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small bore small horn advantage

Postby brassbow » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:46 pm

I have a 1926 conn 2J Eb
Receiver is the small Bass bone type, not sure of the bore but presume its small. Bell is about 16 inches. I would say it is a 3/4 horn. So what is the advantage with a small horn like this. ie why were 3/4 tubas made in this configuration?
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:38 pm

That wasn't even the smaller horn they offered. I had a 14" bell conn
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby brassbow » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:16 pm

interesting.
I like my horn as it is a light tone. Not bombastic like BATs. down side is I have to blow more to keep up with the big tubas in my brass band.
the original questions still stands:
Why did manufacturers build small Professional horns. Did they think that using a small mp receiver would cause the horn to become more conical and thus warming up the sound? When did standard large receivers/large horns start to become popular?
Conn 2j Eb tuba,
Eb SARV bugle by R. Stewart,
Continental Eb/F alto,
Olds ambassador baritone,
Zeus Bb cornet,
Hawks and son 1911 eb cornet,
Holton colligiate trumpet,
King G/F 1930's field trumpet
Yes i play them all!!!!!!!!
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby brassbow » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:20 pm

also if a horn has the small receiver is there pro cons in replacing with a large shank receiver?
Conn 2j Eb tuba,
Eb SARV bugle by R. Stewart,
Continental Eb/F alto,
Olds ambassador baritone,
Zeus Bb cornet,
Hawks and son 1911 eb cornet,
Holton colligiate trumpet,
King G/F 1930's field trumpet
Yes i play them all!!!!!!!!
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:11 pm

bore size 5/8" ?
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby Donn » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:16 am

brassbow wrote:I have a 1926 conn 2J Eb
Receiver is the small Bass bone type, not sure of the bore but presume its small. Bell is about 16 inches. I would say it is a 3/4 horn. So what is the advantage with a small horn like this. ie why were 3/4 tubas made in this configuration?


An Eb sound wave is 3/4 the length of the Bb tone below it. That's why the instrument is 3/4 the size - it's the natural size, for an Eb tuba.

That seems to have been a kind of transitional era. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, band instrumentation moved towards the contrabass tuba, giving the old bass tubas the upper line in the divisi "basses" part. That left a lot of Eb tuba players in small bands with a burning desire to sound like a contrabass tuba, and manufacturers sold them great big Eb tubas (like my 1926 Pan American Giant Bass), with mixed results. That's still going on, 92 years later - the bass tuba never really came back, so Eb tubas try to be contrabass tubas in a different key and are hence unnaturally large.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:55 am

I won't contradict your "natural size" theory.
E flat tubas with a capillary bore size much more than 11/16" tend to play wild (crazy intonation) and the most popular E flat tubas today are little more than three-quarter size tubas of an old design with larger bells that only become larger at the very end, and - at least, noticed by me - original versions with smaller bell flares tend to feature less severe pitch sag problems above the bass clef.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby jacobg » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:48 am

At one time, Conn advertised "BBb Basses", "Eb Basses", and something called "Bb Basses", separate from euphoniums and baritones. Never seen a "Bb bass"!

see for example, page 31 in this 1890 catalog.

https://saxophone.org/museum/publications/id/60
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby SteveP » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:51 pm

Maybe they're referring to the 3 vs 4 valve models. That is, assuming that there were 4 valve models back then.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby Donn » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:48 pm

That's interesting, came up yesterday in another thread. The parts I'm looking at for Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever", Theodore Presser but I guess probably copied without alteration from the John Church 1897 edition, include a part labelled "3rd Trombone or Bb Bass [bass clef sign]". I believe that refers to what we might call a "tenor tuba", i.e. a euphonium used as a high bass instrument.

It's interesting that Conn makes the distinction, but it's news to me if it was real - I mean, that anyone made bass and euphonium models that were different.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby scottw » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:10 pm

I see the Bb bass parts frequently in Civil War-era music. It seems it was basically a euphonium doubling the tuba part, which oddly enough, was an Eb tuba. I have never seen a part for BBb tuba, as they seemed to come along later.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby brassbow » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:48 pm

Yes civil war tubas were listed as Eb bass. Bb bass was essentially an euphonium sized horn. I want to say that Bb "contra" came around 1880 ish. One theory I have regards to small born horns, ( from cornet to bass) in the 1900's was a small bore was made for more parlor playing. This idea comes from trying to play a small bore cornet at an outdoor volume and have the tone suffer. So my original question was to verify my theory from a manufactures stand point.
Conn 2j Eb tuba,
Eb SARV bugle by R. Stewart,
Continental Eb/F alto,
Olds ambassador baritone,
Zeus Bb cornet,
Hawks and son 1911 eb cornet,
Holton colligiate trumpet,
King G/F 1930's field trumpet
Yes i play them all!!!!!!!!
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby Donn » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:32 pm

brassbow wrote:This idea comes from trying to play a small bore cornet at an outdoor volume and have the tone suffer.


Not that I know anything about it, but ... I think there's some "nonlinearity" here. A "small" bore on the scale of a cornet will have a more drastic effect on air flow, than a "small" tuba bore. A King sousaphone at .687 valve bore can play pretty loud. Of course, bearing in mind that it's a conical instrument, and one measured diameter only begins to tell the story.
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby roweenie » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:37 pm

From the 1908 Sears Roebuck catalog:

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The two instruments listed as "Bb Baritone" and "Bb Bass" look almost identical. The only listed difference is the bell diameter, but I've got to assume that the bass probably had a slightly larger bore, similar to today's difference between "baritone" (American, not to be confused with the English "baritone", which on this same page is listed as a "tenor") and "euphonium".

Basically, you've got 3 different instruments listed on this page that all have the exact same range, but different sonic qualities, depending on the proportions and bore.

Also interesting is the "Eb bass" and "Eb Contrabass", which are in essence two horns that also have the exact same range, except for the "extra large proportions" of the "contrabass". What's also interesting is that at this late date (1908) there isn't even an option of a BBb bass being offered for sale.

BTW, I got this catalog (reproduction) as a present when I was in grade school, and I remember that all of this nomenclature confused the hell out of me at that time.....
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Re: small bore small horn advantage

Postby GC » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:05 pm

The typical Civil War era brass band used Eb soprano cornets, Bb cornets, Eb alto horns, Bb tenor, baritone, and bass horns, and the bottom instrument was usually the Eb contrabass saxhorn (Eb tuba range). Most bands were small, one-to-a-part outfits with only the contrabass doubled. BBb basses were not in use at that point. The Bb tenor was a small, trombone-sized-bore instrument, the baritone had a larger bore and bell but still was in Bb, and the bass was bigger bored and belled but still the same pitch. They gave varied tonal color in the same general range. The Bb bass sometimes doubled the contrabass part an octave higher and sometimes played in harmony and unison with the other instruments in its range. Most of the instruments were rotary valve, but not all. Four-valve instruments were almost unheard of.

The range of the music of the period ran higher than current practice, but even so the sound was mellow because most of the instruments were conical bore Saxhorns. The practices of this era evolved in the late 1800's since the Eb soprano cornet was falling out of favor and the BBb tuba was extending the bass range and tonal palate. Piston valves and 4-valve low brass became common. Eb trumpet and cornet are now considered specialty instruments (British brass band still uses one). At least the Eb tuba, which had faded away for decades, is currently enjoying a renaissance.
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