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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Doc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:16 am

Frank Ortega wrote:Hello Tubenetters,

I just noticed the New Wessex 6/4 BBb and BBb Helicon on their website.
Has anyone tried either of these and formed an opinion?

Very curious!

Thanks,
Frank


Frank,

I tried the 6/4 BBb and both 6/4 CC tubas on Saturday, but not the helicon. I'm like Karl Hovey - Iiked the 20" CC more than the 18" CC, but the tuba that really impressed me was the Grand BBb. Big, broad sound and tons of presence. Responsive, agile, and even in all registers.Nice low range - not a complete frre blow like a Miraphone 1291/191, but great for a BAT. If I was going to purchase a big piston BBb (or CC), this thing is he bomb, especially for the money.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:33 am

I have played it twice. The tone is glorious, the feel is very good, if I had to say something slightly negative about it is the f at the bottom of the staff is slightly flat, but that may be something that could be dealt with in time. It's a common problem on large horns so if it was in tune it would practically be a miracle. I do think and I pointed this out to Jonathan, that the whole horn play they touch sharp and needs a longer main tuning slide, he said he would address it
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Doc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 pm

Mark Finley wrote:I have played it twice. The tone is glorious, the feel is very good, if I had to say something slightly negative about it is the f at the bottom of the staff is slightly flat, but that may be something that could be dealt with in time. It's a common problem on large horns so if it was in tune it would practically be a miracle. I do think and I pointed this out to Jonathan, that the whole horn play they touch sharp and needs a longer main tuning slide, he said he would address it
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Doc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:52 pm

Mark Finley wrote:I have played it twice. The tone is glorious, the feel is very good, if I had to say something slightly negative about it is the f at the bottom of the staff is slightly flat, but that may be something that could be dealt with in time. It's a common problem on large horns so if it was in tune it would practically be a miracle. I do think and I pointed this out to Jonathan, that the whole horn play they touch sharp and needs a longer main tuning slide, he said he would address it


Mark,

I always need them to be shorter. I guess it's because of my big mouth. LOL Since they are going to need to fix this on the new ones, just have Jonathan send that flawed Grand BBb to me instead of junking it or retiring it. I will make good use of it and, of course, promote the brand. ;-)
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Art Hovey » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:26 am

I played on the BBb helicon last week at the Army Tuba Conference and liked it. I also brought in my own Buescher (with the Bohm & Meinl valve section which has been my favorite tuba and main money-making horn for 50 years) for comparison. I am still happy with it, but would be equally happy with the Wessex. The removable bell is an especially nice feature.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby ken k » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:08 pm

The BBb helicon played very nice. But it was VERY heavy. Much heavier than my Pan American.

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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby tubaport » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:06 pm

I played the Bb Grand prototype last year. It was by far the first Wessex horn I’ve enjoyed the sound on and will consider owning. Resonates well and has a big dark sound. Intonation was good (all issues fixable). Not really anything I could compare it to which is kind of nice since it is its own model. Would love to hear how it sounds in a large ensemble but all early tests looked good to me.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Wyvern » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:59 pm

I have just dropped off a Wessex Grand 6/4 BBb (together with both versions of Chicago 6/4 CC) with Chris Olka of Cincinnati Symphony to thoroughly play test and make video reviews. So look out for those in the next few weeks.
See our fantastic new website at www.Wessex-Tubas.com

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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Frank Ortega » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:57 am

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for all of the educated and useful responses. I hadn't checked this in a while.

Who are the Wessex dealers in the States? Unfortunately, I did not make it to the Army conference this year.

Best Regards,
Frank
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Sousaswag » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 pm

I think? It's just the Wessex store in Michigan that sells the instruments. I could be totally wrong, but I believe they're the sole dealer here in the States.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Ltrain » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:42 pm

Art Hovey wrote:I played on the BBb helicon last week at the Army Tuba Conference and liked it. I also brought in my own Buescher (with the Bohm & Meinl valve section which has been my favorite tuba and main money-making horn for 50 years) for comparison. I am still happy with it, but would be equally happy with the Wessex. The removable bell is an especially nice feature.


That Saturday, I ended up buying that helicon for my second line group. I was impressed by the spot-on intonation, round tone, and Jonathan’s consideration for the little things like the left-hand adjustable tuning slide and ergonomic valve caps.

My section-mate ending up buying it off of me that night! (She needed a mobile axe and I have a nice nice 36K already). SHE :wink: also has no issues wearing/dancing around in the horn nor putting out some sound! Pics and some video clips on Instagram @ltrainbrass @theryanhallway happy to send more in you PM me.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Wyvern » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:19 pm

Sousaswag wrote:I think? It's just the Wessex store in Michigan that sells the instruments. I could be totally wrong, but I believe they're the sole dealer here in the States.

Wessex generally sells direct in the states from our Michigan warehouse, as that enables us to keep our prices reasonable. Selling through a dealer network increases retail prices.
See our fantastic new website at www.Wessex-Tubas.com

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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Art Hovey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:28 am

The Wessex BBb helicon is definitely heavier than a 3-valve Pan Am, because it has a 4th valve and a lot of well-placed bracing and reinforcement. I don't think it is significantly heavier than my four-valve Buescher. I would really like to see a fiberglass bell for that instrument; that would make it much lighter. Purists will complain that the sound might suffer, but I am willing to bet that an honest blindfold test would render that objection moot.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Bill Troiano » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:59 am

Hey Art !! I'm still looking for a fiberglass bell for my Jupiter/Stofer CC sousaphone. I doubt it would change the sound much and it would reduce the weight by a few pounds. That's enough to make it easier to hold, for me. Plus, most of the time I have a mic in it. No brainer for older guys!
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby The Big Ben » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:47 pm

Art Hovey wrote:The Wessex BBb helicon is definitely heavier than a 3-valve Pan Am, because it has a 4th valve and a lot of well-placed bracing and reinforcement. I don't think it is significantly heavier than my four-valve Buescher. I would really like to see a fiberglass bell for that instrument; that would make it much lighter. Purists will complain that the sound might suffer, but I am willing to bet that an honest blindfold test would render that objection moot.


If the player was sitting in a chair to play, the weight wouldn't mean a lot so the "better sounding" metal bell might be preferable. But, if the horn is used for reasons why someone has a helicon (marching, standing, on the back of a horse), the lighter weight could trump (sorry!) the slight sound advantage of metal.
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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby Three Valves » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:25 pm

"Triggered!!"

Slowly I turn...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuBtURtFNX8
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Any opinions on the New Wessex 6/4 BBb or Helicon?

Postby pigman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:26 pm

I played it at TMEA . Much better thn the CC
Im must add that none of the Asian big horns played for crap in th e low register including the Eastman. They all had a towel in the bell. Nice upper and middle on most . But who gets paid to play high notes?

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