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Re: Observations from DC

Postby bloke » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:22 pm

I recorded the last 45 minutes of the ERS (elephant room symphony).

It should serve as a wonderful electronic accompaniment to my next tuba concerto.

' plenty of (blurry) thematic material there...
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Three Valves » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:07 pm

Isn’t there a guy on FB that actually did “compose” that??

Do I get credit for inspiring your next troll??

:tuba:
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Observations from DC

Postby The Big Ben » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:16 am

Mark Finley wrote:
The Big Ben wrote:Tell us a little more about the Wessex tournister euphonium. The price isn't too high and if it is necessary to carry a horn around which will play in the T-Bone/Euph/cello range, it might be handy.



I thought it played nice. It takes a little getting used to, hearing the sound come from BELOW your left ear, but it's fun, and is closer to a euphonium sound than the tuba version sounds like a tuba. I'll play it again at tmea and check intonation more Carefully

I did play the tornister tuba again, and I thought it was much better that the one I played at ITEC. That one played very stuffy for me, but this one was nice


Thank you! I play in groups with many people stuffed in a small area. A Mini-euph would be great, mini tuba not so much.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby bububassboner » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:50 pm

This was my first time at the army conference.

What a smooth and relaxed conference. It didn't feel like I had to be moving and running to get to everything that I wanted. A food option besides normal post food would be great, but having the bowling alley right there was pretty nice for a quick bite.

There were tons of cool vintage tubas at this show! Most I thought could use a good valve rebuild, but it was still cool to see so many in one place.

It was a treat for me to meet Matt Walters and Lee Stofer at this show. I've always looked up to them as repair techs and builders so it was great to finally meet them in person. I wanted to go and talk to Bloke but every time I was free for a bit he was busy with someone and I didn't want to interrupt.

Baltimore brass had a lot of cool horns there. That rotor valve conn, while obviously had leaky valves, was a really neat horn. The Alexander F and CC tubas there were also great tubas.

The 4/4 Eastman is a fun little horn. Matt did a great job with that. The 6/4 cc I thought was pretty weak. Not a very lively sound, a mediocre low range, and some interesting intonation near middle c.

Dillons had an older Alexander 163 that I thought had a lot of potential if someone wanted to update it with some newer parts. They also had a York/B&M cc tuba I used to own. If that horn had a valve job done to it I think it would have blown most of the tubas there out of the water.

Overall I really enjoyed the conference. It was my first time getting to show off what I've been doing at wessex and I feel like the response to my work was overwhelmingly positive. It was great to see so many old friends, and to make new friends. Hopefully I'll see more of you in Texas!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby FarahShazam » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:11 pm

Hey, all you peeps. Mark was nice and introduced me to all--which was a nice thing for him to do. He seemed happy and easy going and gave plenty of time to myself and Zach at the bowling alley. My kids had a little fun bowling and were quite well behaved. :shock: I now owe each of my kids $20.

All the tubas were being played when I was there. Lots of excerpts being performed at full volume too. :lol:

I'm glad there was plenty to do and stuff to purchase. Have a nice week to All!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Ken Crawford » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:24 pm

bububassboner wrote:The 4/4 Eastman is a fun little horn. Matt did a great job with that. The 6/4 cc I thought was pretty weak. Not a very lively sound, a mediocre low range, and some interesting intonation near middle c.



Oh really? Where there any new 6/4 CC tubas at the conference you liked better? :lol: :lol: :tuba: :tuba:
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby USTuba08 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:16 pm

bububassboner wrote:
The 4/4 Eastman is a fun little horn. Matt did a great job with that. The 6/4 cc I thought was pretty weak. Not a very lively sound, a mediocre low range, and some interesting intonation near middle c.



Eastman sold 5 6/4s in a few hours, the first one to a professional orchestra player who is very picky regarding his equipment. They did have one that needed a little work to help it out, and still played well after that minor fix was done. I don’t know which one you tried, but to be honest every model of tuba has unique tendencies and I don’t know any 6/4 CC to be plug and play.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Wyvern » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:27 pm

I must say I was rather sceptical when Chuck told me his feedback on the Eastman, as everyone else seems to be raving about it - but when I play tested myself, found exactly the same. Maybe it was a poor example? We know that individual instruments of the same brand and type can vary a lot.

As a reality check I then tried the Adams/Hirsbrunner 6/4 CC and must say I liked that a lot - but then when came back to the Wessex Chicago, found that was quite the equal, for me. I am also obviously not an unbiased observer.

I do think most of us consciously or not, hear with our eyes - and pre-conceptions (it must be good because it is a XXX). What would be a real fair comparison would be a ‘blind test’ of all the available York type 6/4 CC - so they could be judged unbiasly on just feel, response, tone and intonation. If anyone wants to stage such a comparison test, I would be more than happy to make available a Wessex Chicago-Presence and Chicago-York.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby the elephant » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:05 pm

Send all example horns to me and I will give you very direct praise and criticism. (Note: all example instruments become the property of me, my wife and my cats. Thanks.)






BAHAHAHAHA!!!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:15 pm

I'm still amazed at how many great tubas were there. All shapes, sizes, and keys

We are living in amazing times, when I started college just 30 years ago, there wasnt a single company offering a 5 valve piston CC tuba. Let that sink in for a minute
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Ken Crawford » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:17 pm

Keeping in mind that the elephant room setting isn't ideal for testing and nobody gets a perfect feel for any horn there. That said, Chuck wasn't the only one not blown away by the Eastman 6/4. A premier band tuba player I know described it as, "meh, not bad, not great." I don't think he is going to trade his 6450/2 for the Eastman.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Ken Crawford » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:18 pm

the elephant wrote:Send all example horns to me and I will give you very direct praise and criticism. (Note: all example instruments become the property of me, my wife and my cats. Thanks.)






BAHAHAHAHA!!!



The duds could be used to make a really unique cat house.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby lowtones425 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:11 am

I bought an Eastman 6/4 on Friday...

For me, it's a match made in heaven. I won't speak for anyone else, but I thought it was the best tuba at the show. I am relieved to have found my forever instrument! Huge thanks to Eastman and Dillon Music for making my dreams come true!

I will gladly say that I was pleasantly surprised at the Wessex 6/4 offerings as well. I had a nice conversation with Chuck, and was given some unique insight into the building and designing process.

The beauty of tubas and tuba playing for me is that everyone can have a playing preference of their own. If it makes you happy, that's what matters. And now there are three excellent new Yorkaphones on the market, so it's just a matter of preference.

Thanks to everyone who put in all the hard work to make the conference happen!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Wyvern » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:35 am

I think the difference of opinions shows the importance of trying for yourself and seeing what is personally to your taste and playing style. Don't just go on the views you read on Tubenet, as your take may be very different. Which is why I am in the process of touring the US to let people try Wessex for themselves.

Pleased you have found the tuba for you. Hope you enjoy!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:39 am

:lol:
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Bnich93 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:20 pm

I was initially very interested in trying out all of the yorkophones at one of the conferences, but i'm a little too busy to make the drives. I ended up just tipping my wallet upside down and buying the Hirsbrunner, but that has made me even more curious about what I may have missed out on.
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby runelk » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

I was there on Friday afternoon and tried the 6/4 CC tubas in this order. Adams, Eastman, BMB, Wessex 20" bell, and Wessex 18" bell. I currently have been playing a 6/4 tuba for about 15 years and not looking to buy another one but I was curious to play the new additions to the 6/4 field.

Adams - nice looking horn, expensive. Was alright but it had one note that just rang the horn like it was going to fall apart. Nice low register, good high register. About $24,000

Eastman - good looking horn. Thought the low register was a little stuffy. Had to work harder to get the low notes to come out. High register was good. About $10,000

BMB - I tried one a couple of years ago at the Army conference and did not like it at all. Tried the unlacquered one and was shocked at how well it played. Nice low register, good high register. The only bad thing is the 5th valve lever, they need to upgrade the design. Who uses rubber bands for linkage anymore? About $10,000

Wessex 20" bell - Nice horn, low register was good and free blowing, high register was also good. Like the horn more the more I played it. About $9,200

Weesex 18" bell - Nice horn, Low register really pops, high register was good. This horn played like a 4/4. Was very surprised at how nimble the horn responded. About $9,700

Just my $ .02 worth
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Bill Troiano » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:57 pm

My conference highlights were really just seeing everybody and hearing great performances. I hardly played any horns. Too much disease going around down there. Not interested in BBb's, or even F's anymore. I've played all of the CC's out there. I just look for something in CC that might suit my needs. With that in mind, I was tempted by the Piggy that Dillon had. I echo Marks statements. I just love walking around and talking to everyone. Plus, my son lives in Fairfax (grad student at GMU) and my sisters and families drove down from NY (Super Bowl weekend festivities - my nephew lives in Fairfax too), so it wasn't just a conference weekend for me.

As far as performances that I heard on Fri. and Sat., all of the evening soloists were outstanding. My son, Chris, won the mock euphonium band audition (even though only 3 competed.) Beth Weise played beautifully. I was really impressed with her playing. The JMU Brass Band was the best I ever heard that band sound. Outstanding job, Kevin. Great recital by Hiram Diaz, using small ensembles rather than piano accomp. - refreshing. And, that's not to take anything away from Carol Conger, who accompanies all of the soloists. She told me she had to perform over 70 pieces and she begins to receive them to prepare in Dec. Amazing, Carol!

And, it was a pleasure to finally get to meet and chat with Bob Tucci and to hear his masterclass.

And, how about that Super Bowl halftime show - NOT !!!
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Re: Observations from DC

Postby Karl H. » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:08 pm

As it is a dark and stormy night, I thought I'd 'contribute' my 3.14159265-cents worth (pecan, if you come visit):

I spent a couple of pleasant hours Friday afternoon chatting up old friends and tooting new/different horns. First, the Big Horn/York types: (*All of these observations were made in the Elephant Room during the annual Rut, so most comments relate to 'feel' rather than tone; and as I am a long-time Alex owner, intonation on ANYthing seems great or easy-to-fix for me).

The Eastman CC feels fairly solid of make, looks great, and plays well. It did seem a bit stuffy, especially in the low register.

The two Wessex Chicago CCs were also well-made and looked good. Unlike many, I preferred the 20" York model. It responded more evenly with a more consistent tone* (for me) than the 18". Frankly, I was surprised that the bell flare alone — the only difference between them, I was told — could make such a big difference. I would have chalked up the difference to inconsistency of manufacture if I didn't know about the bell flare.

The BMB CC prototype was a big surprise, as it was much-improved compared to the previous model. How much? HUGE (sorry). This horn had instant, lively response and was even from top to bottom. Open overtones were right on (remember: Alex guy), and unlike some big CC tubas, the C on top of the staff was free-blowing and perfectly in tune. The low register had ring and was free blowing: soft or loud, the tone didn't 'break' or become blatty. I played a Nirschl York for many years, and this horn was possibly better ... hard to say for sure without a longer play-test in a sane environment. If the production models play as well, it would be worth purchasing the horn, even if that means having a repairman re-design the 5th valve linkage (Sorry Dick, but the rubber-band link and I just don't get along.) :D

Other surprises/finds/only other horns I tried worth mentioning ... and I didn't try that many. (A couple of horns I won't comment on because I'm old and I forgot their name/model numbers.)

Baltimore Brass had some very interesting horns:
The rotary Conn was an eye-opener.
They had an Alex F that looked better and sounded almost as nice as mine. :D
But they had an HB-12 F that was a shock! I had never seen/played one before, and it might have been the ultimate do-it-all horn. It had sufficient upper register ring (even using a Laskey 30H mp), and was even-responding straight into, and below, the pedal. Easy to play everywhere, great fun, and better than any new F I've tried (and there was at least one really good B&S F in attendance). I wonder if this was Aaron Tindall's old horn?

So there you have it: commentary worth every penny you paid for it.

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Re: Observations from DC

Postby toobagrowl » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:44 pm

You'd think there would be some type of mini-'slinky' type spring that could be used on the BMB 5th valves? Surprised they are still using those 'rubber bands' for linkage...
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