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

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:19 am

Very cool. It would great with swappable bells. One bell forward, and then the upright
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby joh_tuba » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:24 am

https://youtu.be/mEa4VqsXBug?t=19m25s

If these horns are 'above average' in tune why would Olka play the C below the staff 1&3 plus trigger rather than use the fourth valve?
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Bob Kolada » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:11 am

That seems like a response or ergonomic thing.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby MaryAnn » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:35 am

Maybe he has his fourth valve tuned for other uses.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby barry grrr-ero » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:02 pm

If the bell is pointing up and you're playing in 12 ft. F, why not just buy a smallish but 'good' F tuba? It'll still have plenty of 'center' and 'core' to the sound.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Donn » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:38 pm

I sure don't know anything about why anyone would play a cimbasso, but even so it seems fairly likely that it's not because they want to sound like any kind of tuba, weird as that sentiment seems.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:46 pm

contrabass valve trombones (what they really are, and really not historical instruments)...

- Listen to Stephen Wick play his on James Bond movies' sound tracks. (Heck yeah: THAT's one of the reasons people like to play/hear them.)
- Imagine (in your mind's ear) what Renaissance music transcribed for three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or ten brass instruments would/will sound like with this type of instrument used in the bottom voice (more texturally consistent, and more of a "voice", rather than coming off as a "bass"), instead of a tuba.

Absolutely, the reason I have a valve contrabass trombone is because I play some music that - specifically - I do NOT want my instrument to sound like a tuba, and I have one with valves because I don't care to devote the time to mastering the slide+triggers (two valves, anyway...) techniques.

Verdi opera music...?? meh...whatever. :|
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby joh_tuba » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:16 pm

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to want a cimbasso. My concern is the merits and value proposition of the Jinbao product.

I've not played the Jinbao variant and have been around the block enough not give much weight to the opinions of others(positive or negative) no matter the accomplishments of the person providing the opinion nor how good others sound when playing.

Based on the evidence to date it's *probably* not an exceptional instrument or necessarily the cimbasso we should rush out to buy:

1) Tom McGrady won't list them on his website. He's built his brand on an ethic of only importing models that play at an objectively high standard and he's accomplished enough to know the difference. This should give all of us pause regarding this model.
2) Despite the positive review of the Dillon(Jinbao) by Chris Olka of the valves there is NO WAY they are machined to tolerances that are acceptable to long term use. I've pulled apart recent production Jinbao tubas and seen sharp jagged eges on the rotors(that always eventually start to drag and hang once they've seen some use) and jagged ends of tubes that looked like they were sawed by a drunk with a hacksaw. I'm certain it was gone over by Matt before it was shipped out and therefore felt great upon arrival but by nature of how they are built and the cheap linkage they will be problematic over time.
3) Bloke earlier in this thread announced his intention to toss the valve section entirely in part to try a smaller bore that he believes will suit him better. That's a taste thing and shouldn't be considered a knock against the overall design BUT his admitted secondary motive is to replace the valves and linkage with a German built system that doesn't suck. That's a testament to the fact that those valves, no matter the wizardry of a repair tech, can never be made to work the way good rotors should.
4) The cost of sourcing and installing GOOD quality rotors and linkage completely negates the low price. If this horn had great valves and build quality but otherwise played the same and was priced comparable to the Cerveny how different would the reviews be?
5) Chris Olka chose to play a low C which should universally be played fourth valve instead with 1&3 plus a slide pull. The fact that he reported the intonation to be 'above average for a cimbasso' but didn't expand on what that means and then used that fingering raises all sorts of questions for me that I would need to assess for myself before buying. I've seen enough Jinbaos with incorrect slide lengths for me to at least wonder if his arrived with too long a fourth valve to play the low C in tune OR he chose to tune the forth valve in a way that compensates for other tuning problems. Alternatively, there's a response issue on the low C that is easier to navigate 1&3, if so, I would be less inclined to think poorly of the horn.. I'm willing to overcome that issue but not weird intonation. The scarier interpretation is that all cimbassos need a creative fingering strategy to be played in tune. The fact that the $18k Latsch cimbassos come with two tuning slide kickers suggests that maybe is the case. IF So... then someone needs to work out how to build one that actually works in tune and they could make a killing.

Those are my musing anyhow... worth what you paid for them.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby PMeuph » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:30 pm

joh_tuba wrote:1) Tom McGrady won't list them on his website. He's built his brand on an ethic of only importing models that play at an objectively high standard and he's accomplished enough to know the difference. This should give all of us pause regarding this model.
...



Wow, I think we have a winner for the biggest strawman argument in this thread!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby joh_tuba » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:49 pm

Well..

A guy that could make money selling a thing has chosen not to sell that thing.

It's not so much an argument as it is a 'data point' that I personally find valuable when placed in the context of the other data points listed above and my personal experience with other Jinbao products from other vendors that Mack refuses to import.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:05 pm

joh_tuba wrote:There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to want a cimbasso. My concern is the merits and value proposition of the Jinbao product.


just fwiw: "contrabass valve trombone". (These are ~not~ historical instruments...but I'm willing to call it a "cimbasso", as everyone else does.)

I have a Jinbao, have had it for quite a while, but won't have it for much longer.
It actually sounds a bit better than the Rudy it copies...more "trombone" / less "mellow". That having been said, Stephen Wick made his Rudy sound damn-good on several James Bond movie soundtracks (main titles, etc...)
I think it would be worthwhile to buy a Jinbao bell section (which bolts right up to the Rudy with no alteration required) and use it with a Rudy (for lack of a better word) "frame".
The Jinbao benefits from the on-board #1 slide trigger...Bb's...A's...other minor issues.
The overall pitch offered by the Jinbao is very good...better than that offered by some very pricey and highly-touted-here tubas.
I'm made no secret about finding Jb rotors/linkage to be annoying, as well as the overall (seemingly, to me) "hasty" construction of machine/moving parts...but hell, it's priced like a somewhat-expensive toy, so how can anyone (really) bitch? :|
To me (as with many Rudy instruments) the Jb "cimbasso" bore is just too big, but so are (in my opinion) the bore sizes of some others.
The Jb certainly offers easier-to-deal-with intonation than the Italian piston ones.
In about three days, my Jb will be on its way to a respected west coast pro, as I just sold it to them.
I just finished building a (in my view) clearly superior contrabass valve trombone (see repair thread...and scroll to the end of my thread for the it's-virtually-finished-except-for-a-second-floor-peg-and-some-buffing-and-lacquering pictures.
Is the one that I just built (finished up two hours ago - except for floor peg #2 and buffing/lacquering) for sale?
Hell no. It's a walk-in-the-park to play, doesn't need a #1 slide trigger, and features magnificent rotors and linkage...duh: I built it...and - even were I to sell it for $18,000 (as others that supposedly play this well cost), I would no longer have my $18,000 instrument, would I ?
btw...I used a Jb bell section on mine (no other Jb parts) because I LOVE the sound the Jb bell section produces and (well...) there are no moving parts in the bell section. I do have another bell section that I could have used (and not, it's not some "marching baritone thing")...I like the Jb one better...It's really excellent.

Are there more questions?

Here's the not-for-sale one that is finished enough to use on this weekend's oldies rock-and-roll pops concert. There are some hard licks in that book. I really should go practice...seriously.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby royjohn » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:19 pm

joh_tuba wrote:
A guy that could make money selling a thing has chosen not to sell that thing.

It's not so much an argument as it is a 'data point' that I personally find valuable when placed in the context of the other data points listed above and my personal experience with other Jinbao products from other vendors that Mack refuses to import.


This isn't quite correct. I wrote Tom about the cost to import a Cimbasso for me at the beginning of this thread and he replied that he had ordered them for "a few friends" but didn't plan to carry it as a regular inventory item. There wasn't anything in his email cautioning me against buying one and I doubt a guy like Tom would buy them for "a few friends" if he felt they were terrible, at least not without mentioning same to me.

Wessex, as you probably know, carries the cimbasso in F and Eb and here is what they say on their website:

"The Eb cimbasso is based on a German design, but has improvements, including extra bracing, to make it stronger in use. This cimbasso plays superbly well, being easy blowing, with a characteristic tone and good tuning. It works well in providing tonal variation in a recital and played softly without attack therefore making it a good substitute for a muted tuba (with much better tone). It is also incredible fun to play. The feedback from professionals is that this Eb cimbasso is of high quality and plays just as well as the most expensive cimbasso available."

I know this is advertising, but Jonathan is well respected here by many, so I wonder if he'd be selling something very problematical. Maybe he'll chime in...

I don't really have a dog in this fight, as I don't have the money for any cimbasso right now, and precious little use for one, as a rank amature. Just pointing out what these two folks said and noting that when bloke reviewed his, he cautioned that he was pretty picky about valves. I owned a Chinese BBb tuba and it played fine, but I'd agree that the valves weren't as smooth as they could have been, but I never felt that they were going to self-destruct at some point, nor have I heard about such happening. So I think it's down to different strokes for different folks. :D :D :D
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:48 pm

...so "Because a Jinbao importer chooses to keep their offerings concise - as their business model, that indicates that the legion offerings they choose to ~not~ import are 'crap' "...??

Someone can help remind me of the logical fallacy it is with which this statement aligns itself.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby PMeuph » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:39 am

joh_tuba wrote:
A guy that could make money selling a thing has chosen not to sell that thing.



"Make money"... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Were taking about a cimbasso, not sousaphones... How many have been sold? Is there even one in every state?
Last edited by PMeuph on Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:38 pm

redundant, but...

I'm playing non-stop cimbasso at a 6 P.M. rehearsal tonight, a dress rehearsal tomorrow morning (pops, so only two rehearsals), and a show tomorrow night...a two-hour oldies rock and roll concert.
The book says "tuba", but contrabass trombone sounds infinitely better on ~everything~ in this book, and I'm 100.236% sure that Peter Shannon will agree...ie. [with the best Irish accent that your mind's ear can render] "Hey Joe, Did you bring the big trombone...??"

The next use is in two weeks or so, when the Ole Miss brass quintet is playing an (epic) recital, with the "warm-up" set being that Renaissance collection/arrangements of Giles Farnaby tunes labeled by the arranger as "Fancies, Toyes, and Dreames". I'll play that set on contrabass trombone. I'll probably also use it a little bit next weekend, as the brass quintet within the IRIS Orchestra is doing two school concerts prior to the first rehearsal on Thursday night. If any Renaissance pieces in those sets, I'll bring the contrabass trombone...and hey, it will be a fantastic school concerts sight-gag.

I couldn't possibly care less about the other 50, 100, 200, or 2,000,000 contrabass trombones that dwell within the USA, or the market for them, or what others think of them. (Hey: I don't sell them.) *Mine gets used.

bloke " *which is why I just built myself a much better one than the one I had."
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby pjv » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:00 pm

I always thought people said "cimbasso" because "contrabass valved trombone" is way too long a word.
CVT anyone?
And now that we're on the subject; whatever happened to "tuba on a stick"? Cause in all honesty, that's how I use it. I'm not playing it to be or substitute a contra-bone. I play it for the difference in sound. So, yeah, I'm actually kind of happy that it sounds like a tuba.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:07 pm

contrabass trombone
tuba on a stick

yep...shorter, but still five syllables... :lol:

Why not call them "blattophones" ?

tuba on a stick
blattophone

yep...shorter, and only three syllables. :idea:
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby roweenie » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:23 pm

bloke wrote:Are there more questions?


Yes, I've got one.

Where does one go "to buy a Jinbao bell section"?

(Not sarcastic, actually curious.... :wink: )
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Donn » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:33 pm

I thought "tuba on a stick" referred to bass trombones that trended towards larger dimensions, particularly fatter and longer bells, to some sacrifice of distinctive bass trombone sound.

I wouldn't expect to see it here, where it's about the cimbasso as a substitute for contrabass trombone for tuba players who aren't up to slide trombone. Even if there is such a thing as a distinctive, authentic contrabass trombone sound, which I wouldn't know but I suspect not.
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Re: OK, if cimbassos are suppose to be such pieces of junk,

Postby Paul Maybery » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:05 am

In Defense of the cimbasso: Lots of opinions from those who have not played one or simple anecdotal tales. I'm sort of a retired pro now in my 70s. 4 years ago I picked up one for a number of reasons. I have places to play it and also make or find places by being creative in where I use it. It happens to be a JinBao from Wessex. SImply put is is a first class instrument very finely crafted and really without any quirks or foibles. IMHO it rivals or exceeds most european cimmy's and is a pleasure to schelpp to a gig. Perhaps because at one time I had a small shop, I have a few drawers of tools to keep it in tip top shape. The valves are fast and disturbingly smooth and quiet, but I do keep things very well adjusted and lubed. It really required no major tweaking after purchase.
To those who have never played one or experienced being in a section with one, I appreciate your curiousity, but tire from speculation based on hearsay. They are a magnificent instrument and lend themselves to countless venues where they can add to a concert. Unfortunately few know much about them and many seem to delight in taking pot shots at the instrument. Incidentally those made by Jin Bao and wearing a number of stencils, and whether Dillon, Mack or Wessex all happen to be quite good and come in under 4K. I don't think that would necessarily break the bank. If you leave it in the case and only take a dried out instrument to a gig without living with it regularly, its really not a fair assessment. The same argument was made for the Eb Clarinet a few generations back.Learning to play one simply is an exercise in letting the instrument tell you what it needs. It ain't that hard to figure things out but it is not a tuba (nor will it ever sound like one) but when you find the sweet spot in its pallette of tone color; you wind up with a very special and unique voice in the orchestra or for that matter whatever ensemble you use it. I had lunch with an old timer who tought it a hideous instrument until a new instrument was put in his hands. So there are prejudiced opinions out there that simply need to be regarded as such.
I'm thinking the title of this thread is rather pejorative and takes off on rather negative footing and smacks of trolling. But here your just got my reaction so I guess you snagged and old grouper.
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