Old Conn partials Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:41 am

As far as the 20J-25J tubas are concerned, I don't view them as "faulty", but that - simply - their textbook-fingerings F and E are very consistently considerably flatter than is useful in music.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37880
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby Donn » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:35 am

royjohn wrote:I believe it was Lee Stofer who stated that if the Conn 20J is set up without leaks in the tubing, dents in the leadpipe and around the valve slides, and with good valve alignment (which is tricky with these short throw valves), it just doesn't have a flat fifth partial (the F).


bloke wrote:As far as the 20J-25J tubas are concerned, I don't view them as "faulty", but that - simply - their textbook-fingerings F and E are very consistently considerably flatter than is useful in music.


If you and Lee Stofer, and one of his good playing condition 20Js happened to be in the same room, it would be great if you could give it a toot and report back on the flat F.
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4765
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:54 am

no politics :lol:

...and yeah...
I've played other old Conn tubas where someone
- removed the before-the-mouthpipe tuning slide, and
- added an after-the-mouthpipe tuning slide.

...same-ol'-same-ol', except for the time, effort, and money.

bloke "If you want a tuba that looks like a 20J but plays in-tune, buy an old Martin."
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37880
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby Lee Stofer » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:21 am

The reason that intonation is so unpredictable on so many tubas is that there are so many solder joints that can leak. Many tubas have varying degrees of leaking solder joints throughout, and even if they sound pleasant-enough tone-wise, they will tend to have appalling intonation. Add to this the fact that solder joints tend to decay after 100 years or so, and that in 1920 the music world was just getting around to standardizing the pitch standard to A=440, and now there is an even greater likliehood of 100-year-old tubas playing out of tune.

There is no shortcut to having a very fine instrument that does everything well. I had thought at one time that virtually all older horns played poorly because of design elements, but that thought was blown out of the water when I disassembled, repaired and reassembled an 1859 Eb bass saxhorn for a Civil War Reenactment Band. Once reassembled, clean and play-tested, I realized that this instrument had a sound that would be welcome in any modern ensemble, really warm and resonant, and with surprisingly good intonation. If a given tuba does not have a good, resonant sound, does not play in-tune (or both), then faulty solder joints (leaks) and dents are my prime suspects, as well as long 1st/3rd slides, etc.

A 1921 Conn standard BBb could play as well as anything else out there, but after a $7,500.00 complete restoration, it would no longer be a cheap deal tuba.
Lee A. Stofer, Jr.
User avatar
Lee Stofer
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 828
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:50 am
Location: Eastern Iowa

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby Donn » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:00 am

Lee Stofer wrote:If a given tuba does not have a good, resonant sound, does not play in-tune (or both), then faulty solder joints (leaks) and dents are my prime suspects, as well as long 1st/3rd slides, etc.


That's interesting - long slides? We're giving people credit for the ability to design and realize a conical bore bass a century and a half ago, and it has always made sense to me that, at least once you get to the mass manufacture stage, it should be rare that a bad instrument design goes into production. But then, how could they possibly get the slide lengths wrong? Yet I hear this about even relatively modern tubas, like '60s.

I'm assuming everyone tunes 3 flat, for use only in combination.
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4765
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby TheGoyWonder » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:02 pm

By the time you've got a small enough mouthpiece to "correct" (easier lip up) pitches, you've neutered the 6/4-ness of the thing. Like a 454 going thru a wussy carburetor.
TheGoyWonder
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby Donn » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:50 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:By the time you've got a small enough mouthpiece to "correct" (easier lip up) pitches, you've neutered the 6/4-ness of the thing. Like a 454 going thru a wussy carburetor.


That depends on why you choose to play a 6/4. I haven't played every tuba in the world, but when I've played on the larger ones with a small mouthpiece, they still sound pretty good to me - and nothing like a 4/4 tuba. There are plenty of players who report better results with relatively small mouthpieces, on big tubas, and I bet they give up nothing.
User avatar
Donn
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 4765
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Old Conn partials

Postby royjohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:36 pm

I'm wondering about this "bad solder joints" thing...I have a 1934 vintage 20J which does have the flat F and the 1-3 fingering does almost nothing to correct it. I've had new felts put in, but I'm not sure the tech checked to see if that put the valves in exact alignment, so my first stop will be examining the horn to see whether the alignment can be improved and whether that fixes the flat F. If not, since there aren't any big dents in the horn, I guess I'm left with leaks being the (possible) solution. I wonder if there's any cheap option short of having the whole horn disassembled and reassembled, which is probably out of my price range. If I taped all the joints, one by one, and checked the intonation after taping each one, would that likely tell me if and where a leak might be the culprit?? I've got plenty of painter's tape around here and I can tape the joints and go over the tape well to make sure it's burnished down onto the metal to seal it.

Any thoughts on this strategy from those in the know greatly appreciated. If you have a leak, is the only solution to disassemble the horn to find it and assess its consequences?
royjohn
royjohn
royjohn
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Previous

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Steve C and 28 guests