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Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:35 pm

I've had my packer 274s for about 13 months now. It's a very well built instrument that I prefer over the horn that it is based on, the besson (the intonation is better than the besson)

But... I may go back to my 5 valve king 2280. I sold the gig bag I had for it because I never played it anymore, so the horn was sitting out in my living room. I had not oiled the valves in months, but they still moved great. I grabbed my 4G and gave it a whirl.

Even though the packer has a more prototypical euphonium tone, I play the king better. The valves are shorter action, and having valves 1-4 in a row really makes the tuba player in me comfortable.

I'm not selling the packer (technically it is my daughter's) but I'm going to be playing the king for a while and see if it calls to me. The addition of the 5th valve I put in it makes it just like a 5 valve tuba, so again a full chromatic scale, with tuba player fingerings

Anybody else have a difficult time getting comfortable with 3+1 after spending most of their life with 4 keys in the right hand?

Guess I need to get another gig bag or carry around the 27 year old hard case....
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:06 am

would love to have a 5-valve (or 6 valve) front-action rotary euphonium that plays better in tune than Alexander, but sounds like Alexander.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby djwpe » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:01 pm

bloke wrote:would love to have a 5-valve (or 6 valve) front-action rotary euphonium that plays better in tune than Alexander, but sounds like Alexander.


I owned a Miraphone 5v rotary "kaiser baritone." The intonation was not good. Neither were the ergonomics.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby MikeMason » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:44 am

Count me in ,Bloke. Pictures coming around again for me too. I would even settle for Alex sound,Wessex pricing, and a tuning stick or trigger.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby bloke » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:04 am

With rotors #'s 5 & 6 mounted on the left, a right thumb main slide trigger on a rotary euphonium (were one to be needed on a particular model) would be very easy...and no, I wouldn't be particularly excited about a sticky-rotors / air-leaking-triggered-main-slide version of a copy of a Yamaha euphonium.

For those who don't like the idea of the particular finger assignment outlined in the previous paragraph (due to old habits), were this available I would encourage those to consider forming new habits.

I'm starting over from scratch on my cimbasso, due to Jinbao Rotors Syndrome.

Unfortunately, Jinbao pricing (regardless of whether a re-seller were marking up the products' costs 100% or 300%) probably would indicate Jinbao quality.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby DonShirer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:51 pm

I've played both 5-valve tubas and 3+1 valve compensators as my main instrument. Only took a couple of weeks to become confident in using the left hand for the fourth valve. I only found the fifth valve useful for a couple of notes, and if the thumb-ring and 5th valve actuator were positioned awkwardly, I sometimes found myself inadvertently partially activating the 5th valve in rapid passages.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby Bob Kolada » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:30 pm

I'd love a front valve 4+2 euphonium; I really enjoy playing in the low range on my comp euph.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:10 pm

Since I couldn't really operate the 4th valve with my tiny pinky on my 2280 and was reaching around to operate it with my left hand anyway, I very quickly adjusted to the 3+1 Sterling Perentucci I got on ebay. I sold the King and never looked back.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby imperialbari » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:28 pm

I had been around bass trombones with 3 different 2nd valve set-ups (Eb, C, and C#, when both valves were down) and French horn (5-valve single Bb with a long semitone in the 5th slide and plain 4 valve double) before coming to my first compensating instrument, a YEP-641. I was used to thinking in length of tubing going down from given partials. Always thinking concert pitch, no mater which transposition or clef.

The YEP-641 cheated me big time at first, because I wasn’t used to the comp loops being added, så I played roughly a semitone flat in the comp register, until I got used to the Blaikley system.

To me the weekness of that system is not the reach for the 4th valve in itself, but that the left hand gets locked up with the operation of the valve, so that slide pulling gets next to impossible for the two notes not really helped by Blakley’s invention: the two semitones right above the open pedal note. Here the installation of a main tuning slide trigger really helped me with my approch to getting evenness in intonation and in all tonal & timbre aspects:

scales in all keys and modes of my full range, which was 4 octaves (plus a couple more, when it came to lip gymnastics). I did the scales out of my head, but my system is available for free for all low brass in versions specific for each pitch of instrument. It is constructed in a way that allows an easy start with a few keys in the center register and then expands in number of keys as well as in width of range.

My other evenness builder is the theme from the 3rd movement of Carl Nielsen’s wind quintet, which happens to be a Danish church hymn also. It has a range of a minor tenth and has all scale step applied in easily heard intervals. I am sure every nationality has a tune with the same qualities, only I chose the one super-familiar to me. I start playing this tune from the 2nd partial and then move upwards in semitone increments. After that I move downwards by the same increments.

My approach does not promote equal temperament (which I consider artificia - great in theory - cold in real life), but rather strengthens just tuning.

One tuning feature I use is the difference between the pitches of fingerings 1+2 and 3. I use what works best in a given situation. I use refingering before I use the trigger. That is the reason, why I consider the destruction of Blaikleys idea by lenthening the 3 comp loop a very silly idea. I accept that pulling that loop may help in certain pitch situations, but it also destroys good notes. One maker boasts having lengthened that 3rd loop on all comp models. But then these instruments are not what people in the know call instruments after the Blaikley system. They are after a random system by people not approaching Blaikley in acoustic insight. The honest approach would be providing these instrument with a slide in the correct length according to Blaikley plus a longer slide for certain specific pitch situations.

The main tuning slide trigger works well on the euphonium, but sadly not on the compensating tubas, because their tuning slides are too short. The ideal solution for these low compensators involves a trigger for the 3rd main slide plus a vented 3rd piston.

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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby Alex C » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:30 pm

Mark Finley wrote:
Anybody else have a difficult time getting comfortable with 3+1 after spending most of their life with 4 keys in the right hand?

Guess I need to get another gig bag or carry around the 27 year old hard case....

I played a Besson 983 Eb for about ten years. I never got comfortable with the RH 4th valve. I also cannot coordinate my hands on piano very well or play a woodwind because of coordinating the hands. I married a hand specialist who noticed my constant confusion with direction using "right" and "left.." One day she said, "Did you know you have left-right discrimination issue." No.

All of my symptoms are signs of this. When they see it in children it can be "cured" in less than ten sessions. I'm so old, there's no point.

But I finally had to give up on the RH 4th valve, it just never got to be reflex and sight reading was impossible. I did enjoy the Besson 984 Eb quite a bit but I had already switched back to F fingerings by then. Another switch in fingerings was not a task I wanted to take on for a summer.
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Re: Compensating vs 5 valve non compensating

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:15 pm

A couple of years ago, I lucked into a 1958 recording bell Besson 3+1 comp. Eb.
I quickly learned to play changes and solos using that system.
Had I not, my colleagues would probably have expressed considerable distress. :roll:

Hey...
I know a guy who lived in a house for a long time with some old 1970's paneling.
He was really accustomed to it, but one day he suddenly changed those rooms from paneled to painted.
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