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Tuba Size

Postby tubapix » Thu May 11, 2017 8:18 am

We all see 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4... for BBb & CC tubas but not so much on F & Eb tubas. Is there such a thing and if so what are the parameters?
1989 Yamaha YBB 641(4R)
1938 King 1236 Symphony Eb (4P) w/Monster Bell
1927 Buescher Eb Tuba
1940 Pan American 58C Eb Alto Horn
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby thevillagetuba » Thu May 11, 2017 8:27 am

No "real" parameters exist for any of those size measurements. A search of the forum would end up with many discussions on this topic regarding comparing what MW calls a size versus Miraphone, etc. Manufacturers do refer to their F tubas in such ways, though. The Electra is called a 5/4, the 2250 and 45/46s are 6/4s, the 2182 is considered a 4/4 (though their website has recently chamged it to be listed as a 6/4). Those are just some examples off of the top of my head. The 2182 is a great example of how the sizes are not set parameters as the 2182 is nowhere the same size as a 2250 or 45/46.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby BrooklynBass » Thu May 11, 2017 8:28 am

Editing for context as village tuba beat me to it: it's all relative to the manufacturer's "middle" tuba line.

For example, the Miraphone Petrushka is considered 5/4, as are many other Fs such as the larger B&S style horns (not good with model numbers).

There are countless examples of "Monster" 5/4 Ebs

Someone correct me, but I think MW and a couple of others make a 6/4 F (doesn't Alan Baer play one?)

Again, parameters are all internally relative with a manufacturer's line. For example, the Rudy Mienl 3/4 CC stands up to, and it even bigger than, some other similar manufacturers' 4/4 CCs.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby tubapix » Thu May 11, 2017 9:50 am

Just for kicks, I am trying to size my horn. For an Eb it seems rather large. It is a 1938 King 1236 Symphony 4 piston (orig. recording bell) with a Monster bell (20" upright). It is a little taller than the modern 2341 @ 39"tall and just as wide. The top and bottom bows seem very similar to the 2341 also. Due to the weight of this horn I think you could make 2 modern horns! The sound is big but way more focused than my Yamaha YBB641.

For pictures please see this link.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=65007
1989 Yamaha YBB 641(4R)
1938 King 1236 Symphony Eb (4P) w/Monster Bell
1927 Buescher Eb Tuba
1940 Pan American 58C Eb Alto Horn
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby THE TUBA » Thu May 11, 2017 11:50 am

That big thing definitely qualifies as a 6/4 E-flat in my book.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby GC » Thu May 11, 2017 3:02 pm

My Conn Eb Monster looks like a good-sized BBb until you look at the valve set and inner wrap. There's a LOT of empty space there.

Image
Image

If it doesn't qualify as a 6/4 Eb, I don't know what would.
Last edited by GC on Mon May 15, 2017 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby Bill Troiano » Thu May 11, 2017 3:17 pm

Yes, there's no standard way of measuring size throughout the tuba manufacturing community. We have large bore tubas with small bells, and small bore tubas with large bells all in 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 tubas. I've come to realize that the girth of the bottom bow has much to do with the size and depth of sound. I like Joe's suggestion from one of the dozens of times this topic was brought up before. Fill 'em up with water and measure that way.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby pecktime » Thu May 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Fill them up with Water? An insult to my fine German tuba- Only the finest beer will do!

As for my Yamaha- only Saké will truly represent the internal volume.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby alfredr » Sat May 13, 2017 7:34 am

I have what may well be a 6/4 E flat tuba. It is a King three-top-valve horn with about a 20 inch bell, but only stands about 31 inches high, not as tall as the one tubapix talks about. Or does that make it a 5/4? Is it a Monster? I have some pictures on my computer, but don't know how to get them onto here.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby lost » Sat May 13, 2017 7:47 am

I've gone back and forth on this subject. Technically most 6/4's we call today were 5/4 for the manufacturer's lines of tubas. There was no in between a full size horn and a larger horn.

The 6/4 designations we use today probably help us to better compare across manufacturers' horn models.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby Steve Marcus » Sat May 13, 2017 1:04 pm

lost wrote:Technically most 6/4's we call today were 5/4 for the manufacturer's lines of tubas. There was no in between a full size horn and a larger horn.

The 6/4 designations we use today probably help us to better compare across manufacturers' horn models.


MW/Melton labels their Model 197 Kaiser tuba a "mere" 5/4 size. Other than the 6/4 Rudy Meinl, is there any other model currently under production that is bigger/taller than the so-called 5/4 Model 197 (not including custom-built/designed tubas)?
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby oedipoes » Sat May 13, 2017 3:37 pm

Steve Marcus wrote:
lost wrote:Technically most 6/4's we call today were 5/4 for the manufacturer's lines of tubas. There was no in between a full size horn and a larger horn.

The 6/4 designations we use today probably help us to better compare across manufacturers' horn models.


MW/Melton labels their Model 197 Kaiser tuba a "mere" 5/4 size. Other than the 6/4 Rudy Meinl, is there any other model currently under production that is bigger/taller than the so-called 5/4 Model 197 (not including custom-built/designed tubas)?


You can still order a Melton 200 Kaiser tuba... It's quite a bit bigger than the 197.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby DonShirer » Sat May 13, 2017 5:46 pm

Don't see why you couldn't apply the /4 appelations to Eb or F tubas as long as you scale the size properly. I started out on a 4-valve Yammy I suspect was of average size (4/4?), went to a MW2141 (a 5/4 equivalent) and am now lugging around a Wessex Bombino, which I would comfortably put into the 3/4 category.
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Re: Tuba Size

Postby THE TUBA » Sat May 13, 2017 8:37 pm

DonShirer wrote:Don't see why you couldn't apply the /4 appelations to Eb or F tubas as long as you scale the size properly. I started out on a 4-valve Yammy I suspect was of average size (4/4?), went to a MW2141 (a 5/4 equivalent) and am now lugging around a Wessex Bombino, which I would comfortably put into the 3/4 category.


Some manufacturers do include /4 designations for the bass tubas, but those classifications aren't always very exact. For Meinl Weston, they classify the MW 46, 2250, and the Kodiak both as 6/4, but I would designate those as 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 respectively. There just isn't a consensus right now for size designations for bass tubas. Might be a good project for an ITEA Journal article.
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