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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:42 pm

there is a guy in Dallas making carbon fiber trombones. Maybe sousas are next
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Donn » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:28 pm

bloke wrote:I feel certain that the 4th partial would respond much better, were these instruments fabricated of carbon-fiber, rather than fiberglass.

:lol:
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby David Richoux » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:13 pm

iiipopes wrote:The real reason: they aren't fiberglass anymore. The bells are plastic or resin. Truth in advertising.


Plain "plastic" is usually too fragile for instrument use - there is usually some sort of stranded patterned or random glass fiber reinforcement in the material to give some strength. "Fiberglass" is just a trade name for glass fiber reinforced thermosetting resin plastic.

I think the next logical step will be molded carbon fiber reinforced plastic - much stronger by weight than fiberglass, so the wall thickness can be much thinner. Once the makers get a handle on how to mass produce it, and the price comes down a bit it will be more common.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:15 pm

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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby bloke » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:55 pm

old school (I dunno about "new school"...)

- Conn 36K, 22K, and King blah-blah-blah-blah-# sousaphones were made of fiberglass (yeah...fibers).

- The bell FLAIRS of the 36K and King are made of something very similar to PVC, as PVC glue is the ONLY glue I've found that repairs them when they crack or when a chunk breaks off.

- The bell FLAIRS of the older 22K fiberglass sousaphones were actually FIBERGLASS...but (I suspect) later were also made of the PVC-like material.

These instruments were genuinely LIGHTWEIGHT.

NEW SCHOOL (bloke's guesses)
JUPITER "white" sousaphones, do not seem (??) to be made of fiberglass. When they break, I see no fibers, and they break apart in chunks (again: no fibers seen by me). Further Jupiter "white" sousaphones are NOT lightweight...at least not to me. To me Jupiter "white" sousaphones are heavy.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Radar » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:04 pm

Will Jones wrote:I don't think high school band directors always realize the physical harm they are causing students when they make them carry the heaviest equipment on one shoulder day in and day out. And those kids certainly don't realize that the difference in sound is nominal and will macho it out for the sake of the group.

I'm not talking about risk of harm. I think the harm is inevitable, it just happens at different times for different folks.


I agree with this, when I was in H.S. and started to play in a DCI corp (way back in the 1970's) my stepfather had the forethought when they wanted to switch me to Contra (I was a fairly tall and healthy kid) said no, leave him on Baritone. I was a little disappointed at the time, there was an allure to playing the Contra, but some of the contra players I know from those days are having lots of severe back issues.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Uncle Markie » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:36 am

Back when I was visiting King in the 1970s it was explained that manufacturing a fiberglass sousaphone wasn't any cheaper to do than manufacturing a brass sousaphone. The band directors wanted them, were tired of the annual damage costs associated with the brass sousaphones, etc. so both Conn and King made them - along with other manufacturers. Plus when these horns were introduced many schools (and that's the market) could only afford sousaphones for the football band - mine was one of them - and there many requests to come up with something that weighed less. Fiberglass dropped the weight from 26-30 pounds to 18 pounds which opened up the possibility of more kids being able to carry the things. Band directors were also responsible for the discontinuance of double-draw tubing on the first valve on Kings - so that more bracing could be soldered on for the "sousaphone bow", along with rivets on the bell collar. Oh those band directors!
Now the band directors have decided they would actually like to HEAR the sousaphones, and with the advent of quick magnetic dent repairs they want only brass sousaphones.
The orders for the fiberglass horns dropped off and that's why they're gone from the catalog.
I still keep a fiberglass "Bach" - a "stenciled" King - sousaphone around for jobs where a good horn is likely to get damaged, or when I will have to "stroll". I've cut out marching in parades at this point for some time now. It sounds kinda like a King sousaphone - sans the intonation and projection of course. Aesthetically it weighs 18 pounds. I use the same repair materials on it I use to patch dings in my Boston Whaler.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby bbocaner » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:10 pm

when I was in high school and was subject to the forced labor of participating in marching band, nobody wanted to be seen with sousaphones. It was very unfashionable. All the band directors wanted drum corps style contras.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby TUbajohn20J » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:53 pm

bbocaner wrote:when I was in high school and was subject to the forced labor of participating in marching band, nobody wanted to be seen with sousaphones. It was very unfashionable. All the band directors wanted drum corps style contras.


How long ago was that? It differs in various parts of the country. I guess each school district would be different..you have your DCI style band directors and you have your traditional ones. Every school I went to in my school district, we always had sousaphones. Started with Conn 22K's and 36K's in middle school, and then had silver kings in high school. One of our rival schools marched with King convertible tubas over the shoulder.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby bbocaner » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:54 am

early 1990s
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:02 am

There is no type of full-sized tuba that has the potential to put out more volume of sound than a well-designed/well-built 4/4-size sousaphone.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby bbocaner » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:01 pm

I don't disagree with that. I think it was all about *looking* like drum corps.
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Re: no fiberglass sousaphones in marching bands anymore

Postby Three Valves » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:16 am

bbocaner wrote:I don't disagree with that. I think it was all about *looking* like drum corps.


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