What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tuba? Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tuba?

Postby bloke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:14 pm

TROLL/TRIGGER/MICROAGGRESSION WARNING !!!
===========================================

My Buescher 1920's tubas/helicon offer a "warm"/"round" type of sound without being 5/4 or 6/4.

I believe people (who consider or actually do sink money into very old tubas to add "modern" features to them - even though some very old makes/models of tubas offer dubious intonation characteristics) are attracted to the same type of sound that I'm attracted to with the old Buescher's (which, thankfully, offer very accessible intonation).

Probably, a few tubas built today accomplish the same thing...but - without a bathtub mouthpiece to muffle them - many not-5/4-nor-6/4 tubas built today seem to sport a somewhat "harsh" sound...

...so what's the "secret" ?

I see too many variables to be able to come anywhere close to pinpointing this.
Further, the characteristic I attempted to describe (above) is really not describable in works...and no, it is not "that old musty-and-sulfur smell".

COULD it (simply) be "less than 3/4 inch diameter bore sizes in their valvesets" ?
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37754
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby 58mark » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:17 pm

Not sure, but I think it's in the metal. My new frankentuba has a rich tone (some would describe it as warm) and its no larger bell and bow wise than my piggy or my Prague. The only thing I cam figure is the quality and thickness of the 90 year old brass
Mark
User avatar
58mark
Low Brass Teacher
Low Brass Teacher
 
Posts: 4145
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Mesquite, TX

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby GC » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:17 pm

Would another player whose sound differs a lot from yours describe the sound of that horn the same way? If so, then you're likely onto something.

I found that some of the late-1800's saxhorns got a very warm sound without really wide tubing and big bells. But I also felt the same way about the late lamented Yamaha 103.
1914 Conn Monster Eb (my avatar), ~1905 Fillmore Bros 1/4-size Eb; Denis Wick 3CC, 2CC; Bach 42B trombone; Ibanez SR-506 6-string bass, MarkBass 102P combo bass amp
User avatar
GC
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 6:52 am
Location: NW Georgia

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby Donn » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:19 pm

bloke wrote:COULD it (simply) be "less than 3/4 inch diameter bore sizes in their valvesets" ?


There are current production examples of such, right? Kanstul 90 is .689/.710/.734, but I assume the point is the first number.

Smaller bore is really saying two things, though.
1. Really smaller diameter, early in the bugle
2. Shorter leadpipe, hence smaller diameter where the valves are installed

If we neglect that 2nd point, are there any small bore rotary valve tubas?
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4642
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby bloke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:30 pm

It may (??) really not matter whether a whole bunch of cylindrical tubing added to the bugle of the instrument is 6" earlier or later in the instrument as much as it matters that that whole bunch of cylindrical tubing is 11/16" bore or 3/4" bore.

When people point out where in a tuba a valveset is located, they tend to present it as a static feature - where none of the valves in it are ever activated, and none of its cylindrical tubing is ever added to the instrument.
Last edited by bloke on Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37754
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby 58mark » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:37 pm

Marzan has a short leadpipe on the rotor tubas, right? But still a 750 bore.

Love to see a small small rotor tuba with a sub 700 bore. Maybe that's a future frankentuba project
Mark
User avatar
58mark
Low Brass Teacher
Low Brass Teacher
 
Posts: 4145
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Mesquite, TX

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby Donn » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:19 pm

bloke wrote:When people point out where in a tuba a valveset is located, they tend to present it as a static feature - where none of the valves in it are ever activated, and none of its cylindrical tubing is ever added to the instrument.


Does it matter? If there's a significant effect there, wouldn't a tuba - that Kanstul for example - sound significantly different on G with 1&3, instead of open?

The valve section is such an acoustic catastrophe, though ... maybe the way to think about it, is as multiple systems that fit together, for example
mouthpiece/receiver |> leadpipe/valves |> conical bugle |> bell flare.

In that picture, indeed it might not matter so much how long the leadpipe is - the "conical horn" acoustical properties come exclusively from the bugle after the valves, and your key factor there with the leadpipe+valves would just be the exit diameter of the valve section. (Which might suggest that adding a larger bore 4th or 5th valve would be significant to overall tone.)
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4642
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby groovlow » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:39 pm

Wow, after reading the title "secret to a 'warm' sound", I thought this thread would be about resonances achieved by a well trained tuba player who listens to the whole ensemble and room :|
User avatar
groovlow
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Nashville TN

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby lost » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:20 pm

groovlow wrote:Wow, after reading the title "secret to a 'warm' sound", I thought this thread would be about resonances achieved by a well trained tuba player who listens to the whole ensemble and room :|


+1000
User avatar
lost
moderator
moderator
 
Posts: 963
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:54 pm
Location: TubeNet Land

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby bloke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:21 pm

It could be...
Steer if off that way. I sincerely believe that's a more productive topic.

As to the former topic, I'm wondering if more "old school" (like "90-year-old") tubas were generally more conservative in how their bells flared out prior to the final "pancake" turn. Like many things tuba/acoustics/sonically-related, apparently, this stuff might (??) be counter-intuitive.
Last edited by bloke on Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37754
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby Stryk » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:15 pm

I have larger and smaller horns with larger and smaller bells, but my Alex is the "warmest" sounding of what I have. I think it is the metal. Perhaps because of the trees they bent it around.
Terry Stryker

6/4 Lyon & Healy C (1904)
5/4 Alexander Emperor BBb (1917)
4/4 Amati Kraslice C
3/4 Mirafone 184 C
1/2 Yamaha YBB 103
User avatar
Stryk
Retired Educator
Retired Educator
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:55 pm
Location: Panama City, Florida

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby Casca Grossa » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:40 am

It just could be that the older, unmodified instruments slot better and have more core.
Mack-a-clone 186 "Chairman Mao"
Blokepiece Imperial #2 Fair Dinkum Profundo Rim
Why have 3 valves when you can have 6 and a main tuning slide kicker???
Casca Grossa
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Reading, PA

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby tuben » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:01 am

bloke wrote:As to the former topic, I'm wondering if more "old school" (like "90-year-old") tubas were generally more conservative in how their bells flared out prior to the final "pancake" turn.


Stryk wrote:I have larger and smaller horns with larger and smaller bells, but my Alex is the "warmest" sounding of what I have. I think it is the metal. Perhaps because of the trees they bent it around.


A great DMA project for someone, (I have too far to go to even start), would be to create visual representations of the bugle shapes of various tubas of all sizes and makes. Perhaps when able to compare data visually, we might find surprising similarities in tubas.
User avatar
tuben
Professional tuba player / Volunteer Village Idiot
Professional tuba player / Volunteer Village Idiot
 
Posts: 3322
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:12 pm
Location: One never knows.

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby YORK-aholic » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:24 am

Just guessing, but perhaps it has to do with how the brass was worked (i.e. work hardening)...
Some old Yorks and Martins
User avatar
YORK-aholic
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Running Springs, CA

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby bloke » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:26 am

I tend to offer less credit to materials, and more to shapes.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37754
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby bort » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:07 am

My old Conn Geib had the warmest sound of any mouthpiece I have owned. About 100 years old, and also a small bore.

Great sound, but incompatible with my playing style and needs.

I do miss it, though, and would buy another one, given the chance.
Willson 3050-RZ
Thein RCC
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 8499
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby roweenie » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:22 pm

bloke wrote:I tend to offer less credit to materials, and more to shapes.


+1
Trying to take life one day at a time
User avatar
roweenie
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1140
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:17 am
Location: Anyplace but here

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:14 pm

Small-bore/short leadpipe rotary exist. Well minus the small bore, lots of stubby/short-model type designs have a shortish leadpipe. What about large bore/long leadpipe piston? Never seen a piston tuba with curving long leadpipe along the top bow as archetypical rotaries do. Now THAT would be a frankenhorn.
TheGoyWonder
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:11 am

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby Donn » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:18 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:What about large bore/long leadpipe piston?


Does tuning slide before the valves count?
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4642
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: What is the secret to a "warm" sound w/a normal-sized tu

Postby ken k » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:35 pm

I do not know the answer to your question Joe, but I will comment that my old Buescher (the Dr Suessaphone, which has the bell you sold me) also has a very "warm" or "soft" or "smooth" sound. I have used it this summer with the Reading Pops when we have played some outdoor concerts; the sound is like butter and blends with the basses incredibly well, but it has very little "edge" to the sound when I want to get a little "brassier" sound.

I have tried a few different mouthpieces. I ended up using an old Sellemansberger Solo 1 one piece. the first model you made. it is shallow and cup shaped and gives a little more definition to the front of the sound. (If that description makes any sense.) don't know why the horn has that sound however. I just figured maybe it was due to the old, leaky valves (although I do not know if they leak all that much to be honest).
kk
B&H Imperial Eb tuba
1919 Pan American BBb Helicon
1924 Buescher BBb tuba (Dr. Suessaphone)
1930's vintage Conn 36J BAT
1990 Honda GL1500 Goldwing
2001 Mazda Miata
User avatar
ken k
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 2202
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:02 am
Location: out standing in my field....

Next

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], ramanathantuba and 20 guests