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Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Wed May 29, 2019 7:13 pm

So I left ITEC very frustrated with myself. All the wonderful horns I play seemed some degree of stuffy. For comparison the reps put me on their Bb flat horn and the stuffiness went away so obviously I was doing something wrong or the mouthpieces I brought didn’t agree with the horns.
So not to be defeated a friend of mine brought over his MW 2141 and there was no stuffiness with any of my mouthpieces. Do you think it’s a matter of getting accustomed to the other horns?
Tubas played
Willson 3400 both compact and full size.
Miraphone Norwegian Star
Wessex Gnagney
Eastman
Besson 984

mouthpieces used
Miraphone TU31
GW Jon Sass

JJ
Last edited by Jerryleejr on Wed May 29, 2019 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Donn » Wed May 29, 2019 7:24 pm

Maybe if you had an example or two, people could relate to this in terms of shared experience?
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Wed May 29, 2019 7:34 pm

Donn wrote:Maybe if you had an example or two, people could relate to this in terms of shared experience?

It was to noisy to get a recording but the reps at the booth heard it on the Eb and not the BBb horns...It was only a few notes specifically open Eb that went away in the upper register.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Donn » Wed May 29, 2019 8:15 pm

No, I mean, what tubas are we talking about? I can read this and say "I played an Eb tuba and it seemed fine to me", but that's kind of irrelevant if you and I were playing different tubas. Maybe it seems like a question to me because I was the only one who didn't try the Eb tubas at ITEC, so if you get a lot of illuminating answers, just ignore me.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Wed May 29, 2019 8:32 pm

Donn wrote:No, I mean, what tubas are we talking about? I can read this and say "I played an Eb tuba and it seemed fine to me", but that's kind of irrelevant if you and I were playing different tubas. Maybe it seems like a question to me because I was the only one who didn't try the Eb tubas at ITEC, so if you get a lot of illuminating answers, just ignore me.

I’m so sorry I Played both Willson 3400’s, a Norwegian Star, Besson 984, Wessex Gnagney, and the Eastman. With the exception of the Wessex they all had a degree of stuffiness for me in the lower register.
Mouth pieces used were a Miraphone TU31 and GW Jon Sass model.

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Re: Eb question

Postby jpwell » Wed May 29, 2019 8:41 pm

Aren’t those big tuba MPs. I have used a pt-65s on my 2141
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Wed May 29, 2019 8:52 pm

jpwell wrote:Aren’t those big tuba MPs. I have used a pt-65s on my 2141

I’ve heard great things about the GW as for the Miraphone it is a pretty middle of the road piece.

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Re: Eb question

Postby Simonk » Thu May 30, 2019 4:05 am

The issue with Eb's is compensating vs non-compensating. I've a Willson (which routes the 4th valve tubing slightly differently to a Sovereign and is less "stuffy" but still takes some work) and a Meinl Weston 2040/5 which deals with the problem by having the 5th valve - I would recommend trying it if you can. The Norwegian Star is good but I found it didnt give me as broad a sound as I liked. The Blaikley compensating system is over 100 years old and hasn't moved on much since then but is still really popular in Brass Band Land as it fits a specific niche. Bell size is also a potential issue - a lot of the compensators now have 19 inch (or thereabouts) bells which is big for a 4/4 size horn. National preferences are also an issue - Eb's are still a relative rarity in North America but standard here in the UK (whereas CC's are quite rare).

Mouthpieces are a factor but not the overarching issue - what sound do you want to have/ need to have?
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Re: Eb question

Postby Voisi1ev » Thu May 30, 2019 6:58 am

I'm relatively new to to the Eb world. But when I was't accustomed to the horns everything under an Eb on the first ledger under felt stuffy. I think we're really accustomed to that range from like a low G up to the staff being so open, it feels a bit off at first. when you need to use the longer valve combos. Then again as a random internet poster, I might be making everything up.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Thu May 30, 2019 8:29 am

Simonk wrote:The issue with Eb's is compensating vs non-compensating. I've a Willson (which routes the 4th valve tubing slightly differently to a Sovereign and is less "stuffy" but still takes some work) and a Meinl Weston 2040/5 which deals with the problem by having the 5th valve - I would recommend trying it if you can. The Norwegian Star is good but I found it didnt give me as broad a sound as I liked. The Blaikley compensating system is over 100 years old and hasn't moved on much since then but is still really popular in Brass Band Land as it fits a specific niche. Bell size is also a potential issue - a lot of the compensators now have 19 inch (or thereabouts) bells which is big for a 4/4 size horn. National preferences are also an issue - Eb's are still a relative rarity in North America but standard here in the UK (whereas CC's are quite rare).

Mouthpieces are a factor but not the overarching issue - what sound do you want to have/ need to have?

I’m wanting a very lyrical singing sound. I have a nice BBb for the grunt stuff.

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Re: Eb question

Postby Donn » Thu May 30, 2019 12:38 pm

For me, in the sub-3V range, like G an octave below the bass staff, choice of mouthpiece seems to make a significant difference. Some being easier than others. I would guess it depends on the tuba. Throat and backbore matching receiver and leadpipe, in the delicate matter of setting up a decent long wave resonance in a conical horn that's too severely compromised to help much, with all that straight valve tubing in play.

Significantly above that in the range, is a different story. If open Eb is not coming out OK, that's wild.
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Re: Eb question

Postby bort » Thu May 30, 2019 12:51 pm

Best advice I've heard is to treat Eb (or F) tuba as a separate instrument, not as a smaller version of a BBb/CC tuba.

What does that mean?

It's going to be a different experience to play that instrument. Different air, different type of control, etc. If you drive a huge SUV every day, and then hop into a roadster, yes it's still just "driving a car"... but it's going to be a much different experience.

Don't expect a plug and play experience with an Eb tuba. That's not to say it can't exist somewhere... but don't expect it. The MW 2141 has the MW big valves, which are well equipped for blowing lots of air "straight through" in the same way you'd play a larger BBb tuba. I'm guessing that smaller amount of resistance just made that particular tuba a lot easier for you to play. I wonder though, if the 2141 was giving you that lyrical sound you desire?
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Thu May 30, 2019 1:00 pm

bort wrote:Best advice I've heard is to treat Eb (or F) tuba as a separate instrument, not as a smaller version of a BBb/CC tuba.

What does that mean?

It's going to be a different experience to play that instrument. Different air, different type of control, etc. If you drive a huge SUV every day, and then hop into a roadster, yes it's still just "driving a car"... but it's going to be a much different experience.

Don't expect a plug and play experience with an Eb tuba. That's not to say it can't exist somewhere... but don't expect it. The MW 2141 has the MW big valves, which are well equipped for blowing lots of air "straight through" in the same way you'd play a larger BBb tuba. I'm guessing that smaller amount of resistance just made that particular tuba a lot easier for you to play. I wonder though, if the 2141 was giving you that lyrical sound you desire?

A friend of mine went with me to ITEC he is blind but I trust his ears. He listened to every horn I played and the Besson 984 was his preference and the Willson 3400 compact was mine. Only because I preferred the dark rich sound of the Willson. I also liked the 984 and could probably be served well by either but the overall playing experience drew me back to the Willson. All that being said leads to the MW 2141 and to answer your question no it did not give me that lyrical sound I am wanting...

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Re: Eb question

Postby bort » Thu May 30, 2019 1:08 pm

Sounds to me like you wanted to play the Eb tubas like they were BBb tubas... and the MW 2141 was accepting of that.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Thu May 30, 2019 2:09 pm

bort wrote:Sounds to me like you wanted to play the Eb tubas like they were BBb tubas... and the MW 2141 was accepting of that.

Very well could be, and as stated I will try to spend more time on them before deciding...

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Re: Eb question

Postby Simonk » Thu May 30, 2019 3:14 pm

Jerryleejr wrote:
Simonk wrote:The issue with Eb's is compensating vs non-compensating. I've a Willson (which routes the 4th valve tubing slightly differently to a Sovereign and is less "stuffy" but still takes some work) and a Meinl Weston 2040/5 which deals with the problem by having the 5th valve - I would recommend trying it if you can. The Norwegian Star is good but I found it didnt give me as broad a sound as I liked. The Blaikley compensating system is over 100 years old and hasn't moved on much since then but is still really popular in Brass Band Land as it fits a specific niche. Bell size is also a potential issue - a lot of the compensators now have 19 inch (or thereabouts) bells which is big for a 4/4 size horn. National preferences are also an issue - Eb's are still a relative rarity in North America but standard here in the UK (whereas CC's are quite rare).

Mouthpieces are a factor but not the overarching issue - what sound do you want to have/ need to have?

I’m wanting a very lyrical singing sound. I have a nice BBb for the grunt stuff.

JJ


Lyrical singing sound will essentially come from you, not the instrument. Eb tubas are different from BBbs and will take some work to get used to. It took me a year to get used to playing a CC when moving from a lifetime of EEb and I still get it wrong from time to time. And I’ll avoid the piston vs rotor issues.... I’ve also heard some really lyrical playing on BBb tubas - they’re not just for loud pedal noise.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Donn » Thu May 30, 2019 3:26 pm

Jerryleejr wrote:He listened to every horn I played and the Besson 984 was his preference and the Willson 3400 compact was mine. Only because I preferred the dark rich sound of the Willson. I also liked the 984 and could probably be served well by either but the overall playing experience drew me back to the Willson. All that being said leads to the MW 2141 and to answer your question no it did not give me that lyrical sound I am wanting...


I bet a quarter you could make that Willson work. I see you quizzed the forum about it a few months ago, and someone who got one kind of anticipated your question:
When I got the Willson 3400C about a year ago, it took three to four month for it to settle in. ... Thus, when I read that someone tooted the Willson 3400C for a few minutes at some conference or other gathering, this sort of assessment does not do justice to the very fine instrument.


And someone else said the low register "demolishes buildings", which might be a little hyperbole but probably wasn't intended as a complaint.
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Re: Eb question

Postby Jerryleejr » Thu May 30, 2019 4:16 pm

Donn wrote:
Jerryleejr wrote:He listened to every horn I played and the Besson 984 was his preference and the Willson 3400 compact was mine. Only because I preferred the dark rich sound of the Willson. I also liked the 984 and could probably be served well by either but the overall playing experience drew me back to the Willson. All that being said leads to the MW 2141 and to answer your question no it did not give me that lyrical sound I am wanting...


I bet a quarter you could make that Willson work. I see you quizzed the forum about it a few months ago, and someone who got one kind of anticipated your question:
When I got the Willson 3400C about a year ago, it took three to four month for it to settle in. ... Thus, when I read that someone tooted the Willson 3400C for a few minutes at some conference or other gathering, this sort of assessment does not do justice to the very fine instrument.


And someone else said the low register "demolishes buildings", which might be a little hyperbole but probably wasn't intended as a complaint.

I totally agree. I believe the Willson is a fine horn. I guess I went in with some preconceived notions and wasn’t able to work thru them in the limited time I had. And no I wasn’t expecting love at first “toot” but I was more frustrated with myself than the horns...

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Re: Eb question

Postby MaryAnn » Fri May 31, 2019 9:58 am

I went from a rotary F (MW 182) to my rotary Eb (Mphone 283) and the Eb is definitely less stuffy than the F was, but for someone who isn't used to that range on a rotary F/Eb, yeah it's going to feel "stuffy." It is something you just have to learn to deal with; it is a different way of playing than "just blow" in that range where you can "just blow" on a CC or BBb. Neither my F nor my Eb was/is stuffy at all anywhere in the higher range, and notably less work to play high than on my CC.
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Re: Eb question

Postby GC » Fri May 31, 2019 2:08 pm

One person's stuffiness is another person's welcome resistance (at least in some registers). I think that stuffiness a step or so above the first harmonic of a tuba is almost universal.

I've never been fortunate enough to have encountered a tuba that doesn't have any irritating resistance when 1-2-3-4 is down. It's not too bad on my JP377, for which I'm grateful. My old MW 25 from my early '70's college days had so much resistance that I almost couldn't get it to speak at all when all four valves were down; I had to use false tones, something that horn was very good at. I've owned other horns that could be forced to speak in that register, but it was never as easy as I wished it had been.
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