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Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in August

Postby GC » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:09 pm

I noticed the article about the new horn on the Wessex web site and was wondering if Jonathan could answer a couple of questions.

I notice that the angle of the last bow before the bell collar is a bit different and the helicon has a jointed straight section before the bell, while the Eb sousaphone has an upward bend before the bell collar. Is this the only difference between the horns, or is the helicon a new design?

And slightly off topic, had you ever considered making a raincacher bell for the Eb sousaphone?
Last edited by GC on Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby Wyvern » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:18 pm

GC wrote:I notice that the angle of the last bow before the bell collar is a bit different and the helicon has a jointed straight section before the bell, while the Eb sousaphone has an upward bend before the bell collar. Is this the only difference between the horns, or is the helicon a new design?

And slightly off topic, had you ever considered making a raincacher bell for the Eb sousaphone?

The sousaphone and helicon mostly share parts, although extra tubing was required in body against sousaphone for tuning purposes. Having said that, I was amazed how different they play. The helicon plays nearer to our Champion Eb tuba (with which it shares bell) than to the Eb sousaphone. I am personally a real convert to helicons - will never want to do a standing gig with anything but a helicon in the future. As well as playing better, they are also so much better balanced. Completely effortless to carry. I did 6 mile marching gig with prototype Eb helicon one day last year!

A raincatcher BBb is more likely than Eb, I think - although no decision is yet made if to make either. We will need to look at the parts required. Sales of raincatcher are unlikely to justify making a new mandrel, but if we can add to range using existing parts, then I would like to make available.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby GC » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:45 pm

Thanks, Jonathan.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby BrooklynBass » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:42 pm

Off topic slightly, but I thought this would be a good place to catch Jonathan for a Sousa Q of my own:

I saw someone on here a while back had a "switchable" Wessex BBb/CC Sousa. Is/was that a real production horn? Any chance of that coming back? Thanks!
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby Wyvern » Mon May 01, 2017 5:42 am

BrooklynBass wrote:I saw someone on here a while back had a "switchable" Wessex BBb/CC Sousa. Is/was that a real production horn? Any chance of that coming back? Thanks!

That was actually a one-off. Could be made again, but not the most successful experiment.

I do also have an experimental small bore CC sousaphone that I will put online to sell shortly...although that is also not good enough to go into production.

I do want Wessex to make a large bore CC helicon/sousaphone (I know there is a demand in Spain, as well as USA) - but the problem is "how to" as the tapers need to be different from the BBb or Eb and we have no existing successful CC helicon/sousaphone to reference.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby UncleBeer » Mon May 01, 2017 5:53 am

Wyvern wrote:I do want Wessex to make a large bore CC helicon/sousaphone (I know there is a demand in Spain, as well as USA) - but the problem is "how to" as the tapers need to be different from the BBb or Eb and we have no existing successful CC helicon/sousaphone to reference.


Bloke's turned out pretty well:

Image

...as did mine (both based on Buescher BBb):

Image
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby BrooklynBass » Mon May 01, 2017 8:07 am

Wyvern wrote:That was actually a one-off. Could be made again, but not the most successful experiment.

I do also have an experimental small bore CC sousaphone that I will put online to sell shortly...although that is also not good enough to go into production.

I do want Wessex to make a large bore CC helicon/sousaphone (I know there is a demand in Spain, as well as USA) - but the problem is "how to" as the tapers need to be different from the BBb or Eb and we have no existing successful CC helicon/sousaphone to reference.


You've piqued my interest! I'm definitely interested in learning more about all of the above.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby GC » Mon May 01, 2017 3:43 pm

There were references to a Miraphone CC helicon on ToobNet back about a decade ago.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby Dylan King » Wed May 03, 2017 7:04 am

A large CC 5-valve helicon!

Get it done.

If you build it, we will buy it.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby Wyvern » Wed May 03, 2017 7:08 am

Dylan King wrote:A large CC 5-valve helicon!

Get it done.

If you build it, we will buy it.

Why do you think 5-valves needed?

This will not happen quickly, but CC helicon in 2018 is likely...
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby UncleBeer » Wed May 03, 2017 9:33 am

Dylan King wrote:A large CC 5-valve helicon!

Get it done.

If you build it, we will buy it.


A 5th just makes it heavier, and I'd wager most helicons would be used on strolling/standing gigs. so the extra weight wouldn't be welcome.
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby BrooklynBass » Mon May 08, 2017 4:41 pm

Wyvern wrote:
Dylan King wrote:A large CC 5-valve helicon!

Get it done.

If you build it, we will buy it.


I second this.

This will not happen quickly, but CC helicon in 2018 is likely...


Can I give you my deposit now??? (Also, I messaged you)
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Re: Questions about the new Wessex Eb Helicon coming in Augu

Postby BrooklynBass » Sat May 13, 2017 9:53 am

I am delighted (?) to say that I am the soon-to-be owner of the aforementioned CC prototype sousa. I though it wouldn't hurt to have it as: 1. "insurance" for my concert horn that I am terrified to march with—an example being the upcoming Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and 2. something to tide me over until we get more info about this CC Helicon. I told Jonathan he can take my deposit now!

Nonetheless (bringing this back on topic), this Eb helicon is proof that Wessex is much more than a stencil brand, but one of the true leaders in driving the state of the art of the industry.

I'm not parting with my Eastman any time soon, but for my future marching and small tuba needs, Wessex has my attention!
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