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Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby Emerickfalta » Thu May 16, 2019 2:22 pm

Hey Guys!

I managed to stumble upon an Alex 164 Bb tuba! The mouthpiece receiver is bigger than my euro shank mouthpiece. My AT5U barely fits in the receiver. I figured it must use a special mouthpiece, do you guys know what would work for it? I really don’t know where to start looking for something!

Thanks so much!
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby BBruce107 » Thu May 16, 2019 2:34 pm

Hi there, sounds like your tuba has the older Alex shanks which were absolutely massive. I do know that Doug Elliot replicates these shanks and could make you something similar to your AT5U with the larger shank. A lot of the original mouthpieces for those big receivers are not made anymore (unless custom ordered which can cost a lot of money to do) so you may try to put the word out to see if anyone has one of these mouthpieces they are willing to sell.

Best of luck!
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby T. J. Ricer » Thu May 16, 2019 2:40 pm

I haven’t tried them, but apparently Kelly makes a larger-than-Euro-shank “Kaiser” for a couple of models: https://kellymouthpieces.com/kmstainles ... /index.asp
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby Tom » Thu May 16, 2019 2:45 pm

There was more than one Alexander sized shank. Matt Walters described them years ago, the relevant sections I've quoted here:

Matt Walters wrote:LARGE SHANK: This is a larger size that measures about .550" diameter at the small end of the shank. It works well on the larger European tubas. Especially horns with large diameter leadpipes like the "York" copies and most Alexander model 163 CC tubas. This is the size of our Dillon Music "L" shank mouthpiece and the new Wick 2XL.

KAISER SHANK: With a measurement of about .585" in diameter at the small end of the shank, this truly is a "Kaiser" size. It fits the largest Alexander model 164, a few one off model 163's, and some original York receivers we've come across. Anyone needing this size shank will need to get a custom built mouthpiece, or have an adapter made.


My opinion, having owned and played Alexanders for a long time now (and with both shank sizes), is that you will see the best results from a properly fitting Doug Elliott setup.
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby bort » Thu May 16, 2019 5:17 pm

Post a photo of your tuba!! :tuba:
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby Stryk » Thu May 16, 2019 9:37 pm

I cut the first couple centimeters of a King sousa bit and use it as an adapter - works just fine for me. The larger of the two bits and the end that receives the mouthpiece..
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby bloke » Thu May 16, 2019 10:27 pm

I've suggested this (helped my instrument greatly when I owned one of those things decades ago).

> Purchase a universal baritone horn mouthpipe tube (straight).
> If pitch-filled, empty it and clean it.
> You can also start off with a junk piece of outside playing slide tube from a "junk" small-bore (.480" bore or so) trombone...or buy an Allied A134 outside slide tube...but it's a bit more work doing the tapering. (You're looking for a THIN STRAIGHT tube with a c. .520" bore.)
> Measure the Alex mouthpipe's o.d. 4 inches from the end of the receiver, and subtract about .045". That's the likely i.d. of the mouthpipe at that point.
> Work the large end of the baritone mouthpipe tube so that the o.d. matches that i.d.
> Cut the baritone mouthpipe off 4-1/8" long towards the SMALLER BORE end.
> Anneal about 1 inch of the small end of the portion you've cut off.
> Using a greased tuba mouthpiece shank as a tool, form that annealed end to fit a standard shank tuba mouthpiece.
> Find a junk finger button that has an "apron i.d. that matches the end o.d. of the receiver end of the venturi you've been fabricating.
> Cut the apron off that junk finger button and lead-solder it over the end of the receiver end of the venturi you've been fabricating.

You now have a 4 inch long venturi INSERT to slide into the super-large-shank Alexander tuba which supplies a standard shank receiver as well as a fairly even taper (over the next 3 inches) to the 4 inch mark in the Alexander's large (too large) mouthpipe. Play and enjoy, and enjoy better intonation and response. With all due respect to Terry, before doing as described above (decades ago, when I owned an Alex) I did the "King sousaphone bit portion" thing (because it was easy). It allows an Alex tuba to be played, but not nearly with the level of pleasure/ease that the above 4" venturi offers.
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby the elephant » Thu May 16, 2019 10:39 pm

Tom wrote:My opinion, having owned and played Alexanders for a long time now (and with both shank sizes), is that you will see the best results from a properly fitting Doug Elliott setup.


I agree 100% with this.

I played a 163 CC for twelve years in my orchestra for a living. I only ever liked the Doug Elliott stuff for this tuba. I used two setups mostly. I think all his stuff may have changed, but you can give him this info and he can probably "convert" it to his new stuff: 132-4N rim, R cup, R8A+ shank

This combo gives you an excellent Helleberg-like mouthpiece that is slightly larger, with a very large throat and backbore that works well with a 163. For a 164 I probably would not go larger, but get the appropriate shank and start with that. The same rim with a T cup and a T8A+ shank (or whatever the larger size that would fit the 164 might work, but it might be woofy. I might go the other way and get a P cup setup for the big Kaiser Alex.

Good luck!
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby TheBerlinerTuba » Fri May 17, 2019 5:40 am

Hello Mr.Falta,

if there are any Tilz or Klier mouthpiece dealers near you, you can ask them for an adapter. Both companies have adapters just for this model of Alexander. If not, you can write them here:

https://www.mundstueckbau-tilz.de/

http://josefklier.de/?lang=en/
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Re: Alex 164 Bb Tuba mouthpiece

Postby bloke » Fri May 17, 2019 8:22 am

This is an approximation of what I made for an old Alex (old at that time) that I owned several decades ago.
It was removable, and did not alter the instrument.
It greatly contributed to playing pleasure, ease, focus, and manageable intonation.
It's something that can be fabricated by someone with "pretty good" skills...
...ie. it probably doesn't require someone with complete manufacturing skills.

Alex receiver venturi insert.png
Alex receiver venturi insert.png (2.03 KiB) Viewed 613 times
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