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When I read the phrase "parts bin," why does that recall horror stories about GM of a previous generation and British Leyland?
"Bessophone" w/ 2-piece Imperial Blokepiece,
Lexan 32.6 Modified Helleberg rim & modified .080 extender
Wessex BR115 w/ Wick Ultra SMB6
King Super 20 trumpet w/ Bach 3C/76
Fanned fret bass and electric guitars
I have no prob's with Japan...
They actually change the model number designations when they change a part or two...and those online exploded diagrams are the $h!t.
As far as Taiwan goes (and SUPER-nice guys in Nashville, btw...with Mr. S. very parts-knowledgeable), every time I think I've chosen the correct (pot metal) water key for the skinny-crook main slide, I'm sent the wrong one - my fault, I'm sure, but I don't have trouble with other makes figuring out what the h3LL to order. ...and tuning bits... If I order from Elkhorn, I get the very-first-ever generation (when they were modelling Olds/Reynolds) which are a "bit" uncomfortable to use with the current version (modeled after King). Finally, if parts are ordered any time after June, both Elkhorn and Nashville seem to be out of just about any part that is a commonly-needed part.
bloke "whatever...It ain't mine. "
OK, I have the parts on order to replace the linkage arms with threaded rods covered in brass tubing. I'm going to leave the ball and socket parts in place for now
Also I FINALLY replaced the terrible soft sponge that they call rotor bumpers with 1/4" o-rings. Made a huge difference in the feel of the valves. Should have done that the day I got the horn
Gee, Mark, you'll be taking all the mystery out of play that horn by knowing when the valves are actual "up" or "down."
the funny thing is, since the valves don't over rotate now because of the soft bumpers, the horn plays better and doesn't CLUNK when I push the valves down (the linkage over rotating and smacking the side of the stop arm)
why do all chinese companies use that terrible semi clear bumper material? It's not just JinBao, my wife's packer french horn has the same stuff on it
They put that stuff in there - and some German manufacturers as well (RM tubas - at least, in the distant past - when I sold a few of them "new" - were one maker) - to try to make the valves SUPER-quiet when the instrument is brand-new for-sale.
It's the same reason that brand-new piston tubas are outfitted with super-poofy felts over/under.
I guess they are ok at first, but the material breaks down really fast, right?
I don't remember them being so spongy when I got the horn, but now, holy crap, it's like a marshmallow
What oil are you using? Sounds like some chemical reaction. They are not spongy when new and appear to be made of similar material as used by Meinl-Weston/B&S
Valve oil on those silicone bumpers might not be a very good combo, and - pretty much - it's unavoidable.
Obviously, a fairly hard rubber is the best material for most people and most instruments.
If you're desperate, a package of a dozen cheap pencils supplies a dozen erasers that can be extracted, and those erasers (though NOT ideal) are probably more satisfactory than the ultra-squishy clear silicone...particularly for a few weeks or so...
I may have this wrong, but I think only use synthetic oil around those silicon bumpers
I know some people prefer hard black bumpers. Fair enough - that is an easy enough update
Those clear crappy, squishy bumpers aren't Silicone but most likely some sort of cheap Vinyl. Materials like Silicone and Viton (O-rings) are pretty much inert and not affected by oils. I use Silicone rubber cord (the red stuff from McMaster-Carr) and bumpers that leave here are pretty much 'good to go' for years unless they get damaged by a loose razor blade wielded by a well-meaning dad.
"The Village Tinker"
Current 'stable'... Rudolf Meinl 5/4, Bohm & Meinl helicon, King 2341, Alphorn, BBb cimbasso, and misc. other strange stuff.
Here's what it looks like with using o rings for bumper material. Checked the alignment last night, and it's almost perfect
Getting the parts in today to replace the linkage arms with longer ones. Hopefully I'll have that done by the end of the week
Took me 7 months, but I finally got sick enough of the weird spatula angle to do something about it
Sat down with a yard of 3mm threaded rod, 2 feet of 5/16" brass tube, a Dremel tool with a cutting blade, calipers, a tube bender, tube cutter, Polish, and Nitro lacquer, and in less than 2 hours I finished.
It feels so much more comfortable now, and the the threads on the steel rod seem to grip the linkage ends better, so it reduced some looseness and slop. I was using some nylon washers to firm everything up, but now I don't have to
I did see one Arion for sale used in the last year, about a 3 hour drive from here. That was the the first one I had ever seen for sale used, and new they are over $6000. Out of my price range for just a horn to teach lessons on
I hope eventually the 2nd valve starts behaving itself. It's OK at times, but hangs up now and then. I've taken it to a shop and they worked on it, it worked for a while, but then started acting up. Maybe over the summer I'll take it to a different shop, give someone else a Crack at it
I'm pleased with the tone and the intonation, both are really great. I wish I could order a better gig bag for it, but in this size my selection is limited
Now that the linkage has been replaced, my only complaint is the valve. I would love to find a set of valves from a 186 or a cerveny and replace them all. In the meantime I guess I should keep trying to find out why the 2nd valve hangs on me
I'll say this, both tuba exchange and packer sell a BBb Tuba similar to this that I really liked as well. Both of them are quite a bit more money then I paid for the Prague, but both seem to be really good horns. I don't think they are the same tuba, similar concepts, different design.
If I ever get this valve fixed so it's reliable, I would consider selling this horn to a student as a home practice horn and getting either the packer or the TE tuba. I'm going to play both of them some more at TMEA
https://www.tubaexchange.com/collection ... /te-2111-l" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.jpmusicalinstruments.com/JP3 ... -Tuba.html" target="_blank
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