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HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby KiltieTuba » Sat May 13, 2017 2:15 am

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After missing out on a couple of these over the years, I finally bought one and boy is it a good tuba!

Here's the gist of it:
.748" bore
22-inch bell
Silver plated

When I bought it from BBC, I had essentially bought it sight-unseen and sort of knew what it was about. While the valves did work they didn't really work too well. The second valve, in particular, had a pretty bad kink in the rotor stem. Combine this with the questionable feel of the other valves - except for the third valve - made me a little concerned about what I had just bought.

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I took it over to Agave Music in Phoenix, AZ and Chris Moller fixed the valve action and got everything working right. Then we discussed the tuning...

As this was built for a bassist to switch between in a pit orchestra, it likely was built at a higher pitch than the modern pitch that would have been in place by the 30s. In talking with Jc and reading Dan's website on his, we (Chris and I) decided to just lengthen the main tuning slide. In the meantime, while waiting for parts and a conference to finish up, I started using a Jupiter bit at the receiver. This helped drop the pitch, but I still needed to pull the main tuning slide out further than I really wanted.

While playing in a local community band (Desert Overture) I had been propping the instrument up either with my legs, with ankles crossed, and then a small trash can with a cloth over top. The bit helped maneuver the mouthpiece where I needed it, but the "stand" was still way too high. In researching tuba stands, there aren't many options of something as odd as this tuba. There are Wenger stands, but they are far too cumbersome for travel and then there are normal tuba stands which all seem to be too tall... except for the K&M Student tuba stand.

Sure, it's short, but it definitely wasn't designed for an instrument this size/weight. It will work for now, but I need to find a better solution. Ideally, I'd like to get something made like what was originally provided with tuba - like the Wenger, but collapsible.

Around the same time I started using the tuba stand, I discovered that the bits really help with adjust-ability (duh). I talked with Chris and he agreed that it would work just as well. I had some parts already, just needed a couple of King bits to keep things "natural".

Our Tuba Tinker, Dan, hooked me up with some bell screws and King flanges as the existing bell screw flange thread pitch doesn't seem to match up with anything that Allied has for bell screws. Thanks Dan!

Anyway, I think this might be the best playing tuba I've owned. It has all the sound of my Jumbo sousaphone (OK, nearly all the sound), yet plays really easily without the massive valve stroke of the Jumbo. All it really needs - beyond some dent work and maybe a third valve trigger - is an upright bell as it could be better accepted in other groups.

If you follow me on YouTube, I've been posting short videos of band rehearsals. I'll have more photos later on of me playing it (maybe). Just like the Jumbo, it certainly has that attention-grabbing shindig, but more so as most people really have no idea what they're looking at - they simply love how it sounds!
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby 58mark » Sat May 13, 2017 9:09 am

I had a chance to play one about 25 years ago. Fun, weird tubas that always attract a lot of attention and comments

Congratulations on the purchase, going to go watch your videos now
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby YORK-aholic » Sat May 13, 2017 9:31 am

Pretty slick!
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby Donn » Sat May 13, 2017 10:13 am

I've seen pictures of this model before, but until this one with you holding it, I had grossly underestimated its size.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby edsel585960 » Sat May 13, 2017 11:50 am

Cool horn. Bigger than I thought it would be.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby Steve Marcus » Sat May 13, 2017 12:53 pm

Ian, I played one of these pit tubas (perhaps larger/taller than yours?) for approximately 10 minutes in the home of our friendly tuba collector in Texas. I was comfortable holding it, like you, by placing the bottom bow on the top of my shoes. The horn was much lighter than I expected, but I imagine that playing for longer than 10 minutes in that position can become fatiguing.

I hope that you find an affordable, effective solution for your pit tuba stand search.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby KiltieTuba » Sat May 13, 2017 4:21 pm

Donn wrote:I've seen pictures of this model before, but until this one with you holding it, I had grossly underestimated its size.


I'm 6'4" and I think it's the same height as my Jumbo standing upright.

Steve Marcus wrote:Ian, I played one of these pit tubas (perhaps larger/taller than yours?) for approximately 10 minutes in the home of our friendly tuba collector in Texas. I was comfortable holding it, like you, by placing the bottom bow on the top of my shoes. The horn was much lighter than I expected, but I imagine that playing for longer than 10 minutes in that position can become fatiguing.

I hope that you find an affordable, effective solution for your pit tuba stand search.


This did, in a roundabout way, come from Mike. Not sure if it's the same one, could have been.

The only taller instrument would be one of the Tartophones.

You might be able to get by with just resting it on your feet, we're a little different in size. I had to support it with my calves to bring the mouthpiece to the right height.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby Dan Schultz » Sat May 13, 2017 8:45 pm

Fun horns. Mine was the more common .688" bore. I lugged it to Windjammers in Gettysburgh a few years back along with a Wenger stand I customized for it. The Wenger works well if you extend the bottom arm a foot or so. I just got tired of packing it around and sold it a while back. It's been sold twice since I owned it and I think it's probably living in a collection near Orlando now.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby oedipoes » Sun May 14, 2017 8:18 am

Probably a stick like those used on bass clarinets would work for supporting your instrument at the correct height, should be a bit stronger off course... It would require soldering the stick holder to the tuba.
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby ken k » Sun May 14, 2017 8:30 am

I mounted a Stewart Stand onto two of my tubas. It gives you the adjustability to change the height for any sitting or standing situation.

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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby The Big Ben » Sun May 14, 2017 12:47 pm

ken k wrote:I mounted a Stewart Stand onto two of my tubas. It gives you the adjustability to change the height for any sitting or standing situation.


+1
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Re: HN White KING "Pit Tuba"

Postby Heavy_Metal » Sun May 14, 2017 9:29 pm

So you're the lucky guy who bought it from BBC- congratulations!
Frank

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