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Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:14 am

This is just too exciting to hide in my other thread - it deserves thread of its own!

Here is proof of concept for Wessex new Compensated BBb ‘Leviathan’ which we believe will be the first 6/4 British style compensated BBb bass ever manufactured. This development prototype was put together quickly with some hand bent tubing, so the production model will be much more refined. The 4th valve is rotary to make the tuba free blowing in the low register, while allowing greater comfort playing as the left hand only has to reach between 1st slide tubing to operate the valve. The result is this huge tuba is comfortable and easy to hold and play. The broad tone from the Leviathan will put a foundation under any band like no currently available compensated bass. Although some current models may be physically large, they are slim in the bows (really only 4/4) against this new tuba - and that huge bell throat gives the encompassing rich tone. We plan to be able to exhibit the production prototype early 2018.

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I would like to thank Chuck Nickles and the incredible development team at our factory in China for putting this fantastic new tuba together and making one of my personal dreams come true. One week ago this was just a design in Chuck’s head and now it is a real tuba that plays and sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to hear the encompassing bass tone a couple of these will put under a Championship brass band :D
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Mark Finley » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:17 am

That is amazing. Love the use of the rotor for the 4th valve.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Steve Marcus » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:28 pm

Jonathan,

Does this use the same bugle as the "Grand" 6/4 BBb?
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:53 pm

Steve Marcus wrote:Does this use the same bugle as the "Grand" 6/4 BBb?


Steve, Yes, indeed it does!
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby tofu » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:00 am

Could you post a photo of the rotor / backside of the horn?
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Lectron » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:34 am

Mark Finley wrote:That is amazing. Love the use of the rotor for the 4th valve.

That would be a Michael Johnson design.
http://mike-johnson-custom.co.uk/customising/index.html
Not sure he is too happy about not being mentioned.
But there again. Why re-invent something when there are so many nice designs to pick from
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:56 am

Let me just clarify the situation - Mike Johnson ‘seeded the idea’ of using a rotary valve to reduce the reach to the 4th valve (which is a great idea for which I thank Mike), but ALL the design work for this tuba (including the tube routing) was done by Chuck Nickles who has worked really hard and with incredible ingenuity to create this new horn.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Mike-Johnson-Custom » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:32 am

Jonathan.
I did not seed the idea to you!
Neither my concept of a 6/4 compensating BBb nor my use of a 4th rotor to open the 4th valve register or for erganomic reasons.
The rotary 4th on a compensator is my registered design!
You can't just use it because we had a discussion 5 years ago!
You even allude to what I have on my web site and face book currently which are recent developments of the concept that weren't around 5 years ago.
I made it quite clear when we spoke that any of my ideas you used would be by contract and appropriate renumeration.
You have now on more than one claimed this and not even given credit that it was my concept in the first place.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:49 am

Mike-Johnson-Custom wrote:The rotary 4th on a compensator is my registered design!

Mike, What do you mean by this? Is the design patented and if so what is the patent number? If that is the case, then we will of course honour that patent and recompense for the use of the design. If not patented, then nothing is legally due - but I am still happy to discuss with you off-line when I am back in UK, as I do not want you feeling aggrieved
Last edited by Wyvern on Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:52 am

I'm not sure the concept of replacing a piston valve with a rotor is one than anyone can corner the market on, legally. Either way, you two work it out in private. We're not to hash it out in public on the board
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby UncleBeer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:22 am

Mark Finley wrote:I'm not sure the concept of replacing a piston valve with a rotor is one than anyone can corner the market on, legally.

I'd also be very surprised if that were the case.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Lectron » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:14 am

UncleBeer wrote:
Mark Finley wrote:I'm not sure the concept of replacing a piston valve with a rotor is one than anyone can corner the market on, legally.

I'd also be very surprised if that were the case.

By all means, I wouldn't think so at all.
As columbus wouldn't be able to patent how to balance an egg.

It's a matter of who had the idea of doing so on the compesators, and have been doing so for quite some time.
It's a matter of taking pride of other persons work.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:35 pm

welp all double french horns have it. and there are dozens of brands of double french horns so I think not a patent issue.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby bububassboner » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:41 am

Okay, I just want to share from my side of this how this tuba came to be to clear up how things were done.

Jonathan approached me in the summer about turning my "Grand" BBb tuba into a 3+1 compensating tuba. I'm not a fan of compensating tubas but I thought sure why not. He threw out the idea then about using a rotor for the fourth valve. I just smiled and nodded. I thought that would look goofy and I wasn't sure how people would take to that on a production horn. I'd planned in my mind to make it work with the already existing valve block from his line up.

When I was in the factory in the summer I loaded up a regular 3+1 valve set, a grand body, leadpipe, and a bunch of tubing into a box. That box was going to go to the US then be shipped to me so I could build the horn in my shop. Jonathan wanted it done for the September trip so I was gonna have around three months to build the horn. Three months to slap a 3+1 set onto a 6/4 body? Too easy I thought.

Well long story short the box didn't make it Into the container. Jonathan said "well you can just build it at the factory". To be honest I was a bit nervous about that. One week isn't a lot of time to build any tuba, let alone a new model. I do like to eat though so I decided I was gonna make it happen.

So when I got to china I just grabbed a grand body and an excelsior that had to be redone for finish issues and I got to work. I tore off the piston set and mocked it up on the grand body. It was pretty obvious from the get go that the reach to the fourth piston was gonna be an issue. Putting the piston block where it was balanced put the fourth completely out of reach for me. Someone much bigger than me could have used it, but I didn't want to build a tuba where to had to be over 6 foot to play it (I round up to 5 foot 9). I tried moving the fourth piston around but either the porting for the valve was bad or it wasn't in a good place to use. So I decided screw it, I'll use a rotor for the fourth. That's what Jonathan had wanted and I couldn't make it work with a piston. I've added a couple fourth rotor valves to non compensating horns before so this shouldn't be much different.

The next week was full of lots of trial and error. I made 4 different main tuning slide crooks, had the rotor in 3 different spots, and did 4 different fourth valve wraps. This body never really had in mind the use of a 3+1 set so making all the piping work without a ton of small bends was a challenge. I originally had the fourth valve tubing not go down nearly as low and I had the slide between the bell and the first valve. I wanted the slide to be an easy reach while playing but I just didn't have room for this. I had also thought about a fourth valve slide going up by the third valve but I didn't want to have to change the direction of the piston knuckles.

I finally got it put together and showed Jonathan. He then asked me to move the entire valve block lower on the horn. So the next day was making it all work for that. After a lot of soldering and swearing I got it to what he has shown.

This project had very little guidance from Jonathan other than 6/4 BBb with compensating valves, maybe use a rotor for the fourth. He didn't mention Mike at all when he pitched it to me and I wasn't even aware about his conversions until this week. With my limited internet here in china (and google being blocked here) I can't even find a picture of any of his BBb conversions. I saw a picture of his Eb conversion yesterday for the first time. It does look similar, but after building it there really weren't many other ways to build it. There are four fixed ports to have to line up with. Kinda limits your options, especially on a big body like this.

I hope this sheds some light on how this tuba came to be. Now it's off to bed so I can finish a few more new models before the trip is over.
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Lectron » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:03 am

Anyways.

Disregard who did what and when.

I hope this turns out to be a terrific tuba with an easy and workable intonation.
It will be good to get som core and fundamental back in the bands.

And remember....."We" don't do slide-pulling in banding ;)
And as for trigger......30 cent is ~4.5 cm, so not really that practical "on the run"

Good luck with the product. Looking forward to try it
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby bort » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:37 am

Contrabass? More like Contra-versy!

Put a Z-valve in the compensating 4th valve, and you'll double the who-made-what-first fun! :P
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:40 am

bort wrote:Put a Z-valve in the compensating 4th valve, and you'll double the who-made-what-first fun! :P

It is a Z-valve and not standard rotary valve we are using :wink:
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Patrase » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:19 pm

At one time B&S offered a 3 piston one rotor Eb tuba - the model 291. One nifty feature was the adjustable height leadpipe

See images here:

http://www.flohmarkt.ms/hoerner/b+s+pro ... ew=gallery
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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby bloke » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:25 pm

I like it ! - in theory. The proof is in the playing, obviously.

As soon as you run that #3 slide loop up-and-down (to avoid the fold) and find something to do with that wonder-snake (on the bottom, there) you''ll have a thing of (physical) beauty...
...but you already know that.

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Re: Creation of a 6/4 Compensated BBb!

Postby Wyvern » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:46 pm

Bloke, That change is already planned in production tuba. Thank you for your feedback
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