POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news) Bookmark and Share

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The Eastman EBC632 CC Tuba (based on discount pricing) has rendered all others listed obsolete.

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POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:26 pm

Poll - ONLY, please, for those who have played several of each of these:

- CB-50/G-50
- Conn 52J/54J/56J
- Kanstul 90-S
- Eastman EBC632
- King BBb-to-CC cut-downs with various bells
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Ken Herrick » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:15 pm

Over three hours without a reply. That must mean that with this, once again, the shark has been jumped and the board has been trumped.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:00 am

Ken Herrick wrote:Over three hours without a reply. That must mean that with this, once again, the shark has been jumped and the board has been trumped.


12 poll responses (plus your post) in 11 hours - even with the given caption
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Billy M. » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:19 pm

In the words of the football player, Marshawn Lynch: "I'm just here so I don't get fined."
It is impossible for one with their finite mind to comprehend the incredible miracles, mercies, and powers of an infinite God. It is good to know He's there and loves us, though.

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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Cameron Gates » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:59 pm

I voted yes, although "obsolete" seems a little strong.

- CB50/G-50 - good luck finding one in decent cosmetic shape
- Conn 52J/54J/56J - obsolete from serial number 1
- Kanstul 90-S - I hear you can by parts for these at Napa
- Eastman EBC632
- King BBb-to-CC cut-downs with various bells - have to admit only playing one of these in the past. Not very many around.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby 58mark » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54 pm

I'm just glad I don't have a Conn 56J I'm trying to sell.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:20 pm

I didn't say anything other than to ~ask~ whether the statement is true or false. :|
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby iiipopes » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:50 pm

Conn screwed up when they did not follow Matt's prototypes, changing parts to a dollar-cost-averaging accountants run the show.

Sam Gnagny makes great instruments. If I was told to play a 11/16" - 17.5mm CC instrument, I would be saving my money for one of his conversions.

But the poll did not indicate all the other instruments that players may have played in comparison to the better known 11/16 bore instruments.

The poll also did not indicate the "effective bore," or which of these instruments had a short leadpipe, so that they were in effect actually similar in response characteristics to instruments, compared to the typical German-style rotor instrument, where the leadpipe is much longer, and therefore if measured at the same point from the receiver as where the short lead pipe typical 11/16 instruments enters the valve block, may very well be similar to the inside diameter of the lead pipe of the longer lead pipe tubas at that point. I believe that upon being able to run scopes and calipers, there will be more similarity than differences.

So - my view - and everyone else's mileage will vary - this thread is a non-question. Effective bore comparing tubas must be measured from a common point so-many-inches from the receiver, which may or may not include transition through the valve block, or to say it another way: what is the internal diameter of the tubing at "X" number of inches from the receiver.

Only when that particular specification is determined, even with different leadpipes for essentially the same tuba, as in the Miraphone 1291/1292, can the topic of this thread even begin to be a topic of intelligent discussion.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 pm

So - my view - and everyone else's mileage will vary - this thread is a non-question.


"squatty wide-pancake-bell CC tubas with 11/16" bore valvesets that all - more or less - were inspired by King"
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Lee Stofer » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:01 pm

Kanstul model 90 CC tubas are generally quite good, if detailed out a bit, mostly in the 5th rotor. Their major business is making trumpets, trombones and marching brass, so they don't make many tubas. Conn-Selmer put out CC tubas, and decisions were dictated by trying to keep the cost of manufacture as low as possible, and that eventually did not produce tubas of sufficient quality to make them commercially viable. Getzen is a successful trumpet/trombone maker that ultimately decided that they were making less money while pulling people off of the Edwards trombone production to assemble a few tubas, and decided to quite trying to make tubas. There has not been enough demand at a sufficient pricepoint for an American company to mass-produce CC tubas. Due to differences in the Chinese economy, they have been able to fill a demand in the US at an acceptable pricepoint.
Last edited by Lee Stofer on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Lee Stofer » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:03 pm

I do not think that an 11/16" bore CC tuba with an approx. 20" bell, 31 1/2" tall body, four pistons and a 5th rotor is obsolete, not if it is built well-enough. That is why I'm building them now, with the basis of my parts being the remaining Getzen CB-50/G-50 parts that Getzen sold me some three years ago. The first one has been sold, and serial number 0002 is about to appear on my website. My aim was to build a top-shelf, no-expense-spared version of a York 33-inspired tuba, compact and easy-to-handle, that performs like no other tuba out there. I feel that I have succeeded with this instrument, and serial numbers 0003 and 0004 are in process now. I have assembled a couple of Franken-tubas in the past, but to me they fell short in some way, either mechanically or cosmetically, or both. With my Stofer CC tuba, after 3 years of R & D I have a horn that I am quite happy with. It is not cheap, and will have no effect whatsoever upon the sales volume of the Eastman tubas, but it is also a tuba that plays like no other that I have ever played. In cooperation with Martin Wilk, serial number 0002 has the optional MAW pistons, and is the first new tuba to ever be offered for sale with MAW pistons as original equipment. The result is a tuba unlike anything else that you have ever played. And, for the few that want old-style craftsmanship and service, these instruments are available with custom bell engraving, other modifications as requested, and a choice of finishes.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:56 pm

Where are you positioning the 5th rotors, Lee ?
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bisontuba » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:12 pm

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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby tylerferris1213 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:55 pm

I would say the CB-50, but with an original York bell. I bought my Getzen because I loved my teacher's so much. With the factory bell, I will admit that the sound leaves a bit to be desired. The sound and intonation is very even, though. WITH the York bell, the sound opens up to what it should be. When I swapped out the bells, my teacher/repair tech noticed a substantial difference in sound.

TL;DR With an old York bell, the Getzen is a superb horn.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Lee Stofer » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:18 am

So far, my horns have a 5th rotor in the leadpipe. The first of my horns is a 4-valve instrument, finished to order for it's owner. I also wanted to see if the 5th-rotor-in-the-leadpipe setup was a bad idea. Once I was satisfied that the 4-valve instrument was really right, I built ser. # 0002 with the standard Getzen-type configuration that they borrowed from Boehm & Meinl. Between building #1 and #2, I repaired and restored several Getzens for customers, and found that they all had a rigged-up leadpipe setup. The leadpipes used on these instruments were not sufficiently conical in taper, and were too small to fit the 5th rotor bore, so they used questionable tricks to make them work. I annealed several pipes, and using a sufficiently-conical mandrel, I patiently worked the leadpipes until they would mate perfectly, either to the 1st valve on the 4-valve horn or the 5th rotor on the 5-v. model, instead of having an almost instantaneous drop-off of nearly 70 thousandths in diameter. The results are much better intonation in all ranges and a much fuller low register. We have also been experimenting with a Willson approx. .800"bore 5th rotor after the main tuning slide, but that design, while quite playable, is not quite ready yet. I'm thinking that the 5th rotor in the leadpipe, in conjunction with a correctly-done leadpipe, has several advantages and very little in drawbacks. I like it a lot as a player, and can deal with it as a repair tech, as the 5th rotor is a little difficult to service.

Concerning the bell, the Getzen bells vary a bit. The bells were made by Meinl-Weston, and some of the G-50's had rather sturdy, thick bells. After complaints from some about the weight and dark sound, some of the bells were belt-sanded and buffed extra to lighten them up and give the G-50's more zing, more like a York bell. An original York bell would work very well on one of these Getzens, but there are two other remedies that will help them more. There should be a brace between 2nd and 3rd valve slide tubes on top. If you have one of these horns and it has not been refitted, you need to have your local tech add a brace there. The smaller, one-piece braces on these horns are Getzen trumpet braces, so your tech can easily get one and install it. This will go a long way in making the response of your instrument more consistent throughout. The other re-fit is to have the leadpipe re-done to the correct taper and re-fit to the 5th rotor. The result will be a horn that's so much fun to play that you'll not want to put it down.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby SousaWarrior9 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:20 pm

Lee Stofer wrote:So far, my horns have a 5th rotor in the leadpipe. The first of my horns is a 4-valve instrument, finished to order for it's owner. I also wanted to see if the 5th-rotor-in-the-leadpipe setup was a bad idea. Once I was satisfied that the 4-valve instrument was really right, I built ser. # 0002 with the standard Getzen-type configuration that they borrowed from Boehm & Meinl. Between building #1 and #2, I repaired and restored several Getzens for customers, and found that they all had a rigged-up leadpipe setup. The leadpipes used on these instruments were not sufficiently conical in taper, and were too small to fit the 5th rotor bore, so they used questionable tricks to make them work. I annealed several pipes, and using a sufficiently-conical mandrel, I patiently worked the leadpipes until they would mate perfectly, either to the 1st valve on the 4-valve horn or the 5th rotor on the 5-v. model, instead of having an almost instantaneous drop-off of nearly 70 thousandths in diameter. The results are much better intonation in all ranges and a much fuller low register. We have also been experimenting with a Willson approx. .800"bore 5th rotor after the main tuning slide, but that design, while quite playable, is not quite ready yet. I'm thinking that the 5th rotor in the leadpipe, in conjunction with a correctly-done leadpipe, has several advantages and very little in drawbacks. I like it a lot as a player, and can deal with it as a repair tech, as the 5th rotor is a little difficult to service.


Lee, regarding the 5th valve, I noticed on the horn on your website, that you mentioned the horn could be converted to BBb
using the 5th rotor and pulling the slides, just kike Getzen advertised with the G-50s. Although, I've heard that, when trying to play the old Getzens in BBb, this generated some less than satisfactory results (i.e. stuffy, sound).
Do you believe this problem has been eliminated or lessened with your improved version and do you think it plays just as well in BBb as in CC? If so, I think this is pretty amazing, as a horn that can successfully switch from CC to BBb would be extremely appealing to me and I think would be a huge selling point.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:32 pm

Have I reliably heard that J. W. York's original idea for the 5th rotor on the large C tubas was a "Bb valve" - but (as we all understand why) other purposes were quickly found for it other than the builder's concept of it...??

...or is that just an "old story" ?
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby Lee Stofer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Sousawarrior,
Between building my first tuba as a 4valve model and building this instrument, I took a bit of time to finish a number of pending restorations for customers, which included restoring an early CB-50. The owner wanted it stripped, buffed and lacquered, and my improvements performed on his instrument in the process. I found that the end of the leadpipe was too small, so the end had been flared out like a miniature instrument bell, and the difference covered in solder. Needless to say, this is not the best path to consistent intonation and response, so I annealed the pipe and re-tapered it to where it fit in a way that made acoustic sense. The owner is a BBb player, and has played it as a BBb since new, reminding me several times to be sure and return it set to play as a BBb.

With the new Stofer CC, my assistant played it more in the BBb mode than I did, but I was listening to him, and did not notice any problems. The instrument did seem to sound somewhat darker when played in BBb mode, and did not impress me as feeling "stuffy" (one of my real pet peeve expressions). I think that the leadpipe improvements and MAW pistons, as well as solid bracing and all joints correctly soldered, make for an instrument that will work very well as a BBb or CC. Since you asked, I just moved the slides and played it again just now in BBb mode. My impression is that it is just as good of a BBb as it is a CC throughout the vast majority of the range, although it does seem to get a little less responsive below the low Eb until you reach the pedal Bb. There is more resistance in the very low register. I think that using a mouthpiece with a larger venturi than my Geib, something like a Parker or Sellmansburger mouthpiece, would help that. In the "cash register" it is as good as I've played, BBb or CC.

Bloke, I have not heard that story, but it is very plausible. There are a number of pieces out there that just lay better with BBb fingerings. And, in the days when the big Yorks were made, I'd tend to think that very few people in the world were playing CC tubas.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby adelarosa » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:00 am

Lee Stofer wrote:Once I was satisfied that the 4-valve instrument was really right, I built ser. # 0002 with the standard Getzen-type configuration that they borrowed from Boehm & Meinl... I'm thinking that the 5th rotor in the leadpipe, in conjunction with a correctly-done leadpipe, has several advantages and very little in drawbacks. I like it a lot as a player, and can deal with it as a repair tech, as the 5th rotor is a little difficult to service.


I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lee back in February on his way home from the DC Conference (thanks again, Lee, what a great opportunity!). Lee pulled out this little beauty and let me blow a few notes - I don't know what Lee's asking for this particular horn but if it's anything in line with the good-quality instrument makes and their prices t's very much worth looking at as an excellent 4/4 horn. In-tune, smooth, and consistent sound from top to bottom.

Lee Stofer wrote:With the new Stofer CC, my assistant played it more in the BBb mode than I did, but I was listening to him, and did not notice any problems. The instrument did seem to sound somewhat darker when played in BBb mode, and did not impress me as feeling "stuffy" (one of my real pet peeve expressions). I think that the leadpipe improvements and MAW pistons, as well as solid bracing and all joints correctly soldered, make for an instrument that will work very well as a BBb or CC.


While testing Lee moved the instrument from CC to BBb for me to test; while I may be a bit biased as I was playing mostly BBb at the time, I felt the instrument played better (if it's possible!) in that configuration. Now, remind you, the CC side was an excellent instrument, just a bit more bounce to the sound. I find I prefer the B-flat side for a lot of band repertoire (fingerings just fall easier, generally) but I've played CC for so long I prefer the orchestral rep in those familiar fingerings. Again, my personal opinion (<2 cents worth), the craftsmanship Lee brought to this instrument - plus the brilliance of Martin's valve design - make quite the fantastic player. If I were looking for a solid 4 quarter piston horn with that characteristic American sound this'd be top on my list.

Thanks again, Lee!
Last edited by adelarosa on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: POLL: 11/16" bore C tubas (troll/trigger/fake news)

Postby thevillagetuba » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:38 am

adelarosa wrote:I prefer an independent 5th valve but this horn had no drawbacks that I could place.



Are you saying that Lee's/Getzen's horns do not have an independent 5th? Or am I misreading?... I've only ever seen these horns with independent rotors.
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