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Alexander 156

Postby EMC » Wed May 15, 2019 6:50 pm

For those of you who have owned one of these tubas (3+3 Viennese Style), is there anything specifically unique about these as opposed to the more conventional Alexander F tubas? Or are they basically just the same thing with a different valve set up? Any experiences of comments about these is appreciated, just trying to learn a bit more about these tubas.
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby bububassboner » Wed May 15, 2019 7:02 pm

I learned to play F tuba on one.

Same horn just different valve layout.
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby EMC » Fri May 17, 2019 1:53 am

bububassboner wrote:I learned to play F tuba on one.

Same horn just different valve layout.

I figured that might be the case, ive heard the intonation is substantially better with this this set up, do you think that this was the case ? Or was it more likely that 6 valves would make any f tubas intonation just as good?
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby bort » Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 am

6 valves doesn't make intonation of the tuba itself better, it just gives you more fingering options.
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby bububassboner » Fri May 17, 2019 6:19 am

bort wrote:6 valves doesn't make intonation of the tuba itself better, it just gives you more fingering options.


Bingo.

If you get one I recommend getting a more modern leadpipe. They were all updated around 2000 and help tuning a lot. Casper was the office guy there who spoke English when I lived there and he could help you out.
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby EMC » Sat May 18, 2019 12:37 am

bububassboner wrote:
bort wrote:6 valves doesn't make intonation of the tuba itself better, it just gives you more fingering options.


Bingo.

If you get one I recommend getting a more modern leadpipe. They were all updated around 2000 and help tuning a lot. Casper was the office guy there who spoke English when I lived there and he could help you out.

I had been told by someone here on tubenet that because of the arrangement of the slides or whatever that the intonation was better, probably total myth or hearsay, either way yes I am considering purchasing one, I know someone whos selling one so I was trying to get some peoples opinions who had experience with one.
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby bort » Mon May 20, 2019 3:54 pm

Alexander tubas are handmade, and there's a lot of variation between instruments. Seems like it might be hard to pin down positive characteristics to being caused by 6 valves, Vienna system, "one of the good ones"...

Either way, they might not be the easiest to play or learn, but once you've got it down, it'll amaze your friends. :)
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby EMC » Tue May 21, 2019 2:02 am

bort wrote:Alexander tubas are handmade, and there's a lot of variation between instruments. Seems like it might be hard to pin down positive characteristics to being caused by 6 valves, Vienna system, "one of the good ones"...

Either way, they might not be the easiest to play or learn, but once you've got it down, it'll amaze your friends. :)

Yeah I was thinking that too! the handmade aspect may very well be the determining factor rather than the valves haha! Either way itd definitely be really cool to claim to be able to play one of those !
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Re: Alexander 156

Postby arpthark » Fri May 31, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi, I owned a 3+3 Vienna system Alex F for a year or so.

On my model, the fingering layout was:

LH: 1, 2, 5
RH: 3, 6, 4

While this may seem like a Byzantine system, it was actually rather intuitive in practice and it just took me a few weeks to get the hang of the fingerings. The layout afforded a certain "flow" to scalar patterns. My biggest weakness was left hand finger strength and dexterity, which improved as I continued playing, but was essential because of the locations of the first and second valves.

The instrument itself was lovely. No intonation issues to speak of, and it had that incomparable Alex sound. I've never played a "regular" Alex F, so I'm no use there, but it drew a lot of compliments and interest. I believe my tuba was from the late 1950s or early 1960s.
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