Conn 52j 5th Valve delete Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:07 pm

Hey guys. I have a quick question. I've seen alot of people deleting the 5th valves from the 5xj line. Is there a part you can buy to bridge the gap where the 5th valve connection and the end of the main tuning slide are or does it have to be custom made? Also can you get the threaded connector so that you can swap between 4 and 5 valve? I've seen it done quite a bit but I haven't really looked into the logistics of it. I'm playing in a British brass band right now and not using the 5th valve at all. I figured it'd be a good time to play with the configuration if it's not too much work. Thanks.
1969 Mirafone 186 BBb
1965 Conn 20J
Olds fiberglass Sousaphone Project
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Guitar
Cremona 3/4 upright bass
User avatar
andrew the tuba player
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Some where in Arkansas

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:01 pm

The last time I checked, all the items needed are still available from Conn-Selmer, in individual components, not as a plug-and-play part.

This is not a simple do-it-yourself job - any competent tech should be able to make the replacement tubing unit you need. It appears that with the 5th valve unit gone, a detachable brace unit would need to be made to stabilize the outer tubing of the large side of the MTS to the horn, so the tuba would need to be present during the fabrication process.
Trying to take life one day at a time
User avatar
roweenie
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1271
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:17 am
Location: Anyplace but here

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby The Big Ben » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:13 pm

andrew the tuba player wrote:Hey guys. I have a quick question. I've seen alot of people deleting the 5th valves from the 5xj line. Is there a part you can buy to bridge the gap where the 5th valve connection and the end of the main tuning slide are or does it have to be custom made? Also can you get the threaded connector so that you can swap between 4 and 5 valve? I've seen it done quite a bit but I haven't really looked into the logistics of it. I'm playing in a British brass band right now and not using the 5th valve at all. I figured it'd be a good time to play with the configuration if it's not too much work. Thanks.


What are you looking to achieve by removing the 5th valve?
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 2835
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:35 pm

The Big Ben wrote:What are you looking to achieve by removing the 5th valve?


That's the head-scratcher, as far as I'm concerned. It seems in-the-vogue to talk about doing that to these tubas.

Were I forced to discard a circuit from a tuba, I would probably discard the 4th valve. I can probably pull the first valve and use 1-3 instead, and - well - the 4th valve is the longest/stuffiest circuit of all of the five valves.

bloke "glad to have choices"
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 38030
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Tabor » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:37 pm

The best thing is to remove them and send them to me.
Tubas
Tabor
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: New England

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:56 pm

The best thing is to remove them and send them to me.


I would have figured that you had enough Conn parts from me for the time being. :D Though I must say that these are in much better condition.

As far as what I plan to achieve, I've just seen that in some instances it helps intonation and responce as well as tuning. I was just wanting to see how big of a project it would actually be I was hoping that with all of the times I've seen it done that there was a plug and play available that I could slap on and see. But if it takes a lot of work then I'll probably skip it. Honestly this horn plays great as it is. I don't have many issues with it at all. More of a curiosity than anything.
1969 Mirafone 186 BBb
1965 Conn 20J
Olds fiberglass Sousaphone Project
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Guitar
Cremona 3/4 upright bass
User avatar
andrew the tuba player
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Some where in Arkansas

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delet

Postby Wes Krygsman » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:15 pm

Matt Walters at Dillon's has definitely made an interchangeable part for exactly what you are asking, to be able to switch it from 4 to 5 valves and back. I got to try that tuba and it did seem to open up the lower end of the horn with only 4 valves, and I imagine that using a 5th valve with a larger bore may have helped the 5th valve be better. Also, the 4th valve should have had a more open wrap.

Now, that being said, the Eastman CC tuba basically fixed all these problems. It is my understanding that Matt Walters helped design both of these tubas at some point in each of their developments. I am guessing that Conn didn't take all the suggestions (most likely trying to save money by using interchangeable parts from other tubas), and Eastman took most of the suggestions. The Eastman cc came out better in my opinion than the Conn 52,54,&56j's, although in the early 2000s, I did enjoy the Conns.

Hope this helps.
Wes Krygsman

Adjunct tuba professor-Kean University
Freelance musician-NJ/NYC area & private lessons

Nirschl York 6/4 CC
Yamaha 621 F
Cerveny 601 Kaiser BBb
Yamaha Ybb 103 BBb
Selmer Signet Fiberglass sousaphone BBb
Wes Krygsman
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:20 am
Location: Clifton, New Jersey

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Bill Troiano » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:49 pm

Years ago, I tried the experiment on my 52J. I went to Home Depot and bought tubing in the diameter of the tuning slide. I cut it to the right length and squeezed it on. Of course, you can't move the tuning slide, but you can see how your horn would play without the 5th valve circuit. I played it like that for a few weeks. Then, I had Matt make me the slide with the fitting. I liked it a lot and would switch back and forth, depending upon my feeling the need to use a 5th valve. For most of my playing, I didn't need it. The tuba blew more freely, slotted better, responded quicker - it just felt a lot better.
Bill Troiano
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:25 pm

According to a story which appears to be true, someone removed the 5th rotor from Mr. Jacobs' York tuba (because of some reported detriment) but ...well... (reportedly) then installed it on someone's else tuba.

bloke "yeah...tear 'em off, and send 'em to Tabor" :lol:
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 38030
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby arpthark » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:23 pm

Norm Epley has done this to a few of these tubas. Positive results, by all accounts. You might give him a call or reach out to him for some more info. NRE Brassworks.
Blake
Gnagey Holton/King CC
Schiller compensating Eb
arpthark
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:14 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:48 pm

As important as most likely view a "good low F", I'd be more interested in names of those who have ~improved~ the 5th valves of these, rather than - simply - torn them off and spliced in tubing.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 38030
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby andrew the tuba player » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:29 am

Bloke wrote:As important as most likely view a "good low F", I'd be more interested in names of those who have ~improved~ the 5th valves of these, rather than - simply - torn them off and spliced in tubing.



I agree. In the brass band I don't really use the 5th valve as I stick to the (in my opinion) more traditional 1-4 fingerings. But when playing music written in C I use it all the time.

I have very few playability issues with this horn but I've always thought that the low register, say first octave Eb and below, feels stuffy and has a vanilla sound. It doesn't sound bad, but not spectacular either. But once you hit F and above it's great. I always figured that this was because it's a smallish, tightly wrapped CC tuba, as well as how I am playing it. But it seems that the more I read, the more it seems that this is a common occurrence that the fifth valve causes.

So if anyone has reworked the 5th either to something of their own design or something more like the original prorotype and achieved the improvements that deleting it seem to, the I would definitely like to see it.

Herein lies what really kills me about this horn. It really is a great horn and even as it sits i cant really complain. The tuning is great, it slots great, and the sound is beautiful. But It seems that had UMI used more (or all) of the original prototype they could have made an exceptional model even greater. That and the build quality. This is probably the only actual complaint I have. After "growing up" on 2 '60s 2xjs and a '40 naked lady 20k, it really pains me to see where Conn has ended up as far as quality goes. Things such as large sections of silver not being completely satin or the fact that none of my tuning slides were aligned. Is this something that was specific to this model or is this a UMI trend? I've seen a lot of these complaints with the 5xj series.
1969 Mirafone 186 BBb
1965 Conn 20J
Olds fiberglass Sousaphone Project
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Guitar
Cremona 3/4 upright bass
User avatar
andrew the tuba player
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Some where in Arkansas

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby bort » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:23 am

My impressions -- Conn took Matt's original prototype and made their own "revisions" to it. Maybe to make it cheaper to build, maybe to make it easier to build... maybe they just thought it was going to be better? The end result was more-or-less like the prototype, but the 10%(?) that they changed really screwed it up. It's still nice, but could have been awesome.

On the flip side, Eastman took Matt's prototype, didn't really change anything, and put it into production. I'm sure there are still some imperfections, but I'd bet it's a whole lot closer to what Matt originally wanted.

I could be way off on all of this!
Willson 3050-RZ
Thein RCC
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Matt Walters » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:11 pm

My impressions -- Conn took Matt's original prototype and made their own "revisions" to it. Maybe to make it cheaper to build, maybe to make it easier to build... maybe they just thought it was going to be better? The end result was more-or-less like the prototype, but the 10%(?) that they changed really screwed it up. It's still nice, but could have been awesome.

On the flip side, Eastman took Matt's prototype, didn't really change anything, and put it into production. I'm sure there are still some imperfections, but I'd bet it's a whole lot closer to what Matt originally wanted.

I could be way off on all of this!

No. You nailed it. The 5th rotor on the Conn 52, 54, &56J CC tubas that Conn used is a lot more constricted than the rotor I gave them on the Prototype. Conn was threatening to drop the project throughout the entire time the factory was converting what I gave then into parts they had in stock to not spend anything extra on proper tooling. Eastman just put on their "big boy pants" and did what was needed to be done.

A better 5th rotor valve assembly or complete removal of the 5th rotor makes the Conn 5xJ CC tuba play more like the "prototype".
Matt Walters
Last chair tubist
Who Cares What Ensemble
Owns old tubas that play better than what you have.
User avatar
Matt Walters
The Tuba Whisperer
The Tuba Whisperer
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:20 am
Location: Woodbridge, NJ

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby bloke » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:23 pm

It's clear that the Eastman is a superior instrument, but the 5th rotor on the 5XJ tubas (at least, to me) is more valuable there than not there.

The 5XJ tubas aren't my favorites, but I can play them, and I can use their 5th rotors to play in the low range.

bloke "nothing to sell here...neither used nor new"
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 38030
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Bill Troiano » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:41 pm

Matt's last sentence confirms what I've been saying. However, I don't know how the 5XJ would sound with a different rotor, but removal of it makes it play better. I've proven that, to myself anyway.
Bill Troiano
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby andrew the tuba player » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:21 am

Bill Troiano wrote:Years ago, I tried the experiment on my 52J.


Oddly enough I saw the article you wrote about it while I was researching it. I'm going to pick up some tubing tomorrow and try that out this week.

Is there any way (or anyone who has) to fix the design flaws? Anything like redoing to 4th valve wrap to make it a little more open or completely redoing the 5th valve circuit? The only thing with the 4th circuit is the way that they made it hang off of the horn by itself, it may be hard to unwrap and tuck it anywhere. I'm glad to have learned of the Eastman. This is the first time I'd heard of it. I didn't know that the prototype had been utilized by multiple manufactures. Putting the pictures side by side, the Eastman definitely makes more since and looks like it would play alot more open and full. There aren't nearly as many sharp angles and everything seems to flow with itself. Does anyone have any pictures of the original prototype? I'm interested to see what spawned these two great horns.
1969 Mirafone 186 BBb
1965 Conn 20J
Olds fiberglass Sousaphone Project
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Guitar
Cremona 3/4 upright bass
User avatar
andrew the tuba player
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Some where in Arkansas

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Matt Walters » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:34 am

Is there any way (or anyone who has) to fix the design flaws?

Of course there is. Time and money.
How much are you willing to pay for the following to be done and how fast do you want it?
1) Have the 3rd and 4th branches re-tapered, then overhauled, then plated or lacquered
1a) Need to make new ferrules from scratch as the step ferrules are not what I used on prototype and original King ferrules that size are no longer offered in parts.
2) Completely new 5th branch made from scratch and installed. (This would be upgrade to better than prototype for the Conn 5xJ tubas.)
3) Move all the attach braces because the 5th branch is just different enough everything won't line up.
4) Replace all the 4th valve crooks and tubing.
5) Replace the entire 5th valve assembly with a bigger German built rotor assembly, tubing, crook and knuckles.
6) Custom tapered leadpipe. (I charge $400 for nickel silver leadpipe made from scratch and installed on piston tubas.)

Remember: Quick, Quality, Cheap. The price you'll pay determines which two you will get.

I am serious about wondering what you would be willing to spend on your Conn 52J to make it play more like it was meant to be.
I think you are in the same situation as I am with my house (bank mortgage actually). I know that I need to spend about $100,000 to fix everything "wrong" around my house and when I do that, the market value will go up only about $10,000 if I am lucky.
Matt Walters
Last chair tubist
Who Cares What Ensemble
Owns old tubas that play better than what you have.
User avatar
Matt Walters
The Tuba Whisperer
The Tuba Whisperer
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:20 am
Location: Woodbridge, NJ

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby andrew the tuba player » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:56 am

This is true. This horn is already a great horn that only has a few things I personally think are wrong with it playability wise. It really does play great so I wouldn't want to dump a lot of money into it, especially if that money could go into another useful horn such as a bass tuba or a larger contrabass. I guess I was more curious to see if it had been done than anything.

However it does sound like a removable 5th valve may help fix the main issues that I have with it for certain situations.

With all of this I still want to ensure that I am not unhappy with the horn. It's a great instrument and has a great sound.
1969 Mirafone 186 BBb
1965 Conn 20J
Olds fiberglass Sousaphone Project
Epiphone Thunderbird Bass Guitar
Cremona 3/4 upright bass
User avatar
andrew the tuba player
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:17 pm
Location: Some where in Arkansas

Re: Conn 52j 5th Valve delete

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:59 am

Sounds like you would be better off selling that horn and getting an Eastman. I've played several, and they are amazing
Formerly 58Mark
User avatar
Mark Finley
Low Brass Teacher
Low Brass Teacher
 
Posts: 4415
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Mesquite, TX

Next

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 29 guests