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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby toobagrowl » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:55 pm

bloke wrote:agree or disagree...??

:The GR5X tubas, basically, are BBb "Tuono" tubas.


Agree :!: And it is obvious that Miraphone is competing with B&S with their 'Hagen' tuba line. The Hagen tubas look almost suspiciously similar to the GR-55/51 tubas :!:
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:01 pm

doublebuzzing wrote:I have always been somewhat puzzled why people want to learn BBb just to play particular pieces (like Prok. 5). I would argue if you had the same player play a 6/4 CC and then a 6/4 BBb, the majority of the tuba playing audience wouldn't be able to guess which was which. If you open that audience up to the general public, I would say less than 5% of them would be able to tell the difference. Maybe it's just a convenient excuse to convince the wife that you need another tuba.


I definitely think there is a difference in sound and blend with the ensemble, sure you can get away with using just a CC or using just a BBb but the reason to own both is the difference between having something that will do that job fine and having the equipment that is best for the specific job at hand, that's what I think.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:05 pm

bloke wrote:agree or disagree...??

:The GR5X tubas, basically, are BBb "Tuono" tubas.


Definitely agree, people compare the tuono and Thor alot, but even Fossi has said that the Tuono is more like a GR55 in CC with the Bore of a Fafner. Having compared them side by side with my tuono, the Thor and Tuono are not very similar except for size.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:14 pm

Speaking of the Hagens, why is the price difference between the 496 and 497 so insane? I've played the 496 and wasn't exactly impressed but I may be biased against the miraphone "sound" is the 497 that much better?
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 pm

' funny how the vintage 3+1 compensating Besson/B&H Imperial Edgware St.-made BBb instruments (great intonation, great sound, fully chromatic) are continuously overlooked...and likely, only because so very few understand how to hold and play them...
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:00 pm

EMC wrote:Speaking of the Hagens, why is the price difference between the 496 and 497 so insane? I've played the 496 and wasn't exactly impressed but I may be biased against the miraphone "sound" is the 497 that much better?


My best guess is that as a huge tuba, the 497 is more highly specialized, they make fewer of them, and if cost no less to develop the 497 than the 496. So if you make and sell only a few, sure, it should cost more than if you make and sell a bunch of them. Maybe also include costs for the new tooling? That bell seems much larger than other Miraphones, by far.

What did you not like about the 496?
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:49 pm

If 496, why not GR5X ?

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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:54 pm

Because you can actually buy Miraphone spare parts?

(Bores are quite different on those, can't you see that?! :P)
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:05 am

bort wrote:Because you can actually buy Miraphone spare parts?


John Packer - Allied Supply Corp.
B&S - Buffet dealers only
Miraphone - Talk to Eva...She'll probably sell it to you.
What is it, specifically, that you would plan on breaking ?

bort wrote:(Bores are quite different on those, can't you see that?! :P)


true... .835" is crazy-huge... so it's the .748" then, I suppose.
The too-big one may well be on sale for $8K, but you can buy the sensible one from walmart.com, and rack up a gazillion of these: https://www.mypoints.com/reward/Walmart/5/ecerts :|

hurry! only one left:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/GR55-Series-4-Valve-5-4-BBb-Tuba/49166116?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=1193&adid=22222222227036708305&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=58080902498&wl4=pla-90481363058&wl5=9013510&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=112561658&wl11=online&wl12=49166116&wl13=&veh=sem"%20%20target="_blank
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby joshealejo » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am

What about the Bb side of the Neptune? It can be compared to those Miraphone and B&S GR5X?
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:00 am

No huge concern, just a thought. If B&S parts are available again, that's a good thing!

I never loved the BBb side of the Neptune, but also didn't spend a ton of time with it. Seemed like a temporary workaround more than something I would want to regularly do.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:55 am

Typical of public or private bureaucracies, I'm able to purchase their parts again, but it's slower and more rigamarole.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:58 pm

bort wrote:
EMC wrote:Speaking of the Hagens, why is the price difference between the 496 and 497 so insane? I've played the 496 and wasn't exactly impressed but I may be biased against the miraphone "sound" is the 497 that much better?


My best guess is that as a huge tuba, the 497 is more highly specialized, they make fewer of them, and if cost no less to develop the 497 than the 496. So if you make and sell only a few, sure, it should cost more than if you make and sell a bunch of them. Maybe also include costs for the new tooling? That bell seems much larger than other Miraphones, by far.

What did you not like about the 496?

I didn't play it very long, probably cuz I didn't like it, but I couldn't really get a nice big round sound that I like on BBb tubas, the low register was easy to play in but was easier than I'd like to overblow on the one I had, and I like to think that's one of the aspects of BBb tubas that actually Beats out CC tubas, the ability to provide a big round sound without the splat. Im sure I could probably find a mouthpiece that worked on it but after a half hour of trying to like it i could tell it just wasn't for me. I will give it it had good intonation but you come to expect that from modernish horns. Im not trying to completely trash it, I'm sure there are players who love it but for my taste and what sound i like it just was not for me.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:00 pm

bort wrote:
EMC wrote:Speaking of the Hagens, why is the price difference between the 496 and 497 so insane? I've played the 496 and wasn't exactly impressed but I may be biased against the miraphone "sound" is the 497 that much better?


My best guess is that as a huge tuba, the 497 is more highly specialized, they make fewer of them, and if cost no less to develop the 497 than the 496. So if you make and sell only a few, sure, it should cost more than if you make and sell a bunch of them. Maybe also include costs for the new tooling? That bell seems much larger than other Miraphones, by far.

What did you not like about the 496?

Perhaps you're right about the tooling, I wonder how similar or dissimilar the 497 and Siegfried are, since I've heard nothing but home run horn about the siegfried and virtually nothing about the 497
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:57 pm

Chris Olka has a 497, I've seen it in some of his YouTube videos. Not sure if he's still trying it out or committed to it, but hey, for him to even spend that much time with it is a pretty good sign. Have talked to another professional player who we all know around here, who said he really liked the 497 he tried, but wanted a 5-valve version of it.

Old TubeNet posts seem to describe the 497 as being a tuba with a very Kaiser/Germanic sound to it, and the Siegfried having a rounder and fuller sound. Some even described the 497 as being more for European markets, and the Siegfried for Americans. Maybe, maybe not. Then again, you'll find plenty of Fafners here in America, and no MW 197's. Might be something to it?

Who knows! They're all cool tubas! :)
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby EMC » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:28 am

bort wrote:Chris Olka has a 497, I've seen it in some of his YouTube videos. Not sure if he's still trying it out or committed to it, but hey, for him to even spend that much time with it is a pretty good sign. Have talked to another professional player who we all know around here, who said he really liked the 497 he tried, but wanted a 5-valve version of it.

Old TubeNet posts seem to describe the 497 as being a tuba with a very Kaiser/Germanic sound to it, and the Siegfried having a rounder and fuller sound. Some even described the 497 as being more for European markets, and the Siegfried for Americans. Maybe, maybe not. Then again, you'll find plenty of Fafners here in America, and no MW 197's. Might be something to it?

Who knows! They're all cool tubas! :)

Ohhh that's true I forgot that Chris was using one, yeah he seemed to really like it this far, not sure if he has committed to buying it yet, but maybe I could ask him to do a review of it like he did with the Eastman 6/4CC I definitely think 5 valves would help the bigger BBb tubas just because intonation and obviously the missing low B, you are definitely right about the concept of sound difference between to American and European markets though, the 197 is an incredibly tall Germanic inspired creation that puts out a much darker denser direct sound, as opposed to the I guess you call it a plume of enveloping sound that the American market seems to strive for with the bigger bells and chunkier tubing. Hopefully this year at tmea there will be a 497 that I can try or maybe a Siegfried, I'll let you know what i end up playing on.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:07 am

I tend to wonder if there are ANY Meinl-Weston (Melton) 197 tubas in the USA - which sound amazing on online recordings, particularly with great players operating them.

' funny that Miraphone would call something a 497

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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:53 pm

bloke wrote:I tend to wonder if there are ANY Meinl-Weston (Melton) 197 tubas in the USA - which sound amazing on online recordings...


Sounds great in person, too -- I have been to a few concerts where Alexander von Puttkamer (Berlin) was using his 197. In all fairness though, it's not just the tuba that's a different style. Rotary trumpets, (maybe?) German-style trombones, (maybe?) different style of French horns, and who knows about the woodwinds and strings :?: The whole orchestra sounds different... but the tuba does, for sure. :)
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby williamp » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:20 pm

I have to say I've been totally in love with my GR55 everyday of the last 6 or 7 years I've owned it. I tried a lot of BBbs at the time of purchasing it (Nirschl, Fafner, Gr51, Miraphone 1291 and others). I've been so happy with the core sound and presence of this horn and my orchestra loves it. It is point and shoot. I don't know how much variation there is from each individual horn (I have played numerous 3400 Willson EEbs, for instance and found wide variations), but I can't ever imagine letting this one go.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby TubaKen » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:23 pm

The M-W 197 BBb has a noticeably denser/darker, more focused/compact sound; whereas the NirschlYork CC has a wider/more diffuse sound with more overtones. I'm usually an advocate of German rotary contrabass tubas in orchestra because I think their 'teutonic' sound color blends well, yet also projects better than York-style tubas.

Hmmm..."dense" and "dark" would seem (to me) to apply more to the Nirschl. The M-W is certainly more focused, but I would also say it's brighter, and also has a kind of "buzziness" to the sound which I find unappealing. This might be due to the relatively small room and/or the overly close micing. The M-W is also (subjectively) louder, and *may* project better in an orchestral setting. I also notice the CC is played more in tune, but that could be due to any number of factors.
It would be awesome to repeat this experiment in a large hall, perhaps with a trombone section!
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