Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project Bookmark and Share

Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:02 am

I thought I’d share with everyone here a tuba project that I completed recently.

First, a little about myself. I’m primarily a euphonium player, but I’ve dabbled in both tuba and trombone playing over the years. Until 2019, I didn’t have any experience with instrument building or repair. However, last year I decided to build my “dream trombone;” you can read about that project here: https://trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?t=10763. I basically just bought a torch, bought some parts and parts horns, and went at it.

I ended up building a large-bore trombone that can also be configured as a “bass trombone substitute,” a “small bore trombone substitute,” or a large-bore valve trombone (that actually plays and sounds like a trombone). I highly recommend taking a look at that trombone project, as it gives context both to what I learned about brass instrument construction/modification last year and to what I wanted to accomplish when I began this tuba project.

In short: as with the trombone I built, I wanted to have one tuba that could be used effectively in most playing contexts, and to build it on a very modest budget.

In the past, the majority of the tuba doubling I've done has been on four-valve compensating E-flat tubas. I was able to borrow a Besson 981 with the straight leadpipe for a while, and then I also owned a 15" bell Imperial for a time, too (selling it ~10 years ago). These instruments work well for me as a euphonium player. The layout is the same, and I can read bass clef music like it's E-flat treble clef and use the same fingerings as I would on euphonium. They are also versatile enough to be useful on almost any repertoire. As many of you know, tuba players in the UK have used compensating E-flat tubas as "do it all" instruments for many years.

My plan, then, was to use a 3+1 compensating E-flat tuba as a basic platform, with interchangeable bells and leadpipes to achieve different sounds. I wanted to have a setup that sounded more like a “bass” tuba, one that sounded more like a “contrabass” tuba, and a recording bell setup for when that could be useful as well. The big question was: what would be the best way to achieve those goals, on a tight budget?

I did some research, and concluded that I wanted to find an older high-pitch B+H Imperial. I had learned that the only difference between high- and low-pitch Imperial tubas was a shorter upper branch. I also deduced that this shorter upper branch was what allowed the recording-bell low-pitch Besson variant to have a taller bell and still play in tune. Finally, I discovered that the tenon and receiver on the recording-bell Bessons was basically the same diameter as that of a King (1240, etc.) tuba, and that King bells interchanged and worked on recording-bell Bessons. With these bits of information in mind, I devised a more specific plan: I would put a King bell receiver on a high pitch B&H compensator, and then find both an upright and a recording King bell. I’d also put a King male tenon on the original 15” bell, and then either pull the main slide or make slide extensions so that the original bell could be played at low pitch. Finally, I’d set it up for removable leadpipes, using the original small Imperial leadpipe and finding a second, larger leadpipe, too.

I started watching UK eBay, since older compensating tubas show up there more frequently (and usually for lower prices) than they do in the US. I first found and purchased a 1925 three-valve high-pitch Boosey tuba for a very low sum:

3v Imperial
Image

My thought was that I could install the upper branch from this tuba onto a factory low-pitch instrument, since I had assumed that I’d be much more likely to find a low-pitch four-valve example in good shape with good (not worn) valves than I would a high-pitch one. However, it wasn’t too much longer before a high-pitch four-valve model (from 1955) also appeared on UK eBay—which I also purchased. This one sold for a higher price than the one with three valves, but still for a price that I considered to be very reasonable:

4v Imperial
Image

I took a gamble on this one, but it turns out that it had good compression! So, now I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of swapping the upper bow. I also had a lot more spare parts at my disposal, and I figured I could just sell the extra parts that I didn’t use once I was finished.

I then slowly but surely acquired a King 19” upright bell, 22” recording bell, and a female bell receiver. I got the male bell tenon and removable leadpipe to valve section fittings (as found on newer King 2341s) new, directly from Conn-Selmer, and a removable leadpipe brace directly from Yamaha. I then went to work!

I figured I’d cut the 1925 bell, which wasn’t in quite as nice condition, for two reasons: if it didn’t work the first time, I wouldn’t have wasted the nicer bell, and if it did work the first time, I’d have the nicer bell left to sell. Thankfully, it did work the first time—I cut it just about exactly right, so that the female receiver fit on the stack, and the made tenon fit on the flare. I installed the stack with receiver on the four-valve tuba, and now I could use any of the three removable bells!

Three removable bells
Image

1925 Boosey engraving
Image

As for the leadpipe, my original plan was to install removable fittings on the nicer of the two Imperial leadpipes, then buy a 981 leadpipe, add fittings to it as well, and use it as a second removable leadpipe. It took me a while to find a 981 leadpipe, so at first I enlarged the uglier Imperial leadpipe by annealing it and expanding it. That worked OK, but I was glad when one of the retailers I had contacted (in the UK) about purchasing a 981 leadpipe finally got back to me. They were able to order a brand-new uncut 981 leadpipe and receiver, and both parts shipped from the UK ended up being about $125—which I thought was very reasonable. So, I set up the 981 leadpipe with removable fittings as well, and not surprisingly, I ended up liking it better as a “large” leadpipe than the Imperial leadpipe that I had enlarged.

Imperial and 981 leadpipes
Image

Leadpipe fitting
Image

Leadpipe brace
Image

The final question was tuning. I started by removing the tuning slide extensions from one of the tuning slides to turn it back into a normal “high pitch” tuning slide. I then experimented with this slide and the longer King bells installed. Thankfully, the King bells played in tune with the main tuning slide pulled out about 1/2”! I didn’t have to remove any additional tubing from the instrument (i.e., the “Fletcher cut”). I had initially assumed that with the Imperial bell I would have to build a second tuning slide with low pitch extensions in place to bring it down to pitch. However, I discovered that earlier Imperials (like this 1955 model) have a fourth valve that’s placed closer to the 1-3 valve cluster, which allows for a longer main tuning side than more modern compensating E-flat tubas (the shorter leg is 2.75”, and the longer one is 3.5”). Because of this, and because the horn was a hair flat to begin with and the King tenon added a little over 1” of length as well, I found that there was enough “pull” with the main slide to correct the sharpness of the shorter 15” bell without needing a second, longer tuning slide.

The higher-placed fourth valve did have one drawback, though. To add extensions to the third-valve compensating loop (to correct the sharp low F and E-natural), I wasn’t able to just add straight pieces of tubing, as the fourth valve loop would be in the way. Instead, I had to add curved extensions to get it to fit:

3rd valve comp. loop
Image

The rest of the tweaks I made were pretty minor. I used the bottom valve caps from the 1925 Imperial, as they had “nipples” and allowed me to install a gutter under the valves. I also added Amado water keys to the third valve slide and the fourth valve circuit, as these spots tended to collect water and were a pain to empty.

Here’s what the final product looks like, in each configuration:

Imperial bell:
Image

19” upright bell:
Image

Recording bell:
Image

With the 15” bell, the original small-shank leadpipe, and a shallow mouthpiece, it has a clear, characteristic bass tuba sound—as you would expect. With the upright 19” King bell, the 981 leadpipe, and a deep mouthpiece, it definitely has more of a contrabass character to the sound—even more so than “normal” 19” bell E-flat compensators. This is probably due to the fact that the King bell is longer and has a larger throat than a standard 19” E-flat compensator bell. With the upright King bell, it stands 38” tall.

Truth be told, I actually prefer the way the King recording bell plays, in comparison to the upright bell. It seems to have a richer, fuller, smoother sound. It’s too bad that the recording bell isn’t “socially acceptable” for some of the contexts in which I might use this horn; nevertheless, I hope to use it as much as I can.

So, in short: I’m extremely pleased with the way this project turned out—it met exactly the goals that I set when I started it. I now have an instrument that can be configured to work for most kinds of tuba playing, and the total cost of the project was only about $1900. :shock:

I know this has been a lot to read, but I hope it has been interesting! There’s more that I could share, but I tried to keep this initial post brief.

I welcome any observations or questions you may have! :tuba:

-Funkhoss
Last edited by funkhoss on Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby bone-a-phone » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:19 am

Congrats! That looks like a big project, finding and fitting all of those parts. The trombone project is just wild. Really insane. But brilliant at the same time. Thanks for sharing!
bone-a-phone
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:02 am

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby Casca Grossa » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:41 am

Cool!!!
Mack-a-clone 186 Chairman Mao
Blokepiece Imperial
Lignatone Eb Sigmund Freud
Amati Eb Klement Gottwald
Blokepiece Solo
Mack Brass Bass Bone Sun Tzu
Douglas Yeo Replica Mouthpiece
Why have 3 valves when you can have 6 and a main tuning slide kicker???
User avatar
Casca Grossa
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:36 am
Location: Reading, PA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby SousaWarrior9 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:42 am

Great work and a fun read. Both on the Eb tuba and the trombone project.
"Some men are macho men. Others are Martin men"

It's that word "handcraft"...
User avatar
SousaWarrior9
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:22 pm

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby SWE » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:30 pm

Epic! :shock:

funkhoss wrote:Truth be told, I actually prefer the way the King recording bell plays, in comparison to the upright bell. It seems to have a richer, fuller, smoother sound. It’s too bad that the recording bell isn’t “socially acceptable” for some of the contexts in which I might use this horn; nevertheless, I hope to use it as much as I can.


Maybe 22" straight bell?
SWE
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:35 pm

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby cjk » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:37 pm

Just curiosity questions below. I'm truly quite impressed with your project.

Did the high pitch upper bow still prove to be necessary for clearance since you used taller King bells? I would expect it would certainly be desirable for pitch.

How much shorter is the high pitch upper bow compared to a normal 981 one?
User avatar
cjk
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1801
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:16 pm

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby hrender » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:39 pm

Very cool. Maybe because the first tuba I ever played was a Besson comp, I've always like those horns.
hal.
1927 King 1240 - 1935 Martin Mammoth
User avatar
hrender
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 2654
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: Fruited Plains

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:01 pm

Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone!

SWE wrote:
funkhoss wrote:Truth be told, I actually prefer the way the King recording bell plays, in comparison to the upright bell. It seems to have a richer, fuller, smoother sound. It’s too bad that the recording bell isn’t “socially acceptable” for some of the contexts in which I might use this horn; nevertheless, I hope to use it as much as I can.


Maybe 22" straight bell?


I've thought about that--I'm sure there's someone out there who would trade a 22" upright for my 19" upright. I don't know how much of the effect is because of the larger diameter, and how much is because of the curve, though. The biggest thing holding me back is that a 22" upright bell wouldn't fit in my gig bag. :lol:

cjk wrote:Just curiosity questions below. I'm truly quite impressed with your project.

Did the high pitch upper bow still prove to be necessary for clearance since you used taller King bells? I would expect it would certainly be desirable for pitch.

How much shorter is the high pitch upper bow compared to a normal 981 one?


Based on how everything lined up, I'm guessing that the shorter branch is necessary for clearance, too. The branch would soon start to interfere with the bell if it were much higher than it is on mine in relation to the receiver.

I don't have access to a 981 currently with which I can compare it. However, based on the length of the factory-fitted "low pitch" tuning slide extensions, I'd guess that the high-pitch branch is approximately 5" shorter overall than the standard low-pitch branch.

-Funkhoss
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby YORK-aholic » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:42 pm

Nice work!
Some old Yorks, Martins and maybe a rotary King...
User avatar
YORK-aholic
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Running Springs, CA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby toobagrowl » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:20 am

Great job 8) You have a versatile tuba there!
toobagrowl
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: USA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:21 pm

So…I’ve got some questions about another modification for this horn for the TNFJ. :tuba:

I’m considering putting a larger receiver on the 981 leadpipe (or reaming the stock receiver) and using a mouthpiece with a larger shank (and thus, backbore).

The stock 981 receiver is very short overall; additionally, the internal receiver taper is only about as long as the inserted mouthpiece shank itself. There's then a large internal "step" at the end of the mouthpiece out to the small end of the leadpipe tube. "Small end" is a curious term for it, though--it's between .590" and .600" in inner diameter! Reaming the receiver to a larger size, or replacing it with a larger receiver, would minimize or eliminate this “step” into the leadpipe. Doing so would also allow the use of a larger shank, with a larger backbore, and in theory open up the sound and blow somewhat. A mouthpiece shank with a small end of .590” or so would be just about right. I’m using a Doug Elliott setup already, and he could provide me with one of his “H” (Hirsbrunner) shanks that has an end that size (.590”).

So, the questions:

-Do you think such a modification (enlarged receiver and shank/backbore) would be beneficial?
-If so, would it be better to ream the stock receiver, or replace with a bigger one?
-If better to replace, is there an off-the-shelf option that would BOTH accept a .590” mouthpiece shank AND accept a leadpipe with an o.d. of .640”?
-If better to ream (which I’m leaning towards, as it would ensure that the receiver fits both the leadpipe and the mouthpiece), does anyone have a Jarno #5 reamer I could borrow? :lol:

-Funkhoss
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby iiipopes » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:47 pm

Since different bells can have different tapers so that they are subject to being trimmed to different lengths, how do the different bells tune up? On my 186 with its original detachable collar, somebody made an upright bell for it from a St Pete tuba, and it ended up being too short and I had to have the main tuning slide lengthened to compensate. When I got a recording Miraphone bell for it, I needed a regular length tuning slide, and when I did the bell swap for a Besson New Standard 17" BBb bell and eliminated the detachable bell stack, luckily, the longer tuning slide worked fine.
"Bessophone" w/ 2-piece Imperial Blokepiece,
Lexan 32.6 Modified Helleberg rim & modified .080 extender
Wessex BR115 & B&H 3-valve comp w/ Wick Ultra SMB6
King Super 20 trumpet w/ Bach 3C/76
Fanned fret bass and electric guitars
User avatar
iiipopes
Utility Infielder
Utility Infielder
 
Posts: 8259
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:10 am

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby Donn » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:02 pm

funkhoss wrote:A mouthpiece shank with a small end of .590” or so would be just about right. I’m using a Doug Elliott setup already, and he could provide me with one of his “H” (Hirsbrunner) shanks that has an end that size (.590”).


Matt Walters wrote:KAISER SHANK: With a measurement of about .585" in diameter at the small end of the shank, this truly is a "Kaiser" size. It fits the largest Alexander model 164, a few "one off" model 163's, and some original York receivers we've come across. Anyone needing this size shank will need to get a custom built mouthpiece, or have an adapter made.


I do have the impression these sizes are almost as ambiguous as rim interior diameter measurements - Conn and Schilke mouthpieces from back in the day seem to be made to "European" dimensions even though they're quintessentially American - but at .590 it seems to me like you're falling off the chart. It sure does seem to make sense to enlarge the receiver to closer to the leadpipe's size, but maybe some compromise would work just about as well and give you more mouthpiece options.
User avatar
Donn
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 5812
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:10 pm

iiipopes wrote:Since different bells can have different tapers so that they are subject to being trimmed to different lengths, how do the different bells tune up? On my 186 with its original detachable collar, somebody made an upright bell for it from a St Pete tuba, and it ended up being too short and I had to have the main tuning slide lengthened to compensate. When I got a recording Miraphone bell for it, I needed a regular length tuning slide, and when I did the bell swap for a Besson New Standard 17" BBb bell and eliminated the detachable bell stack, luckily, the longer tuning slide worked fine.


As I described in the initial writeup, the two King bells are in-tune with about 1/2" of the main slide pulled. The 15" imperial bell, which is significantly shorter, needs an additional pull (about 1-1/4" or so). However, the main tuning slide is long enough to comfortably accommodate this.

Donn wrote:
funkhoss wrote:A mouthpiece shank with a small end of .590” or so would be just about right. I’m using a Doug Elliott setup already, and he could provide me with one of his “H” (Hirsbrunner) shanks that has an end that size (.590”).


Matt Walters wrote:KAISER SHANK: With a measurement of about .585" in diameter at the small end of the shank, this truly is a "Kaiser" size. It fits the largest Alexander model 164, a few "one off" model 163's, and some original York receivers we've come across. Anyone needing this size shank will need to get a custom built mouthpiece, or have an adapter made.


I do have the impression these sizes are almost as ambiguous as rim interior diameter measurements - Conn and Schilke mouthpieces from back in the day seem to be made to "European" dimensions even though they're quintessentially American - but at .590 it seems to me like you're falling off the chart. It sure does seem to make sense to enlarge the receiver to closer to the leadpipe's size, but maybe some compromise would work just about as well and give you more mouthpiece options.


I'm pretty committed to Doug's mouthpieces, so whatever I end up doing I'm going to be using one of his setups. He can make shanks to any specification for no additional cost. Again, though: his "H" shank, which he has stated has a small end diameter (no ambiguity) of .590", sounds just about right.

The big question is: will removing the "step" and enlarging the backbore be worth it?

I put in an order today for a Jarno #5 reamer. I think I'm going to try it and find out. :mrgreen:

-Funkhoss
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:12 pm

...a man after my own heart...

Image
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 45689
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:15 am

bloke wrote:...a man after my own heart...


Yep. Your postings about that tuba were a source of both information and inspiration for this project. 8)

You should consider experimenting with leadpipes on yours. It's remarkable how much of a difference in sound and response there is between the original, small-shank leadpipe and the (significantly larger) 981 leadpipe (especially when used with different mouthpieces that maximize the potential of each design).

-Funkhoss
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby bloke » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:06 am

Changing the mouthpiece cup depth by an eighth of an inch seems to do plenty on the front end of the instrument.
It’s fun to have tinker toy pieces for a musical instrument, but I suspect we all eventually tend to put every interchangeable part - other than one - on the shelf in our closet, and just use one of those interchangeable parts 99.9% of the time.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 45689
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby funkhoss » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:17 am

True. I guess it depends on what you use it for. If you use a particular instrument for one basic job/style/setting, then it would make sense that you would settle on "one" setup. I don't have any desire for different bells or leadpipes for my euphonium, for example.

From posts that you've made on here, you have multiple tubas with each tuba doing their particular "job" well (including the one in the photo you posted). My situation's a bit different--I'm going for one tuba that does a bunch of jobs "OK." :mrgreen:

I do wonder, though, based on the way in which mine plays, if a larger (981 style) leadpipe might do the particular job for which you use yours better than the "stock" leadpipe.

-Funkhoss
funkhoss
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Henry, VA

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby 2ba4t » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:19 am

Truly inspiring and, as you indicate, inspired by the inimitable ‘bloke’.

Concerning sound - do the lowest notes - FF# down - speak easier and have more body with your bigger bell.
I went to Booseys in 1969 (!) and blew each of 24 EEbs they had ready to export. 4 were brilliant, 4 duds and the rest excellent-ish. A major difference was the clarity of the lowest five or so notes. I got the 2nd Fletch 19” tuba after he chose his. But I have not met an Eb that is truly free-blowing at the bottom – like a CC.

However, concerning pitch – not sound - that third valve compensating slide lengthening really helps the lowest notes. Otherwise comps do play very sharp on those last low notes.

Because of the extra weight – for an old man - I tried using non-comps and knocked up an alternate 4th valve slide with a dependent fifth valve, which adds truly enough tubing (73 cms + or -) for the lowest EEE.
Resizesm.jpg
This amateur piece of ironmongery (does NOT leak and) plays FF# and down better in tune than comps and being dependent does not affect the general bugle’s air column. It provides plenty of alternate fingerings and can easily be slipped off when not needed.
Photo0007resize.jpg
Photo0008resize.jpg
Because the tube length is almost perfect you can play without any lipping down, and the note rings out better. Yes, I have yet to polish and lacquer it. This picture is of an F Cerveny. This slide also fits my Eb Cerveny. They remain much lighter than a 4v comp. Sorry, Mr Blaikley.

Any tips on really opening up the bottom register on an F or Eb. Even the biggest mouthpieces and mouthpipes etc do not sound like a CC or BBb. Have you ever got your hands on one of those huge York Ebs? Has anyone made a vast bore EEb? Just making the 4th valve tubing large does not seem to make a true difference.

[Sorry then pics are blurred. I had to reduce 'size' and they are on their sides 'cos that's what happened even though I rotated them on my pc. ]
2ba4t
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:42 pm

Re: Multi-purpose “do-everything horn” E-flat tuba project

Postby bloke » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:19 pm

That's really a cool gadget, and - ultimately - solves one of the final minor issues with the system. 8)

I've admitted to rarely reading much of anything when - in particular - playing E♭ tubas...
...occasionally chord changes, and - rarely - descending bass line cues on melody lead-sheets is about it.

Mostly, I'm putting down proper bass lines and make-people-smile 32-bar solos with mine.
The 3+1 system is the next best thing (for this sort of thing) to the "Who needs more than 3 valves?" system.
Five or six valves aren't quite as second-nature for this sort of playing.

The longer #3 compensating slide does place 3-1-2-3 F♯ slightly low (with this range on these instruments being epically flexible), but puts F (the most common of the three involved pitched) "on the nose" and the E♮ only a "bit" sharp...
...FAR LESS SHARP than - say - the 5-2-3-4 pitch encountered with the five-valve NON-compensating systems.

a review of my history with "playing E♭ tubas in jazz bands" (if interested...though boring, and has been covered before)...
I had quit my job teaching the tuba students at KU in 1979 - as I didn't find it to be particularly rewarding..."teaching" those who seemed to prioritize self-excellence quite a bit lower than some other things, and as it had cost me a tremendous amount of money to accept that job - because the recording and gig stuff back in Memphis was at its pinnacle.
Indeed, the year I returned to Memphis, I made over $30K (in 1978 dollars...c. $115K in 2020 money) playing the mostly tuba and doubling on bass.
I was offered a five-nights-a-week 6-9 happy hour gig (with some tremendously talented jazz musicians) playing 50/50 dixieland/straight-ahead jazz at a split-in-half bar/restaurant. (The bar "side" had an amazing view of the Mississippi River, fwiw.)
The very minute that job ended, I had another job two blocks away (a polka band which played 50/50 various styles of traditional European music and various 20th Century American pop music styles (from 1940's music to current Top 40 plus C/W, R&B, oldies, etc.) from 9-12 midnight (seven days/week). I needed a sousaphone and an electric bass for both gigs. I found a $70 36K BB♭ fiberglass - which I kept in the mechanical room at the German bar, and the only other one I could find quickly was a $25 old-old "Pioneer" E♭ ($25) at a local flea market)...so the E♭ stayed at the riverfront bar restaurant on the happy hour band's bandstand. On each of the two bandstands, I kept an offbrand-but-good (bartered with combo shops for wind instrument repair work) c. 100W bass amp, and I carried by early-'70's Fender Jazz bass back-and-forth between the two bars (hurriedly changing into lederhosen in the alley across the street from the German bar - with permission to arrive fifteen minutes late every night - with the accordionist covering the bass).
At the happy hour gig (with amazing musicians, such as Bob Marbach https://www.theaileyschool.edu/ailey-school/robert-marbach-0I and "Stix" Baker https://www.charlottemagazine.com/fine-tuning-piano-technician-james-baker) found that the E♭ played the F/B♭/E♭/A♭/C/G tunes very easily, and that the instrument was more slippery/facile, and that I could play cuter solos with much less effort...so - from that time forward - I've always had "some sort of E♭ instrument" to play in jazz bands. It took me too friggin' long to FINALLY realize that a comp E♭ ~is~ THE ultimate E♭ tuba...for most any E♭ playing (due to sound/excellent intonation/facility/etc.)
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 45689
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Next

Return to Repair, Modification, and Construction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests