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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:38 pm

Using non-sound-describing words to describe sounds (width, amount of light, which color on the color wheel, etc.) are inadequate, confusing, and lead to disagreements.

Were "talking about music" adequate, there would be no need for music.

Regardless of various individual players' quirks, my ears tend to perk up (in a positive way) when I hear various well-played performances that involve 197 tubas, and - quite often - I'm nonplussed when I hear various recorded performances of CSO York copy tubas. That having been said - though badly compressed - Gene playing the CSO York (itself) is an example of ONE performance/recording of that style of tuba that is really amazing...specifically: the old recording of Tchaik 4 on youtube.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby Dan Tuba » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:40 am

I recently had the opportunity to hear the CSO perform Shostakovich 5 live in Orchestra hall. Gene Pokorny performed all but one movement of the Shostakovich on a BMB J765 BBb Tuba. The performance was absolutely amazing.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby cktuba » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:03 pm

So here's the question what recordings (YouTube or other) are out there in which the 197 (or other large Kaiser BBb tubas) are being used?
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:29 pm

Anything Berlin Philharmonic with AVP using his contrabass. I saw them play live in NY and in Berlin, and I was on the edge of my seat -- loved it, and my wife thought I was nuts! I'll say it again though -- the kaiser tuba sound is only one part of the Germanic brass section sound. Not sure how well it would necessarily translate if you inserted a 197 in a current orchestra section in the US. I mean, it wouldn't be offensive, but it would be different.

I've had this clip bookmarked forever. Start around 1:33 if you want to get right to it.

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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:04 pm

Just don't confuse the clear-as-a-bell 197 tuba sound in your video with that of the unison bass trombone - which is being overplayed.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bort » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:07 pm

Exactly. I forget what I saw in Berlin, but in NY it was Bruckner 9. About half on the 197 and half on a B&S F tuba. All around, an awesome concert.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby toobagrowl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:12 pm

bort wrote:
I've had this clip bookmarked forever. Start around 1:33 if you want to get right to it.



I've seen that clip multiple times; it's great :!: The meaty tuba chords actually start soon after 1:00 in.

Like I said, that tuba makes a noticeably denser/darker and more focused sound than the 6/4 York-a-phones. I think the M-W 197 BBb is about as 'Kaiser' as a tuba gets :!:

There were some amazing clips of Walter Hilgers years ago in the VPO on a reconditioned real-deal B&F Kaiser BBb. Don't think those clips are still around though.

Someone talked about a 'buzziness' in a tuba sound, or what I call 'grainyness'. It is a sound that is somewhat 'harsher/less smooth' up close. But in the context of a large ensemble out in the audience, it comes out as a 'warm growl'. In my experience: grainyness + dense richness = velvety warm growl out in the audience. And a fat mellow, diffuse sound that is not as dense, yet sounds 'prettier' up close tends to get 'lost' within the string basses, low WWs, etc and not project enough or have a distinctive enough sound. That said, I like the York-style sound for bands and chamber groups. It's great to have such a huge variety of tubas :tuba:
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby DouglasJB » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:49 pm

For those who cant,see the video, can a link be posted?
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:49 pm

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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby LCTuba89 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:06 am

I think the entire bell stack has more to with the sound than anything else. I seem to notice that old Miraphone 186s with the small bell flare and thin sheet metal project a lot more overtones and overblow easier in the lower register than the modern 186s. Could be other factors but the newer 186s have larger bell flares and thicker sheet metal. A modern King 2341 even though its 4/4 horn has pretty diffuse sound until you try to overblow it. My guess is the thick sheet metal and huge bell flare? A lot of people say upright bell Conn 2XJ tubas sound VERY diffused with a lot of ambient presence, again those horns have 24" bells.

Smaller Bell Flare = More focused and projected tone?

Larger Bell Flare = More diffused and broad tone?

This is all speculation, but it's just observations I've made over the years.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby LCTuba89 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:22 am

toobagrowl wrote:Someone talked about a 'buzziness' in a tuba sound, or what I call 'grainyness'. It is a sound that is somewhat 'harsher/less smooth' up close. But in the context of a large ensemble out in the audience, it comes out as a 'warm growl'. In my experience: grainyness + dense richness = velvety warm growl out in the audience. And a fat mellow, diffuse sound that is not as dense, yet sounds 'prettier' up close tends to get 'lost' within the string basses, low WWs, etc and not project enough or have a distinctive enough sound. That said, I like the York-style sound for bands and chamber groups. It's great to have such a huge variety of tubas :tuba:


I think the reason why orchestra conductors love the sound of the old Alex 163 is that it has that dark-dense tone that can be projected with plenty of burn if needed. Of course, playing one is different because they tend to have questionable intonation problems. I've never played one personally but I have played a MW 2155R for many years and it's essentially MW's copy of the 163. The tone is dark and dense and that low register projects like a mofo! It too has intonation problems though....

I too feel that the York-style 6/4 tubas just sound better in a band context in my opinion. They blend better with the group and don't stand out so much while putting a solid foundation under the group. I play one myself and can tell you that I would never use one in an orchestra setting, just doesn't easily burn. The pros can do it well, but they have to really try hard to get those tubas to overblow too.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby pjv » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:15 pm

163 is a 4/4ish tuba, and has playing characteristics similar to many tubas of this size. Being an Alex it just plays 10x easier (in my opinion). THAT might have something to do with the sheet metal. I'll let the experts chime in on that theory.

I've played four 163 BBb's (one I own) of various lineages and I question what you consider questionable intonation.

4 partial D and Db were in all cases almost unmanageable played open and 2nd (respectfully). Played 12 & 23 you're back in the ball game.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby bloke » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:18 pm

Alex bells are good amplifiers.
The old C versions tended to be factory cut-downs of their Bb's (from what I've observed) and, thus, often "difficult" to "keep between the ditches".
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby WagnerRing » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:38 am

I had the opportunity to play the Miraphone Hagen 496, MW 195/5P, MW 195 and GR55 at the US Army Tuba Workshop. The 496 in particular was excellent. The 496 had a wonderful ease of play, felt very nimble, air efficient, fast response, and had a beautiful resonant well-centered tone. I kept going back to the 496 as I tried other horns, and it continued to impress. Very responsive and easy to play.
Last edited by WagnerRing on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby PlayTheTuba » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:31 pm

I personally really like the King 2341/Eastman 534 (the Eastman is better), Kanstul 33t, the Miraphone 1291/191/slant rotor 289, hagens, b&S GR51 and GR55. If I was able to afford a tuba it would between the 33t, B&S BBb's or the Miraphone 289. Although I actually like the 1291 more than the 289, I would rather own the 289. So for rotary tubas that I have tried I'd say get a B&S or a Miraphone. I think you'll be very happy with the any of the B&S or Miraphones BBb's.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby MoCoTubaBone » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:32 pm

Is there a list anywhere of all currently manufactured 5-Valve BBb tubas? I am considering the 1291 for its 5 valves but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything else out there. Also, any opinions on the BBb 1291 would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby Steve Marcus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:46 pm

[quote="bloke”]
for uber-geeky players, the 197 has plenty of room on its mouthpipe tube to add a 5th and even a 6th rotor, as a 6th would offer options of amazingly well-in-tune B's and E's (which would render Ride of the Valkyries and Fountains of Rome even easier and more fun).

Image[/quote]

Years ago, the MW website listed a model 198 as a 5-valve 197. So it can certainly be done, just as Miraphone can accept a special order for a 5-valve Hagen 495, 496, or 497.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby cjk » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:53 pm

The 198 had the fifth valve dependent on the 4th.

The rotor Fafner has an optional dependent 5th rotor in the fourth valve slide.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby Jess Haney » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:34 pm

5 valve Bb horns

Miraphone
Seigfried
1291
186
ect

Meinl
195 5p

Willson
3100

Rudy Meinl
special order on most models

Big Mouth Brass
all models as dependant 5th insode the 4th tubing

Wessex
all front action models

Gronitz
PBK

Jinbao
lots of models

and problable 10 models that someone will put up.
Pikes Peak Brass Band
Rocky Mountain Wind Symphony
Monument Hill Brass Quintet
Willson BBb 3100 FA5
Willson Eb 3400 FA5

..and a miriad of other JUNK not worth mentioning.
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Re: Considering BBb again

Postby MoCoTubaBone » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Very helpful Jess. Much appreciated.
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