Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby apurdum » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:35 pm

I have an old (1930's or before) 3 valve Eb Tuba that I really like the sound of. It is in great shape with good valves. It plays reasonably in tune, the only alternate fingering that I use is 1 and 3 for second line Bb because open is sharp. I enjoy fooling around on the horn and occasionally using it when teaching lessons, but never really play it anywhere because of it's limited range (can't play anything below low A and above pedal Eb) the pedal range is great, but the false tones are not usable. It is labeled "Henri Gautier Virtuoso" and from my research was probably made by Bohland and Fuchs.

My questions for the Tubenet are:
1) Should I have a fourth valve added, or would I be better off to buy a new (or at least newer) 4 valve Eb?
2) If I were to get a 4th valve added, who should I go to for such work? Any idea of what I'm looking at for cost?

The tuba does have some sentimental value, but I don't think that it's enough to sway my decision. This would be my only Bass tuba, but would be a second tuba for soloing and maybe quintet work. I have a Miraphone 188 that I use for all my playing currently.
apurdum
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:43 pm
Location: Cortland, OH

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby bloke » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:41 pm

I wouldn't spend $XXXX to soup up an Eb tuba for which I had to use 1-3 to play open Bb.

blunt answer / truthful answer / what I would do / you asked :|

- There are cheap Chinese compensating Eb tubas ($2XXX or even a bit less) that play surprisingly well.
- There are $5XXX Chinese compensating Eb tubas that are world class.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37108
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby swillafew » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:14 am

If I had a Miraphone 188 I would keep playing it, and let the other horn be. :tuba:
MORE AIR
User avatar
swillafew
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:20 pm
Location: Aurora, IL

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby flamingo19518 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:07 pm

Dillon's has a 4valve Eb. Yamaha YEB 321. It' almost 3K. Just thought I would mention it. The adding a valve would probably be cheaper,
flamingo19518
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:14 pm

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby marccromme » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:33 pm

To fill the gab between A (123 or much better better 24 or 235) and pedal Eb you need two extra valves - 4th in Bb and 5th in flat whole step. Plus a 4th valve slide you can pull about 2 to 2.5 inch. That adds to the cost of adding valves.

But you can get a used compensated Eb 4 valve pretty easy.
Meinl-Weston 2141 Eb 5v FA tuba
Hirsbrunner Bb 3v compensated euph
Wessex Dolce Bb 3+1v compensated euph
Alto/tenor/bass trombones in various sizes/plugs
marccromme
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:42 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby opus37 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:42 am

apurdum wrote:I have an old (1930's or before) 3 valve Eb Tuba that I really like the sound of. It is in great shape with good valves. It plays reasonably in tune, the only alternate fingering that I use is 1 and 3 for second line Bb because open is sharp. I enjoy fooling around on the horn and occasionally using it when teaching lessons, but never really play it anywhere because of it's limited range (can't play anything below low A and above pedal Eb) the pedal range is great, but the false tones are not usable. It is labeled "Henri Gautier Virtuoso" and from my research was probably made by Bohland and Fuchs.

My questions for the Tubenet are:
1) Should I have a fourth valve added, or would I be better off to buy a new (or at least newer) 4 valve Eb?
2) If I were to get a 4th valve added, who should I go to for such work? Any idea of what I'm looking at for cost?

The tuba does have some sentimental value, but I don't think that it's enough to sway my decision. This would be my only Bass tuba, but would be a second tuba for soloing and maybe quintet work. I have a Miraphone 188 that I use for all my playing currently.


The real answer is "it depends". I face a similar question with an old York. If you add a 4th valve, you are taking a risk. Most of the time this works and you get a reasonable working horn. Sometimes it turns out wrong. A new horn is much more likely to be great. It is likely to be less expensive to purchase a new horn than have the work done to add the fourth valve if you buy a China made horn (and there are good ones out there). If you really love the old horn, are willing to take the risk of messing it up, can be without it for a year, don't care about the cost and can talk the repair person into it, then go for the repair.

As to who can do it. Contact Dan, "The Tuba Tinker" and see if you can talk him into doing it.
Brian
1893 Courtiere (J.W. Pepper Import) Helicon Eb
1906 York 640
1912 Martin Renowned Monster Eb
1932 Conn 28K Sousaphone
2010 Kanstul 66T
2016 Bubbie Mark 5
2017 Wessex BR140 Baritone
User avatar
opus37
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Woodbury, MN

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby Lee Stofer » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:22 am

Opus 37 gave you an excellent answer. I'd add, that it is almost always less expensive to buy an instrument in the configuration you want than to have a different instrument re-engineered, or re-built with different components. At one point I was considering buying a racing bicycle, looked at the price, then looked at purchasing the components and building it myself. A quick cost analysis showed me that the bike would have cost three times as much if I built it myself of the same components, so I just bought the bike and was satisfied.

Maybe I'm old-school, but I don't think that there is much in the way of solo or quintet work that couldn't be handily accomplished with a Miraphone 188.
Lee A. Stofer, Jr.
User avatar
Lee Stofer
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:50 am
Location: Eastern Iowa

Re: Add a Fourth valve or Buy a new Horn

Postby The Big Ben » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:51 am

Lee Stofer wrote:Opus 37 gave you an excellent answer. I'd add, that it is almost always less expensive to buy an instrument in the configuration you want than to have a different instrument re-engineered, or re-built with different components. At one point I was considering buying a racing bicycle, looked at the price, then looked at purchasing the components and building it myself. A quick cost analysis showed me that the bike would have cost three times as much if I built it myself of the same components, so I just bought the bike and was satisfied.


If an individual has the skills to do a major horn alteration and it would give personal satisfaction to complete the work, adding a valve yourself might be worth it. There is enough information out there that a person with metalwork skills could do it. If Lee had the burning desire to create his own bicycle frame, with the exception of a couple of cutting dies, he has all of the equipment and, based on his tuba work, all the skill he needs to make his own frame. Perhaps a consultation with an experienced frame builder would help as well as extensive research into bicycle design. If there isn't something really different about your body (short legs, long trunk or vice versa, arms longer in comparison to the average person), a production line bicycle will do the job as well as anything you might have custom built or could make yourself. Besides, buying something off the floor, getting on it and going for a ride is much quicker!
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 2748
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA


Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], binlove, Google [Bot], Lars Trawen, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 18 guests