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Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:04 pm
by Heavy_Metal

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:11 pm
by iiipopes
Oh my! I now have a section mate for my Bessophone: a Martiphone! :tuba:

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:57 am
by groth
Talk about playing flat...and not fitting in most standard sized gig bags lol.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:45 am
by iiipopes
groth wrote:Talk about playing flat...and not fitting in most standard sized gig bags lol.

Why would you think it would play flat? It looks like a great instrument to me.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:22 pm
by groth
iiipopes wrote:
groth wrote:Talk about playing flat...and not fitting in most standard sized gig bags lol.

Why would you think it would play flat? It looks like a great instrument to me.

When you add length to a horn beyond how it came with from the factory your pitch gets lower. This bell is taller than where the factory Miraphone bell was.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:49 pm
by Donn
Length or width, I gather.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:14 am
by iiipopes
groth wrote:
iiipopes wrote:
groth wrote:Talk about playing flat...and not fitting in most standard sized gig bags lol.

Why would you think it would play flat? It looks like a great instrument to me.

When you add length to a horn beyond how it came with from the factory your pitch gets lower. This bell is taller than where the factory Miraphone bell was.

Of course it does! As we were all taught when we all first picked up a horn and taught how to use tuning slides (mumble) decades ago. And by contrast, if the bell stack is shorter, you need to lengthen the main tuning slide as I did on my Bessophone. The bell stack on this Martiphone does not look taller than a stock 16 1/2 inch bell. It appears to be an optical illusion from the larger throat and flare. Now, that said, the terminal node will also be affected by the larger flare and that may alter the overall pitch as well. But without playing it, none of us can know for sure.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:54 am
by groth
iiipopes wrote:
groth wrote:Talk about playing flat...and not fitting in most standard sized gig bags lol.

Why would you think it would play flat? It looks like a great instrument to me.

When you add length to a horn beyond how it came with from the factory your pitch gets lower. This bell is taller than where the factory Miraphone bell was.[/quote]
Of course it does! As we were all taught when we all first picked up a horn and taught how to use tuning slides (mumble) decades ago. And by contrast, if the bell stack is shorter, you need to lengthen the main tuning slide as I did on my Bessophone. The bell stack on this Martiphone does not look taller than a stock 16 1/2 inch bell. It appears to be an optical illusion from the larger throat and flare. Now, that said, the terminal node will also be affected by the larger flare and that may alter the overall pitch as well. But without playing it, none of us can know for sure.[/quote]
I guess not, however it's an 80% or better chance it'll be a tuning nightmare and for that starting price I'd pass. (Unless someone had another Mira bell laying around or could build one to spec to replace it). The rest of the horn is not all that clean either, albeit an interesting project I think it was strange to put this particular bell on it.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:28 pm
by iiipopes
groth wrote:I guess not, however it's an 80% or better chance it'll be a tuning nightmare and for that starting price I'd pass. (Unless someone had another Mira bell laying around or could build one to spec to replace it). The rest of the horn is not all that clean either, albeit an interesting project. I think it was strange to put this particular bell on it.

We don't know the seller's situation. And I will not render speculation or judgment. And, with all due respect, I am miffed by your comments in general being rather negative to the Seller. It appears to be a fine tuba to me. And it is no more strange than my Bessophone, or any other "Frankentuba" that has graced the threads of this forum. BTW - it did sell. Congrats to both the seller and buyer, whomever they may be.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 11:25 pm
by groth
iiipopes wrote:
groth wrote:I guess not, however it's an 80% or better chance it'll be a tuning nightmare and for that starting price I'd pass. (Unless someone had another Mira bell laying around or could build one to spec to replace it). The rest of the horn is not all that clean either, albeit an interesting project. I think it was strange to put this particular bell on it.

We don't know the seller's situation. And I will not render speculation or judgment. And, with all due respect, I am miffed by your comments in general being rather negative to the Seller. It appears to be a fine tuba to me. And it is no more strange than my Bessophone, or any other "Frankentuba" that has graced the threads of this forum. BTW - it did sell. Congrats to both the seller and buyer, whomever they may be.

I don't recall ever saying anything negative, just the horn will (more than likely) play very flat. Been there, done that. Never said it wasn't cool, just not sure why that particular combination of bell and body. In most situations it wouldn't fit in a standard gig bag either. I guess there's a buyer for anything if you wait long enough.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:01 am
by tofu
iiipopes wrote:
groth wrote:I guess not, however it's an 80% or better chance it'll be a tuning nightmare and for that starting price I'd pass. (Unless someone had another Mira bell laying around or could build one to spec to replace it). The rest of the horn is not all that clean either, albeit an interesting project. I think it was strange to put this particular bell on it.

We don't know the seller's situation. And I will not render speculation or judgment. And, with all due respect, I am miffed by your comments in general being rather negative to the Seller. It appears to be a fine tuba to me. And it is no more strange than my Bessophone, or any other "Frankentuba" that has graced the threads of this forum. BTW - it did sell. Congrats to both the seller and buyer, whomever they may be.


He is entitled to his opinion and quite frankly I agree 100% with him about potential tuning issues. Plus, the seller doesn't address the tuning at all. A good seller would be up front about the tuning on such an out of the ordinary bell switched frankenhorn. This is an instrument that originally was designed for a 15 7/8 (usually referred to as 16) in bell and Mirafone/Miraphone has increased that over the years to the current 17.75. When this one was built it (based on the serial #) was probably a 16 in bell. And I'll add - the thing looks ridiculous IMHO. A Besson New Standard Bell from the 1970's has both a profile/flare/rim width (17 in.) that very closely matches the 186 bell of the era. The sound characteristics would be somewhat different since the Besson Bell is very thick compared to what was most likely a hand hammered very thin bell originally on the 186, but I would expect no real tuning issues. I'll add I'm a long time owner of both a 1970 New Standard and a 1969 186 - so I'm a bit familiar with both horns. It's always possible the 186 with a 20 in Martin Bell is a well playing horn, but he is asking a lot for an auction horn for somebody to take a chance on with no chance to play. And I think the poster you have issue with, does a real service to any students or new tuba players on here thinking of buying it -to take into consideration the potential tuning issues and then asking the seller about them before bidding/buying.

Re: Miraphone 186 BBb w/Martin Bell

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:42 am
by TheGoyWonder
If the the bell is an inch taller, that affects the intonations way less than an inch of tuning slide. Doubt that needs to be shortened, even if so not a big deal.
20" bell, 40" or 41" tall...it's basically proportional. it's well done, it's a miraphone so you know the rotors turn like butter...glad it sold.