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Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:28 pm

Ok, my latest idea is to switch back to a Miraphone tuba. I have previously owned a 1291 and a 188, and liked both very much. Loved the playability of the 1291 and the sound and ergonomics of the 188. Have spent some serious time on the Bruckner and like a lot about it, but ergonomics are less good than the 188.

I know all three models have been discussed here almost literally ad nauseum... And I know all three models very well. But curious if anyone has any new experiences to share.

Anything new? :tuba:
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:43 pm

Side note: I wish Miraphone would make a larger rotary CC tuba than any of these. A "bigger" 188 would be ideal... The 190 does exist, but for me, has never really seemed like a very good option at all.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:39 pm

bort wrote:Side note: I wish Miraphone would make a larger rotary CC tuba than any of these. A "bigger" 188 would be ideal... The 190 does exist, but for me, has never really seemed like a very good option at all.


Get a Siegfried and be done with it. There is no better large rotary tuba.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:05 pm

Maybe the CC version... :P
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:58 pm

bort wrote:Maybe the CC version... :P


They will never let you play it in the Berlin Philharmonic, though...at least not until I talk to my buddy from Texas, Dave Cooper, in your behalf.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby cjk » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:03 pm

There's a 291 CC. The Bruckner or something.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:40 pm

Yes, the 291 is the Bruckner. I like it a lot, just not as comfortable as the 188.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:43 pm

bort wrote:Yes, the 291 is the Bruckner. I like it a lot, just not as comfortable as the 188.


tuning?
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby Mark Horne » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:01 pm

We've discussed it before, but the larger Miraphone you seek exists - it's just made by Alexander. I've played all the models you've listed and I have owned all but the 188. The modern generation of the Alex 163 beats all those other horns in terms of sound quality and depth in my opinion, and its intonation is quite comparable, with the Alex perhaps being just a bit flatter on the D in the staff.

I always felt that the 188 was a little too resistant in the range below low G, and I was never pleased with the sound I got from the Bruckner. When I bought my Alex some six years ago I believed that the build quality was noticeably better than the Miraphones (which were uniformly excellent); to this day the Alex could pass for new.

I remember being very impressed with the Miraphone 1293, except that I had a bit of a hard time with the stiff piston springs. It was not until some time later that I learned that Yamaha euphonium springs would work well - that was something that I used on my 1291 which significantly improved the ergonomics.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:10 pm

Mark, yes, the Alex 163 is really high up on my list. Unfortunately, I'm only interested in the newer 163's, and very few used versions are out there... and even then, they cost significantly more than my max budget of $8,000. If I could find a newer 163 CC for under $8k, then that would be an easy decision for me. But if that won't happen... then it's time to choose a Miraphone.

Joe -- I think the ergonomics of the Bruckner aren't as good as the 188. The super compact wrap of the 188 makes the tuba bottom heavy and very easy to hold, and also allows maximum slide reachability (as if it needed it). Intonation seems better on the 188 than either other tuba, although for me, none of them are particularly problematic.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby cktuba » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:21 am

I know in the past that you've said that you had no interest in Yamaha tubas... However, back in the days of old TubeNet, I seem to remember people speaking very positively of the YCB 861 as being very similar to the 163 with good intonation. From time to time you see used 861s show up for sale at prices below that of the newer Alexanders.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:11 am

cktuba wrote:I know in the past that you've said that you had no interest in Yamaha tubas... However, back in the days of old TubeNet, I seem to remember people speaking very positively of the YCB 861 as being very similar to the 163 with good intonation. From time to time you see used 861s show up for sale at prices below that of the newer Alexanders.


Forgot about those! Don't seem them very often, but would be interested to try one. Thanks for the reminder.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby Dan Bradley » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:44 pm

These instruments are all fairly different, from my experience. I found the 188 to be lighter and more ergonomic than the Bruckner. The Bruckner seemed a bit heavy and cumbersome. The 1291 is more similar to many of the newer-style piston CC's- great projection, intonation, sound, but a distinctly different sound from the rotary miraphones. I don't think that you can wrong with any of them, but I like the 188 the most. I love miraphone! Though I don't really like the new 5th-valve lever. Good luck!

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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby cjk » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:32 pm

bloke wrote:
bort wrote:Yes, the 291 is the Bruckner. I like it a lot, just not as comfortable as the 188.


tuning?


pretty good IIRC.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby rudysan » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:17 pm

A Rudolf Meinl 5/4 !
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby barry grrr-ero » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:04 am

. . . for 8K? . . seems unlikely.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel that the CC version (291 Bruckner) doesn't hold a candle to the original BBb 191.

If money were no object, I'd be all about the "Siegfried".
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby pauvog1 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:01 am

bloke wrote:
bort wrote:Side note: I wish Miraphone would make a larger rotary CC tuba than any of these. A "bigger" 188 would be ideal... The 190 does exist, but for me, has never really seemed like a very good option at all.


Get a Siegfried and be done with it. There is no better large rotary tuba.


Honestly, except for the BBb / CC thing, the Siegfried and the Fafner would probably be right up that alley.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby joh_tuba » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:33 pm

bort wrote:Side note: I wish Miraphone would make a larger rotary CC tuba than any of these. A "bigger" 188 would be ideal... The 190 does exist, but for me, has never really seemed like a very good option at all.


The 190 is notably more in tune than your typical 6/4 CC and plays pretty easy. I've heard spectacular things performed on one by an accomplished dedicated player. What's holding you back from loving them?
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby bort » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:19 pm

I tried a new 190 at Dillon music a few years back, and it was a big tuba in all the wrong ways. Took lots of air, hard to play it well, and intonation wasn't easy. Maybe it was just the kind of tuba you have to spend some time with to figure out... But in that sense, it was very un-Miraphone-like. Perhaps it was just a bad example of the model... But to me, it just was not something that I could take seriously to consider. It did look cool, and on paper, does seem like something I would like. My experience with it though was negative, especially compared to the excellent Bruckner and 188 models that I tried.

Would love to be proved wrong, though, and find out that the new 190 really is a good Instrument.

I would also like to hear a 190 in action, besides Tommy Johnson -- he clearly could have made any tuba sound spectacular.
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Re: Miraphone 188, 1291/2, and Bruckner

Postby Billy M. » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:05 am

Mark Horne wrote:When I bought my Alex some six years ago I believed that the build quality was noticeably better than the Miraphones (which were uniformly excellent); to this day the Alex could pass for new.

I remember being very impressed with the Miraphone 1293, except that I had a bit of a hard time with the stiff piston springs. It was not until some time later that I learned that Yamaha euphonium springs would work well - that was something that I used on my 1291 which significantly improved the ergonomics.


1. That's the difference between boutique horns and mass production with excellent quality control. Miraphone makes very well constructed horns, but they are working to produce more horns than Alexander does. Nothing wrong with it, but ordering something like an Alex or Rudy Meinl, there's something distinctly different since a master craftsman is dedicating time to the horn from start to finish. I still think the world of my 1291 though (nudge at bort).

2. I tried the Yamaha euph springs on my 1291 and found that the return on them, even in vertical position was too slow for my tastes. The Yamaha tuba springs work well, though.
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