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Holton Collegiate repair and restoration questions.

Postby panderdoti » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:41 pm

Hello Everyone,

So I Picked up a Holton Collegiate sousaphone a couple of months ago for 90 bucks. It has this nice, big full sound and for the price I figured it would be a decent horn to clean up and use for Alumni Band gigs. However I am having an issue with the tuning.

When the horn is fully warmed up it is still about 15-20 cents flat with the main tuning slide fully pushed in depending on the temperature of my Apartment. (I'm in Ohio, woke up to a temperature of single digits this morning.) I've managed to track down a couple of things that might be the issue and figured I would ask tubenet their thoughts.

1. The serial number indicates that this horn was built in 1960. I've read that blow through from worn valves can cause issues with tuning due to the airflow getting misdirected in the valve cluster. The valves look decent, no worse than any horn I've played that isn't brand new so I'm not sure what to look for if this is an issue.

2. There is the possibility of a hidden air leak in the horn. I had one leak fixed on one of the third valve knuckles when I took it into the local repair shop right when I bought it to get the third valve stem fixed, it's possible there's another but I haven't been able to find one yet.

3. The horn may just be too darn long. here is where I draw that idea from. I have the right Holton neck and bits for the horn. However when viewed from the side they arch down to my face, unlike every other make of sousaphone I've played (which at this point is every major modern make and a couple of old ones). This means the mouth piece angles down to my mouth as opposed to slightly up.

You can see what i mean through this imgur link.
https://imgur.com/a/jalA9

Looking at the images you can see the lead-pipe has likely been repaired before and when I measured from receiver to first valve it was 12 inches. adding in the neck and bits I have almost two feet of pipe between the mouthpiece and the valve casing. With the receivers position and look of the lead-pipe I have a feeling this may have been replaced with something too long for the horn.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing the communities thoughts on this. I'm not opposed to making modifications to this horn seeing as all told I've put less than 200 bucks total into it.
Last edited by panderdoti on Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Holton Collegiate repair and restoration questions.

Postby bloke » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:10 pm

Holton upper mouthpipes are expensive and (though I believe Allied Supply still may be offering them to shops) rarely stocked by repair shops.

I'm wondering if your sousaphone has been converted to receive a Conn upper mouthpipe, as those are the most commonly on-hand. Show us a picture of your upper mouthpipe.

Original Holton upper mouthpipes are inches shorter than are Conn.
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Re: Holton Collegiate repair and restoration questions.

Postby panderdoti » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:25 pm

The Neck was part of the horn purchase, it came with one Holton bit and a Conn bit. I picked up the holton tuning bits for about 40 bucks. Those are one inch squares for reference.

Image

I also found a picture of this Holton on the internet and the lower mouthpipe seems shorter than mine. It looks to be another Collegiate

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/7CYAAOSwnK9ZTq0y/s-l1600.jpg
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