more consistent conical shape) while the fourth valve on an "inline four" simply adds more tubing to the existing valve combination. So, while they have some of the same overall effects, a compensating valve preserves intonation and tone quality better, but at a much greater price and more weight for the player to carry. The "inline four" usually isn't much more expensive than a standard three-valve model and offers enough of the same benefits that it's much more justifiable for a school to buy a couple for its students. Professionals and college music majors mostly play compensating euphoniums.

this makes more sense if you have ever taken a close look at a double french horn. a compensating euphonium is a lot more expensive than a non-compensating one.


Because it has two sets of tubes: one for the key of Bb, and one for the key of F, just like a double french horn has two seperate sets of tubes.

The reason for this is that there are certain partials that just are not in tune, and having two keys on the instrument gets around this, or something like that. trumpets get around it by having  valves 1 and 3 have moveable slides. trombones have a slide to begin with, so they don't have to worry about it.

I beleive there are also compensating tubas out there, mainly in the EEb tubas, which are more popular in europe, and are for all intents and purposes big euphoniums.

A double horn and a compensating euphonium are quite different. A double horn really has double valves and double tubing. If you press the f-valve the air goes through entirely different tubes and valves.

Now a compensating four valve euphonium simply has extra tubing going through the valves. If you press the fourth valve, the air first goes through all the valves, including the fourth, then goes back into the valve section. If more valves are pressed besides the fourth one, the air goes through some extra tubing in that valve as well to compensate for the extra tubing of the fourth valve. This makes those low notes in tune. This can be identified because there is quite a lot of extra tubing going in and out of those valves.

A compensating three valve euphonium is slightly different. If you press more than one valve at a time some extra tubing is added to make the combination in tune. So if you press all three valves at the same time, extra length is added to make this in tune. On a compensating four valve euphonium, you could press the fourth and the second valve to get the same amount of tubing length- the first three valves together would quite be a bit sharp and you need to lip down or use some tuning slide trigger to get that note in tune.

There are compensating Bb  tuba's as well as Eb tuba's, as well as noncompensating ones. For noncompensating ones, you get entirely different fingerings to get things in tune. If you've ever tried a 6-valve F-tuba you know what the benefit of this system is :)

ahh. I never was sure how the euphoniums really worked. thanks for pointing that out. I never have really gotten a chance to check one out first hand.

I would buy my own but for he price they are I could get a new trombone... and well I want more trombones more than I want a euphonium.   :good:


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