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New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Wyvern » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:55 pm

Chris Olka alluded in his YouTube video https://youtu.be/aUcoKW6O71Q to the possibility of Wessex Tubas bringing out a new fully hand-hammered version of our 6/4 BBb - this is the TB693 Grand-Symphonic of which we have just put together the prototype (or rather mocked up, as prototype does not have all hand-hammered bows). This uses the same hand-hammered bell as the TC695 Chicago-York, the same valve set (lengthened to BBb) and same leadpipe. So in ergonomics, it will be very familiar to any professional orchestral tubist playing a York style 6/4 CC, while giving that special tone that only a 6/4 BBb can deliver. Being hand-hammered it will be much lighter than the TB692 Grand (my guess is 24lb) and will have the immediate response of a fully handmade tuba.

We need to experiment to decide the optimal bell size. The prototype has 20", but we may well reduce in size to increase presence in an orchestral situation to nearer that of a German Kaiser.

Pricing will be the same as the TC695 at just $9,750. The TB692 Grand will then continue in the Wessex range, but in a 4-valve version at price of just $4,950 (lacquered), $5,500 (silver) for concert band use. Two great 6/4 BBb's specifically designed for different uses.

We expect to have this tuba on the Wessex booth at NABBA, ITEC North West, Cleveland Tuba Day and ITEC South East during April and May and will be pleased to receive feedback.

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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Chris Olka » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:25 pm

Wow, congratulations on an apparently extremely productive trip to the factory!
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Steve Marcus » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:24 pm

Chris Olka wrote:Wow, congratulations on an apparently extremely productive trip to the factory!


Wow indeed.

Will the TB693 be available in a lacquer finish, even if there is no consumer cost savings compared to the silver finish? Or is it easier to produce a silverplated finish over hand-hammered horns? (Obviously the YamaYork and Nirschl-York are seen only in silver.)

We need to experiment to decide the optimal bell size. The prototype has 20", but we may well reduce in size to increase presence in an orchestral situation to nearer that of a German Kaiser.


Does that mean that the TB693 could end up taller than the TB692, albeit with a more narrow bell?
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby bort » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:37 pm

Finally, a new Wessex tuba! :P
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Wyvern » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:05 am

Steve Marcus wrote:Will the TB693 be available in a lacquer finish, even if there is no consumer cost savings compared to the silver finish? Or is it easier to produce a silverplated finish over hand-hammered horns? (Obviously the YamaYork and Nirschl-York are seen only in silver.)

We need to experiment to decide the optimal bell size. The prototype has 20", but we may well reduce in size to increase presence in an orchestral situation to nearer that of a German Kaiser.


Does that mean that the TB693 could end up taller than the TB692, albeit with a more narrow bell?

All the Wessex handmade tubas will be available either triple silver plated (20+ microns) or raw brass to special order. There is a reason why hand-made tubas of most brands are silver-plated only.

No the bell won't be higher. In fact it is almost 1 inch shorter than the TB692. If smaller diameter bell rises pitch slightly, we will lengthen main tuning slide
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby bort » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:21 am

What is that reason?
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Sousaswag » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Send it to Mr. Olka!
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Peach » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:46 am

I'd say leave the bell 20" if it works - those buying this type of tuba seem to want the fat sound with the blend of overtones a 20" bell seems to offer.
Those wanting a true Kaiser will be able to buy one from you pretty soon, no? =)
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby AndyCat » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:06 am

Looking forward to having a toot on one (but not the handmade I don't think) tomorrow!
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Doc » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:15 pm

Peach wrote:I'd say leave the bell 20" if it works - those buying this type of tuba seem to want the fat sound with the blend of overtones a 20" bell seems to offer.
Those wanting a true Kaiser will be able to buy one from you pretty soon, no? =)



This was my thought as well, Peach.
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Mark » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:44 pm

Peach wrote:I'd say leave the bell 20" if it works - those buying this type of tuba seem to want the fat sound with the blend of overtones a 20" bell seems to offer.
Those wanting a true Kaiser will be able to buy one from you pretty soon, no? =)


+1
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby UncleBeer » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:19 pm

I've tried to talk Jonathan into even larger diameter bells, like the grand old American 'pancake' bells: 22 or 23 inches as an option. I've always felt they produce a unique sound, and this ain't ever gonna be anyone's quintet horn. :lol:
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby doublebuzzing » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:27 pm

What is the height of this tuba compared to the CC version? It looks shorter as the bell doesn't stick as far up from the upper bow.
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Re: New Wessex handmade 6/4 BBb, TB693

Postby Wyvern » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:32 pm

doublebuzzing wrote:What is the height of this tuba compared to the CC version? It looks shorter as the bell doesn't stick as far up from the upper bow.

Appearances are deceptive. The top bow is higher, rather than the bell shorter
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