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Here is the next in a series of old handmade Communist east German rotary BBb tubas that I'm restoring and selling to one of the last remaining fine local band programs. The program is growing fast (as folks leave the good [sinking] ship, Memphis) and this might (??) for the time being (*finally*) supply each of their players with an upright tuba.
When the band director took this job ("almost" new school), he (being a knowledgeable low brass player) was disheartened when he discovered that the previous (first ever at the school) band director had blown so much dough on such ho-hum/expensive tubas - three Yamaha 641 tubas. Deciding to continue with the "rotary" theme (but, hopefully, improve on the theme significantly), he asked me what were the best tubas he could get. I told him (just as I state here) that in the BBb rotary world, old handmade east German tubas are hard to beat...
...so, every few months, I have delivered another one to his school.
This one may be the last one for a while. It is an old '60's-vintage Weltklang, and this is the tuba (previous thread) for which I acquired some Chinese wire-spring linkage (replacing the original "clock spring" linkage).
In another couple of days, it will be buffed, polished, cleaned, lacquered, and delivered. (I don't have any help around here anymore, so doing one of these is quite an ordeal. I could cut off a day or two in production if I wasn't so anal about slide alignment.)
Here are a few pics of it in the "now, at least it is all soldered back together and dent-free" condition. Again, this is one of those $150 eBay super-dark brown tubas from Bulgaria (you know, those auctions that you look at, but are afraid to bid). It was smashed up pretty good...The bottom bow was caved in about 1-1/2 inches...severe caved-in places in the valve tubing (just to give you an idea of the overall condition)...yet it was playable...
...This is THE BEST of these tubas (and I like all of these very much) that I have EVER played, so I believe it deserves at bit of publicity:
...OH...The repair tip! If you are a repair-guy and getting into complete tuba restorations (what...are you insane...??), these mouthpipes tend to "warp" when they are very badly dented and extensively repaired. They "look" great, but (if you put the tuba back together exactly like it came apart) the mouthpipe no longer wants to solder back in place. OK...Here's the tip: When you solder the mouthpipe back down along the front edge of the upper bow and it doesn't want to lay down against the bell, GO AHEAD AND "OVAL" THE MOUTHPIPE IN THE BRIDGE AREA, AND MAKE IT FIT. When everything is soldered in place, you can go back and cable two or three carefully-chosen (correct sizes - duh) dent balls (fed in from the #1 rotor casing and pulled through from the mouthpiece receiver - heavy leather gloves recommended) through that ovaled area and round it back out!
Small wonder that you like this one, as it is not a Weltklang, but a B&S. Parts were shared among these lines, especially bells and branches, but there may have been a selection between parts with the better ones going to the B&S instruments. And then these were assembled by he fully trained craftsmen, 12 years of training.
Aside from spacecrafts, the GDR was the tech leader of the Warsaw Pact. They also were challenged to keep their population at home, as the Western variant of Germany was more appealing. One action to keep workers happy was to give generous vacation facilities. partially at their own Baltic coast, partially at the coast of the Black Sea in Romania and especially in Bulgaria (I saw the abandoned GDR-resorts, when I was there in 1993).
Part of the GDR payment was in high end musical instruments for the East-Balkan orchestras like horns and tubas. But the East Germans didn’t trust the Romanians and Bulgarians. They feared that these fine brasses would be dumped at Western markets and there compete with the GDR’s own exports. So the GDR marked pro-level instruments as if they were student grade.
The give away on this tuba is the radial entry into the 1st rotor and exit from the 4th rotor.
I surely hope that some Memphibian high school student will appreciate such fine instrument and take good care of it.
I think that there's still a lot of life left in quite a few of those ebay specials.
That horn looks just like the Gerhard Schneider tuba I played my senior year in high school . . . fond memories of that particular horn.
Excellent! I'm sure someone will be very happy!
Willson 3050S CC, Willson 3200S F, Cerveny CFB-653-5IMX, 1922 Conn 86I
Gone but not forgotten:
Cerveny 681, Musica-Steyr F, Miraphone 188, Melton 45, Conn 2J, B&M 5520S CC, Shires Bass Trombone
yes...' identical to the Schneider, except this instrument is made of very slightly heavier material than most of the Schneider tubas.
Gerhard Schneider was one of the brand names used by B&S to circumvent their own contracts with exclusive dealers in Western countries. Dealer A sold the B&S instruments in a market he thought was his own. If dealer B showed an interest, B&S provided him Gerhard Schneider instruments.
Hoyer horns used to be part of B&S, maybe still are. Gottfried in Copenhagen had the exclusive rights for Hoyer horns in Denmark. Copenhagen Brass Centre wanted to present GDR horns when they opened in 1985. They got a marvellous 5 valve single Bb Hoyer horn, only it was engraved B&S, which is/was very unusual for horns. Nobody wanted it due to that engraving, so somebody got it at a moderate price. It is still with me.
Yup! I've seen that same hardware on many different brands (names) of European tubas. A couple of weeks ago I had a Wilhelm Monke tuba here that bore the same characteristics. Doing a little investigating (Wm. Monke is/was in Koln, Germany) with the help of our own 'belltrouble' I became even more aware that many of these 'name brands' of horns are actually composites from parts acquired from others. Other names that have 'popped up' from time-to-time are Sonora and Carl Wunderlich. There are still loads of these horns lurking in high school 'back rooms'... that were sold to US schools in the 60's and 70's. Most of these horns I've seen are good players. Many of these horns are B & S-ish in appearance mainly because of the characteristic shape of the attachment backing plates. Heck... B & S may have purchased their harness loops and thumbrings from the same place.
people may have patience with me,but I found something on our german ebay-branch,
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 0291308144
is it possible that he tuned tuba in the pics is a similar one to the Bloke recreated???
It´s unfortunately only poor pics there............
Finally a tuba used for the enlightenment of the human species.
Ha! The common derogatory comment to a bad horn when I was in school was, "Make a lamp out of it!" A friend of mine said that so often I actually went to a pawn shop, bought a cheap trumpet, and did exactly that. He still has it. I only drilled one small hole in main tuning slide, so a small repair and the horn would actually be playable, if you could call it that!
Miraphone 186 detachable - both bells
Curry 128D Kanstul Custom 18 Kelly
Fanned fret electric and bass guitars
If you ever see a King Super 20 trumpet
in silverplate serial #330XXX,
please let me know!
Looks like a "Major Award" was won by someone....
ken (obscure "A Christmas Story" reference) k
http://www.redriderleglamps.com/?gclid= ... GgodzEvV1Q
B&H Imperial Eb tuba
1919 Pan American BBb Helicon
1924 Buescher BBb tuba
1990 Honda GL1500 Goldwing
http://www.notonthetest.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
After a delightful afternoon (pumping out my septic tank to protect fill-lines - due to an extremely rainy season here), my reward was to then cover myself in delicious red waxy powder while polishing this tuba. OK. It's done. ...not too bad for a smashed-to-cr@p $150 Bulgarian eBay special, eh?
Tomorrow, I have three quintet gigs in three counties (none of which are the county in which I live). I don't think I'll be home in time to lacquer this thing, as I prefer sunlight. Tuesday, tornadoes are predicted in the evening. Hopefully, I can lacquer this thing Tuesday morning before my house and building (along with this tuba) are blown to Oz.
Wednesday...Start on the next big tuba job...If I only had a brain...
Last edited by bloke on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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