Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn Bookmark and Share

Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby Bclark14 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:16 am

Hey all, first time post here

Still a little work to do including drilling out holes for waterkeys and installing the keys. I also need to finish the fourth valve tubing, but it has been playable as a 3v horn since about April or May.

I'll attach pictures up here because I don't expect many to read this whole thing, but if you plan on telling me this was a waste of money/time, then I encourage you to read it through.

Pics: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... s7PRFd-ghi" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
I don't think they uploaded in a particular order, but a lot of these pictures kind of represent some of the process of putting this horn together.

This project was inspired initially by some of the older York Eb tubas with high/low pitch loop that could lower or raise the pitch by switching which tube one end of the main tuning slide went in. I immeadiately thought that it would be interesting to utilize this concept to change the pitch by a whole step.

This horn was not built to be an amazing F, but it actually plays much better than I expected. I wanted to learn bass tuba fingerings and figured this was a more risk free project to improve my soldering skills, as it could be put back as a 4v baritone if it was a stinker. It has about a 14 mm bore, only 1.5mm smaller than the meinl travel tubas, and larger than the 12mm bore of the chinese travel horns. I believe the google drive folder shows a picture of the baritone next to a Conn Worchester Eb (they are to scale with each other) buecause I thought it was really interesting that closer to the bell, the size difference in these horns was not huge. I don't call it a tuba for obvious reasons, about 2/3 of it is cylinderical.

As far as range, I can hit an F above the staff with it (although this is kind of grainy.. the C at the top is clear). After playing it for a while, my high range on my BBb is improving. The low end is surprisingly free blowing for the bore size, but that may just be because my only extensive experience is with the contrabass. In the F configuration, I can play a pedal Bb with the 3 valves pushed down and slides pulled, and it is much less muffled than I expected. In the Eb configuration the Ab is still playable. When I added the 4th valve, it was really intended to give more options if it had wonky tuning tendencies, but it really doesn't have anything more than about 35 cents off the mark. The low register sounds pretty good for what it is though, so I'm glad I grafted it to the rest of the block. It will hopefully make the pedal F to low C range useable, as the false tones are complete garbage. The 4th valve circuit is not yet complete.

This horn was built using three horns that were designated as "for parts". The horn that the 3v block and bugle came from was really not that bad, only a few broken solder joints and a messed up leadpipe. The fourth valve and a lot of tubing came from another ambassador that was bell front, missing a valve and was heavily oxidized. Some other crooks and tubing came from an olds marching baritone, which gave more options for the third valve crooks.

This horn is assembled mostly from Olds parts, with exception to the main slide crook (trombone back bow), a few crooks, and the leadpipe (cut from what I assume is the marching leadpipe for the conn 15?j.. whichever one is front action but converts to sit on the shoulder). I used this leadpipe because it has a small throat at the receiver and I actually wanted ~some~ taper before reaching the baritone bore size. The recievers I have from some 20k leadpipes slid right over the inner slide tubes.. The 15j leadpipe was also cracked on the larger end, so it wasn't worth fixing and reselling.

Here is the breakdown of how much this project set me back:

$90- upright ambassador
$90- bell-front ambassador
$100- marching baritone
$0- miscellanious parts I already had
$?- just a little more tubing for 4th valve

I say "not bad for <$300"

The 4th valve is not complete, I only need some cylindrical tubing. I will probably order this from Votaw tool company, unless anyone else has suggestions on where to get brass tubing in SoCal.

There is obviously no reason to even think about putting a 5th valve on this horn, but I did make sure that I had about 4+ inches of pull on the upper 4th valve slide. Should be enough to get the low F in tune 4+1.

Brett "needing to work on the brevity thing" Clark
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby the elephant » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Good job. We learn by doing, and you did a lot. I encourage you to continue as long as your curiosity lasts.
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby Tubajug » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:03 pm

So it's the size of a baritone, but plays in the range of an Eb/F tuba? Very cool! That looks like a lot of work, nice job!
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby Bclark14 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:11 pm

Thank you!

Yup, nice and small, but can actually belt out some pretty low tones with my Helleberg. Obviously not the real deal, but fun to mess around on. I also wanted to do this project to sort of hone my skills for when I want to work on more serious/bigger projects (when funds permit)
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby Heliconer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:41 am

Video please!!
A bunch of metal fart noise machines
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby bloke » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 am

It's easier to look at your work if you host each picture for free at imgur.com (no registration / no nothing), and show each picture in your actual posting here.

Just right-click each final picture to get its url, paste the url here, and put this around the url

[img]url-of-picture[/img]
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Re: Olds Ambassador F/Eb Bass Horn

Postby Bob Kolada » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:41 pm

Neat!
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