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New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby Wyvern » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:36 pm

I am pleased to start 2017 announcing yet another new model from Wessex Tubas. This is our BR144 Bb Compensated baritone with 4-valves which we have named the 'Secundus' which means in Latin second - as we believe this is just the instrument to use to play 2nd baritone in a brass band. It will also be a great doubling instrument for euphonium players familiar with the 4-valve compensated system.

The baritone will be available to try at Butlins, Skegness at the brass band contest in couple weeks and then in USA at NAMM and US Army Workshop in the next month.

We expect the BR144 to be available for sale from August with price similar to our Dolce euphonium.
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby iiipopes » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:18 pm

Why? Baritone horns have a similar bore to larger trombone bore. And they are mostly cylindrical, with a tight throat/quick flare bell. That means (using transposed treble clef brass band notation) anything below middle C gets increasingly grainy and coarse.

I respectfully suggest that 4-valve baritones are an exercise in futility.

I apologize for being direct, even as I enjoy my BR-115, but this has always been my opinion. I believe the effort is better expended making a 3-valve comp more consistent from register to register.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby bloke » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:46 pm

Whatever it is, Besson already makes one in Germany (pricey little booger), so there's obviously a market.
(I don't see them offered on retail websites, but I've seen one for sale on eBay.)
I honestly wouldn't mind trying one of these (Wessex) out, to find out if it plays differently from the 3-valve...

and fwiw...
King 3B trombones (smaller than these baritones) are still offered with F-attachments (the trombone equivalent of "four valve compensating").

...and yes, to get a "pretty" sound on an "English" baritone (regardless of what gadgetry is on board) requires making a "pretty" buzz.
me...?? honestly, not that great. (I give myself a "B" for B-grade Buzz, I guess.)
A friend of mine...?? makes a gorgeous sound on ANYTHING in this size range (including a flugabone). I'm a bit jealous of him.

Jonathan has brought several things to market that I haven't bothered to test (no personal interest), but this is interesting (to me)...certainly potentially more useful than the Yamaha (NON-compensating) 4-valve baritone (@ c. $4500 usd)
Last edited by bloke on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby Wyvern » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:51 pm

You are welcome to try at the US Army workshop where we will have the prototype
See our fantastic new website at www.Wessex-Tubas.com

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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby bloke » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:56 pm

I have a gig, and can't come there year... :(

...You won't happen to be at any of the regionals...??

You should insist that they lock those freezy doors, or upgrade you to that wall space next to the steps. :D
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby Wyvern » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:03 pm

We will also be at NABBA in March and Cleveland Tuba day in May
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby Patrase » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:56 am

Re whether people think there is a market for this instrument: as the Australian reseller of Wessex I can see this model being reasonably popular. The school music system as well older players seem to be looking for smaller/lighter instruments. (As someone who has only ever played tuba any other brass instrument seems small and light to me!). Local Brass bands may also be keen on them. So I imagine we will sell reasonable numbers of these (considering we are a population of less than 30 million). Like 'Bloke' our Eupho/Bari guy will be keen to see how they play compared to the 3 valve model.
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Re: New 4-valve Compensated Baritone

Postby bloke » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:32 am

English-style baritones in general:

- I've found that the "real" (made in England) ones - at least, so far - have been the closest to "easy to play in-tune"...at least: to date. Those are not commonly for sale, and (if found) tend to be worn out.
- I'm eager (given a chance sometime to be in the same room with one) to check out this one.
- (again) English baritones don't automatically generate a bel suono (as - let's face it - do euphoniums). The beauty of the sound - when playing an English-style baritone horn - ~must~ come from the player.
- Using too-deep mouthpieces (to "muffle" or "muzzle" a not-great sound) is tempting, but they will never achieve the proper "characteristic" sound, and the higher-frequency pitches (high notes) will tend to sag.
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