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Re: The Best

Postby oleirgens » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:54 pm

Stryk wrote:
oleirgens wrote:
To quote The Dude: "Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."


So, add to the list. Show me horns that are BETTER than these. Someone added that some Conns and Kings belonged in that list - what do you have in mind that should go on that list or is indeed better than those listed?


I do not have your broad experience, obviously, but I would say that Besson make some damned good horns, along with Yamaha. Several of the tuba pros I know in my hometown play one of these brands.

I think the whole idea of making such a list is quite useless, anyway, because you need some criteria other than your own subjective opinion, which is, to be honest, not very interesting. Do your base your criteria on mechanical quality, intonation, ease of play, sound, or what?
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Re: The Best

Postby Stryk » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:37 pm

oleirgens wrote:Do your base your criteria on mechanical quality, intonation, ease of play, sound, or what?


I think in the original post, I said superior consistency, superior workmanship, and superior playability. If you feel there are other brands that give those, let's add them to the list. Are they BETTER than the ones I listed? If so, tell us what makes them better horns. You already said Besson and Yamaha were are good, I think.
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Re: The Best

Postby Bill Troiano » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:09 pm

I think I brought up Yamaha first and that was based on Terry’s criteria in the original post, being - superior consistency, superior workmanship, and superior playability.
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Re: The Best

Postby oleirgens » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:28 pm

Stryk wrote:
oleirgens wrote:Do your base your criteria on mechanical quality, intonation, ease of play, sound, or what?


I think in the original post, I said superior consistency, superior workmanship, and superior playability. If you feel there are other brands that give those, let's add them to the list. Are they BETTER than the ones I listed? If so, tell us what makes them better horns. You already said Besson and Yamaha were are good, I think.


I did, and I would dare to add the brand of my own horn on the list: John Packer. Well built, very playable and quite consistent.
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Re: The Best

Postby Stryk » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:18 pm

Bill Troiano wrote:Can we include the Yamaha pro tubas on this list?


I added Yamaha, John Packer, Vintage Conns and Kings.....see original post. Interesting that no one has claimed a brand as BETTER yet. :tuba: Honestly, I have not even touched one of the pro Yamaha horns. I own a couple 103s, and played an upright in high school...those are ok horns, and very functional, but not in the same ballpark as the others I listed. Notice that the horn I play most, my Amati, is not on my own list. :tuba:
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Re: The Best

Postby SousaWarrior9 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:41 pm

bloke wrote:"H.N. WHITE King" deserves to be on the list.
"ELKHART Conn SMALLER tubas" deserve to be on the list
...even the ancient "raw nickel silver pistons" instruments, as that was the leading/prominent technology of the day.
"Martin 6/4 BB-flat" also deserve to be found on the list.
In my view, no "monster E-flat" nor (rare) "C" instruments from these factories deserve to find their way to Terry's list.
( :arrow: Please consider- re: my opinions - what is #1 on my personal checklist re: playing characteristics of tubas.)


Second the motion for the inclusion of (Elkhart) Conns, (H.N. White) Kings, and Martins. Some of my favorite horns I've ever played are the big King rotary BBb horns as well as the 6/4 Martins.

I also think York's smaller tubas deserve credit. So many are obsessed with the 6/4 Yorks, that I think the smaller 4/4 offerings like the 33 get over overlooked.

And although I really do like the sound and feel of the monster Eb tubas from these manufacturers, I do have to agree that the intonation issues does prevent them from being on the list.

For me personally, "the best" means as close to point-and-shoot intonation as possible, because I don't have a well trained enough ear to react to most tuning issues on the fly. I like the feel of pistons over rotors generally, and prefer the more diffused sound of a dramatically conical bugle as opposed to a more stovepipe type taper.

I guess this criteria explains why I like Martin 6/4 tubas and King 4/4 tubas so much.
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Re: The Best

Postby bloke » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:12 pm

Yamaha workmanship is very good.
The piston instruments' male casing threading is fragile (not due to shabby manufacturing methods, but due - simply - to manufacturing methods).
That having been said, they're typically only shown to be fragile when mishandled (ex: school children and their fathers). :roll:

Useful Yamaha tubas - in my view - are the YFB-621, The YEB-631 (discontinued), and the YCB-826S (yes, a lap sousaphone...in which I have no personal interest, but - unquestionably - the best one on the market - pitched in C - regarding workmanship/intonation). All the rest (that I've played) can stay on the shelf...other than the long-discontinued YBB-103...and who could dislike the cute little 103's? :oops:
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Re: The Best

Postby Donn » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:43 pm

My tuba is not on this list. Guess I'll have to be replacing it.
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Re: The Best

Postby bloke » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:21 pm

Donn wrote:My tuba is not on this list. Guess I'll have to be replacing it.


As an ex post facto Image artiste, I believe I still may be able to hook you up... :shock:
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Re: The Best

Postby SousaWarrior9 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:10 am

bloke wrote:
Donn wrote:My tuba is not on this list. Guess I'll have to be replacing it.


As an ex post facto Image artiste, I believe I still may be able to hook you up... :shock:


Ya know, I've been trying to work out a similar artiste gig for myself with the folks at Martin, but they're not returning my calls.
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Re: The Best

Postby Donn » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:29 am

The problem is, I spent kind of a lot of money on it, and now that it turns out to be not The Best, it sure isn't going to sell for much. And you'd never know, it seemed pretty nice. I guess I just should have checked first, to avoid this embarrassing situation.
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Re: The Best

Postby bloke » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:15 am

As long as it was "designed by French technicians", Donn, you should be just fine, there. 8)
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Re: The Best

Postby groth » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:41 am

Stryk wrote:
Bill Troiano wrote:Can we include the Yamaha pro tubas on this list?


I added Yamaha, John Packer, Vintage Conns and Kings.....see original post. Interesting that no one has claimed a brand as BETTER yet. :tuba: Honestly, I have not even touched one of the pro Yamaha horns. I own a couple 103s, and played an upright in high school...those are ok horns, and very functional, but not in the same ballpark as the others I listed. Notice that the horn I play most, my Amati, is not on my own list. :tuba:

"Vintage King" is very vague Terry. Can we assume, that if it's a detachable bell 2341 it's on that list? (Pre-2000 Conn/Selmer)?
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Re: The Best

Postby bloke » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:50 am

groth wrote:"Vintage King" is very vague Terry. Can we assume, that if it's a detachable bell 2341 it's on that list? (Pre-2000 Conn/Selmer)?


I suggested (and my intention was "the heyday/culmination of") the H.N. White (and Mrs. H.N. White) ownership era (pre-Magnavox/pre-UMI/pre-Conn-Selmer).
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Re: The Best

Postby Donn » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:03 am

I'd be surprised if the modern 2341 is generally acknowledged to be inferior in any way. They seem to be on the contrary significantly more desirable.

Vintage Conns are on the other hand would seem to be of somewhat limited appeal, because if they're really big (the only ones anyone cares about), they'll play flat on F below the staff. Meanwhile the big Martin you suggested, which is without flaw, didn't make it to the list.

I guess Gronitz's day has passed, relative to a decade or two ago when everyone wanted a PCK, but as it seems like the list started off as an inventory of German makes I would have kind of expected to see them there.
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Re: The Best

Postby bloke » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:48 am

Donn wrote:I'd be surprised if the modern 2341


hastily-built, Mr. Donn...and with significant obvious short-cutting as compared/contrasted to H.N. White (or even UMI) era

I'm up-close-and-personal with them regularly.

The new shape is more popular (for obvious reasons), the sonic/intonation characteristics are neither better nor worse, and the workmanship appears to be (again) is hasty/shortcutted...piston surfaces "grainy"...slide alignment "curious"...etc.
(I have copy of a striving-to-be-better letter sent from C-S to dealers, but I'm not sure if I have permission to publish it.)
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Re: The Best

Postby Stryk » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:55 am

groth wrote:"Vintage King" is very vague Terry. Can we assume, that if it's a detachable bell 2341 it's on that list? (Pre-2000 Conn/Selmer)?


I just added what someone else suggested. I intentionally left all American and Asian horns off my list. :tuba:
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Alexander 163 BBb
Amati Kraslice 481 C
Mirafone 184 C
Mirafone186 C
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Lyon & Healy 1904 C
Kane Stealth C
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Re: The Best

Postby oleirgens » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:03 pm

Stryk wrote:
Bill Troiano wrote:Can we include the Yamaha pro tubas on this list?


I added Yamaha, John Packer, Vintage Conns and Kings.....see original post. Interesting that no one has claimed a brand as BETTER yet. :tuba: Honestly, I have not even touched one of the pro Yamaha horns. I own a couple 103s, and played an upright in high school...those are ok horns, and very functional, but not in the same ballpark as the others I listed. Notice that the horn I play most, my Amati, is not on my own list. :tuba:


This might be a futile discussion. I have never played a Miraphone, so I would not possibly know if my JP or the Yamaha Pro I borrowed some months last year are better than any instrument on your list which I have not played. In terms of intonation and build quality, I would say that the four Yamahas I have played on (three tubas and one baritone), along with my current JP, are the best on my list.

I think discussions about instrument brands and models are quite useful, but my preferences might not be the same as yours. Intonation can be a highly personal issue, and one persons "lemon" might be another player's favorite. Build quality is maybe more of an objective issue, and I greatly appreciate the professionals' advice in this regard (his Blokeness, for instance).

At the end of the day, for us amateurs with only one (or maybe two) horns, the current instrument is almost always the best. I respect your views, and find them useful also, to a certain extent, but the idea of making a list and proclaiming which is best, is a somewhat meaningless exercise for me.
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Re: The Best

Postby Stryk » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:21 pm

oleirgens wrote: but the idea of making a list and proclaiming which is best, is a somewhat meaningless exercise for me.


I never said which is best. I just said that nothing I knew of was BETTER. They are all good - likely fairly equally good. "Can't beat it" is not the same as "this is the best". Perhaps it loses something in translation.
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Re: The Best

Postby groth » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:39 pm

Stryk wrote:
groth wrote:"Vintage King" is very vague Terry. Can we assume, that if it's a detachable bell 2341 it's on that list? (Pre-2000 Conn/Selmer)?


I just added what someone else suggested. I intentionally left all American and Asian horns off my list. :tuba:

I think you should add the UMI (Pre-2001) detachable bell King Tubas on there. Mine is pretty damn well built (1998 vintage). Craftsmanship went way down post 2001.
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