WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cannon Bookmark and Share

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WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cannon

Postby Heliconer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:50 pm

As it says. Would be interested in a Contra. BBb. Needs to have 3+ valves. Other than that, condition, brand, and finish don't matter.

Thanks!

Edit: Forgot this is tubenet. title adjusted.
Last edited by Heliconer on Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra

Postby the elephant » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:09 pm

Contra? Do you mean a marching tuba? A contrabass bugle is in GG and has two valves. There were three-valved GG contras for a few years before DCI made the switch to band instruments, to include marching tubas in BBb. There are no BBb contras. Just trying to help you clarify what it is you are searching for. I have four contras, one of which is for sale, but it is in GG and has two valves. Sorry. I peeked in because of your title, which caught my eye.

Or are you looking for a contra trombone (which are in BBb)? These come up for sale here on occasion. They also are simply called contras. (I do *not* have one of these for sale as I am a hand slide idiot and would never be able to play the thing.)

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Re: WTB: BBb Contra

Postby TheGoyWonder » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:15 pm

Contras had 2 valves and GG for only the 80's. Then they had 3 valves in the 90's. Then they had BBb in the 00's. Contras have now had 3+ valves and BBb for TWICE as long as they have had anything else.
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra

Postby the elephant » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:42 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:Contras had 2 valves and GG for only the 80's. Then they had 3 valves in the 90's. Then they had BBb in the 00's. Contras have now had 3+ valves and BBb for TWICE as long as they have had anything else.


Those are not contras. In corps, for many years now, these have been called tubas in rehearsals every day, with only a few very old farts calling them contras, or one or two who openly admit they just like saying that more than tuba. (Okay, whatever.) By and large these instruments are called tubas on the field in the big corps. The word "contra" (in this context) is a shortening of "contrabass bugle". The three-valved horns I mentioned in my earlier post were not bugles, according to DCI's own definition for legally usable instruments, and this was a flashpoint for years within the activity. Up to that time in DCI and the VFW, AL and CYO rules: Bugles do not have a fully chromatic scale. Period.

The three-valved GG horns were tubas in GG, though we still called them contras because there was a battle on to go back to two-valved horns, which *are* bugles. This switch did not just happen. Some directors battled this out in shouting matches at the annual DCI Rules Congress, for years, starting in 1974. This is an old topic.

The name tuba was correctly put into use when we switched over to BBb band instruments. If you look in the catalogs of makers who are informed, these are sold as marching tubas. A contra is a type of non-chromatic tuba with a LOT of cylindrical tubing that a *real* tuba does not have. Just because a lot of band directors use the term incorrectly does not make these marching tubas into contrabass bugles, which is what a contra is. No matter how cool the name is and how badly kids want to call their marching tubas a contra, it is still a marching tuba.

[TUBENET HISTORY SIDEBAR: It is like the term BAT. It is cool, and for a few years we actually had threads with people desperately asking us if their tuba was a BAT, and we had an importer using the term BAT as the name for a 4/4 tuba, which was the worst example of me-too-ism I have ever seen. Regardless, the BAT he was selling was not a BAT and never could be.[/sidebar] :-)

PS — I almost missed the other bit of not-quote-correct bugle history you just posted. Contras with two valves have existed and have been in regular use since about 1959. (The first was a nightmarish horn made by Canadian firm Whaley-Royce, in 1958 or so. The first widely used contra was the Getzen "Baby" Contrabass Bugle that came out the next year.) All contras were in GG and had one horizontal whole step piston valve and one half step rotary valve, or two vertical "trumpet style" piston valves (which DCI legalized for use in the late 1970s with the contras first being legal in 1979).

The DCI Rules Congress wrote:Proposal No. 1035 by Santa Clara Vanguard's director Gail Royer and the Madison Scout's director Bill Howard stated:

Each bugle shall be pitched in the key of G and may have two piston valves, or one piston and one rotary, or two rotary valves used freely to play in two additional keys. Any other variation of these types of instruments and all other types of instruments are illegal.

No two piston soprano bugles may be utilized before the 1977 season. No two piston bass baritones may be utilized before the 1978 season. No two piston mellophones, French horns, flugles, or Contra Bass bugles may be utilized before the 1979 season.


So contras have been around for about sixty years now and are in a very limited manner still in use today. BBb marching tubas have been available from DEG as the Dynasty III series since about 1980. They were not very popular, though, until DCI started using them, money came in and some R&D was done to improve what had up to then been a very slow selling band instrument available from DEG for about twenty years before DCI made the switch to band instruments. This is not a new instrument, and it has alway been sold as a marching tuba. Look up these horns on the makers sites and they will call them marching tubas. Well, some of the Chinese sites that sell very poorly made marching tubas will call them contras, but again, that is a lack of information on their part.

Take it easy, man! :-)
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cann

Postby hrender » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:20 pm

FWIW marching tubas come up fairly often on fleabay (e.g. this), less often on craigslist. I don't usually share the ads since I know next to nothing about them, although I'll occasionally post one that, for whatever reason, looks cool to me.
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cann

Postby the elephant » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:38 pm

hrender wrote:FWIW marching tubas come up fairly often on fleabay (e.g. this), less often on craigslist. I don't usually share the ads since I know next to nothing about them, although I'll occasionally post one that, for whatever reason, looks cool to me.


The Kings are usually great, but the one with the 4th valve to the side (about ten years ago) sucks to hold and play. The current model rocks. The Yamaha horns have always felt really stuffy and hard to play to me. I feel about the same with the Jupiter horns, but for some reason I like them okay. Kanstuls are great if you can find one. Heavy and spendy, too. I have only played a few of the Brazilian and Chinese horns and did not like any of them. If you want the horn to be fun to play and to not fall apart I would go for a used big Kanstul or more recent King. The small Kanstuls can be okay, but in a big group they sound sort of piggish. In a small group with players who use dynamics and remain in control they play great. Look at the GG contras used by the Commandant's Own. I think that horn is available in BBb and it sounds good for such a small horn. The extra rotary valve is not available on the BBb horn and probably not on the GG horns, as that is a special bit added for the Marines to replace the old half-step "slip-slide" many GG contras had.

If I were to buy a marching tuba today it would be a new King, hands down. (Note: NOT the horrible 1140 from the 1980s. Not ANY convertibles. Only the non-convertible horns.) EDIT: the 1151 - sorry...
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cann

Postby hrender » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:40 am

I took a look at these. The King K50 has the 4th valve in line. Rest of the specs are similar to the 1151. Both models look nice, although I’d probably prefer the weight of the 1151 were I required to hold one.
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cann

Postby bort » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:25 am

I remember playing those 2 valve GG tubas... the 2 piston and 1 piston/1 rotor versions. Kind of fun to have the open overtone series so low, but 2 valves really screws.with your mind when you are used to 5!
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Re: WTB: BBb Contra/marching tuba/shoulder mounted fart cann

Postby the elephant » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:01 am

bort wrote:I remember playing those 2 valve GG tubas... the 2 piston and 1 piston/1 rotor versions. Kind of fun to have the open overtone series so low, but 2 valves really screws.with your mind when you are used to 5!


Try playing something fast and technical with your second valve activated by your left index finger in a pull ring and your first valve operated by your right thumb! THAT will screw with your head, man!
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