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Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby toobagrowl » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:22 pm

I've noticed - especially lately - contrary opinions on tubas. One model tuba that seems fairly popular has been described as a "disaster" by one player. Another player here (a recreational player / not serious) says he played a "bad one" of an older limited-run tuba. Yet he himself has bought/played several models of tubas many would deem "problematic" - one of them he now owns/plays for fun. Said player had contrary opinions to the store players/employees about an old tuba that has been there for sale for many years. He liked that tuba; yet the store didn't think it a good tuba. Very interesting. There have been other posts like those over the years here.

This just goes to show opinions here are to be taken with a tiny grain of salt, and that tubas and mouthpieces are very PERSONAL to each player. We are all at different levels, have different needs/desires/concepts on equipment. Some players are OK dealing with a few 'quibbles'; others want point-and-shoot ease.

Discuss :tuba:
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby bort » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:30 pm

^ He's talking about me. :) Will post later when I have enough time to give a thoughtful reply.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:56 pm

stream-of-consciousness physically-tired yet coffee-charged blather...

There's almost no one whose opinion I would accept (regarding any particular model) without question...whether anyone in particular rated a model as a dog-send or as a God-send.

I've actually bought a few tubas (over the years) just to "find out what the hubbub was all about" (when a "whatever" was priced below market, and I knew I could then resell without getting hurt).

One seller actually warned me off of a tuba (eBay, and I knew the seller). I bought it anyway, CLEANED its interior) and it played marvelously well. :|

At this point, I believe I have what I need, and doubt that will find anything that I like better (in the NEEDED tubas category) at any price.
There's a "want" category...but that has nothing do do with need. Again, in the "need" categories, I have (what I personally consider to be) "pinnacle" instruments...so not only am I set, but I'm also lucky.

There's a pretty long list of models that I'm not the least bit interested in personally owning/using - but would buy to resell, because (obviously) they're viewed as acceptable-to-very-desirable by large numbers of other players. Would I list any of those here? :lol: of course not.
===============
I will list ONE barely-misses-perfect (in my opinion) model of large 4/4 (billed as 5/4) C tuba...(and I've discussed this one before)...
The (no longer marketed by Buffet - at least, not that I've noticed) piston 2155. :|
IF you find one that plays REALLY well in tune (and they're out there...I found one with an in-tune (nothing considered to be "alternates") fingering (OPEN E / SECOND-VALVE D#) for EVERY pitch, with NO slide-pulling), but you judge the sound to be a bit "dull", the old-reliable 45SL-P (or similar conservative-sized mouthpipe tube) will FIX the "dull" sound, and the remarkable intonation characteristics will NOT change.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby MikeMason » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:46 pm

I remember the 2155 you had in Knoxville. So good. I hope to have fun money again someday and may seek one out. Certainly a want and not a need. So flexible.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby UncleBeer » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:01 pm

Consider the source of the opinion, too. Seasoned professional vs., oh say, dilettante tubaist/traffic engineer is a no-brainer. :lol:
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby roweenie » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:06 pm

toobagrowl wrote:I've noticed - especially lately - contrary opinions on tubas. 


No more contrary than opinions on things like automobiles, television sets, computers, cellphones, or soap flakes.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby MikeMason » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:25 pm

One of the things that makes Tubenet useful for me. Opinions, arguments, and rationales from tubists of diverse backgrounds and view points. Professionals’ opinions aren’t he only ones I find useful, though I do highly value them. I’ve learned a ton from Tubenet and also been highly entertained. After all these years, tuba still fills my brain. :)
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby ckalaher1 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:04 am

Horse**** thread. Or maybe a chicken**** thread.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Matt Walters » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:19 am

Toobagrowl brought up more questions than he may have realized:
1) Tubas of the same make and model don't always play the same. Heck, even the most expensive tubas are not made to aircraft grade tolerances. The tolerances on the parts aren't that tight and then the things are assembled by flawed human beings with good days and bad days.

2) Human beings are not all the same. Lips, tongues, lungs, arms, hands, torso height, etc., make a big difference to personal interaction to the tuba. You will never drive a sports car well if you can't comfortably reach the pedals, shifter, and steering wheel let alone fit in the tiny seat.

3) Pedagogy varies from player to player and teacher to teacher. Just because an individual found a way to "sound good" with very fast air or very slow air doesn't make him or her the Supreme Court Decision maker on what everyone else should want.

I suspect that over the last 27 years I have played more tubas and listened to more tuba players both good and bad (With some of the worst sounding ones thinking they were hot stuff.) than most anyone else. I can't predict what tuba someone will like until I hear them play a bit or we talk about mutually played equipment and compare likes or dislikes.

I've reached some conclusions in my old age that I'd like to share:

All tubas and tuba players are different.
Sucky players sound bad on all tubas but there may be a particular configuration of tuba that helps them suck less.
Great tuba players sound great on any tuba.
Mediocre through good players really benefit from finding a quality horn that matchs up to their physical and pedagogical tendencies to help them sound better with less effort.

last but not least
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is alive and well on TubeNet.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby gwwilk » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:33 am

Matt Walters wrote:...The Dunning-Kruger Effect...

Unfortunately they are the prime example of that whereof they speak, namely psychobabble! Functioning adults fully understand how they fit into the world around them. Study fools, and your study is foolish.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Doc » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:12 am

Matt Walters wrote:The Dunning-Kruger Effect is alive and well on TubeNet.


Well, Mr. Walters... I’ll have you know that I am most certainly excellent at irrelevant Tubenet nonsense, juvenile humor, and general dumbassery. And I won’t even get into my top tier skill set with less-than-stellar tuba playing!
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby pjv » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:41 am

It seems that all bases have been covered so I'll just through in an "and this as well".
At different times in ones life you might be looking for something different, depending on the obstacles ones up against.
I have a beautifully playing (first generation) B&S F which I put in the corner for years. It helped agitate my obstacle and I felt it was necessary to concentrate on a tubas that blew differently.
Glad I never sold it cause "we" are now just fine together.
Another point is that we all have different gigs. I loved the sound of my 1930 36J I purchased from Robb Stewart. Really an ideal sound. Hated the tuning. Considering the amount of sight reading gigs and improvs I do it just wasn't worth all the choreography necessary to get the notes close to where I wanted them.
Now if I had a gig where I always new days before which notes I was playing and when I might have kept that tuba.
So even though that was truly a great tuba, for me it was terrible.
Something like that.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby the elephant » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:48 am

UncleBeer wrote:… dilettante tubaist/traffic engineer…


HAHAHA!!! When it comes to tubas, he is the most Socratic dilettante I have come across in the tuba world.
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby bloke » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:05 am

A number of tuba players seem to view tuning characteristics a secondary.
Is this because we have fewer notes to play, and more time to change the lengths of our instruments - and/or utilize awkward valve combinations? Another factor, here, is the popularity of wider bells on tubas, which tend to reduce the resonance of higher overtones - which human ears use as context clues for tuning of lower pitches.

Raising my hand, here, I was in the tuning-characteristics-are-secondary camp for years. I have migrated over to the camp to where I am seeking as few physical distractions as possible when playing music. Chalk it up to laziness...and/or not being the best at walking while chewing gum. :|

Further, I’ve come to realize that – when a tuba doesn’t “feel” like another tuba, it takes about ten minutes to one day for a good tuba that “feels“ different to “feel“ just fine. Further, when I’ve judged certain tubas to emit very special sound qualities, I’ve come to realize that - to most others - most tubas sound like ...tubas.

I have also noticed that my biases towards my own preferences have affected my choices in what to buy to resell to others, and those biases have probably cost me a good bit of money, over the years.
======================
My latest personal acquisition (mentioned in other threads) is a "kaiser" B-flat rotary tuba. It's very tall, with a very conservative bell taper (large at the bottom, and with only 17-5/16" final bell diameter). Per typical, the valveset bore size is quite large (21.2mm). I bought it to find out what the "kaiser" thing is all about - as there aren't that many tubas of that style in North America...and this one - in particular - is very well-built, and not-in-the-least "worn". I'm fence-sitting as whether to soup it up (so-as to be able to EASILY be played perfectly in tune) or to sell it for roughly what I paid for it (and let someone else have their fun with it). I'm more leaning more towards souping it up. The INTONATION characteristics - to me - are appealing, as only four pitches (a small number, for a really large tuba) really require critical attention: two neighbor pitches (acoustical issue) and two same-fingering pitches (mathematical issue)...and BOTH of these issues can easily be solved with my thumbs, which - otherwise - won't be doing anything.
Last edited by bloke on Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:30 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby roweenie » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:14 am

Whenever I think of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this person invariably comes to mind:

https://youtu.be/V6ubiUIxbWE

In fact, I think they should rename the syndrome in her honor
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Doc » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:57 am

roweenie wrote:Whenever I think of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this person invariably comes to mind:

https://youtu.be/V6ubiUIxbWE" target="_blank

In fact, I think they should rename the syndrome in her honor


:shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Donn » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:39 pm

Let me just say this, about that -

While there are undoubtedly a whole lot of tradeoffs in tuba design that aren't the same for everyone, and some degree of across-the-board success vs. failure,

.. at times I have seen assertions here that some model of tuba is grievously defective in some pitch or the like, and to me -- that's improbable. It implies that instrument manufacturers accept these defects and go to the expense of producing a tuba that won't play in tune, apparently not recognizing this problem in time to avoid it. And likewise that the market fails to notice and buys the tubas in large quantities anyway. And only here on Tubenet is the truth revealed about these notorious defects.

Not that the observed defects never existed, I'm just saying, they are not inherent in the design from the factory. Alternatives would be poor quality control, issues that crop up under normal wear, etc.

To cite a common example with dedicated proponents, the flat F on large Conns, or sometimes all large Americans. I've heard it, so no argument there - except, on the question of whether it's true for every one of the affected models. An alignment problem with those short valves? Gunk that might accumulate in a particular place has an outsize effect on intonation? Who knows.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby roweenie » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:25 pm

Doc wrote:
roweenie wrote:Whenever I think of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this person invariably comes to mind:

https://youtu.be/V6ubiUIxbWE

In fact, I think they should rename the syndrome in her honor


:shock: :shock: :shock:


Yeah, right?
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Matt G » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:18 pm

Matt Walters wrote:Toobagrowl brought up more questions than he may have realized:
1) Tubas of the same make and model don't always play the same. Heck, even the most expensive tubas are not made to aircraft grade tolerances. The tolerances on the parts aren't that tight and then the things are assembled by flawed human beings with good days and bad days.

2) Human beings are not all the same. Lips, tongues, lungs, arms, hands, torso height, etc., make a big difference to personal interaction to the tuba. You will never drive a sports car well if you can't comfortably reach the pedals, shifter, and steering wheel let alone fit in the tiny seat.

3) Pedagogy varies from player to player and teacher to teacher. Just because an individual found a way to "sound good" with very fast air or very slow air doesn't make him or her the Supreme Court Decision maker on what everyone else should want.

I suspect that over the last 27 years I have played more tubas and listened to more tuba players both good and bad (With some of the worst sounding ones thinking they were hot stuff.) than most anyone else. I can't predict what tuba someone will like until I hear them play a bit or we talk about mutually played equipment and compare likes or dislikes.

I've reached some conclusions in my old age that I'd like to share:

All tubas and tuba players are different.
Sucky players sound bad on all tubas but there may be a particular configuration of tuba that helps them suck less.
Great tuba players sound great on any tuba.
Mediocre through good players really benefit from finding a quality horn that matchs up to their physical and pedagogical tendencies to help them sound better with less effort.

last but not least
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is alive and well on TubeNet.



This should be a sticky.
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Re: Contrary opinions on equipment

Postby Rick Denney » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:29 am

UncleBeer wrote:...dilettante tubaist/traffic engineer is a no-brainer. :lol:


I resent that! Take it back! I am NOT a dilettante traffic engineer.

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