Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410 Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk
Forum rules
Reminder: "Go fund me" requests are not allowed and should be reported. All requests will be deleted.

Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby thevillagetuba » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:00 pm

Has anyone had any time with one of the newer Wessex Mahlers with the 16.75" bells and that of the regular miraclones with the 17.75" bells (those sold by MackBrass, Schiller, etc)?

I am quite familiar with the 17.75" bell models and have never been fully happy with the sound I get from them, though I have always enjoyed the smaller-belled Miraphones more than the larger ones. I am hoping that it will be the case here, as well. Anyone got any info/experience? This might make a great horn for me to teach with in my studio as I would like to avoid having nicer horns damaged by students' lapse in judgment.

Thanks in advance.
Robert S. Pratt, CPT
MM Tuba Perf. - Wright State University
BM Tuba Perf. - Towson University
User avatar
thevillagetuba
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:18 pm

Over the years, Miraphone 186 tubas were sold with different mouthpipe tapers, with/without bell kranz, different sheet metal gauges, different spring wire gauge, different weights of paddles, etc.

Those things have an effect on the player's general tactile (the word, "tactile", here, referring to all sorts of types of "feel", and not just "fingers") experience.

I have to work very hard to separate my tactile experiences (listed in the first sentence, above) from how I'm perceiving sound, and different distances of the bell opening from my ears (tall/medium/piggy, etc.) - as well as how much the bell opening is sheltered from my ears by bell "pancake", taint my own aural perceptions.

I have a really fine (rare) early '60's 5-valve 186 C tuba here. A couple of months ago, someone showed up with a Jinbao ("Schiller", or perhaps someone's else laser engraving). I certainly didn't like the overall "tactile" (as defined above) experience with the Jinbao, but - listening absolutely as objectively as I possibly could to myself playing "tuba A" and "tuba B", I really believe they SOUNDED just about the SAME. I know this is not a popular conclusion, but I'm not sure how many people who post a hypothesis in opposition to this one actually had two tubas of such differing provenance (i.e. viewed by many as "sublime vs. ridiculous") side-by-side.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41012
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby thevillagetuba » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:50 pm

bloke wrote:Over the years, Miraphone 186 tubas were sold with different mouthpipe tapers, with/without bell kranz, different sheet metal gauges, different spring wire gauge, different weights of paddles, etc.

Those things have an effect on the player's general tactile (the word, "tactile", here, referring to all sorts of types of "feel", and not just "fingers") experience.

I have to work very hard to separate my tactile experiences (listed in the first sentence, above) from how I'm perceiving sound, and different distances of the bell opening from my ears (tall/medium/piggy, etc.) - as well as how much the bell opening is sheltered from my ears by bell "pancake", taint my own aural perceptions.

I have a really fine (rare) early '60's 5-valve 186 C tuba here. A couple of months ago, someone showed up with a Jinbao ("Schiller", or perhaps someone's else laser engraving). I certainly didn't like the overall "tactile" (as defined above) experience with the Jinbao, but - listening absolutely as objectively as I possibly could to myself playing "tuba A" and "tuba B", I really believe they SOUNDED just about the SAME. I know this is not a popular conclusion, but I'm not sure how many people who post a hypothesis in opposition to this one actually had two tubas of such differing provenance (i.e. viewed by many as "sublime vs. ridiculous") side-by-side.


Thank you. This is along the lines of what I've been wondering as the time between me playing a Miraphone and a miraclone were many years apart and doesn't really allow for a valuable comparison on my end. What I really didn't like was that the sound of the miraclones I have played seemed to be less "focused" and more "fluffy" (probably not the best descriptors) than I remember the Miraphone (no idea the model or vintsge, but the bell was definitely smaller) having. If your 186 and the miraclone sounded that similar than it might just be my memory that is faulty.
Robert S. Pratt, CPT
MM Tuba Perf. - Wright State University
BM Tuba Perf. - Towson University
User avatar
thevillagetuba
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:04 pm

thevillagetuba wrote:Thank you. This is along the lines of what I've been wondering as the time between me playing a Miraphone and a miraclone were many years apart and doesn't really allow for a valuable comparison on my end. What I really didn't like was that the sound of the miraclones I have played seemed to be less "focused" and more "fluffy" (probably not the best descriptors) than I remember the Miraphone (no idea the model or vintsge, but the bell was definitely smaller) having. If your 186 and the miraclone sounded that similar than it might just be my memory that is faulty.


Your memory may not be faulty, and I'm not trying to present myself as either "more sensitive" nor as "less subjective"...

...but - with quite a few very hastily-assembled and just-good-enough-to-be-labeled-as-instruments floating around out there, I've been working really hard to discipline myself to separate the "feel" of a tuba from the "sound" of a tuba...and that goes for comparing first-world to first-world built instruments as well.

When I first became aware that less exquisitely-built tubas can actually sound as-good-or-better-than exquisitely-well-built tubas was over thirty-five years ago, when a friend-of-an-acquaintance brought my Communist East German-made tuba to me from Europe (their profit from which financed their plane fare, to visit their ailing parents in the USA). Though the sound/intonation was/is amazing, the original linkage was of antiquated design (though most other tubas' was as well, at that time) and - even though the build quality of the rotors was/is amazing, the inside/outside fine-fit of the slide tubing (though alignment was/is excellent) was/is mediocre. The saving graces of the slide tubing is/are that [1] due to really user-friendly intonation, the slides really don't need to be moved on-the-fly and [2] they don't rely on "loose fit" (as do some notorious made-in-Asia tubas) in order to move.

bloke "sorry for digressing on a 'sales job' of a tuba that is not for sale :oops: "
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41012
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby thevillagetuba » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:28 pm

bloke wrote:Your memory may not be faulty, and I'm not trying to present myself as either "more sensitive" nor as "less subjective"...

...but - with quite a few very hastily-assembled and just-good-enough-to-be-labeled-as-instruments floating around out there, I've been working really hard to discipline myself to separate the "feel" of a tuba from the "sound" of a tuba...and that goes for comparing first-world to first-world built instruments as well.

When I first became aware that less exquisitely-built tubas can actually sound as-good-or-better-than exquisitely-well-built tubas was over thirty-five years ago, when a friend-of-an-acquaintance brought my Communist East German-made tuba to me from Europe (their profit from which financed their plane fare, to visit their ailing parents in the USA). Though the sound/intonation was/is amazing, the original linkage was of antiquated design (though most other tubas' was as well, at that time) and - even though the build quality of the rotors was/is amazing, the inside/outside fine-fit of the slide tubing (though alignment was/is excellent) was/is mediocre. The saving graces of the slide tubing is/are that [1] due to really user-friendly intonation, the slides really don't need to be moved on-the-fly and [2] they don't rely on "loose fit" (as do some notorious made-in-Asia tubas) in order to move.

bloke "sorry for digressing on a 'sales job' of a tuba that is not for sale :oops: "


No apologies necessary. With about a 30% or so difference in price I am trying to judge if it is worth getting the smaller bell for me. There isn't really an opportunity coming up where I can try both side by side in a good room to see and I might be making my purchase before i can make it to a convention to try and compare the two in the elephant room.

I've learned from owning some high-end equipment that even they can come with some imperfections and it really doesn't really cost any more to get the same thing fixed on a cheaper knockoff.
Robert S. Pratt, CPT
MM Tuba Perf. - Wright State University
BM Tuba Perf. - Towson University
User avatar
thevillagetuba
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:40 pm

16-1/2" 186 bells (not trashed) are tossed up on eBay from time-to-time...

...certainly not daily nor monthly, but they do appear...because I've snatched a couple of them myself and hoarded them.

There also seem to be some (not typically early 60's, but) '70's/80's FOUR-valve 186 C tubas that one sees on eBay (often, not as worn nor as beat-up as 5-valve ones) which can be enhanced with 5th valves, though (yeah...I know...) the cost of enhancing one of those to a 5-valve instrument (with new genuine parts) is probably about the same as the cost of a Schiller/Mack complete instrument...but (again) that exquisite Miraphone "tactile" experience...

Finally (though most have ignored this feature), the 4th slide on the 186 C is MARKEDLY designed different from the BBb version, in that it is LONG, it is ACCESSIBLE, and it slightly tilts back towards the player. A few (seemingly, a handful) of 186 players (with the 4-valve C versions) have tricked out those slides (as surely intended) to "fly" just like a first valve slide, and move them for perfect-intonation low F, low Eb, low D, and low Db...ALONG WITH the 4th-valve D/G and the 2-4 Db/Gb...and (obviously) 4th rotor venting is necessary as well.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41012
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby Steve Marcus » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:44 pm

The Wessex “Mahler” has been replaced with the “Anton,” which has a 17.72” bell diameter:

https://wessex-tubas.com/collections/tubas/products/cc-5-4-rotary-valve-tuba-anton-tc491
Steve Marcus
https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-marcus-980315b/
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
User avatar
Steve Marcus
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Chicago area

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby the elephant » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:25 am

Are you saying Wessex no longer carries the Mahler? Is this permanent?
Image
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 13661
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby Cdub » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:33 am

Wessex appears to still carry the Mahler

https://wessex-tubas.com/collections/tu ... hler-tc470

I thought the Anton was a CC HB copy (or close to it). Two different CC tubas.
Mack 410gb
On Wisconsin
Cdub
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:23 am

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby thevillagetuba » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:30 am

Steve Marcus wrote:The Wessex “Mahler” has been replaced with the “Anton,” which has a 17.72” bell diameter:

https://wessex-tubas.com/collections/tubas/products/cc-5-4-rotary-valve-tuba-anton-tc491


So, Wessex does not currently offer a 4/4 CC tuba? This makes my decision easier by a lot, but it is a shame as I was really drawn to the idea of this horn with upgraded paddles/linkages and the smaller bell.

Are there any plans to put something similar to this back into the line?
Robert S. Pratt, CPT
MM Tuba Perf. - Wright State University
BM Tuba Perf. - Towson University
User avatar
thevillagetuba
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby ren » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:15 am

it seems like the answer to the OPs question is "no".
ren
 

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby Steve Marcus » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:37 am

the elephant wrote:Are you saying Wessex no longer carries the Mahler? Is this permanent?


Yes. Although the catalog lists the Anton as a 5/4, it could easily be perceived as a 4/4. A tuba closer to the appearance of a 5/4 would be the Wyvern, although it, too, could be labeled as a 4/4 tuba.

Post by Steve Marcus » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:56 am

We all know that the terms 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 are abstractions, without strict standardization of dimensions within the industry.

Since Wessex builds the 4/4 Anton CC and the 6/4 Chicago-Presence and Chicago-York CC’s, it falls into line from a marketing point POV (if nothing else) to label the Wyvern a 5/4. Although these designations refer primarily to size of the tubas, the notion of the Wyvern being a 5/4 tuba is substantiated in Chris Olka’s video when he mentions the weight of the Wyvern.

Nevertheless, if Wessex is presented with a bid invitation that reads “4/4,” we might opt to name the Wyvern as such.
Steve Marcus
https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-marcus-980315b/
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
User avatar
Steve Marcus
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Chicago area

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby pauvog1 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:23 pm

Steve Marcus wrote:The Wessex “Mahler” has been replaced with the “Anton,” which has a 17.72” bell diameter:

https://wessex-tubas.com/collections/tubas/products/cc-5-4-rotary-valve-tuba-anton-tc491


That's Interesting. I would have thought the Mahler would be a little more popular.
Kalison DS
B&S PT-18p (MRP F)

FS: Stofer Geib, Euro shank viewtopic.php?f=4&t=88053
pauvog1
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby Steve Marcus » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:26 pm

If one has a strong preference, it is still possible to special order a Mahler. 7-9 months delivery time.
Steve Marcus
https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-marcus-980315b/
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
User avatar
Steve Marcus
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Chicago area

Re: Wessex Mahler vs Mack 410

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:10 pm

I can understand that Wessex is trying to get away form clones as much as possible, but it does surprise me that the Mahler was axed. The Anton is a fine tuba as I recall from the first and last time I played one, but it's closer to a piggy than a 186 (not a bad thing, just different)
User avatar
Mark Finley
Low Brass Teacher
Low Brass Teacher
 
Posts: 4859
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:08 am
Location: Arlington TX


Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], timayer, WessCollette and 27 guests

cron