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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:45 pm

When I picked up a Contrabass trombone at TMEA, the first time I used an F tuba mouthpiece with a British shank. It's basically a slide F tuba, right?
WRONG

I didn't have a good contrabass experience until this year when I used a large bass trombone mouthpiece, and next year when I go back I hope to take an even more appropriate mouthpiece

I did play a cimbasso last year that played pretty good with my bloke solo, but I'm wondering if a very small tuba mouthpiece would be more appropriate because it's basically a valve contrabass trombone
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:25 pm

I don't necessarily assume that my own stuff will work best with any-instrument-in-particular, but I haven't found anything I like better than (as Mark suggested) my Solo cup - paired with the small-throat #0 back-bore...this: with the Jinbao Rudy knock-off.
fwiw, This winter, I'm building a new valve section (complete, leaving the original alone) for this instrument with a quality German-made .689 (vs. Jinbao-made .728" bore) 5-rotor valveset. I have no "expectations" to report. "Reporting expectations" is self-contradictory. I'll report RESULTS, though, once, I've built it.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Bob Kolada » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:47 pm

Cimbassos/i/whatever cover such a wide range that I'd be hesitant to suggest a specific range of mouthpieces. I do find slide F contras to play well with 30mm-ish mouthpieces; bass trombone mouthpieces are too small. I actually find contra mouthpieces to work better on bass than bass on contra.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:07 pm

I suspect that the really small bore versions – such as the one I pictured earlier – would work well with my Elliott contrabass trombone mouthpiece. However, the big Rudy and Rudy copy instruments probably work better with larger mouthpieces than that - At least, this is what I have observed.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Donn » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:59 pm

MaryAnn wrote:Fascinating what you say about learning to play it....what is different about it, that would make it more fussy, than, say, ...


... than any real instrument. Apparently you can't just be a great tuba player and automatically be even reasonably good at the cimbasso. No big surprise here. (I'm not worried though - since I'm not a great tuba player, there's room for some optimism.)

I see Dillon (for example) lists the Bach 30CB, which comes in (they imply) a trombone large shank. Don't know if that would fit in (for example) the Cerveny 652 mentioned above. Hm, I guess that would also make it an Eb tuba mouthpiece.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:14 pm

I played a pops concert with mine less than a week after unboxing it. I can play the tuba, but I'm not Roger Bobo. I would imagine that a crappy one is hard to play. Mine is not crappy. Only the valves and linkage are crappy...
... and yeah, I would like to find out what a .689" bore (vs. the supplied .728" bore) does for mezzo forte volume level response.… And nicer valves will be a delightful fringe benefit.

Verdi operas…?? …so how often is that going to happen?
The last time I used mine was in May. I played that Slide Hampton arrangement of "Round Midnight" (4 bones) on it...

... and sure, plug your venerable 24AW into one of these. They are amazing.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby royjohn » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:25 pm

OK, so I"m curious...what is a good cimbasso, or even an acceptable one?
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:00 am

The Jinbao copy of the Rudy Meinl sounds really good (arguably, a bit more trombone-like than the rare Rudy that's floating around out there. The intonation is very negotiable, with the only problem that amounts to anything being the typical "only five valves - 2-3-4 low A is flat" problem...but I hate the rotors and the linkage. Other people tell me that their rotors and linkage are fine...so maybe (??) I'm too picky, and am too crappy of a player to be able to be distracted by "stuff that isn't quite right" and still play well.

You've heard a Rudy cimbasso on TV; Stephen Wick used his on some of those James Bond soundtracks and main titles (my guess: recorded at Pinewood)...you remember: those way-larger-than-life low B naturals... :shock:

...and I'm sure we've all heard Tommy Johnson play his on quite a few TV/movie soundtracks, but I can't name any of those.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby royjohn » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:17 am

Hey bloke,
Thanks for all that cimbasso info...I'll try to hunt up those sound tracks.

Is there, in your vast experience, a fix for the Jin Bao crappy rotors and linkages that's fairly cheap and doesn't involve a complete valve-ectomy like you were talking about?
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:23 am

royjohn wrote:Hey bloke,
Thanks for all that cimbasso info...I'll try to hunt up those sound tracks.

Is there, in your vast experience, a fix for the Jin Bao crappy rotors and linkages that's fairly cheap and doesn't involve a complete valve-ectomy like you were talking about?
royjohn


After picking-over and picking-over and picking-over mine, what have I chosen to do?

btw...I'm not tearing the valves/linkage/paddles out of the valve section part. I'm leaving that assembly alone (may even sell it...??...I dunno yet). I'm just going to start over and build that half of the instrument again from scratch.

maybe this one...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSbj2Mx2By8
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby kmorgancraw » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:19 am

royjohn wrote:Hey bloke,
Thanks for all that cimbasso info...I'll try to hunt up those sound tracks.

Is there, in your vast experience, a fix for the Jin Bao crappy rotors and linkages that's fairly cheap and doesn't involve a complete valve-ectomy like you were talking about?
royjohn



Crappy JInbao rotors and linkages? What? That was so six months ago. All those issues have been sorted out now. Order with confidence. :tuba:
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby royjohn » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:32 am

kmorgancraw wrote:Crappy JInbao rotors and linkages? What? That was so six months ago. All those issues have been sorted out now. Order with confidence. :tuba:"


Order from whom? Laabs? Wessex? Anybody at all?
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby hup_d_dup » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:48 am

I generally don't see the point of posting things twice (if you weren't interested the first time, why would you be the second?)

But many of the questions you guys are asking each other are dealt with in GREAT DETAIL in this 20 MINUTE VIDEO by a PROFESSIONAL who has played MANY DIFFERENT CIMBASSOS in ACTUAL REAL WORLD GIGS.

( ¿ interested now ? )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEa4VqsXBug

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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:39 am

Mine's very playable, but it's also very physically distracting (i.e. under the fingers) to play.
The internet has become reality (TV?), and any video demonstration and uttered words have become the final word...particularly if someone is high-profile within a microcosm. Some, here, will even take my word is "truth", rather than going and finding out for themselves. Even others will argue and defend adamantly over that which they've never experienced.
There's a stupid video out there of me faking the Clarinet Polka on mine. I believe I may have even guessed at many of the right notes, but I've never looked at any published sheet music (or any other sheet music) to determine whether-or-not I actually did. There were many notes played, and the instrument moved (just - indeed, one...at least I...can hear the physical exertion in the sound of the instrument) quickly enough to play them, but playing it in that manner (ref: the rotors/linkage) is more work than fun...and sure, playing whole notes (or even the bass trombone part to Slide Hampton's "Round Midnight" trombone quartet) isn't much of a problem. It's just - mostly - (again) annoying (read: "heavy/sluggish/clicky"). I (though, perhaps I represent the minority...??) prefer "light/quick/quiet". I would just like to see if I can get mine to be "really good" ("to the touch", and not just "to the ear"), rather than just "really good for the money". I use mine often enough for this improvement-attempt venture (if successful) to worth it ~to me~.

More redundancy here, but (again, again - again) I'm also hoping that a .689" bore (straying from the Rudy Meinl .728" bore design) will assist in "mezzo forte" volume level playing on the thing, as the contraption does fff and pp great, but I find that I have to self-supply additional resistance to be able to exercise the needed amount of control over mf playing.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:38 am

I know what you are saying Joe, I've been a rotor guy my entire life, but the rotors on my Prague work, but they aren't effortless. They lack a feel and responsiveness that miraphone (and my older cerveny) tubas have. They feel more like the valves on a YBB-641, which isn't a compliment, but they do move

I'd love to find a whole 186 valve section to transplant into this horn, big fan of it otherwise
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby PaulMaybery » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:09 am

I was not going to join this thread but after a couple of days of reading all the opinions, I figured what the heck.

First off I'm not sure who presumptuously made the original comment of cimbassos being "such pieces of junk" My take is that such comments cast an unfair assessment on the cimbasso in general and to those who do not have first hand experience with it, it tends to begin grooming a predjudice against it. The same can be said of many of the tubas out there in the field.Yet I would find it unfair to criticise or devalue a players choice of tuba equipment.

For my take, learning to play a cimbasso in F after 40 some years on F tuba was not much different than say from going from a car with a floor mounted shift to one on the steering column or from a 2 to 4 barrel carb. (control and response were the main issues- and that was not that hard) Maybe I over simplify, but it was not that big of a deal. I've had mine now going on 4 years, use it every thing from Italian opera, last year La Boheme and the year before concert music from Aida. Then a ton of pops orchestra stuff, and I take it around to various churchs as a solo offering. Its useage is as wide as your imagination. It does have a unique sound, and when in the right places is something you want to hear over and over. Yes once you hear it in Italian opera you'll not want to hear the tuba on that part again. (Well maybe some might) As a novelty we have a cimbasso trio as part of the Great Western Rocky Mountain Brass Band each summer. Chuck Schulz, Steve Call and myself)

Regarding mouthpiece sensitivity, well that depends on the players chops. I have the Wessex JB and it is "cherry" It works with a Helleberg 2 down to various F solo MPS. Depends on the situation - volume and gravitas or more of a chamber sound. I do have a Contrabass Trombone MP which is pretty normal in rim diameter, a v cup and a relatively small throat. I found that I can get almost any tuba mouthpiece to work well in it, althought the large pieces like the PT88 are a bit on the clumbsy side. But the smaller throat IMHO is perhaps the most critical factor in helping the sound stay focused. I've mentioned this before in an earlier post, but I do not think there will be any confusion between the sound of the cimbasso or the tuba, even with a large tuba mp in the cimmy. Just like the tuba, there is not really a truly definitive sound.

Does every tuba player need or want a cimbasso? Certainly not. If you are in a serious concert/pit situaton they can be a plus factor. Every conductor for whom I've brought one to the gig, has always asked me to bring it again. I think others have encountered the same experience.

I know there are probably those who would like to defend their expertise on the cimbasso, and speak of all the ins and outs about it, but to be honest, I found that it was not rocket science. A good ear and good musical taste, and 80% of the chore is accomplished. The remainder is just getting used to the control and response.

And for Bort's amuesment, I invite him over some time and I'll serenade him with the Stars and Stripes piccolo part on the cimbasso.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:47 am

btw...

Is this thread more fun than the one where I pointed out that no such instruments as this existed when Verdi scribbled "*CIMBASSO" at the top of some bottom-voice brass parts? Image

"Nabucco" - written during 1841

tuba (first known 12-foot-bugle F instrument with machined valves, rather than keys with pads) - first patent 1935 (uh...800 miles - via today's highways - from where Verdi composed "Nabucco")

____________________________
*I very strongly suspect something like this: (invented 1817, patented 1821) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophicleide
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:52 am

58mark wrote:I know what you are saying Joe, I've been a rotor guy my entire life, but the rotors on my Prague work, but they aren't effortless. They lack a feel and responsiveness that miraphone (and my older cerveny) tubas have. They feel more like the valves on a YBB-641, which isn't a compliment, but they do move

I'd love to find a whole 186 valve section to transplant into this horn, big fan of it otherwise


I own a couple of n.f.s. 186 valvesets (and yes, they work as smooth as butter - agreed), but I really don't want to go in that direction (i.e. from 18.5mm UP to 19.5mm). I much prefer (along with the upgrading of the machine to European quality) going DOWN (from 18.5mm to 17.5mm).
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:58 am

of course, for your situation that would be idea;. But if you ever have the urge to sell a valve set to a friend, I'd be very tempted to do a transplant on my prague
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby quesonegro » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:14 pm

bort wrote:In modern use, outside of operas and movie soundtracks, they are kind of a gimmick, IMO. Give me a cimbasso playing the piccolo solo in Stars and Stripes, and I think my head will explode. :)


I beg to differ!

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