What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat? Bookmark and Share

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What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby WakinAZ » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:40 pm

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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby groth » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:12 am

Nothing about it looks "Miraphone". Since it's a very rare horn, maybe though. Caution should be considered. Not a bad price for a a potential winner either way.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby Donn » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:41 am

Well, I had a 190 once upon a time. '80s. It looked more or less like this, as best as I can remember which is not much, but with different valve linkage. I believe the conventional wisdom is that the '80s 190 wasn't a big winner, but the later CC version is much better - and maybe the BBb has also improved since then. It wasn't the tuba for me at the time, but the guy who I suppose still has it now seemed to like it pretty well.

None of that is going to tell you much about this thing, though. You have to go check it out in person, or take your chances. It's a looker, though, so at worst it shouldn't be too hard to unload if you can't make it work for you. (Save the photos, that's pretty good work there.)
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby Heavy_Metal » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:45 am

I've played several 190s. Think of manning a huge German cannon and you'll get the idea. If the conductor is annoying you, simply point the 190 at the podium, play your best fortissimo, and it might just knock him down. But when one of these has issues, you'll know it. I played one not long ago that had a deteriorated rotor stop bumper, and the slight misalignment made it play those notes way sharp.

ISTR Miraphone doesn't make these tubas anymore, so their prices can only go up. If you're interested, go for it.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby WakinAZ » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:08 am

How is the low end, specifically the low F/ fourth valve?
I tend to reject any horn where that note is not solid.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby MikeMason » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:20 am

If you love the way a horn plays, and its price is really right, main tuning devices/slide length alteration can solve intonation issues, if you’re willing to learn. Horizontal main slides more of a challenge, but still doable
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby bort » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:51 pm

A different looking Miraphone engraving than usual, but it also looks pretty old.

Probably a pretty decent tuba, but not going to be as point and shoot as a 186... and will take some navigating. Just guesses. If you want a Kaiser BBb, maybe a good price point to try one out?
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby WakinAZ » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:23 pm

Thanks guys, keep it coming.
:arrow: I was asking about the low range response above -anyone have an opinion on that?
I'm not a fan of having to sneak up on notes, especially really important ones like the F four ledger lines below the staff.
I've had to use adult fingerings on several past horns, and I tend to lip things quite a bit, so I'm not too worried about intonation as long as it's decent.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby hrender » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:02 pm

If the Mirafone SN list on Horn-u-copia is accurate the horn is from 1975. Anybody ever play a 190 (or similarly sized model) Mirafone from that period?

Found this thread from the old board on the topic: http://www.chisham.com/tips/bbs/oct2001/messages/71722.html. Most of the replies are literal dead-ends, but a few useful ones are still there.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby Donn » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:51 pm

I don't remember any problem with low F. I suspect this is not the kind of tuba where one is likely to have that particular problem, just considering the generous bore and not too extravagant proportional enlargement.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby WakinAZ » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:23 pm

Tempting as it is, I think I'm gonna pass and keep my powder dry for more of a known quantity. I realize there are varying opinions on most models, but this one seems to stack up somewhere between "air hog dog" and "can be ok, maybe".

Also a forty+ year old horn that looks that good was likely not played much? Dunno.
Also, this seller is not tenured, and another listing indicates he cannot blow an open note to even see what key a tuba is in. So he doesn't know much about tubas. Not sure that really matters, but just one more thing that gives me pause.
To his credit, he is very responsive and sent extra pics and answered my questions.

As always, my thoughts and prayers go out to the TNFJ.
I rely on you guys to pump the brakes a bit sometimes.

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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby LCTuba89 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:56 am

I live in Lake Charles so I'll go play the horn and give my opinion on it. It belonged to Henry Alexander who also donated 3 of the 4 tubas my community band owns. I play the Melton 2155R he donated many years ago.
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Re: What does the TNFJ think of this Miraphone 190 BB flat?

Postby LCTuba89 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:30 pm

Okay, I went and played the horn. Here is the good and bad:

The Good:
- It is a genuine Miraphone (Mirafone) 190
- The low register plays in tune and doesn't feel stuffy at all. Low F pops right out with plenty of intensity.
- The horn isn't too heavy and it sits nicely on the lap with easy access to the 1st tuning slide. No stand required.
- The overall tone is basically a 186 on steroids. Has the 186 bark but with more meat behind it. Can easily burn without trying too hard.
- The 3rd partial is surprisingly close to being in tune. No need for alternate fingerings on 3rd partial pitches.

The Bad:
- The horn needs some dent work done. There is a big dent in the bottom bow, but the biggest concern is the dent in the leadpipe. Leadpipe dents affect the intonation and response greatly.
- The valves are sluggish, just needs cleaning and oil though.
- The biggest problems of this horn are definitely intonation wise though. The 5th and 8th partial are EXTREMELY FLAT. I'm talking 5th partial sounds a sharp Db and 8th partial sounds a sharp A. Using alternate fingerings does make the D and high Bb more usable but just something to note.

The guy will take $3000 for the horn AS-IS with the case. He will sell it repaired though for $3200. If you're interested I will leave his email and the pictures here. You can also PM me as well.

Email: jbreezy642@aol.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Pictures: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PSHI7PVy5JgSUlllUcnxjzddZxWcs3SC?usp=sharing
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