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Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Bartok » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:37 pm

Hi, guys!

I've just ordered this PVAK for testing it, and I would like to know if some of you had tested it, and your thoughts about...

I think it will be a bit noisy, because I think the O-rings will made noise, won't you?
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Ken Crawford » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:57 pm

My subjective opinion is that they are not too noisy. They do a great job of maintaining consistent valve alignment over time. Some of the claims about the voodoo improvements in playing characteristics are questionable, but every little bit helps I suppose, even a little placebo here and there.
Last edited by Ken Crawford on Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Bartok » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:21 am

I think noise on PVAK depends on your hand articulation, too... If you use to lift up the piston it would be noisier than if you don’t do it, for example...

About price, it is very expensive...
B&S Neptune 6/4 CC Tuba (1995)
Yamaha YFB 621 F Tuba (1990)
Principal Tuba at Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia (Murcia, SPAIN)
Tuba teacher at Conservatorio de Música de San Javier, (Murcia, SPAIN)
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby MikeMason » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:52 am

Loved the feel,but too noisy for me
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:16 pm

If you want to give hard spacers and o-rings a try for about $5, head down to your local hardware. For my Wisemann 900/PT6P I bought 8 rubber o-rings that were .135" thick with a .25" ID and 4 nylon spacers, .06" thick with a .25 ID. Different tubas will have different spacing requirements, but with a little ingenuity you can figure it out. I didn't have to alter the spacers or o-rings and alignment was right on, verified by endoscope. If you like what you end up with and still want to spend $180 so that you can say you have a real Baer PVAK kit installed go for it. Or keep the cheap system that does the same thing. If you dislike what you end up with, you saved some money.

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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby rascaljim » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:33 pm

Any thoughts compared to using the Kraus or Valentino synthetic pads?
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby ouch » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:53 am

Very informative! Maybe cutting cork and using that instead of the o-rings on the PVAK (with the correct thickness) will make the valve action not sound clunky? Or at least bring the noise down enough so I'm not slightly annoyed when playing, I like to use that Armando Ghitalla technique of "pounding the valves" when needed. (With the PVAK I feel you lose that option)
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby ouch » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:09 am

Thank you Bloke!! I'll go off to do my homework now.

I did notice during a studio recording for a jazz sextet that the PVAK almost ruined ANYTHING I recorded on the big horn, it was a great learning experience to say the least. I ended up using the Eb because it's got the right sound for jazz or just the right sound for a group that small.
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:18 pm

bloke wrote:Image

...and yeah, they're percussive.


I considered that and found that it wasn't an issue. The top of the oring hits flat metal.
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby bort » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:43 pm

What material does Martin Wilk use for the alignment kits he sells?

Not looking to replicate it myself, more like "if I buy it from him, what am I getting?" and "he's a busy person, so I'd rather not bother him with this question if someone around here already knows."
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby joh_tuba » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:43 pm

I'm partial to the woven felts made by Yamaha. Hold their dimensions much better than other felt choices and much quiter than any option discussed above. Replace with new once a year when you pay your tech to clean your horn and you'll have the best of both worlds.
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Re: Alan Baer's PVAK

Postby Bartok » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:44 am

Finally, I installed the original PAVK on my Yamaha YFB621. I asked for it to my orchestra and they let me try it...

My opinion about it: it is noisier than felts, of course, but I don’t think it is unbearable... On the other hand, the sound is brighter and cleaner (it has pros and cons), but, for the moment, I have decided to keep it after 6 months of use...

By the way, another cons for me was I had to re-learning a bit about digitation on right hand. The pistons go faster with PAVK than the felts, so I had to recheck very well every passage with double or triple tonging because fingers were faster than tonge! Hahaha.... :tuba:
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Yamaha YFB 621 F Tuba (1990)
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Tuba teacher at Conservatorio de Música de San Javier, (Murcia, SPAIN)
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