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MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby nworbekim » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:30 am

I'm thinking about a smaller instrument and have recently discovered the MACK-TU355L. Using the tubenet search function, i have found very little chatter about it... and only ONE person that has purchased one (his comment was positive btw)

the website description doesn't include the weight. i'd like to know the weight of the instrument by itself AND the weight of the instrument in the case.

any other comments along the lines of playability/intonation, mechanics, finish, etc... will be appreciated.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby Three Valves » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:27 am

I played one and it was very nice. It can be overpowered like any 3/4 smaller bore tuba. (Blatty) It can be disassembled for service. Call Tom and ask him to weigh it. (I’m sure he knows already)

Compared to the 210 I got it seemed very light. (The 210 is 26 pounds) I went there to try and purchase the 355 but just liked the sound of the 210 so much better the weight was worth it. “Worth the weight” get it??

If you are OK with the attributes of any 3/4 BBb tubas and are not picky about fit and finish, I see no reason why you wouldn’t like this one.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby Mark Finley » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:55 am

I've played the same horn as sold by tempest. It's a lot of fun, I would guess it's around 15 pounds, give or take a pound
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby nworbekim » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:07 pm

Thank you both... The question has been "weighing" on my mind the past few days. I did, use the email link from the Mack brass website to ask. With the holidays, it may have been overlooked and I may receive a reply shortly.

My king weighs abt 25/26 lbs out of the case. I don't have trouble with that, but putting the hard case with it boots it up to a bit over 50. That becomes a problem for my disks when I have to lift it into the suv (honda pilot), carry it up stairs, or across areas it won't roll.

I bought a bag (Messina, very nice) and that helps.

My degenerative disk situation will get no better and I'm looking for options. I've been looking at the mini jazz tornister (forward bell) pretty hard and then found this.

Have you been able to play both? I understand neither will be so full sounding as a 4/4, but at least I can continue to play later on despite this affliction. I've been playing euphonium a lot too, but while I really DO like it, it ain't the same...
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby Mark Finley » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:42 pm

Tom has a reputation of not answering emails. Just call him, he's a blast to talk to

I would only use a tornister for two things, a strolling gig, or one where you're going to be miced and can play with an EQ. If it's the latter, I wouldn't get a forward facing bell

I have played both the tornister and the little mack brass tuba, and under most playing situations, I'd take the mack.

I'm also not sure the mack horn would be lighter than other 4 valve BBb tubas. Smaller? Maybe. Lighter? Maybe not. Both Eastman and packer (and soon to be wessex) and 4 valve 3/4 BBb tubas that are quite nice and should be considered.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby Three Valves » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:43 pm

Yes, I played the Jazz tornister at the Army conference. It does put out more sound than the standard one. I think they are fine mic’d up or used for practice only but they just don’t/wont produce a sound I am used to out of a 4/4 and an even larger compromise than a 3/4.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby Mark Finley » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:51 pm

FYI, I just weighed both my packer 379b (it's like a short 186) and my Olds 99-4. The packer was 21 pounds, and the Olds was 19. Dont know if that helps or not. I was surprised the Olds, and American instrument with pretty thick brass, is as light as it is.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby WC8KCY » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:28 pm

I was strongly considering the 355 as well, back in October. Went with the Schiller 520 due to my preference for piston valves--but I'm still curious about the 355.

My 520 comes in the same style case as the 355. The case weighs 14.2 lbs with a PT-62 mouthpiece, KELLYberg, lubricants, and other rehearsal needs stashed inside.

The 520 tuba, with PT-31 mouthpiece, weighs 16.6 lbs.

The wheeled case, with its multiple handles, turned out to be an unexpected delight for me and my achy back. It's easy to get up and down stairs, and there's a set of wide bumpers on the bell end of the case--it's not going to tip over.
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Re: MACK-TU355L 3/4 BBb

Postby GC » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:54 pm

As well as the 3-valve small Eastman BBb plays, I bet the 4-valve version, which seems to have the same valve section as their 4/4 King clone, would be even better. The price, however, is ridiculous, almost as much as the 4/4 horn.
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