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1921 York & Sons

Postby GeneJ » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:38 pm

I am a new member to this forum. BBb tuba player since 1969. :tuba: I own a 1949 Conn 20J BBb, 1953 King (HN White) euphonium and I've mostly been playing a Holton TR181 bass trombone lately (I'll leave the strings out of this at this time).
I recently acquired a 1921 (based on serial number) York & Sons BBb tuba which came from an antique shop. It's in somewhat rough condition though virtually complete. At this point I'm not sure that the valves can be saved (my brother found it in the Texas hill country and I live in San Diego area, so I haven't had an opportunity to actually touch it). I'm awaiting some opinions from a couple of shops (Oberloh and Lee Stofer) regarding possible options. Part of me would like to keep it original while another part of me would like to replace the 3 upright valveset with a 4 valve front facing valveset which I think would make it a monster player. Vincent Simonetti suggested if the latter, a .750" bore front facing valveset.
Does anyone have any opinions on: A) value as a renovated original vs really playable frankenhorn or B) good shops that can handle this sort of project (and hopefully at a reasonable cost)?
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:58 pm

It all depends on the definition of "value." It will never be valuable from a monetary perspective. As original it is valuable from a historical perspective. If updated with modern guts it could be more valuable in terms of playability. So do you want to be a collector of historic tubas, or a player of a more modern style instrument? Either a restoration or conversion/restoration will be expensive. You will never be ahead fiscally. If I had the money to burn, and I mean burn, I'd do a 4+1, factory quality, (won't look like a "frankenhorn") conversion/restoration to CC...
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby YORK-aholic » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:10 pm

I used a 4 valve .689" front action set from a King on a York Model 33 (20" bell 4/4 sized) BBb tuba with very good results.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby Tabor » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:30 pm

Do you have any photos of this York? It would be good to know which model it is.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby roweenie » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:06 am

Which model BBb York is it?
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby GeneJ » Tue May 15, 2018 4:22 pm

Thanks to all respondents. The horn is a Model 91. 22"bell. I finally decided to to a mechanical restoration, modify to play in A440. Currently at Lee Stofer's shop. I'll post pics in the Fall when it's all done.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby YORK-aholic » Tue May 15, 2018 11:26 pm

That is an excellent plan of attack. It will be great when Lee is done with it. I live up in Running Springs (on the way up to Big Bear). When it is done, maybe I can twist your arm into letting me come and have a look at it.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby Art Hovey » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:44 pm

Here's mine:

http://tinypic.com/mb77h2.jpg

http://tinypic.com/io0k6o.jpg

It's a beat-up old York from around 1920 with a brand-new dual-bore Mirafone 1271 valve section.

http://www.galvanizedjazz.com/tuba/tubacase.html
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby bloke » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:59 am

Most seem to shun the 3+1 compensating configuration... (top-action...hold up a cross to protect ourselves from it, as if some of vampire :lol: )

...but if there is some old 3+1 compensating Bb with a totally trashed body/bell and good valveset, that valveset should fit fairly well on an already-top-action tuba, is fully chromatic, and is large-but-not-giant bore.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby iiipopes » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:05 pm

bloke wrote:Most seem to shun the 3+1 compensating configuration... (top-action...hold up a cross to protect ourselves from it, as if some of vampire :lol: )

...but if there is some old 3+1 compensating Bb with a totally trashed body/bell and good valveset, that valveset should fit fairly well on an already-top-action tuba, is fully chromatic, and is large-but-not-giant bore.

Bloke, say it plainly: if you have or can find an old Besson that was always stood on its bell and always knocked over, trashing it out, transplant the valveset to the York for better intonation. .730 bore.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby roweenie » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:10 pm

bloke wrote:Most seem to shun the 3+1 compensating configuration... (top-action...hold up a cross to protect ourselves from it, as if some of vampire :lol: )

...but if there is some old 3+1 compensating Bb with a totally trashed body/bell and good valveset, that valveset should fit fairly well on an already-top-action tuba, is fully chromatic, and is large-but-not-giant bore.


This wouldn't be terribly difficult to do (compared to a front-action conversion, that is), and might very well end up with a positive result. The Martin Mammoth (a crowd pleaser) has a similar sized bugle, with a smaller bore (.718, more comparable to the .728 bore of the Besson/B&H horn).

The only hitch might (?) be the ergonomics involved with the 4th valve (reaching around such a large horn).

Very interesting concept, I must say - it could make for an outstanding brass band BBb bass.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:18 pm

Someone, who experiments with partially-borrowed-from-here/partially-borrowed-from-there designs at Chinese factory, showed a picture of a Chinese 6/4 body pasted on to a Chinese .728"-768" bore 3+1 compensating valveset.

Not particularly interested in that, I might (??) be interested in a Martin 6/4 body with a well-preserved Edgware Street-made or JP/Chinese-made .728"-768" bore 3+1 compensating valveset pasted on to it. As the 3+1 compensating system doesn't lend itself to slide-pulling, I would want a 6/4 bugle (ex: Martin) that can be played in tune.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby YORK-aholic » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:07 pm

bloke wrote:I might (??) be interested in a Martin 6/4 body with a well-preserved Edgware Street-made or JP/Chinese-made .728"-768" bore 3+1 compensating valveset pasted on to it. As the 3+1 compensating system doesn't lend itself to slide-pulling, I would want a 6/4 bugle (ex: Martin) that can be played in tune.


If you send me the valveset, I've got the Martin carcass and will let you know how it turns out.
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:24 pm

YORK-aholic wrote:
bloke wrote:If you send me the valveset, I've got the Martin carcass and will let you know how it turns out.


LOL...For that to happen, you would have to ̶s̶e̶n̶d̶ give-or-sell me the Martin carcass (and - knowing you to be a generous person - I really shouldn't joke, because you might end up actually doing it, and ~no~ I would not wish for you to do that).
As for now, I'm pretty "sold" on the salient points of the 50-to-60-year-old 24" recording bell Edgware Street Besson compensating tubas (valveset already on board).
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Re: 1921 York & Sons

Postby YORK-aholic » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:00 am

bloke wrote:As for now, I'm pretty "sold" on the salient points of the 50-to-60-year-old 24" recording bell Edgware Street Besson compensating tubas (valveset already on board).


That sounds like solid reasoning, and a lot less work than your previous “plan”.

Speaking of big 3+1 tubas, I have seen a York 6/4 BBb that was a 3+1!

Long arms need only apply...
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