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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: greg waits, tbone62) whats the difference between a 3/4 and a 4/4 tuba?
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fkin
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« on: Dec 24, 2010, 06:34AM »

sorry a tuba question again.
i know the 4/4 is bigger than a 3/4 , but what make the tuba a 4/4 or 3/4?
the bore size? or the bell size? i tried to search on the internet and
found that some 3/4 tubas has large bore size than some 4/4 tubas. am i mistaken?
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 24, 2010, 07:03AM »

the size (not really the bore size.)

3/4 tubas are more compact.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 24, 2010, 07:29AM »

This has been discussed at length on Tubenet. It's generally agreed that a 4/4 tuba is a standard full sized tuba, a Miraphone 186 would be a 4/4 tuba.
A 3/4 tuba would be generally smaller, mostly in the bugle, meaning smaller in internal diameter branches and bell (do not be fooled by bell flare, some small tubas have a large final flare!)The bore would often be smaller, but not always. The pitch would be the same, the tuba might be wrapped compactly, but not necessarily.
A 5/4 and 6/4 tuba would be larger in the size of the branches, and othen in bore and final bell flare.
The whole point of this is to give a relative idea of the tubas potential for breadth of sound. A 4/4 would be a good all around tuba. a 3/4 would be better for small ensembles, solos, brass quintet. a 1/2 tuba might be for young students or a practice tuba. The  5/4 and 6/4s have the broadest sounds for large bands and orchestras. It should be noted there is no universal standard, one manufacturers 5/4 might seem about as big as an others 4/4 or yet an others 6/4!
One way to visualize this is when comparing tubas, if you filled two different tubas of the same pitch with water, one of them would hold more water, hence one would have more internal volume, and could be expected to generally give more a broader sound.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 24, 2010, 08:04AM »

A 4/4 holds more beer.
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 24, 2010, 09:34AM »

Dale,

Think about the stuff you've found in your kids tubas and ask yourself if you'd drink the beer outta that?

Welcome!  How were the Kanstuls?
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 24, 2010, 09:41AM »

Dale,

Think about the stuff you've found in your kids tubas and ask yourself if you'd drink the beer outta that?

Welcome!  How were the Kanstuls?
I remember back in high school...
one of the sousaphones had a dead bird in it.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 24, 2010, 09:56AM »

Dale,

Think about the stuff you've found in your kids tubas and ask yourself if you'd drink the beer outta that?

Welcome!  How were the Kanstuls?
True...they are little germ weasels. I liked the Kanstuls a lot. Played a 1662, they didn't have an inline in the showroom. Easy to play, does all the stuff mine won't. The 1585's a pig...feels like a Bach. Should have a 1662i built in time for NAMM. You going to NAMM? Music store I work with got me and Bekki Sunday passes.
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 24, 2010, 11:24AM »

about $1000 and 2ce the storage space.
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 24, 2010, 02:50PM »

The 1585's a pig...feels like a Bach.
It's supposed to.

But back to the question at hand...

3/4, 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 really only refer to the "footprint" of the tuba (height and width). There are compact horns with large bores (the Cerveny "Piggy" comes to mind) and there are large horns that have modest bores.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 24, 2010, 05:45PM »

My friend Norm got me a pass...going thursday.

I would classify the Cerveny Piggy as at least a 4/4...but big and dark. Maybe 4 1/2/4

The norms of measurement are not set in stone.  Think about the debate between between whether a 1480/martin/early olds/bach 45 are real basses...

Some tubas have big bores and tight wraps...others have tight bores and big wraps.  IMO you should look at how the horn plays for you and not so much at the "specs"
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 24, 2010, 06:11PM »

How long is it gonna take people to realize that in the end SIZE is not nearly important as how you use it.  I've heard people get a beautiful orchestral trombone sound with a Bach 36 and a 6 1/2 AL mouthpiece, quite a bit smaller than the "standard" orchestral setup.  The same goes with tubas. And with that much more tubing, there is so much more in it than just the raw size, which of course only helps when comparing tubas of the same make. Some company might make a 4/4 tuba that is about the same size as another company's 3/4 or 5/4 tuba.

The only way to really find out how a tuba really plays is the same thing you do with a trombone: play it. play it a bunch so you get used to it.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 24, 2010, 07:52PM »

hi,

thx for all the informations!

you guys are lucky in US. in Hongkong, only a few stores stock tuba(s).
so i dont have much chance to try out big tubas.
i am thinking of buying one from the Jinbao factory, they have several models,
which are mirafone and cerveny copies.
however i found that the real cervany actually are not as expensive as what i thought. so i am still considering.

but no matter what i decide to buy, it seemed that i wont be able to play testing it before i buy... :( :( :( :(

Kin
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 24, 2010, 08:22PM »

Hi fkin,

Please let me know which tuba you decide to get and why you chose it.  One of the tuba players in our community band had a Mirafone and a jinbao.  He sold the Jinbao so he could buy an old bell-front Conn but now he is sorry that he sold the Jinbao because the intonation of the Conn is very bad.  Now he only plays his Mirafone.  I wish he had told me he was going to sell the Jinbao because I would have checked it out with the thought of buying it.  In all cases, I have no idea which models he has or had.  Good luck with your quest.

Aloha,
Richard
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 24, 2010, 11:27PM »

most old conns are tuning nightmares (everything except trombones...)  you buy them for the sound and learn to deal with the tuning issues.  try playing a Conn bari sax form the 30's.  horrible tuning, great sound.

you guys know they have 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 4/4 basses and cellos, right?   It's the same concept for the tubas.  no "philosophy" behind it.  yeah, they sound different - bore size and how well it's made are going to effect the sound more than the scale size, however.



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« Reply #14 on: Dec 25, 2010, 05:15AM »

I'm sorry, I'm really sorry,

I've been fighting this since this thread started.

Query:  "What is the difference between a 3/4 and a 4/4 tuba?"

Answer:  1/4 of a tuba.


I did say that I was sorry.   Evil :D
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 25, 2010, 06:59AM »

hi, Richard,

i also want to know which jinbao model your friend owned before! actually i have no experience with jinbao's tuba! but i ve owned a jinbao baritone and euphonium and they played fairly good, so i think of buying a jinbao tuba.

with limited budget i might probably end up buying a jinbao.
i am considering these models:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/234094773/JBBB_800L_tuba.html


http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/328400657/JBBB_200_4_4_TUBA.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/319577993/JBBB_210L_3_4_TUBA.html

do any of you have ideas on their prototypes? all comments are welcome!
thx and merry x'mas!!!

Kin
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 25, 2010, 07:00AM »

one more:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/201189610/JBBB_220L_Tuba.html

 Hi

Kin
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 25, 2010, 08:18AM »

Is there such a thing as a 3/4 bell-front tuba, preferably with 4 valves?

I ask because as I was leaving the church where I usually play Christmas Eve, somebody said it would be nice to have a tuba in the ensemble.  This is a rather small church. and the choir loft is really, really small.  There is room the the organ manual, 4 brass and a choir of about 20 voices if they don't mind sharing chairs or sitting on laps.  It is a really good choir that does a wide range of material, including a fair amount of Renaissance music (which predates the modern brass, of course).

I have a Yamaha YBB-641 that I could probably squeeze in there if I didn't have to make any quick changes.  But given the size of the church, the perfect instrument, it seems to me, would be a smaller tuba with a bell-front I could aim at the congregation, and therefore not play so loudly.

I have never seen anything like this.  There are loads of recording tubas, but the ones I have seen are huge.

This horn would probably not work.


I have a Jupiter 3/4 horn that would be easy to manage, but unfortunately it is only 3 valves, and the point of using a tuba in this situation would be to bring out the low roots, projecting them better than the organ pedals.

Maybe something like this or this.
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 25, 2010, 11:00AM »

Is there such a thing as a 3/4 bell-front tuba, preferably with 4 valves?
The bell-front is the tough part. Most bell-fronts are recording basses (i.e., big).
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 25, 2010, 02:13PM »

hi, Richard,

i also want to know which jinbao model your friend owned before!


Hi Kin,

I'm very sorry but I was totally wrong about what my friend had. He played a Jupiter, not a Jin Bao.  This is what he said:

"Model was 482L, little larger than a 3/4 but smaller than a 4/4 , 4 valves. To me I didn't like the way it was designed, hard to play in tune and to me uncomfortable to hold, but after I put a Sousaphone bit, it helped the tone and had a better hold position"

I know this doesn't help you at all but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.

Merry Christmas to you too.   :)

Richard
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 25, 2010, 06:52PM »

How long is it gonna take people to realize that in the end SIZE is not nearly important as how you use it.

I'm not really sure what provoked this comment. I don't see anybody saying that you must play a big (or for that matter small) instrument to be a good player. All I see is someone asking a question because they don't understand the terminology.

As others have mentioned, the X/4 terminology is borrowed from string instruments, and is merely used to differentiate models. Rudolf Meinl, for example, doesn't have model numbers for the majority of their tubas, so they are referred to by this system. The bigger the number, the bigger the instrument. This generally means a bigger bell diameter, bigger main branches, and sometimes a bigger bore valve section. Yes, one manufacturers 4/4 can be as big as another's 5/4 (Rudolf Meinl's 5/4 is as big as almost every other 6/4 on the market), but at least the name gives you a rough idea how big an instrument you're dealing with.

Andrew (playing a Rudolf Meinl 3/4CC, which is as big as every other maker's 4/4CC etc etc etc...)
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 25, 2010, 07:16PM »

This horn would probably not work.


BBBb Contrabass.  It worked, it was ugly and lower than you'll ever need but it works.
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 26, 2010, 06:02AM »

BBBb Contrabass.  It worked, it was ugly and lower than you'll ever need but it works.
I meant it would not work in my little choir loft. It could have to be hoisted up with a pulley system, and it is probably too tall to be played upright in that space
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 26, 2010, 06:05AM »

I'm not really sure what provoked this comment. I don't see anybody saying that you must play a big (or for that matter small) instrument to be a good player.
Not to mention the fact that size actually DOES matter quite a lot with tubas.  Not that bigger is necessarily better, but it is definitely DIFFERENT.

I wonder what percentage of professional tubists have more than one size tuba they use regularly.
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 26, 2010, 08:22AM »

I wonder what percentage of professional tubists have more than one size tuba they use regularly.
I think the vast majority of working pros have at least two - one in F and one in CC. In general, the CC gets used in large orchestras and the F is more for small ensembles (quintets and the like), though some orchestral literature works better with an F.
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« Reply #25 on: Dec 26, 2010, 09:20AM »

The tuba player for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra used to be a prof at BU.

He had
Willson 6/4 Satin Silver CC
Willson F
Yamaha 3/4 CC

That's the only ones I saw.  He had somewhere between 6-8 tubas.
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« Reply #26 on: Dec 26, 2010, 09:22AM »

I wonder what percentage of professional tubists have more than one size tuba they use regularly.

Every professional tubist I know has a smaller and a larger tuba, usually in F and CC as JohnL suggested. I see a couple of EEb's, but mostly F and CC. I know only a couple of players who regularly play two different size CC tubas, and I honestly wish more of them did. The two I can think of play a 3/4 (Rudy Meinl and Yamaha 621) on most quintet and small orchestra jobs, and a 5/4 (again, Rudy Meinl and rotary Yamaha) for larger orchestras. Both of these players have F tubas as well, which they play fairly often as the repertoire demands.

I see a lot of York-style 6/4 CC's, fortunately played by players who can handle them well but still pretty often too big for the gig. I love the sound of a 3/4 or 4/4 tuba played really well, and in most of the places I play they are plenty big enough for the orchestras.
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« Reply #27 on: Dec 26, 2010, 10:11AM »

let's not leave out jazz/trad and brass band (or horn funk bands, shout bands etc..) who tend to own a 3/4 Bb and a Sousee - i'd reckon guys who do both "classical" and "jazz" styles probably have quite a few of these things kicking around - and we complain about trambones in our closet? 

of course around these parts if you take a show gig you need to expect to have access to a tuba and a euph due to the scaling down of pit orch's.  i borrow a 3/4 Bb or anything i can find smaller (F or Eb if someone has one lying around) for these (thanks Horton!)

@fkin: have you tried the Eastman Tubas?  They aren't bad if you have to go with a budget instrument.  Like all eastmans the valves seem a bit slow until you break them in (which takes forever) but they sound nice.  A used Conn is the way to go if you're a doubler, although there are some nice used yammies out there.
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« Reply #28 on: Dec 26, 2010, 10:13AM »

Chris Olka of the Seattle Symphony, before he went to Julliard, played in a tuba ensemble at Disney World for many years. At that time, he said he had a large number of tubas. Since getting the Seattle job, he has slowly sold them off. He said playing in a full time symphony takes up most of his time; he just doesn't play in as many varied ensembles and such anymore.
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« Reply #29 on: Dec 26, 2010, 10:24AM »

He said playing in a full time symphony takes up most of his time; he just doesn't play in as many varied ensembles and such anymore.
The irony of it all - a freelancer has more need for multiple horns but has to scrabble to afford them, while someone with a real full-time gig has more money but less need for a huge battery of horns.
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