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Re: Vintage Alexander 163 BBb

Postby bloke » Mon May 29, 2017 10:11 pm

this...
glad to see this post.
much easier to quote than to type some of it.
If good valves, it would be worth the current bid, except the engraving devalues it...just imo.
just fwiw...Old Alex BBb tubas really don't play that badly out-of-tune.
Some of the old CC tubas earn that reputation, and many of the old CC versions appear to be "shortcutted" BBb designs. That having been said, others (as well as myself) have had considerable success "unwonking" old Alex CC tuba intonation by either replacing the original mouthpipes with smaller ones, or (as the first 4+ inches of an Alex mouthpipe is nearly dead-straight) inserting a smaller (tapered) tube INSIDE the original small-end of the mouthpipe tube. The first time I ever did this (as an experiment...roughly forty years ago), I used four inches from a ruined Conn 88H outside slide tube, hammered/burnished it into a taper/venturi/receiver, soldered on a cut off trim ring from the "apron" of an Olds sousaphone finger button on the receiver end, and slid it in place. Had the owner of that shop not (the next day) decided to buff the $h!t out of the rotors (subsequently ruining the instrument, obviously)...as well as buffing a nice hole in the upper bow, I might have been interested in purchasing and using that tuba. :(

TheBerlinerTuba wrote:Interesting example of a "counterfeit". This tuba is definitely a B&S/Weltklang Model 101 BBb tuba made in Markneukirchen. For whatever reason, someone has engraved the Alexander name on the wreath.

Here are the identifying markers:
1. There are no engraving lines on the valve block ferrels and slide ferrels.
2. The larger nickel silver ferrels (bell to bottom bow etc.) are flat sheet with just two engraving lines. Alexanders and B&S (not the cheaper Weltklang models) have contoured 3D ferrels.
3. Paddle assembly with thin paddles are typical of late 1960s till early 1980s B&S/Weltklang. On an Alex, they are much chunkier and thicker, or are complete oval instead.
4. The thumbring plate, carriage rings, and mouthpiece receiver are all standard B&S parts.
5. It's difficult to see in the photo without a side by side comparison, but the Alexander 163 BBb has a different fatter bell shape and a slightly larger bore size (20.50mm Alex to 19mm B&S) and this particular bell profile is clearly from the B&S catalogue.

The half round nickel silver bracing was used by both Alexander and B&S until the 1970s.

Regarding the engraving. For a decent engraver, the Alexander logo is not particularly difficult to copy...

Having said everything, when in good condition, this model is usually an excellent tuba. However you should know what you're buying.
Cheers everyone,
TheBerlinerTuba
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Re: Vintage Alexander 163 BBb

Postby Donn » Mon May 29, 2017 11:49 pm

bort wrote:If it's a B&S tuba with am Alex bell, that would explain the leadpipe weirdness.


Knowing nothing of these instruments, I have to wonder why this wouldn't be the obvious explanation, rather than a counterfeit engraving on the kranz which seems like a mighty odd thing to do. Bells get swapped all the time, from what I understand I may be the one of the few who've owned several tubas and haven't ever transplanted a bell from one to the other.
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Re: Vintage Alexander 163 BBb

Postby arpthark » Tue May 30, 2017 12:54 am

The flanges on the thumb ring and lyre holder on the Alex-engraved bell are B&S-style. More decorative. Most Alex flanges I've seen are mostly plain and rhomboidal. It would be odd to have a transplanted bell without transplanting that hardware as well, yes?
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Re: Vintage Alexander 163 BBb

Postby TheBerlinerTuba » Tue May 30, 2017 3:39 am

Donn wrote:
bort wrote:If it's a B&S tuba with am Alex bell, that would explain the leadpipe weirdness.


Knowing nothing of these instruments, I have to wonder why this wouldn't be the obvious explanation, rather than a counterfeit engraving on the kranz which seems like a mighty odd thing to do. Bells get swapped all the time, from what I understand I may be the one of the few who've owned several tubas and haven't ever transplanted a bell from one to the other.


Sorry just to kill that last bit of suspense...
The tuba is most likely 100% B&S including the bell. The small side of the bell that goes into the ferrel, on the B&S should be around 38-37.50cm in circumference. For an Alexander 163 BBb the circumference is 42-42.50cm. Although one could theoreticall shrink down the small end or expand the bell tenon, this is not a job for the faint of heart and it would leave telltale signs. However if you take a quick look at the picture on Ebay of the inside of the bell, you will see a continuous single seam which is SOP for most B&S BBb bells in the 1970s. On the Alexander 163s built up until the 1980s, there was a large triangle piece set in the flair.

The leadpipe has probably just been very poorly modified or repaired.

Have a good day everyone,
Cheers from Berlin
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Re: Vintage Alexander 163 BBb

Postby lowbrassmaniac » Tue May 30, 2017 8:05 am

The leadpipe has probably just been very poorly modified or repaired.


That makes the most sense here, I wonder how hard it would be (or expensive) to replace that thing considering the availability of parts has to be slim?
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