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Eb vs F

Postby Jim Brewer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:10 am

I've been wanting to get a smaller tuba to have along with my CC. I've played a C horn since college, a Bb before that and started on an old Eb. Love the Eb horns but wondering if I wouldn't be better off with an F. Add a note: I've never had the opportunity to play an F horn.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Stryk » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:27 am

I went through college many moons ago when you only needed one horn. A couple years ago, I picked up an F horn, and have still not gotten comfortable with it. I also have an Eb, which to me is easy using trumpet fingerings. Just think - treble clef and add 3 sharps. Now I just need to find a good quality Eb, which seems to be much harder than finding a quality F.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Jim Brewer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:07 am

I started on a Conn Eb when I was 15 ,then used a Mirafone Bb for 3 yrs. Using the Eb was a necessity since there were no other horns available in that school. And going from French horn to Eb was relatively easy with the fingerings. Since I only play in bands now I thought the Eb would be a better fit.

In college the consensus was CC horn was always better than sliced bread. Looking back, I'm not sure I agree with that. Anything I could play or a C, I could play just as well on a Bb. CC fingerings was easier for orchestra, but sucked on some band pieces.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:20 am

In order for the TubeNet Freak Jury to give you the most personally biased and the most miserably bad advice, I would suggest answering this question (either with many or few words)...

What are you hoping to accomplish?
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Three Valves » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:48 am

We must knows the ends in order to justify the means!!

:tuba:
Who needs four valves??
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:57 am

If you're a rotor guy, go for an Eb. If you're a piston guy, doesn't matter.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby tuben » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:19 pm

MaryAnn wrote:If you're a rotor guy, go for an Eb. If you're a piston guy, doesn't matter.

:?:
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Jim Brewer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:41 pm

Fair question. Quintet work mostly, even though I could play quintet well with my MW CC. 100% of my playing is band, with the old orchestra transcriptions with a half million flats. The tuba section has 3 Bbs, an Eb, and 2 Cs.
I do love the way the Eb fits in. It's agile, great tone, and killer pedals tones. My C does well but stuffy under low G.

If I had to say, it's more of a preference at this point to have the option to play a smaller horn.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:01 pm

Jim Brewer wrote:Fair question. Quintet work mostly, even though I could play quintet well with my MW CC. 100% of my playing is band, with the old orchestra transcriptions with a half million flats. The tuba section has 3 Bbs, an Eb, and 2 Cs.
I do love the way the Eb fits in. It's agile, great tone, and killer pedals tones. My C does well but stuffy under low G.

If I had to say, it's more of a preference at this point to have the option to play a smaller horn.


I see there's already one TNFJ response that has been offered.
Here's another:

The shorter the tuba (assuming: "good") the more agile it will tend to be.
- If you're playing generally-readable brass quintets, Eb is probably fine.
- Eb (at least, the typical English-style compensating ones with the 19" bells) offer a "broad" sound and generally good intonation.
- An Eb tuba (again, in particular, one of the good/accessible/3+1 comp's) probably (??) presents less of a learning curve than does an F tuba.
- If your quintet's repertoire encompasses acrobatic and more challenging literature, the shorter the tuba (again: assuming that it's "good") - the better.
- I went through several years with no tuba OTHER THAN an (extraordinarily good) F tuba, so I was forced to learn quickly and make it work for all sorts of normally-not-F-tuba situations, but (I'm trying to imagine/sympathize) that for most, F tuba mastery might (??) require more dedication than Eb tuba mastery.
- A couple of models of Eb tubas that are NON-compensating (I'd include the Willson 4+1 here) are fine instruments. I've played some other non-comp' 5-valve Eb tubas that are problematic. I'm thinking that the larger of those two Miraphones (can't remember their model names...??) is another "good" Eb non-comp. (I have not played the smaller one, so I am ignorant.)
- I have this to say about 5-valve (or yes, 3+1 comp) bass (Eb/F) tubas, though: The "low range" of these instruments is "not that low". It's high enough in pitch that laymen can hear pitch anomalies/discrepancies. 5 valves (or the 3+1 compensating system) doesn't quite address all the intonation issues in this range. Six valves (as are found on SOME F tubas) address all of these issues very well...but just because an F tuba has 6 valves, does NOT necessarily mean that F tuba is a "good" F tuba.

bloke "eek" :roll:
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby pjv » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:26 pm

Eb is probably the most all around tuba ever. (There I said it).
I never learned to play it (BBb when I started, CC&F later), so I'm not an expert in that sense, but from all the recordings I've heard a Besson-type Eb comes out as the easiest to play and the most in tune. I've also heard good things about some single 5v Eb's.
Clean sound, steady big sound in all the registers and in tune.
Doubts? Look how much people complain about stuffy, out of tune or difficult to manage notes on tubas and you'll find they're usually not talking about Eb's.
Just sayin'
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Three Valves » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:52 pm

Needs six valves to make it sound half-way decent??

Pass...
Who needs four valves??
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby opus37 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:52 pm

I'd suggest you go with the Eb. I will fit your needs, have the smallest learning curve, and assuming you are going to purchase a used horn, likely cheaper and more plentiful than an F.
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:57 pm

Three Valves wrote:Needs six valves to make it sound half-way decent??

Pass...


A Conn sousaphone only needs three...
- good false tones
- easy to move them around

An instrument five steps shorter - and with an 8"-smaller bell, though,
- doesn't have good false tones
- sports a five-steps-higher low range, which isn't particularly low

I'd prefer the Conn sousaphone for playing (well...) Sousa's "King Cotton March".
I'd prefer a good six-valve F tuba to play (as an example) one of those gymnastic David Sampson brass quintet compositions (originally written for bass trombone).
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby Jim Brewer » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:38 pm

Aren't the compensating horns more stuffy than a on-compensator? Or is that just from players that pick one up, and are not used to them?
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby ValveSlide » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:22 pm

tuben wrote:
MaryAnn wrote:If you're a rotor guy, go for an Eb. If you're a piston guy, doesn't matter.

:?:


:P
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:00 pm

I'm glad someone got it. :)
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby bloke » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:44 pm

There are so many tubas that have been put into production that (thinking of a stereotypical-design Eb tuba compared to a stereotypical-design F tuba) there are F tubas that are built to resemble Eb tubas (very round-sounding, a more forgiving low range, and slightly-to-very quaint intonation), and Eb tubas built to resemble F tubas (compact sound / pretty good pitch / but - being well over a foot longer than an F tuba - a little bit stuffy).

:P

bloke "pick your poison...or mix-and-match your poisons"
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby pjv » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:18 pm

E tuba? (the "guitar friendly" tuba)
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby bloke » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:20 pm

pjv wrote:E tuba? (the "guitar friendly tuba")


Many of those cute little Buescher "Eb" helicons were built as "high-pitch" (TDC in A=440 ref. "E").
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Re: Eb vs F

Postby marccromme » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:41 pm

Jim Brewer wrote:Fair question. Quintet work mostly, even though I could play quintet well with my MW CC. 100% of my playing is band, with the old orchestra transcriptions with a half million flats. The tuba section has 3 Bbs, an Eb, and 2 Cs.
I do love the way the Eb fits in. It's agile, great tone, and killer pedals tones. My C does well but stuffy under low G.

If I had to say, it's more of a preference at this point to have the option to play a smaller horn.


I think you are answering your own question: Eb fits well with band with many flats and quintet work. And if you want a more singing tonal quality, don't go for a standard brass band 48cm 19 inch bell 3+1 compensated horn, look for a 17inch or 42cm bell, I would say a 5 valve with easy accessible trigger slide on 4th or 5th, or a 3+1 compensated horn are equally fine if good quality.

Check out the 17inch bell Besson (top or front action), the Meinl-Weston 2142 or 2024/5, the Miraphone Nordic Star, or the Willson 3400, just to name a few from the top of my head. And report back what you like about these ...
Meinl-Weston 2141 Eb 5v FA tuba
Wessex Danube Eb 5v rotary tuba
Hirsbrunner Bb 3v compensated euph
Wessex Dolce Bb 3+1v compensated euph
Alto/tenor/bass trombones in various sizes/plugs
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