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New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Wyvern » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:30 pm

The new Wessex HB24 BBb Helicon is now on the website. I am personally pleased with how this has turned out. Balance is perfect, it has a gorgeous rich tone and intonation is surprisingly good. And I think you will agree it looks absolutely stunning! :)

https://www.wessex-tubas.com/shop/sousaphone/helicon/hb24-helicon/

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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Casca Grossa » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:32 pm

WOW!!!
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KiltieTuba » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Except for the obvious difference of the bell, it looks like the Dynasty sousaphone with the fourth valve tubing following the body wrap.

In fact, except for the unwrapped third loop, it's this sousaphone:
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Various distributors, like this Thomann.

What's a little curious:

It looks like your quality control let a few quirks by...

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You've got those rings - like the old Conns - on the outer tubing for the slides, yet it's missing on the top of the first on two instruments.

Further, a little odd that you'd have top slides for first and second, but ignore third entirely. You certainly have enough room there for a slide.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby kmorgancraw » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:49 pm

"intonation is suprisingly good"

So does that mean that it isn't as bad as you thought it would be?
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Wyvern » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:34 pm

kmorgancraw wrote:"intonation is suprisingly good"

So does that mean that it isn't as bad as you thought it would be?

It means the needle is in the middle up and down the scale like a good concert tuba!
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby mctuba1 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:58 am

Although we dont carry sousaphones i have purchased the 4 valve model for custom orders and these are great horns. Not sure why jonathan says the intonation is surprisingly good as the 4v sousa is great. The only issue i had with this was that it weighs a ton. Changing the bell on it to create a helicon is a cool idea.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Tabor » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:50 pm

The website says the bore on these valves is .728 and it has a 20 inch bell.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Three Valves » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:04 am

I'd have to try one just for the cool factor!!
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby TheGoyWonder » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:54 am

might the bell match a particular recording bell tuba? like how the kaiser-style has a bell that fits Martin, that was smart.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby Wyvern » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:42 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:might the bell match a particular recording bell tuba? like how the kaiser-style has a bell that fits Martin, that was smart.

I have just checked. The collar on the BBb helicon is 6 3/16" across. I don't know if that fits any vintage tubas?
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:54 pm

Oh well, a long 20" bell had me thinking Reynolds but that's more like 6-1/2", almost 6-9/16". Reynolds and Besson are the best and most numerous vintage tubas left "headless" by lack of upright bell.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KCarubia » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:24 am

I have an option of purchasing this helicon or buying an old Conn BBb large bore raincatcher and having a custom removable helicon bell made. I would like to also put a satin finish on the new purchase like my other helicon. Who has played this horn? Where can I play it without driving across the country?
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KiltieTuba » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:57 am

KCarubia wrote:I have an option of purchasing this helicon or buying an old Conn BBb large bore raincatcher and having a custom removable helicon bell made. I would like to also put a satin finish on the new purchase like my other helicon. Who has played this horn? Where can I play it without driving across the country?


Why not order the Wessex in satin? They can do that, ya know.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KCarubia » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:19 pm

No they can't. I asked. Just brass lacquer or polished silver. They can get me a raw brass one by mid December or April 2018...then I need to find a shop who can do satin silvering. Know of any?
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby The Big Ben » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:16 pm

Anderson? They can do the silver plate for sure but don't know about the bead blasting. You might ask them, They seem to be the "go to" place for musical instrument plating.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KCarubia » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:37 pm

Maybe Anderson. They are just 2 hours south of the Wessex Tuba US warehouse. They do bead blasting matte finish and silver plating.
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Re: New Wessex BBb Helicon!

Postby KiltieTuba » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:05 pm

It's either Anderson Silver Plating or taking it to Borodi and having him send it to the King plant in Eastlake, OH and have them schmear on some silver.
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