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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:10 pm

UncleBeer wrote:
lowtones425 wrote:I’d like to see a modernized Miraphone 186


I always wished for a more compact wrap of the 186, so that the bell didn't constitute 1/2 the height of the instrument.



You're describing the cerveny Arion, or the Packer 379b. Miraphone copied the cerveny 68 to make the 186. Long story involving the post WW2 split of the east and the west .
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bort » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:12 pm

I like long stories. Is this written up anywhere?
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:16 pm

Not that I can remember. In short, cerveny craftsman fled soviet controlled chekoslovakia, and settled in west Germany, where they started producing the same instruments they made for cerveny under a new name, miraphone. That why the miraphone 186 looks just like the cerveny 68. Every assumes the cerveny copied miraphone, but it's the other way around
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bort » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:21 pm

Makes sense, Cerveny is way older than Miraphone. Kind of interesting that both have survived, and both are quite different.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Wyvern » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:50 pm

UncleBeer wrote:
lowtones425 wrote:I’d like to see a modernized Miraphone 186


I always wished for a more compact wrap of the 186, so that the bell didn't constitute 1/2 the height of the instrument.

Should be possible. What it means is keeping the tapers for the good intonation with a re-wrap. That means prototyping with all new components, rather than tweaking what has gone before, but Wessex will soon be set up to do such
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:53 pm

Or just sell the Prague again made in the higher quality area of the factory. That was a good tuba, but the valves has quality issues
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:59 pm

186 tubas are only 39 inches tall, whereas most so-called "compact" tubas are 37 inches tall.

Why not (as there are so many other importers selling the Jinbao 410, now...$1997 - "Make Offer"...etc.) chop the end of the bell off - down to 15 inches diameter - which should shorten its stature by at least an inch) and add some length to the tuning slide? :!: wow...I just thought up something absolutely amazing...:shock: I must, then, be a design engineering genius! :idea:

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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Wyvern » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:52 pm

I thought we were talking about BBb 186?

BTW The CC TB470 which Wessex sells already has the bell reduced to 16.5” like the classic Miraphone and not 17.5” like the newer tubas. It is a tuba I have tried to discontinue as a clone, but have brought back by popular request. We can’t get them made quick enough.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:55 pm

Actually the compact 186 was suggested without a key to it. Maybe Carl did want a compact CC, which to my knowledge has not been done by either cerveny or miraphone.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby lowtones425 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:44 am

My bad... I should have been a bit more specific.

I'd like to see a modernized 186 in CC (with the usual 5 rotor valves). Emphasis on the vertical tuning slide. It's a pet peeve of mine with Miraphones in general. I'd also like to see (and this is a minuscule detail) a nicely designed 5th valve paddle that's not the Miraphone T bar.

Might be a good offering for the undergraduate market.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bloke » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:41 am

Before universally condemning horizontal main slides on Miraphones, recall that they appear on Alexander, B&S (vintage hand-made), Cerveny, and other Bohemian and Russian tubas. It's considerably easier to access a horizontal main slide (with the right hand) than a vertical one, and its less likely (assuming the best European-grade alignment and tubing fitment) to fall on the floor.
...and a small consideration, but meaningful for a few:
If some owner wishes to install a tune-any-note mechanism (rather than being restricted to micro-tuning only the pitches that involve the #1 circuit), a very comfortable and easy-to-reach cantilevered index finger mechanism - on the players left side of the instrument (considerably more ergonomic than a top-down "plunger" system) and easily be installed to push a horizontal main slide in or out. That having been said, the slide alignment and inside/outside slide tubing fitment (again) needs to be equal to the quality of Miraphone, in order for something like this to be functional.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Ltrain » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:49 am

I just learned today that Boosey & Hawkes produced a compensating Eb sousaphone as part of their “Imperial” line. Could this be done with existing parts: current Eb sousa + Cavalry valve section?

This would be so awesome.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:53 am

I've wondered for a long time why nobody makes a 3 valve compensating Sousa
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bloke » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:26 am

Mark Finley wrote:I've wondered for a long time why nobody makes a 3 valve compensating Sousa


yep...4-valve sousaphones are really dumb, add weight, add fragility, and add little else.

I have put together a so-called "compact 186" (all genuine Miraphone parts), just fwiw.
It's in the attic - about 3/4 completed, and plays very well.
Jinbao can do their own R&D, if really interested...
...I suspect the demand might be about the same as for some of the other Jinbao creations.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Wyvern » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:34 am

Ltrain wrote:I just learned today that Boosey & Hawkes produced a compensating Eb sousaphone as part of their “Imperial” line. Could this be done with existing parts: current Eb sousa + Cavalry valve section?

This would be so awesome.


I have seen them - in fact know where one is. They are actually quite small bore, more like a sousaphone version of a Wessex Bombino Eb than a full size compensated Eb. However as that tuba is a great player (often my preferred horn), there is no reason why a sousaphone version would not be too.

The one I have tried I cannot comment on its playing as the valves were so worn and leaky.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby iiipopes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:23 am

Hmmm. Interesting discussion on a compensating sousaphone. Hmmm. Using the Besson New Standard style 3-valve comp as a model, it seems that the leadpipe is about the same length as would be on a souzy neck; the bore, at .730, is right there with Conn at .734 and Yammy and others at .728; use straighter knuckles and re-work the curve of the 3rd valve slide coming back around for the comp loops, and it may be feasible. The downside is as with any souzy: it may be difficult to repair dents in the various circuits from the inherent risks associated with marching. The upside is that C and low F would be much better in tune, albeit at a risk of stuffiness. Since I don't march anymore, but do occasionally play an outdoor concert with a souzy, I wouldn't have to worry about "riding throttle" on the upper loop of my 1st valve slide, which I have converted to a movable slide to pull for valve combinations and push for 2nd space C tending to be flat.

Remember that the default for a 3-valve comp BBb instrument is to tune all three of the circuits "dead," meaning that 1+2 G and D tend to ride sharp, and are usually played 3 alone, since the 3rd valve slide does not have to be pulled to get 2+3 Gb and Db or 1+3 C and low F in tune with the comp loops.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby tclements » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:57 pm

Alexander 163 CC copy. Alexander 157 copy. Goldbrass, both with 6 valves (4+2), please.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby iiipopes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:27 pm

lowtones425 wrote:I'd like to see a modernized 186 in CC (with the usual 5 rotor valves). Emphasis on the vertical tuning slide. It's a pet peeve of mine with Miraphones in general.

I absolutely disagree. I find horizontal tuning slides much easier to work, especially "on the fly," as necessary in ensemble.
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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby bloke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:42 am

I always wished for a more compact wrap of the 186, so that the bell didn't constitute 1/2 the height of the instrument.



These are easy to make, and the parts are legion:
> 186's with badly-cracked bells
> 186 recording bells that are of no use to anyone

Yes, the sound is a bit more "mellow", and the intonation characteristics (which are defined by the bugle) remain the same.
(I'll drag this project down and finish it sometime, but - in the meantime - I have other fish to fry.)

I suppose a knock-off could be produced (in the same factory that's been cranking out 186 C knock-offs), but there would still the recurring issues related to the valves/slides/etc.

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Re: Wessex Tubas - what would you like?

Postby Doc » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:02 pm

Jonathan, Steve, Chuck, et al...

Does the B50 gig bag fit the Kaiser? I would like to find a more substantial bag than my current bag for my B&S Kaiser (same basic dimensions as the Wessex Kaiser). My current bag is an ancient Mirafone canvas bag with no padding at all.

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