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Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:09 am
by NCSUSousa
I've had my TE-2110 (Tuba Exchange brand - now discontinued model) for over 7 years now. Here's the rundown:
The lacquer is really crappy (similar to The Elephant's post above). It's flaked completely off at every regular contact point. It's not coming off everywhere, just where I touch regularly, including to lift the horn out of the case.
My 4th slide rubs against the top bow when I pull it way out (B-natural, Db and Eb an octave below the staff) or when I remove the slide to empty condensation. That has led to some scratches on both the slide and the top bow. It makes a slight rattle sound (slide against top bow) if I pull it to that point and take my hand off while I play the note. I'm probably just going to sell this tuba (upgrade) before I ever have that fixed.
When I took my tuba by Tuba Exchange for its first deep cleaning, Mike replaced the rotary valve bumpers. The factory bumpers were crap, but the replacements have lasted nicely.

My cheap wood+foam case is actually holding up. I'm wondering if my wheel upgrade was a saving factor. Big thanks to Ohio Travel Bag - same company Bloke recommends for case parts - I got some better wheels on their consumer sales webpage - hardwareelf.com. (Yes, that's the same company.) My new wheels are way better than what came on the case originally.

My dad has had his Mack 210 for about the same amount of time.
His is silver plated - the finish has sustained much better than my lacquer. His case is long gone - the plywood along the piano hinge area ended up falling apart. Overall, It's a good tuba and has lasted well in the hands of someone who used to play for the US Army band. His valve paddles are the weaker design that The Elephant mentioned (nickel plating on brass) and flex a bit much. Some have bent over time. My valve paddles use a different design and don't flex as much - I like the valve paddle design on my tuba, but the nickel plating has flaked off of one of them already.

Edit - It may be worth noting that Tuba Exchange acknowledged the lacquer issues on the old 2110 in their write-up of the new version. I can post a link if anyone needs it, but they're not a forum sponsor, so I'm not sure if that's allowed. Either way, it's important to note that issues are specific to a make/model of instrument, just as issues with cars are specific to make/model.

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:24 am
by Casca Grossa
I have had my Mack 410 for 5 or 6 years now. Works great. Some pitting of the lacquer where my right arm rests on the horn otherwise I am a satisfied customer. No mechanical issues at all and valves work great.

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:30 pm
by Scubatuba
So, if I read this correctly, the elephant has a wonderful playing tuba that has nothing right mechanically- how is that possible to still play and rely on? And still you are happy with it? And what about the part about the puncture happening - at a college level? Who are these zombies?

And this tidbit by Unclebeer: Not even the most expensive boutique brass instruments can withstand "punctured valves". If students are destroying instruments, that argues for buying cheaper instruments more often.
I guess he lives in a throwaway society like sooo many others.......

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:16 pm
by The Big Ben
Scubatuba wrote:So, if I read this correctly, the elephant has a wonderful playing tuba that has nothing right mechanically- how is that possible to still play and rely on? And still you are happy with it? And what about the part about the puncture happening - at a college level? Who are these zombies?


Elephant is really picky. Pickissemo. Unless the rotors freeze up midperformace or the linkage falls off during a fast part or some such but the sound coming out is good, the shortcomings can be dealt with. I imagine he looks it over before and after playing and, if there is a problem, fixes it. That "skills" thing.

Scubatuba wrote:And this tidbit by Unclebeer: Not even the most expensive boutique brass instruments can withstand "punctured valves". If students are destroying instruments, that argues for buying cheaper instruments more often.
I guess he lives in a throwaway society like sooo many others.......


That's a band director thing. If the director and program can't set the tone so the instruments are respected, may as well get a $2500 tuba instead of a $9000 because they both will have punctured valves. And the program should start looking for another director. "Teaching how to play" should include teaching how to respect the instruments.(Remember, James said the horn was like that when he got the job.)

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:25 pm
by Wyvern
You cannot generalize about tubas made in China. There are a number of different factories, and even production from one factory will vary between brands and over time.

Just for Wessex, the quality today has no relation to the quality when we started - or even a couple years ago. For example the silver plating is now as standard double the thickness, or triple the thickness on high-grade production

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:35 pm
by bloke

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:54 pm
by UncleBeer
Scubatuba wrote:And this tidbit by Unclebeer: Not even the most expensive boutique brass instruments can withstand "punctured valves". If students are destroying instruments, that argues for buying cheaper instruments more often.
I guess he lives in a throwaway society like sooo many others.......


Ho-hum. Fortunately I am troll-proof. 8)

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:09 am
by Scubatuba
I guess I just don't understand- what is a punctured valve and why would someone do that?

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:35 pm
by k001k47
Scubatuba wrote:I guess I just don't understand- what is a punctured valve and why would someone do that?


To let the air out. Duh

Re: Chinese tubas after few years of playing

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:51 pm
by bloke
Scubatuba wrote:I guess I just don't understand- what is a punctured valve and why would someone do that?


...because they're a ventricloquist...??