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Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bort » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:02 pm

Question -- how are the ergonomics on the piston Willson 3050?

I owned the rotary version of the 3050 for several years, and liked a lot about it (sound, playability, build quality, etc)... but the ergonomics just didn't work out too well for me. I now realize that is was actually pretty top heavy, hard to hold up, and the valve block was too high on the horn.

Is the piston 3050 also unbalanced and top heavy? Or easier to support and hold? I know the overall weight is still heavy but that's not as much of a concern as being able to hold it while playing. My PT7 weighs the same amount, and is a whole.lot easier to hold.

Also, what are the pistons like, as compared to the large B&S valves? I find the large B&S valves to be spread too wide for my hand, and aren't comfortable. Are the Willson valves differently spaced?

I liked so many things about the rotary Willson, I think I need to consider the piston version again, before making my next tuba decision. I've played and liked several 3050s, and liked them all. Just not as a comparison to B&S valves.

I'm all over the map, I know. Crazy old Bort...
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby JCRaymo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:14 am

I owned a 3050 and a 3400 for any years. I sold the 3050 only due to financial reasons at that time. I played both the rotary and pistons horns at DEG when I was picking mine out. This is just me but the only reason I didn't buy the rotary one was the valve position on the horn. The valves on the 3050 were lower and felt better to me. The mouthpiece seemed to have a different angle that felt better too. The only thing I had done to mine was adding a T handle to the third valve slide. Mine had really good intonation and I only had to adjust the third valve. Talking about this now Im starting to miss my tuba again.

What about those new rotary horns they have on their sight with the sideways mounted valves? Editing my post. Looks like the sideways valves are only two models a BBb and a Eb. 2-454-RZ4 and 2-465-RZ4. Both of them are 4 valve only. I stuck with my Eb and I don't regret it but if I were able to buy another big tuba that's new it would be one of those either the piston or the new rotor horn. I don't have any issues with pistons so I would probably get the 3100 because it has 5 valves.
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:00 am

' funny how one make of Swiss tubas feature flat 3rd partial D-sharps, and another make of Swiss tubas feature sharp 3rd partial D-sharps...

In the past, I've dealt with contrabass tubas where I had to keep my ring finger hooked on slide #3 and my index/thumb on slide #1. For me, it was stressful and distracting and affected my music. Many/(most?) others seem OK with this.
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:18 am

> Buy a used Jinbao 410 for $1000. Deal with it for two or three years. :|
> Since you are insistent on a European-made C tuba, save up for a really good used (driving to where they are and playing them might possibly be a better tack than importing from a South American country in collapse...??) 5450, 2155, Nirschl 4/4, or (OK...) 188. Stop allowing people - who don't know how to pack - to ship tubas to you which arrive with destroyed bells (costing hundreds in repair costs, and shaving hundreds off their value...net loss: c. $1000). Clearly, your tastes exceed your price range...which is JUST FINE :|...so save up, play a _. _. _. for a while, and (when you've gathered up the funds, including the nest-egg from selling the 6/4, and eventually dumping the 410) - buy what you want...and ixnay on the 6/4's.
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bort » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:24 pm

JCRaymo -- very helpful information, thanks for sharing!

Joe -- so... are you saying the ergonomics are good, or bad? :P I don't think the issue for me is a matter of budget; yes, I've set a limit for myself, but it's high enough that I have plenty of options in that range. It's more that play tests are only useful to decide if you want to keep the tuba to make a better decision. A first date is good for deciding if there will be a second date... not for planning a 50th anniversary celebration.

Also, I've played and tested a ton of tubas over the years, and have a pretty good idea of what I like and don't like. But the physical things, and comparisons after learning new things makes that knowledge harder to maintain and sort out.

How do the Willson piston valves feel, compared to the B&S ones?
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:42 pm

yes...I'm suggesting that I suspect that you are shopping within a certain budget, rather than for something that you probably really would prefer to have.
I like you a lot, which I why I cut to the chase when discussing such matters - in particular - with you. I'd like to see you plug a hole in your over-a-decade-long buy/sell tubas financial leak, and - instead - have more money...and more fun. :tuba:

I borrowed a 3050 (for quite a few months) in the past, when I owned ~no~ C tubas. I can comment on your specific/headliner question, if you would like, via email.
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby Steginkt » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:17 pm

I would say the ergonomics for the piston and rotary are about the same, both being extremely heavy. If you're looking for an ergonomic, light, and European made piston CC, the Willson isn't it.
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bort » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:53 pm

bloke wrote:yes...I'm suggesting that I suspect that you are shopping within a certain budget, rather than for something that you probably really would prefer to have.
I like you a lot, which I why I cut to the chase when discussing such matters - in particular - with you. I'd like to see you plug a hole in your over-a-decade-long buy/sell tubas financial leak, and - instead - have more money...and more fun. :tuba:

I borrowed a 3050 (for quite a few months) in the past, when I owned ~no~ C tubas. I can comment on your specific/headliner question, if you would like, via email.


Thanks Joe, I like you too. :P Trust me, I appreciate the directness, and I have a thick skin, so no worries about any of that.

Yeah, I'd like to get a horn I want to keep, and be done with it too. Frankly, the two Miraphones I've owned (the 1291 and 188) were each kept and well-used for several years, and I would have been happy keeping either of those. I mean, it's been fun to use the other horns... but yeah, lots of changing around.

As for the money... money is money. I spend very little on "fun" for myself outside of tuba stuff, so if it costs a bit of money to pursue my hobby, that's cool with me. How much does golf/skiing/etc. cost?!
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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby cjk » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:17 pm

Bort just hasn't found the right mouthpiece yet.

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Re: Willson 3050 ergonomics

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:32 pm

I don't have enough money for golf or skiing...

...only for really nice play-so-well-that-physical-awareness-disappears instruments...FAR less expensive than golf or skiing...

I know a two-line poem - related to the above - that would result in yet another lecture...
Email me if interested in that as well.
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