Page 3 of 34

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 9:20 am
by Dan Schultz
Neptune wrote:...... I guess you being an instrument repairer tend to see Chinese instruments of the past and not the latest production, so don't appreciate the advances....


Granted that there has been improvement. However... I HAVE seen some recent examples that had very poor machine work. I appreciate your efforts. Keep it up.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 10:35 am
by Mark Finley
The tuba I bought from you in November Jonathan, would you consider that past quality or present? What improvements have you made since then?

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:02 pm
by Wyvern
58mark wrote:The tuba I bought from you in November Jonathan, would you consider that past quality or present? What improvements have you made since then?

That was past quality Mark, as we had in stock as demo instrument for at least one year when you bought.

We have made improvements in areas of;

Finishing and polishing
Valve alignment, fit and and finish (we now never accept any with excess valve noise and anything but smooth action)
Valve threads
Slide alignment
Strengthening of valve levers
Solder joints (internal check)
Bell engraving

Whenever any issue comes to light, we discuss with production manager the next visit and agree improvement plan. If issue is then found again on future production, we will not accept until corrected. On one occasion I rejected 24 tubas. There has never been that issue again! I raise the benchmark of acceptability with every quality inspection.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:09 pm
by Wyvern
Dan Schultz wrote:However... I HAVE seen some recent examples that had very poor machine work.

But were they Wessex? I cannot speak for improvements in other brands. They may even come from different factory - and even if the same factory, I don't know how many of our improvements get applied to other brands.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:08 pm
by Dan Schultz
Neptune wrote:
Dan Schultz wrote:However... I HAVE seen some recent examples that had very poor machine work.

But were they Wessex? I cannot speak for improvements in other brands. They may even come from different factory - and even if the same factory, I don't know how many of our improvements get applied to other brands.


Yes... specifically one of the travel tubas. VERY poor machine work on the rotors, housings, and especially the fit of the rear bearing plates.

IF you blame 'old stock' that were made prior to 'upgrades' were made... you're not doing yourself or the brand any favors to continue to sell then even as 'B stock' or 'demo' instruments.

One thing that you did not include in the list in your last post is attention to the tolerances and fit of the rotor components. You can make stuff as pretty as you like but if the diameters on the rotors and housings aren't concentric... they horns will eventually cause problems.

I don't mean to be critical here, Jonathan. Just calling it like I see it and hoping to see some truly excellent examples of craftsmanship from WESSEX one of these days. You can do it if you continue to uphold your standards and keep the manufacturers feet in 'the fire'.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:02 pm
by bort
Question -- so what happens if quality does improve leaps and bounds for Wessex branded stuff? Does this improve the quality of everything else that comes out of the factory, or is it like "oh crap, Jonathan is coming, we'd better get it together!"

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:36 pm
by Wyvern
Dan, I am surprised you had that problem with one of our travel tubas, as their valves are usually very good in my experience. Of course we usually quality check completed instrument and do not remove the rotary valves as part of check. I will look into this during visit and this should be well covered by our push for all staff to quality assure at every stage of construction.

Bort, Although my main concern is to improve Wessex quality, I rather think a number of the quality improvements will become 'normal practice'. The CEO really wants me to push quality, so I have the full backing of the factory management. Jim Langley is quite familiar with quality assurance practices at some leading western brands - so is knowledgable to advise on best practice.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:47 pm
by Mark Finley
Getting back to the original question, is it possible to offer the upgraded parts to retrofit older tubas? I knew when bought the demp horn it would have a couple of dings in it, but I I didn't know the quality of the linkages and the fit of the stop arms would be that much worse than new ones (assuming new ones are better than mine, I'll see in a couple of weeks myself)

I'm wondering what a newer stop arm would fit like on my tuba, because the fit right now is pretty terrible. I've tried wrapping the spindle arm with teflon tape and even paper, and it's just not good. I broke a screw off in the valve trying to tighten it enough so it wouldn't have any free play independent of the valve

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:02 pm
by Wyvern
Mark, If new parts are made, then they are available to existing customers to purchase.

However I am not aware of updating stop arm, because loose fit is not a problem we have previously come across and I have played Mahler rotary CC tubas a lot and I know Andy regularly plays both Prague and Luzern. I will check on some rotary tubas in stock. Maybe a faulty component on just your tuba? In which case I will send you replacement part (with screw) under warranty.

If I find others with problem, then that is added to my list of areas to get sorted and to pay special attention in checking.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:13 pm
by Mark Finley
Two of the four are a really loose fit. I'll show you in an email

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:20 pm
by Chasetbr
I would love to see a valved bass trombone be made. I could see it as 1, a large shank 3 valve "slide" to go onto the existing bass trombone bell and dual rotary valve section. Or 2, just create a more traditional valve trombone but with four valves made to take a large shank mouthpiece with a larger bell. Thank you for the consideration and I would really love to see this!

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 7:04 pm
by Wyvern
58mark wrote:Two of the four are a really loose fit. I'll show you in an email

Two out of four rather indicates faulty component. If it was incorrect tolerances, then would apply to all. But still area that needs special quality assurance. It is something the person assembling should spot and reject faulty component before it is added to tuba.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:31 pm
by Conn 2J CC
Jonathan - Thank you for your company's contributions to today's low brass instrument market, especially. This may be getting really picky, but I wonder if there would be a significant market for an F Contrabass Trombone with specifications close to the following -

1. Key of F, with inline Db (lower lever) and C (thumb lever) rotary valves. Obviously, this would be an F/Db/C/A Contra that's a perfect fourth lower than the standard Bb double-valve Bass Trombones marketed today (Bb/Gb/F/D). Many Trombonists might find adapting from a Bb Bass Bone to an F Contra like this to be more to their liking.

2. Dual bore 15.6 mm (.615") to 16.13 mm (.635") hand slide. I took these bore sizes from the larger side of your BBb Contrabass Trombone's slide, and the bore of a Mirafone BBb Contrabass Trombone slide, respectively.

3. C valve bore size - 16.66 mm (.656") and Db valve bore size - 17.49 mm (.687"). Both are clearly very common bore sizes for Tuba valves, and hopefully logical bore size increases from the dual bore slide suggestions.

Hopefully such specifications (15.6/16.13/16.66/17.49 mm = .615/.635/.656/.687") would create an F Contrabass Trombone that would sound distinctly larger than a Bb Bass Trombone, without sounding tubby or un-Trombone-like. On the other hand, I may also be proving that I should just sit down and enjoy what the rest of you are discussing, because I really don't understand instrument design at all. I just thought I'd put this out here for consideration. Thank you for your time.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 9:22 pm
by Dan Schultz
Neptune wrote:
58mark wrote:Two of the four are a really loose fit. I'll show you in an email

Two out of four rather indicates faulty component. If it was incorrect tolerances, then would apply to all. But still area that needs special quality assurance. It is something the person assembling should spot and reject faulty component before it is added to tuba.


Jonathan... sorry to chime in here but I've seen the video of the stop arms on Mark's horn and the problem is EXACTLY like I've seen on many of the rotary tubas. The fit of the stop arms to the rotors is simply not acceptable and needs to be fixed. Some of these stop arms fit so badly that they have to be 'squished' in a vice to make them fit in just one direction. I've also had to peen the tops of the stop arms to make them smaller in order to fit tightly on the rotor axle. This problem is not an isolated issue and appears on almost ALL of the Chinese horns. I'm not just picking on WESSEX but if you truly want to make your horns better... bring a couple of them to my shop. You and I will take each one apart and I'll show you first-hand what needs to be done to make them acceptable.

I had to use A LOT more force to get the rear bearing plates out of a travel tuba a while back. Much more force than I was really comfortable with. This was a new horn. Not one that had been in use for a while.

There's A LOT more to a tuba than how it sounds or how bright and shiny it is.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 2:23 am
by Wyvern
Now I am aware of this potential issue, we will check and I will guarantee not a single tuba will be shipped from Wessex with loose rotor arm.

I will get factory to address during my forthcoming visit.

Now please get back to the subject of this thread "what would you like?"

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 6:07 am
by UncleBeer
Neptune wrote:Now please get back to the subject of this thread "what would you like?"


Any reaction to the requests to sell valve sets? I seem to remember folks asking in the past (not just from you, but from other vendors as well) and being told "No, we can't do that". As I wrote earlier, it sounded like some weird factory-imposed embargo.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 6:22 am
by Wyvern
There is no factory embargo. It is our business decision for logistical reasons. Managing stock of such parts is more difficult than complete instruments and shipping valve sets are very liable to damage from my experience.

I will give some thought!

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 1:37 am
by Cthuba
I also would to see a gnagey 6/4 tuba as well

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:02 am
by MartyNeilan
Copy of the old rotary Kings (similar to MW Bill Bell models) including the removable bell, with "modern" intonation.

Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:51 pm
by bisontuba
Copy an old B&S Symphonie F tuba....of course, not hand made, but have a garland on it, 6 valves, and a choice of all yellow brass or all gold brass...that, I HO, would sell...