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Buying advice please....

Postby Teditiks » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:12 am

Hi all,

I have after a rather deep uninterest in playing found the joy again, and even started to look for a new instrument. I'm a swedish Eb-player, and intend to continue to be so. I have found two intruments of interest on the web, but know little about the specified models. I am therefore hoping you guys can shine some light on these. The first is a B&S, model 3092, that they are asking €5650 (~$6550) for. Link:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/B-s-3092-laccata ... SwhkRWfSK9" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

The other one is also a B&S, but named 291L. Asking price €4000 (~$4640) Link: https://www.markt.de/hagenburg/sonstige ... /f8d35ad3/" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

I haven't been able to find any info or reviews of any of them. Anyone here that know of these? Today I play an old Amati with 20+ years of wear and tear. So really anything would be better than what I have, although I have been eyeing the Wessex Gnagey and MW 2040, I like the size and reviews of those.

Thankful for any input in the subject, take care, and comment along! :)
Last edited by Teditiks on Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Sousaswag » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:50 am

I don't really know anything about those two models.. But I can tell you that of the Eb horns that are well liked here, the Miraphone Norwegian Star is the number one recommendation of a lot of people. Other horns to look for are the B&S Pt-22p/Meinl Weston 2141. The 22p is an awesome playing horn that can be a do all horn, and the 2141 is essentially the same horn with a smaller bell. Surely check out the Wessex, seems like a great horn to me! Hopefully others can give their input on some Bessons and those B&S's you posted. Good luck in the search!
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Teditiks » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:04 am

Sousaswag wrote:I don't really know anything about those two models.. But I can tell you that of the Eb horns that are well liked here, the Miraphone Norwegian Star is the number one recommendation of a lot of people. Other horns to look for are the B&S Pt-22p/Meinl Weston 2141. The 22p is an awesome playing horn that can be a do all horn, and the 2141 is essentially the same horn with a smaller bell. Surely check out the Wessex, seems like a great horn to me! Hopefully others can give their input on some Bessons and those B&S's you posted. Good luck in the search!


Thanks for the input Sousaaswag, the pt-22p is not a model I've heard of before. Always nice to get more to choose from :) Have looked into Hirsbrunner too, dunno how they are compared to their price. A tendency for BFTB (BangForTheBuck) tend to come over me when looking around...
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Sousaswag » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:18 am

The 22p is not really well known, I only knew about it because when I was looking for my euphonium the shop had one in. I don't know what became of it but it really was a sweet horn! As to Hirsbrunner.. if I'm correct, haven't they gone out of business?
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Sam Gnagey » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:41 pm

You may wish to check this instrument out. And yes, I had a hand in its design.
https://www.wessex-tubas.com/shop/tubas ... 65-gnagey/
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Patrase » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:55 pm

The two Eb tuba's in the links both appear to lack 5th valves and are non compensating. You will find that you will have difficulties with intonation on 4+1 and 4+2 fingerings for A natural and A flat beneath the stave.

Also the 3092 model looks like it has the same basic bugle as a Besson Sovereign - so it will be a nice sound that can fit in a brass band or other band. You could also use your left hand to pull the slides to get 4+1 and 4+2 in tune. At least with the 3092 model you can add a fifth valve at some point in the future to fill the intonation gaps.

The B&S 291 model is designed for students ( I think) with an adjustable leadpipe. It may be smaller and it will be even harder than the 3092 to play in tune in the low register

So based on ONLY the two choices listed I would get the 3092. But personally I would either get a compensating Eb or one with 5 valves.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Teditiks » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:27 am

Patrase wrote:The two Eb tuba's in the links both appear to lack 5th valves and are non compensating. You will find that you will have difficulties with intonation on 4+1 and 4+2 fingerings for A natural and A flat beneath the stave.

Also the 3092 model looks like it has the same basic bugle as a Besson Sovereign - so it will be a nice sound that can fit in a brass band or other band. You could also use your left hand to pull the slides to get 4+1 and 4+2 in tune. At least with the 3092 model you can add a fifth valve at some point in the future to fill the intonation gaps.

The B&S 291 model is designed for students ( I think) with an adjustable leadpipe. It may be smaller and it will be even harder than the 3092 to play in tune in the low register

So based on ONLY the two choices listed I would get the 3092. But personally I would either get a compensating Eb or one with 5 valves.


Thanks for your input Patrase, much appreciated. Are all 5 valved tubas compensating? Curious after your ending comment about [i]either[i] getting a comp or a 5 valve.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby NCSUSousa » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:42 am

Compensating Eb Tubas have 4 valves. That's why he's recommending an Eb tuba with 5 valves OR a compensating Eb.

A thorough explanation of the compensating system from the Euphonium forum: http://www.dwerden.com/eu-articles-comp.cfm
There are diagrams for both 3-valve compensating and 4-valve compensating on this link.
I've never seen a 3-valve compensating Eb Tuba. I have seen a 3-valve compensating BBb Tuba.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Donn » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:06 am

See topic "I bought a nice new EEb tuba and now I need some help ..." for more info about compensating tubas.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Sousaswag » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:37 pm

Personally, I prefer front action piston tubas, and for Eb you don't have many options for that. Anyway, back to the purpose of this post-- I think older Eb tubas have a really stuffy low Bb, so you may want to look into newer models. Or a compensating model. 5 valves tubas are not compensating. They can play in the same range, but you'll use the extra rotary valve to do it.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Patrase » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:27 pm

My advice would be to go find your nearest Brass Band that plays at a very high standard. They should have a few tuba players you can talk to and try their instruments. Some of them may be music teachers. They will explain a compensating vs a non compensating vs a 5 valve Eb tuba AND you more importantly you will be able to play and HEAR the difference. They will also know who else has them for sale and some shops in Europe where you can test more out.

Eventually when you decide to purchase one don't be sucked in by how 'nice' it sounds. Take a tuner or getting a tuning drone and focus on how in tune the instrument is. Choose one that plays well in tune, or that you can make play in tune with alternate fingerings or some minor slide pulling, assuming everything else is ok with it.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby MaryAnn » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:35 pm

In addition find somewhere hall-like where others can play it and you can listen to it. Big difference sometimes between right next to your ear and out in the hall. Bright next to your ear can sound great in the hall, perfect next to your ear can sound muddy in the hall. That in addition to the tuner advice.
I'm one of the Norwegian Star proponents because it happens to be the perfect tuba for me, but I lucked into a very nice used one....if you can find one to try, do so.
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby Teditiks » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:33 am

Thank you all for your advice, it seems I have an abundance of choices. I think I will have to get to Music Messe coming spring to try out a couple of here suggested models. The hunt continues...
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Re: Buying advice please....

Postby jpwell » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:24 am

I had an old Mira EEb it was only good above the staff. Bought a 2141 it is really good. 5 valves work well for keeping it in tune. I have had the cheap horns. They are shinny but the valves are lacking. Given the choice I prefer a used german horn to a new copy horn.
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