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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby rodgeman » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:56 pm

I use on of these: http://a.co/4lQ2lmY for my bell from 186. It might work better than a new horn.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby roughrider » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:35 pm

This has become an issue for me as well. At 58, I will be looking for a smaller front action horn fairly soon. I have spent years playing large tubas and it is time to admit that I will need something else. The Boosey&Hawkes three valve BBb tuba that I play regularly is a fantastic horn, however the top action valves are becoming problematic for me as I have an arthritic shoulder and hands. Thanks to those who have contributed information to this post. It is helpful and appreciated.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby nworbekim » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:10 pm

Yah, i have a king 2280 euphonium I like but it kills my shoulder if I have to play very long. I switched to the festivo and it is much more comfortable. Front action for me too!
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby bigtubby » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:48 pm

I went through a mountain of 3/4 BBb's (mostly student models) about five years ago, ultimately lucking out by finding an ancient Schuster "Army" model that I dearly love. Finding something like that takes some patience and luck and in my case a fair amount of work on dents, valves and slides. A bit under fifteen pounds and with its large-ish 18.5mm (.728") bore it doesn't sound like a trombone - as did the Olds/King/Yamaha/etc. student models.
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Another potentially hard to find model is a Gronitz 4/4 BBb that only weighs about 17 pounds but has a huge sound. Bore graduated from 18.5mm - 19.5mm.
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Someone mentioned the Cerveny *83 Arion models which I like but at around 19 pounds they aren't a whole lot lighter than your 2341. I've been told that the Chinese clones of these are good - and can be had new for well under two grand:
https://www.thomannmusic.com/thomann_bb_tuba_modell_student.htm

Good luck with your search!
Last edited by bigtubby on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby GC » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:51 pm

Eastman and Packer both make 4-valve small student-level piston BBb horns, and MackBrass has a 3/4 4-valve rotor horn that's really inexpensive. Considering the reputations of these companies, they definitely are worth looking at.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Art Hovey » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:40 am

I really like my 3/4 Eastman. I posted something about it a few months ago. The bugle resembles the Yamaha YBB-103 but the valve section is a clone of the four-piston King.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby bort » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:02 am

Maybe a 4 valve Olds 99?
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby pjv » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:35 am

First you might find this an interesting read: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=67293
Further;
In the books the Kings are listed as being around 21lbs. A tuba weighing out at 18lbs (like an Arion) is 3lbs lighter which makes a big difference!

I recently tried one of the Tiger tubas. It sounds like a tuba, is very in tune and at 12lbs a winning horse. In my opinion you would want to do some adjustments to the valves because they make a NOISE. Somewhere on TM someone dedicated a post about how they worked it out. (though they had an earlier model which had more problems) I'd say; try it first, then be biased, haha.

The Schuster is like the Arion (compact model) and the piggy; tightly wrapped. And again, the tight wrap makes a big difference when it comes to moving the tuba around.
With rotary valves in general your arm isn't wrapped around the tuba but can hang more to the side, making it possible to have both arms symmetrically positioned in relation to your body. For some people this is also a relief.

A gig bag is also an option. Yes you have to cary the tuba up the stairs but that is much less work.

Good luck.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby fulerzoo » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:46 am

bort wrote:Maybe a 4 valve Olds 99?


Yes! I was waiting for someone to recommend an Olds 099-4. I liked mine so much that I bought a second one just to make sure I will never be without one. It fills your desires to a T. Although it was originally made as a 3/4 "student" model ....40-50 years ago = pro quality today IMO. BBb 4 valves piston and big enough voice to fill most any need outside of the only tuba in full orchestra. Light weight and ergonomically good. It plays similar to the King 2341 that I used to own.

They can usually be had for @ $1000 and that spares enough $$ to invest lots to fix them up to a very nice condition. Excellent intonation if you have the third valve slide cut and possibly first valve slide also. Search for the Bloke post about tweaking them. I'm VERY happy with mine in large/small band and quintet situations. At my age it saves my body and keeps me actively playing.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Stryk » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:00 am

Another suggestion would be an older Amati. My Amati Kraslice is around an .800 bore, but is extremely light and pretty tightly wrapped. It is the best of a full sized horn and a 3/4 weight. As a band director, I always thought Amati instruments were pretty much junk because of what they brought to the US market in the 80s and 90s. This tuba, with the older oval paddles, is not junk - in fact, far from it.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Donn » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:41 am

pjv wrote:I recently tried one of the Tiger tubas. It sounds like a tuba, is very in tune and at 12lbs a winning horse. In my opinion you would want to do some adjustments to the valves because they make a NOISE. Somewhere on TM someone dedicated a post about how they worked it out. (though they had an earlier model which had more problems) I'd say; try it first, then be biased, haha.


That's a good point, my small 3V Eb tuba isn't that light, though it's close. Art Hovey wrote about some alterations, http://galvanizedjazz.com/tuba/Tiger/Tiger.html, but must have been someone else with the noise issue.

My first thought was "Eb". In a situation where you don't need the output of a contrabass tuba, I think Eb is more fun to play, anyway. If learning to play in a new key sounds hard, just imagine how much it's going to help to keep the brain cells alive (I'm serious.) The down side is that you may need to operate more valves to play the same notes, which could be an issue depending on the nature of the arthritis problem.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby TheGoyWonder » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:14 pm

save a lot more weight than that just by ditching the case. Cases don't work, except for obvious usages like putting it in a bus bay or pickup bed. The bulk makes them 100x more likely to hit something than just carrying the tuba alone and putting it on the backseat. will the case protect adequately in all those extra hits? maybe but why take the chance.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby hrender » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 pm

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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Kirley » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:42 pm

This one looks really interesting to me:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=86327
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby PlayTheTuba » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:17 pm

A Kanstul 902-4B, Meinl Weston 18, and a Miraphone 282 seem to fit your description (not sure how much you are willing to spend). I have not played the Kanstul so I can't comment on that model. I do remember trying the Miraphone and the Meinl Weston many years ago and remembering liking them. Even though I am not a fan of the Fafner or MW 25 I am fan of the MW 18. I unfortunately do not know how much they weigh. On wwbw.com the Kanstul BBb has one review and the CC version has two reviews if you were interested on other peoples opinions. I also played the original (I think it was a Jupiter? Not sure and if it was I don't know if they make it anymore) that this "Schiller American Heritage 4 Valve Rotary Junior Bb Tuba" is a copy of. I thought the original played well. All of the other tubas that everyone has listed so far is amazing. Someone maybe should put into a list. It's fantastic what everyone has posted.

Here is some links

The Kanstul 902-4B
https://www.wwbw.com/Kanstul-902-4B-Ser ... 63615.wwbw

Meinl Weston 18
https://www.wwbw.com/Meinl-Weston-18-Ha ... 70841.wwbw

Miraphone 282
https://www.wwbw.com/Miraphone-282-Seri ... 63922.wwbw

The "Schiller American Heritage 4 Valve Rotary Junior Bb Tuba"
https://www.jimlaabsmusicstore.com/stor ... r-bb-tuba/
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:15 pm

Probably nobody will pay any attention to this, but....when I was about 40 I was starting to have very painful joints. I found a book that said to give up the nightshade family of foods. I did, and it took a while for whatever chemical it is to get out of my system, but i have had zero joint pain since and am now 68. I can very occasionally eat a potato or something, but if I overdo it bingo my joints hurt again. Anybody willing to go outside of conventional medicine might find this info useful. That's all....if interested, look up what nightshades are.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby bigtubby » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:32 pm

Stryk wrote:Another suggestion would be an older Amati. My Amati Kraslice is around an .800 bore, but is extremely light and pretty tightly wrapped. It is the best of a full sized horn and a 3/4 weight. As a band director, I always thought Amati instruments were pretty much junk because of what they brought to the US market in the 80s and 90s. This tuba, with the older oval paddles, is not junk - in fact, far from it.

Agreed. I bought this Amati (Cerveny ABB-481, bottom) about five years ago, sold it a few years later and have kicked myself ever since. It was far superior to the early 2000s Cerveny 681 it was posing with. The Cerveny brought far more cash but I honestly don't miss it.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Coffeescar » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:20 am

opus37 wrote:Finding a 4 valved BBb 3/4 size horn is going to be tough. Wessex has the stumpy, which might fit your need. They also have the travel tubas, but they have sound limitations which you may not be happy with. If you went to Eb or F, you would have better luck finding something that is smaller and lighter.


Wessex has their Mini Jazz tuba which is their travel BBb horn with a larger recording bell. I've been playing mine for the last three weeks at a local Fish Fry as a part of a brass sextet, and am very happy with the sound it puts out. Granted it may not be up to being the lone tuba in an orchestra setting, but it's a surprisingly loud horn for its size.

I am having a few issues when playing in the upper register especially between the open D and F, but as I'm only ~4 months into playing again after a 10 year break I'm willing to admit that it's likely user error rather than a problem with the horn.
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby nworbekim » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:20 pm

The gig bag will be an immediate "lightening of the load." since I play a front Piston valve instrument, I've been somewhat concerned about the pressure of the bag on the valve stems. I have a bag that I used to use by taking the springs out and taping the valves down. Not hard, but kinda tedious. Is there one that doesn't put the pressure on the stems?
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Re: I am considering downsizing

Postby Three Valves » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:54 am

Coffeescar wrote:

Wessex has their Mini Jazz tuba which is their travel BBb horn with a larger recording bell.

I am having a few issues when playing in the upper register especially between the open D and F, but as I'm only ~4 months into playing again after a 10 year break I'm willing to admit that it's likely user error rather than a problem with the horn.


1. I played one at the Ft Myer Tuba Conference and just thought it was the neatest thing!!

2. Back in my non-music-major-band days the high E was about the highest written note we played. After three years of getting back into it, I have only recently begun to hit the hi-F with any consistency and authority. The G, A and B above that I still bring down an octave.
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