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Chinese Piston F?

Postby thegreatrodinkis » Sat May 18, 2019 3:37 pm

Are there any good Chinese Piston F’s out there currently? I’m in the market and I don’t particularly like the rotary valve models available now.
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby korreyfrichtl » Sat May 18, 2019 5:14 pm

Wessex is finishing their's up right now, may be worth waiting to see how it turns out.
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby bisontuba » Sat May 18, 2019 6:10 pm

Big Mouth Brass too...
Eastman shortly..
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby Tubaguyry » Sat May 18, 2019 9:31 pm

I wouldn't call the BMB F "good," though; it's GREAT! :D
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby Scubatuba » Mon May 27, 2019 7:33 am

I think you would be much better off buying a used German horn but I dont know anything. Just the quality if the metal alone; this is a pro investment right, not a step up horn?
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby bloke » Mon May 27, 2019 8:54 am

Scubatuba wrote:I think you would be much better off buying a used German horn but I dont know anything. Just the quality if the metal alone; this is a pro investment right, not a step up horn?


Just to see how much trouble it would be - and I didn't "document" this in the repair-nerd forum...I just did it - I took a body and a piston valveset made in the same factory JP uses, and - with a GDR-era bell (because I personally don't care for the larger bell throat diameter featured on most of the Markneukirchen-style F tubas produced today) - built something similar to an MRP.

Someone (a pro...looking for a "pro investment") already has first dibs on it. I need to find time to lacquer it, and to swap the water keys around to the B&S-style long ones (so that the player can let the water out with their left hand - leaving their playing hand in position. fwiw, Dave Kirk played it - when passing through blokeplace to get some work done on one of his tubas...

:arrow: ...and no, I won't be putting any more of these together. My curiosity has been satisfied.

Image

As far as rotary vs. piston preferences go, to my ears the finest players (my betters) most all seem to agree with me that the most important characteristic of a tuba is not the type of mechanisms which are found onboard, but whether or not it is good. To date, I've not found a better F instrument than the one (rotary, and - though I consider it large - not considered "large" by some) I bought new 37 years ago...and yes, I have vigorously searched.

"quality of metal alone" remark:
> I've witnessed a customer-owned/bought-elsewhere $5XXX China-made C tuba that I expected to feature stainless steel pistons, but which featured raw nickel silver pistons (a repair which was brought in to me because the nickel silver pistons - as one would expect - had tarnished badly, and were sticking badly). The nickel silver was not low-quality, but (simply, imo) not the best choice of materials for pistons. The other metal in the instrument was also good quality, but - simply - hastily assembled (very poor slide alignment, etc.) into a tuba.
> If there are "quality of metal" issues with Asian-made tubas, perhaps it would be with those manufactured by a Japanese company in China. Just as back during the era when they were built in Japan, the pistons are still made of some alloy which seems to encourage brass oxide (from the valve casing walls) to bond over and stick on (as if plating) to their pistons' surfaces.
> A Taiwan manufacturer seems to have - finally - solved their similar problem (brass oxide from the casings bonding over to the pistons surfaces). Arguably a day (decades?) late and a dollar short, the vast majority (manufactured prior to the problem being solved) of these instruments that I receive for repair nearly always need to have a layer of brass oxide removed from their piston surfaces.

I sell JP instruments because I don't like getting phone calls from customers about build-quality and materials/workmanship issues. I don't sell as many instruments as some who sell instruments made in factories with lower wholesale (thus lower retail) pricing, but the lack of issues frees me up to have a life, and do other things besides "dealing with customer complaints". Finally, being lazy, I like selling instruments that are consistent enough that - rather than having to have each one shipped to me first, cracking each one open, and inspecting/repairing each one - I can have them drop-shipped direct to my customers from the warehouse (saving me time, and saving my customers additional shipping/handling costs).
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby Donn » Mon May 27, 2019 10:44 am

bloke wrote:> I've witnessed a customer-owned/bought-elsewhere $5XXX China-made C tuba that I expected to feature stainless steel pistons, but which featured raw nickel silver pistons


There's a thread concerning that observation. For readers who might be interested in metallurgy and classification of materials by appearance, it might be interesting enough to be worth digging up via a site search.
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby mctuba1 » Mon May 27, 2019 11:37 am

Scubatuba wrote:I think you would be much better off buying a used German horn but I dont know anything. Just the quality if the metal alone; this is a pro investment right, not a step up horn?



We have sold over nine thousand instruments in almost nine years and have never had a complaint or issue with the metal or materials used. Yes, we have sold to many pros, colleges, and public schools as well as individuals at all levels. I myself play many models from the manufacturers we buy from and currently have put away a nice 6/4 from ZO that i wont be selling. The only reason i play a PT8 and not one of the F tubas modeled after the PT15 is the difference in sound, not the metal, valves, or materials that make it. Take a look at the valves that make the PT6 rotary and the new Alex 163 and compare them with the valves on the Mack TU410 CC tuba (miraclone), they are interchangeable. Not saying the PT6 valves ir New Alex 163 valves are made in China, but its an interesting comparison.
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby michaelrmurrin » Tue May 28, 2019 12:07 am

thegreatrodinkis wrote:Are there any good Chinese Piston F’s out there currently? I’m in the market and I don’t particularly like the rotary valve models available now.

In 2013, I was a student at a very good music school with a very good tuba studio. At the time, a classmate of mine, who was a grad student majoring in tuba performance at this school, who was/is in my opinion a brilliant musician and player, sold his (older) Miraphone rotary-valve F tuba (I can't remember what model), and bought a Big Mouth Brass piston F tuba. (The main reason being that the Big Mouth Brass F tuba had a more open low range than the Miraphone). He played on the Big Mouth Brass F tuba the remainder of the school year, and our chamber group actually won 1st place at ITEC in 2014, with him playing on that instrument.

I don't "officially" or "professionally" endorse any particular instruments (and I never will), I just bring honesty to my input; I feel like, if that instrument is good enough for him (and good enough for 1st place at ITEC), it's good enough for anybody.

(I was going to try to keep it as anonymous as possible, but decided that would perhaps look questionable. Just look up ITEC 2014 results, my name is Michael Murrin, our group won 1st place that year in the Small Ensemble Competition. It was an all-tuba group, all F tubas, our instruments were: Miraphone Bel Canto, Yamaha 822S F Tuba, Big Mouth Brass F tuba, Meinl Weston 2250NP F tuba).
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby bigboymusic » Tue May 28, 2019 1:05 pm

Bloke says...
...and no, I won't be putting any more of these together. My curiosity has been satisfied.


Again, he hits us with, look at what awesomeness can be... but you'll never have....
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby bloke » Thu May 30, 2019 11:07 pm

Donn wrote:
bloke wrote:> I've witnessed a customer-owned/bought-elsewhere $5XXX China-made C tuba that I expected to feature stainless steel pistons, but which featured raw nickel silver pistons


There's a thread concerning that observation. For readers who might be interested in metallurgy and classification of materials by appearance, it might be interesting enough to be worth digging up via a site search.


Prior to now, I withheld this picture...of the pistons prior to me cleaning oxidation off their exterior surfaces.
A seller representative (though I never identified the brand) chided my lack of understanding of metallurgy. :|
I would predict that - in a few months - they'll look like this again:

Image
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Re: Chinese Piston F?

Postby Alex C » Fri May 31, 2019 9:32 am

bloke wrote:
Scubatuba wrote:To date, I've not found a better F instrument than the one (rotary, and - though I consider it large - not considered "large" by some) I bought new 37 years ago...and yes, I have vigorously searched.



Interesting comment all around but this one caught my attention. I regret selling mine (same brand I think) but at the time I was certain I would not be in music again.
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