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New to me Holton 340

Postby bigboymusic » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:25 pm

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Ok. I have wanted a true 6/4 for awhile for my orchestral things. When I saw this 340 come available, I was sure it would be gone by the time I had the $$. Well, short story, it was there and I purchased from a wonderful member of our group. I think all the talk on here of how to deal with a damaged horn jinxed me, because I KNEW it was going to get here dinged.... He did a great job packing, but a CA to KC trip was to much for her, and the bell took a crinkle.....

Oh well, tuba life..

I still played it this past weekend for some heavy lit here with SJSO. A lot have PM'd me to ask about the horn. I can say this.. I HATED it the first hour I played it. It was mushy and no clarity. Major buyers remorse... Then, being an older 'seasoned' musician, I put it down, walked away and thought about it. I had my trusty PT88 on it. A MP I have been using since 1990. A MP that has never led me astray....

So I grabbed my Schilke HII. This is the first tuba I have owned that is incredibly sensitive to MP's. What a change. Suddenly I understand why the mystique of the big Holtons. It took me two rehearsals to find the sweet spots, and that I didn't have to crank very hard to get the sound desired. It played very much like a 2165.

I am going to replace the 3V set with another grouping. Here is my question. I know Bloke's feelings on this, and they make complete sense. But, being into silver, is it a huge issue to have the bugle stripped and plated WITHOUT having everything buffed out. I DO NOT WANT the metal any thinner. I don't care about the scratches and imperfections. I would just like a silver horn, if possible. I would be happy as a clam with this being a 5V laquer horn, but I'm just curious... Either way, this was supposed to be my last 'big' purchase of my career, and I think it will fit just fine.
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Paul Weissenborn
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bort » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:49 pm

Just saying... if you want a clean 4v Holton 345 in BBb in silver, it might be cheaper, easier, and faster to just buy one.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bigboymusic » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:01 pm

First off, I completely agree. It would be easy to go ahead and just purchased one the way I want it. However, I have looked for this Horn for a good 1520 years. The very few times what I was looking for became available I either didn’t have the money at the time or twice I was the second color behind the person that got it.
First off, I completely agree. It would be easy to go ahead and just purchased one the way I want it. However, I have looked for this Horn for a good 15-20 years. The very few times what I was looking for became available either didn’t have the money at the time or twice I was the second color behind the person that got it.

Knowing what a good four valve Holton goes for now days, and knowing what I paid for the 340, I am pretty confident I can get the horn I want and invest just a little bit more than I probably would if I bought the horn out right. I also know having played Holton see you tubers that have Meinel Weston or similar valves , I’d much rather start my last 15 or so years of professional playing with a brand new set on there that I know will last.

Now, I’m not saying if someone called me up and said hey I have a 345 in great shape and I’m not in a hurry to sell let me know when you’re ready, that I wouldn’t take them up on the offer. But I also have a feeling that the horn I’m going to end up with will be dynamite. I also am very aware that I will probably end up with a lacquer Horn. And that is just fine.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby Three Valves » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:13 pm

3v??

Check

Phat??

Check

BBB??

Check

What’s not to like??
Who needs four valves??

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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby SousaWarrior9 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:20 pm

Three Valves wrote:3v??

Check

Phat??

Check

BBB??

Check

What’s not to like??


Yes!
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby lost » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Reading some vintage tubenet threads, you'd come away thinking those old Holton tubas had magic in the bows...
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bigboymusic » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:43 pm

The false tones are good... not great... but good... but if I want to lay into a low E flat, I want the feel of security, not general aiming... if I could just add a fourth I would...
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby The Big Ben » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:53 pm

Too bad it was dented in shipping. That was unfortunate.

There are a limited number of people in the United States who would be willing and able to take on a rebuild, renovate, upgrade and replate job. My understanding is buffing would be necessary for silver plating. The shininess is on the surface underneath the plating and you wouldn't be very satisfied with silver plate onto unbuffed brass. A skilled tech can minimize the metal loss but there will be some.

Enjoy and have fun with your new horn.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bloke » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:11 pm

No "I told you so" here, but just another opportunity to strongly encourage people to make ROAD TRIPS to retrieve purchased tubas from tuba sellers who have no idea how to pack them.

' sincerely hope you have good luck with the bell repair job.

It can be stripped, polished, and plated with negligible (>> negligible <<) removal of base metal...It will silver, shiny, and scratched.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bigboymusic » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:44 am

I always drive if it is within three states.. However LA to KC is a bit prohibitive. Most likely I will keep it laquered. It will be easier maintenance. The question for you senior Bloke, since I trust you as a player as much as a tech..

Other than possible resale value, for someone that pretty much never uses a fifth valve on a BB flat, would it be silly to just put a 4 valve set on? I think of weight and of course, $$....
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby Donn » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:27 am

Well, it looks like there may be 3 questions here -
  • do I need a 4th valve all that bad
  • is there any point in going to 5
  • is adding valves to this 340 the sensible way to get there

I think the first question is purely up to you - you can see that some of us sure don't need no stinkin' 4th valve, but likely we're doing different things with our tubas. The second, I'd say if you look around at the higher end of the BBb market, you still don't see all that much 5th valve, it's a feature for "CC" tubas to make up for not being BBb. The third question we've already covered - in summary, "no", but who cares.

As for the plating - I'd say get it cleaned off and silver plate it as cheaply as possible, and then buff off some of the silver at typical places - upper bow, along the side, use your judgement. Maybe any place you don't like how it came out, but ideally where there's a certain amount of regular wear that will keep the brass relatively bright. This combination of silver plate and brass is the stage where silver plate begins to really pay off, compared to lacquer which simply looks terrible after it starts to fail; you're just going there early because without the buffing you don't have the option of a cosmetically perfect initial plate job anyway.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby the elephant » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:28 am

bort wrote:Just saying... if you want a clean 4v Holton 345 in BBb in silver, it might be cheaper, easier, and faster to just buy one.


It is not always about cost or practicality. Most of the time it is the work itself that drives people. I would love to buy that horn and fix it up as he describes, mainly because I enjoy doing the work (both the labor and the planning). In the end the horn becomes much more useful and will, therefore, probably get played more often. I would not mess with the plating, though, unless it ended up becoming some sort of dream horn for me, which is not likely.

I would not cut this unless… well, I cannot answer that as it is too hypothetical. But restoring it and changing the valve set to a fur banger or altering that one by adding a 4th would not give me pause. There is usually a ton of room for improvement with these tubas as Holton was not the most detail-oriented maker in those days. Their assembly usually left a LOT to be desired, so simply reassembling this horn with attention to all the details could really improve it. That sort of work certainly would not harm it unless it was botched.

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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby roweenie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:36 am

the elephant wrote:
bort wrote:Just saying... if you want a clean 4v Holton 345 in BBb in silver, it might be cheaper, easier, and faster to just buy one.


It is not always about cost or practicality. Most of the time it is the work itself that drives people. I would love to buy that horn and fix it up as he describes, mainly because I enjoy doing the work (both the labor and the planning). In the end the horn becomes much more useful and will, therefore, probably get played more often. I would not mess with the plating, though, unless it ended up becoming some sort of dream horn for me, which is not likely.

I would not cut this unless… well, I cannot answer that as it is too hypothetical. But restoring it and changing the valve set to a fur banger or altering that one by adding a 4th would not give me pause. There is usually a ton of room for improvement with these tubas as Holton was not the most detail-oriented maker in those days. Their assembly usually left a LOT to be desired, so simply reassembling this horn with attention to all the details could really improve it. That sort of work certainly would not harm it unless it was botched.

Wade "sometimes the means define the end" Rackley


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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby JCRaymo » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:17 pm

I know of a nice silver 4V 345 for sale in California right now. Was for sale on here before. I came extremely close to buying it myself and unfortunately I could not justify buying it. I do not need a 6/4. I want this one badly but still cannot justify owning it. The price I was quoted seemed a fair price to me. I am not the seller so I won't say anymore about it but it was advertised on Facebook marketplace not too long ago if its not already sold.
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby bort » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:34 pm

^ Probably the same one I was alluding to as well. I was contacted about it by the seller, but not so interested in a BBb of that style. For anyone who is... it'd be a REALLY nice tuba.

And Wade, I totally get what you're talking about. I don't know the OP and his level of experience, DIY skill, or patience... but yes, it's a worthy project for the right person. Perhaps Paul IS that right person! :)
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Re: New to me Holton 340

Postby djwpe » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:03 pm

I happen to have a gorgeous satin silver 345 BBb that I'm working myself up to sell if anyone is interested.
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