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York Recording Bass

Postby hrender » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:31 pm

hal.
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:49 pm

If that is the fixed bell horn then it is a sweetie. I fell in love with one of those for sale used at Giardinelli's on 46th St in Manhatan back in 1987. It was only $800 and in perfect condition, save for having no lacquer. It has a very dark brown patina and no evidence of having ever been de-dented or disassembled, save for some very clean work done to the bell flare and one brace that had been sloppily "repaired" by someone in the past.

It played very well and was well in tune, too, especially well considering it had no 4th valve. I did not buy it because the bell was a one-piece, fixed recording bell and it had no hard case. At that time you could not easily locate a gig bag for such a horn, so it would have had to survive riding all over NYC in the subway with no protection. I was not willing to even take it home like that, much less try to gig on it. My horn in a decent gig bag got pretty banged up in the subway after three years of regular traveling. I could not do this to such a nice, old tuba.

It is about the same size as one of the smaller Conn tubas but with the large bell flare. I would call it a small 4/4 tuba, about the size of the Monster Eb or a bit smaller in the outer bows. (Maybe they are the same outer bows. I don't know.)

Hope someone gets this and then gives it a thorough review here. This is the *only* recording tuba model I have ever considered owning.
Last edited by the elephant on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In the multiverse there is a TubeNet where we talk about how we greased our cat with toothpaste and hot sauce so it would fly better in the rain. Even then someone would ask whether the cat was lacquered or silver plated.
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:07 pm

Okay, I asked the seller a few questions about this tuba. I am not interested in it at all, but am trying to get some history on it published in the auction info. This one is indeed the same model I played. These are not all that common (at least not in my experience) as compared with other BBb models that are much more popular in the resale market. I got a really weird vibe when I saw the photos and suspected that it is the same tuba, but that is has been refinished at some point in the recent past. I *know* this is not the case, but I had to ask the guy.

Let's see what he has to say about it. Also, it was not at Giardinelli's but at one of the many shops two blocks south in "Musician's Row" on 48th street. It was not Sam Ash or International. It *might* have been for sale in Manny's. It was not one of the shops I went into all that often, and it had a lot of high-end synths and such. Their big item when I tested this tuba was some update to the Synclavier II as used on the "Bad" album by Michael Jackson. There were all these geeks in there playing with the display, and two Army bandsmen with bad haircuts screwing around with this tuba and some French horns the store had on consignment. I later placed my Yamaha tuba on consignment there. I cannot for the life of me remember which shop this was. It was on the north side of the block about halfway down, ground floor.

Dammit... ;-)

I would think that $2000 is a bit steep for this unless it is exactly what a person is shopping for. The lack of any sort of case or bag makes shipping without damage a real issue. If you live out that way and could arrange local pickup I would think it worth a look. The key is the piston casings. If the valves were refit when it was relacquered and the casings were not removed and properly redone as well then you might have a nice looking, historically interesting tuba that plays like crap.

If it is in great shape and the valves are okay (original condition with not too much wear or properly rebuilt [valves AND casings]) I would take it for $1500.

Perhaps someone else could pester this seller for photos of the pistons and questions about whether they were ever refit by him or a previous owner. Worth a little typing. These tubas sound perfect in old theater orchestra-type gigs, speakeasy bands, traditional jazz. Perfect tone and projection, with very decent clarity. The scale is not too bad, either.

Again, if anyone here gets this please share what you think after you have had it for awhile. I love these tubas.
In the multiverse there is a TubeNet where we talk about how we greased our cat with toothpaste and hot sauce so it would fly better in the rain. Even then someone would ask whether the cat was lacquered or silver plated.
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby hrender » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:05 pm

FWIW, my King 1240 (one-piece bell, very similar to this York except front-action) was shipped to me via UPS in a huge box without any damage, so it can be done. I agree $2K is a little high. I paid a ridiculously low price for mine, but I know I got extremely lucky. You can do a lot with one of these fixed recording bell horns, even with 3 valves.
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby hrender » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:30 am

It's back, with a $1750 BIN or "Make offer."
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby YORK-aholic » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:38 am

I believe it's a model 706.
Some old Yorks and Martins
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Re: York Recording Bass

Postby roughrider » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:50 am

I have the HN.White King "Symphony" BBb version of this horn. It was made between 1930 and 1935 and also has three valves. Hal was correct in saying that a lot of things can be accomplished with these recording bell tubas. The pitch is excellent and the sound is very good for such a compact horn. I have used this horn in concert bands as well as in a local German band setting and it has performed very well. I had the horn nickel plated when I first owned it over forty years ago and the plating is only now starting to flake in spots. The recording bass tubas certainly have a place in the concert band world, at least where I live!
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