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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:02 pm
by bloke
...so I don't have time today to precision-fit and solder the redone #3 slide circuit together (It's only laid together for this picture)...

...because (* see non-tenor-tuba picture below) Mrs. bloke's and my xmas present to each other just arrived thirty minutes ago...so I have to convert from a soldering plumber to a non-soldering plumber for an hour or so...(The old one - which possibly ...??... could have been fixed again - had a good two-decade run, so...)

...but the new downward-oriented #3 circuit parts are all going to fit perfectly and (it appears) will offer just as carefree installation as (so far) all the other parts.
You can see that (finally) there is room for a #5 rotor thumb lever...but I need to remove the wonky factory (too small for anyone's thumb) thumb ring, and install an elevated/adjustable one. I don't know if the light catches the bell just right in the picture (??), but the bell is very subtly mashed in at the thumb ring flange anyway, so removing this original one will allow me to perfect that area of the bell.
If you also notice that a brace has been removed from one of the #1 circuit elbows, that brace re-purposes perfectly to solder one of the #3 slide outside slide tubes down to the bottom bow.

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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:29 pm
by Mark Finley
Has anyone ever made a rotar euphonium, it used the same bugle as a the normal compensating horns? I'd like to see that

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:37 pm
by bloke
Mark Finley wrote:Has anyone ever made a rotar euphonium, it used the same bugle as a the normal compensating horns? I'd like to see that


I'm pretty sure Laabs sells one, but why ? :?

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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:39 pm
by Mark Finley
Because I like rotors, but want a traditional euphonium tone and intonation. I had a miraphone rotary euph for a while, but it was too baritone like and the intonation was... Challenging

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:01 am
by bloke
me...
I already have a euphonium - and a really nice-playing one. My experience is that Blaikley System euphoniums' intonation characteristics vary radically from one make to the next. To me, the type of valves makes no difference as long as they are light, fast, quiet, I'm not aware of them when using them, and the instrument to which they are attached is extraordinarily good.

The intonation issues with this (American name: "tenor tuba" / western European name: "baritone") instrument are very easy to negotiate, and it's not anything like a classic English-design euphonium. If it wasn't really good (and really different), I would have already sold it, and would not be souping it up. I like the fact that it's not a euphonium. Otherwise, it wouldn't be as interesting to me. The mouthpipe is longer, starts smaller, and the bugle past the main slide expands more than with a euphonium.

I believe the draw for rotary trumpets (to those who like them) are issues such as these, and not the mechanics of them. As an example, an old Conn Connstellation Bb trumpet's playing characteristics (due to how it is set up) are very similar (though - surely - not as good as some and better than others) to those of the typical rotary trumpet.

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:16 am
by bloke
...some more significant progress this evening:

- The new downward-oriented #3 slide circuit is (not cleaned up, but) completely installed.
- The #5 thumb lever assembly is positioned (but not installed).
...The reason that the thumb lever bracket is not installed is because I would like to smooth up an old very minor indention where the thumb ring was formerly positioned, and (using the Ferree's dent machine) that lever bracket would probably prove to be in the way of the dent machine's roller.

I stuck the (original thumb ring assembly in the approximate position of the new one for the picture (which will be larger, adjustable, and more centered on the instrument...oh, and not have some weird brace flange brazed to the top of it). The fact that it will be more centered is nice aesthetically (the previous position, surely, was a compromise, as it doubled as a #3 circuit-to-bell brace), but actually it needs to be more centered due to the necessary (and, fortunately, comfortable) position of the thumb lever.

If you look at the close-up of the thumb lever bracket, you will now see why the #3 slide circuit had to be completely redone with a downward orientation: The original (upward oriented) #3 slide circuit was COMPLETELY in the way of the new #5 thumb lever. Notice that the #5 thumb lever bracket's attaching flange is sitting smack dab on top of an old #3 circuit brace flange. Actually (see the closeup of the new downward-oriented #3 circuit) that brace assembly (with no alteration other than the curvature of the larger brace flange) was able to be repurposed to brace one of the downward-oriented #3 slide tubes to the bottom bow.

I had a rehearsal, this morning, for my annual December 24th pair of masses. There is one piece (one of those way-too-many-notes Richard Webster brass/organ/choir settings of Episcopal Church-sanctioned hymns/carols) where I could have used this instrument (as all of the bottom brass parts are bass trombone parts, and all of them ascend well above the staff), but - as with other years - I'm going to go ahead and use the Willson euphonium, as I am completely familiar with its intonation, we've already had the rehearsal, intonation with the Willson was right in the zone (suburb instrument...' very lucky to own it), and - since the Willson euphonium's bell throat is considerably smaller than this tenor tuba's bell throat, the Willson euphonium probably (??) sounds slightly more like a bass trombone. Obviously, when we have a brand-new toy - and any sort of excuse to use it - we're going to strongly consider using it, aren't we?

Something else that was fairly time consuming was precisely locating the original lower 1-2-3-4 levers carriage support (which had to be soldered to the new #3 lower circuit tubing). I'm pretty picky, and used calipers to measure from the edge of the carriage bar to the center of each rotor's center screw (rather than just trusting the support's position to the "that looks good" method). You can see this bracket (along with the repurposed brace) in the picture of the new #3 slide circuit.

I tend to believe that some who have played other rotary-valves (German name) baritones / (American name) tenor tubas suspect that this instrument sucks... Though it is certainly different from a euphonium, it doesn't suck - just as the *Alexander one doesn't suck.

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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:51 pm
by bloke
I spent about ten minutes this morning making a decision on the position of the #5 thumb lever, and then soldered it in place...

...this: AFTER removing the subtle depression in the bell underneath the original location of the thumb ring flange (as indicated in a previous post).

I warmed up a room in our house (as the rooms we occupy - in the winter - normally tend towards c. 63°, and much of the rest of blokeplace - unless guests expected - remains unheated - typically 50-something degrees), so that I could test intonation.

Gratifyingly, I hit the main slide position for A=440 (with the lengthening of the instrument) with approximately a 3/8" pull, as was the goal. (I believe Mr. Baer and I may agree that - unless there's some side issue - there isn't much of a reason for a main slide bore gap to be any longer than necessary.) The other slides (as seen in the picture of the entire instrument, below) all pull fairly close to the same amount for pitch. Tuning quirks are very minor: 6th partial F and 8th partial Bb are (luxuriously, in my view) subtly flat (assuming no favoring). The G's all call for 3rd valve, as does, probably, the lower D. 1st valve C is fairly flat (think: "Conn 14K sousaphone flat"). 1-3 is perfect for that pitch, and ...well... the instrument is extraordinarily flexible, and 1st valve C can actually be "favored/lipped" way above pitch with ease...so there will be no retreating to the use of 1-3 for "middle c".

The low-range pitches - which involve the new #5 circuit: great-great-great-great...Eb, Db, C, B...all great. 8)

that odd-looking extra-long narrow #1 slide crook: Previously hesitant to cut it until I knew what I had, I'm going to shorten it by c. 3/8", as the current length defines that the #1 slide be pushed in all the way for tuning. Hey... 8) Once shortened, I'll have plenty of "room" just in case there's some super-long sustained 1st valve c, and I decide to make it extra easy on myself.

...so there won't be any slide triggers added to this instrument (i.e. There's no need)...at least, not while I own it.

For now, I'm using a large shank Schilke 59 (as - early on - I converted the instrument to large shank), but - per ads placed here - I would like to buy (pay to borrow?) a used Schilke 60 to test on this instrument.

I have not yet installed the #5 lever spring. That lever will be removed and reinstalled several more times, and I just don't want to struggle with clipped off spring ends.

I removed and de-dented the circular nickel silver flange from the bottom of the original thumb ring, and will probably reuse it for the new adjustable thumb ring.

Left to do (other than possibly refinishing the entire instrument...??) are to clean the rotors, clean up the new solder joints, install the adjustable thumb ring, to install a few narrow braces (between the #1 slide legs, between the #1 and #5 slides, and between the #3 and main slides), and to straighten the slightly-mangled lever(s) carriage rod. Hey...If you have a bent carriage rod - and would like to know how to straighten it - post below, and I'll have Mrs. bloke make a little video of me straightening this one...It's easy. 8)

As a final comment, this instrument (probably made in the 1960's...??) is - very much - a handmade instrument. Even when using a Ferree's dent machine to iron imperfections in the bell section, care must be taken to not "print" interior surface imperfections to the outside.

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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:58 pm
by Mark Finley
Dang it, you've got me really curious. As a fan of rotor euphoniums and a previous owner of one, I need to play this magnificent creation.

Going to the army band conference again?

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:02 pm
by bloke
Mark Finley wrote:Dang it, you've got me really curious. As a fan of rotor euphoniums and a previous owner of one, I need to play this magnificent creation.

Going to the army band conference again?


yeah, again...It ain't a euphonium...at least, it's different from most all piston euphoniums, in the same way that (traditional manufacturers') rotary trumpets are different from piston trumpets...and not just in their mechanics.

Jan/Feb Arlington: I've reserved a booth... :?

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:21 pm
by bloke
To help understand the difference between the sonic characteristics of this instrument and a typical "euphonium"...

...If (??) you're familiar with Rudolf Meinl 5/4 (defacto: 6/4) size tubas, think of the difference between the sonic characteristics of those instruments vs. the sonic characteristics of a typical Yorkaphone...and the differences in the bell flair shapes (though the final bell diameters are just about the same) are completely analogous to the differences in bell flair tapers of this instrument and a typical euphonium...i.e. Notice how this bell flair features no "pancake".

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:25 pm
by bloke
Mark Finley wrote:Dang it, you've got me really curious. As a fan of rotor euphoniums and a previous owner of one, I need to play this magnificent creation.


again: not a euphonium...

Imagine the bell rims being even...and then look down the tenor tuba the same distance as the distance to the bottom of the euphonium bell. The tenor tuba is at least 1/3 larger diameter (and over 50% larger area) at the same point:

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Here's a Wick euphonium mute with factory corks in a euphonium. The corks are too thick:

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Here's the same Wick euphonium mute in the tenor tuba. The corks are too thin:

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Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:03 pm
by BopEuph
Is there any decent recording examples of the sound of the instrument?

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:30 pm
by bloke
BopEuph wrote:Is there any decent recording examples of the sound of the instrument?


After I clean up the rotors, straighten the steel carriage rod (both: for more reliable valve action), and pick over it a bit, I'll see if I can get "Bydlo" recorded and uploaded to my youtube account. I dunno if I can do an A/B with the euphonium...(??)

A friend gave me a very nice gift of a portable recorder. I've used it once...I'm not an expert using it. I have some very fine Neumann mics, but I'm told the onboard mics on the device work very well.

Again, I could (??) use it tomorrow night on one Richard Webster carol setting (this one: http://www.advent-press.com/images/Recordings/audio/Fanfare%2005%20joy%20to%20the%20world%20clip.mp3), but [1] I used my euphonium at the rehearsal, and [2] due to where I'm sitting and the direction I'm facing, were I to use the (front-action) tenor tuba, I'd be playing directly into the organ's pipes closet - rather than out into the cathedral space.

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:03 pm
by Casca Grossa
8)

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:03 pm
by bloke
oh...

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and I got this thing off the kitchen floor, too. I found an out-of-state place that beat all the online places by $100, offered free freight, and ...well... didn't ask for any state sales tax. :oops:

I didn't view it as particularly "green" to use the old one to contribute to blokeplace (or someone's-elseplace) erosion control, so I dropped it off a mile down the road (lots of stainless steel in a Bosch) with my friend, who recycles metal.

Hey...it's always been inexplicably subtly damp (never actually wet) under the sink. A rubber liner - down there - has always prevented any damage.
The original homeowner/contractor (a mechanical, electrical, civic, chemical engineer...i.e. a "dangerous know-it-all", who was able to sign off on all of his own work :roll: ) used - a piece of flex copper (a huge no-no out in the country) to hook in the original Bosch to the sink...and (yep) that hunk-o-pipe was sporting some pinholes (green corrosion was the only thing that was slowing down the leakage through the copper pipe...so I drove seven miles to the closest place with plumbing supplies and got one of those braided-stainless-steel-over-plastic flex pipes. Otherwise, the job was easier than I expected it to be...
...no "sssssssssssssss" sound after the water was turned back on...red lights light up on the control panel...etc.

' see how purdy the black rubber gasket articulates the two adjacent cabinets? That's thanks to Mrs. bloke (who is at least as picky - much more so - as I am). :P

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:12 am
by bloke
The bent carriage rod was straightened, today.
No one expressed interest in how to do it, so I just did it, and didn't make a video.
I could have also demonstrated the technique for removing the carriage rod from a rotary instrument while keeping all the levers in place...

I found a couple of contact brace joints that the factory missed, and soldered those.

I also improved the alignment of the main slide.

I took all the rotors out and cleaned the rotors and casings.

One of the rotors' center screws' heads broke off. The thread seemed to be SAE 4-48, so (since Miraphone center screws' heads match these) I extracted the broken-off screw, and re-tapped an M3x.5 Miraphone screw to SAE 4-48 (an annoying nuisance...but it was relatively easy, and progressed routinely).

Right now, I'm just picking over details and waiting for the adjustable thumb ring assembly (minus flange) to arrive from Germany.

I played it a bit tonight. Again, it isn't a euphonium, and requires a bit of a different "blow".
I'm still (as I prefer to only install the spring ONE time) operating the 5th rotor with a rubber band.

' nothing, really, to show in additional pictures...again - as no one expressed interest in the rod-straightening technique.

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:42 pm
by bloke
a recording...as promised...such as it is. :roll:

I wish I was a better baritone horn player/doubler, I wish the mouthpiece that I use on my Willson euphonium mouthpiece worked on this instrument (rather than this very-different one), and I wish I knew more about recording.

Perhaps, I'll get better at using all of these things...(??)


Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:52 pm
by Mark Finley
Nice job!

It would a fun experiment to hear that horn, a euphonium, a French tuba, and f tuba all playing the same excerpt back to back to back to back.

Same person, 4 different instruments. I know that's not likely

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:57 pm
by bloke
Mark Finley wrote:Nice job!

It would a fun experiment to hear that horn, a euphonium, a French tuba, and f tuba all playing the same excerpt back to back to back to back.

Same person, 4 different instruments. I know that's not likely


I'm not yet acclimated to this mouthpiece (or instrument, for that matter). Even a short little ditty such as this (as can be heard) is a bit tiring - with this mouthpiece - at this point.

Re: German tenor tuba/baritone improvements and enhancements

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:17 am
by BrassedOn
Congrats on the build! Thanks for walking us through it.