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A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:21 am
by Wyvern
We are thrilled to introduce the new Wessex TB690 ‘Kaiser’ BBb tuba. Based on the design of the classic B&F tuba but with enhancements to improve both response and intonation, while maintaining the amazing classic German tone of the B&F. This must be tried to be believed!

The prototype will be exhibited at Music Austria in October and then at the Midwest in the USA December.

We thank Daniel Ridder of the Musikorps der Bundeswehr (Symphonic Concertband of the German Army) for his help with the development. We are also pleased to welcome Daniel Ridder as a Wessex Artist.

Daniel Ridder with the new Wessex TB690 Kaiser
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With the B&F original sitting beside during back to back comparisons
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Mr.Qi (factory production manager), Chuck Nickles (Wessex Chief Engineer), Daniel Ridder and Jonathan Hodgetts (Wessex Tubas founder) celebrate the new Kaiser
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Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:48 am
by Ace
Wow! I want one. Congratulations, Jonathan et al.

Oh, wait------it's in BBb. Darn. I don't want to learn Bb bass clef fingerings.

Ace

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:22 am
by Wyvern
Doc wrote:Looking forward to trying it! Will it be at TMEA in San Antonio in February?

Yes it will be there!

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:01 am
by Wyvern
Mark Finley wrote:I'm not that familiar with the B&F, but to me it has a strong cerveny 601 vibe

The B&F (Bohland und Fuchs) is as legendary a tuba in Germany as the Chicago York CC is in the USA. It is the classic German sound and the tuba to which all other Kaiser BBb are compared. It was made famous by Walter Hilgers who I believe discovered one used by Hitler’s Guard band in Berlin and got Meinl-Weston to make the 197 copy. However it’s big problem (both the original B&F and 197) was its difficult intonation. Now through analysis of the bugle taper Chuck Nickles and Daniel Ridder have identified the cause of the intonation problems - and the resulting tuba is the new Wessex TB690.

The Cerveny 601 may look similar, as I am sure it is based on the B&F design, but having previously owned one (actually the red brass version 701), I can say with knowledge that they sound very different. The B&F has a special sound which no other Kaiser that I have tried equals. I think it is somewhat down to bell profiles. For your interest below is picture showing the bell mandrel of the new TB690 Kaiser (right) beside the mandrel for the TC695 Chicago York. Surprisingly similar, but different.

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Hope that clarifies

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:27 am
by Wyvern
the elephant wrote:
Mark Finley wrote:I'm not that familiar with the B&F, but to me it has a strong cerveny 601 vibe


Yes.

I think I want one of these puppies.

Jonathan, the leadpipe is much shorter, but it looks like the valve section has been raised a bit to take this missing length up and add it to the main tuning slide (or at least part of that length seems to be in the MTS). Or am I going blind?

Nice work!


Very perceptive Wade! Yes we have shortened the leadpipe to improve response and to give a more useful length main tuning slide. However the valves were not moved. Another change not obvious from the front view is we have moved the 3rd and 4th tuning slides to the back to make for easy adjustment while playing.

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:32 am
by Wyvern
the elephant wrote:Those things must weigh in excess of 250 pounds each. And they must have cost a lot of money to make out of the proper grade of steel. WOW! :shock:

A fork lift is required to move them around. I tried and could not move one. Even in China they cost tens of thousands $$$$$ to make!

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:36 am
by Wyvern
the elephant wrote:Do you have a price point figured out for this one yet?

We are hoping to sell for about $9,500.

We are also considering offering the tuba fitted with original German made valves for an extra cost (I know some people don’t trust Chinese made valves)

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:59 am
by Mark
Will there be a fifth valve?

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:18 pm
by Three Valves
Flip flops on the factory floor??
Don’t be facetious!!

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:09 pm
by Wyvern
Mark wrote:Will there be a fifth valve?

That will hopefully be an option. When we have multiple Kaiser available, then will experiment adding 5th valve and check if it has any adverse effect on the response.

But general consensious seems to be that a 5th valve is not essential on a BBb.

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:17 pm
by Ace
Mark Finley wrote:I'm not that familiar with the B&F, but to me it has a strong cerveny 601 vibe


Yep. -Ace

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:25 pm
by tubaport
Jonathan, you guys need to stop creating so many great new models! You’re going to make us all broke :-)

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:14 am
by Ace
bloke wrote:
Ace wrote:Wow! I want one. Congratulations, Jonathan et al.

Oh, wait------it's in BBb. Darn. I don't want to learn Bb bass clef fingerings.

Ace


Did you pick up tuba as an adult, or where your childhood experiences in the school band atypical?

-------------------------------
' tuba looks good !


I've been playing trumpet from 1947 to present. Didn't start tuba until circa 1992----CC, Wm Bell by Getzen. I have always read bass clef well, and use of trumpet fingerings comes naturally on a CC tuba.

Ace

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:23 am
by Wyvern

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:45 am
by Wyvern

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:33 am
by Wyvern
bloke wrote:Alex-style 'pipe routing seems to allow for a 5th rotor option.

Yes, there is plenty of room, but we are concerned of possible adverse effect to response. This will be evaluated when we have multiple Kaiser to make comparison

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:40 am
by Wyvern
Mark Finley wrote:Any plans for a similar CC?

No, we think there is not much demand for a CC version, even if it was possible while retaining the special tone of this type of tuba

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:50 am
by Wyvern
bloke wrote:I'd predict nothing noticeable, other than a fully-chromatic low range on a tuba which copies a professional-grade instrument.

I tend to agree with you that a 5th valve will have little effect, but we need to confirm when we can compare a 5-valve Kaiser, against 4-valve.

bloke wrote:Assuming - as you claim - the tuning is easier than with the original, "full chromatic range" would be a very nice option.

I can understand your scepticism, as it has not been achieved before, but we have multiple professional tubist here at the factory testing, so are confident it has been achieved - but we will have the Kaiser at the Midwest and US Army events, so do try for yourself. I know you love the sound of these tubas (as I do - I must get up to speed playing BBb)!

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:56 am
by bort
Wyvern wrote:
Mark Finley wrote:Any plans for a similar CC?

No, we think there is not much demand for a CC version, even if it was possible while retaining the special tone of this type of tuba


Seems like several people around here could be interested. I realize that's a long way from guaranteed sales... and enough to justify the development costs... but I've always thought that a modern CC Kaiser would be really, really cool.

The Alex 164 is about the closest thing... but they are rare, and are reported to have the classic Alex intonation problems (since the CC 164 is just cut from the BBb 164).

Re: A Kaiser is born!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:20 pm
by bort
I think that's a "miss" as well, Mark, but the idea of a large rotary CC is kind of a mismatch of key and styles. It's sort of like a rotary Eb tuba, or a piston F tuba. People who want that key usually want the other style of valves. Yes, there are some that exist... and some are great... but there aren't many of those around, and I'm guessing there aren't a lot that get sold.

It's circular, though. There aren't many that are sold... because there aren't many to sell.

People like me will always be interested in a really large rotary CC tuba. I recently decided to go back to pistons, because in the "really large CC" flavor, I just wasn't finding what I wanted with rotary valves. Kind of a shame, but that's how it goes.