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Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Wyvern » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:51 pm

Yesterday Jonathan Hodgetts and Steve Marcus from Wessex Tubas visited Chris Olka of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to get his feedback on Prokofiev #2, the final prototype for the new Wessex TB693 6/4 BBb tuba - which like the Chicago 6/4 CC will be entirely hand-hammered and as a result lightweight (about 25lb) and responsive. The feedback was that it is even better than Prokofiev #1 and ready to go into production with just some tweaking of slide lengths.

As a result we are pleased this great tuba, maybe the best BBb tuba in the world (!!!) will be out November with Wessex taking pre-orders online from late August. Retail price will be the same as the Chicago CC tuba - $9,750 all handmade and triple silver-plated. Chris Olka has already put his name down for one!

I sincerely thank Chris Olka for all his hospitality, time, such valuable feedback - and the chance to hear the new tuba played by such a great musician.
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3C94DDAA-49A3-4A9B-B3EC-81CFA783DEED.jpeg
Wessex TB693 Prokofiev #2 being play tested by Chris Olka
3C94DDAA-49A3-4A9B-B3EC-81CFA783DEED.jpeg (87.64 KiB) Viewed 1261 times
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby groovlow » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:03 pm

I hope to hear the horn and orchestra next season!!!
Wow
Now back to my 26K :)
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby ren » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:49 am

This is just fantastic! Although I love the sound of a bflat tuba, Ive never really come around to one being used in an orchestra. But I have to say I was very impressed with the previous Wessex 6/4 that Chris played on youtube.
Not really looking for a revival of the bflat but omg this would make the marine band very VERY happy.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:37 am

ren wrote:but omg this would make the marine band very VERY happy.


Only one regular BBb (Fafner) player in the Marine Band out of their nine. When the band will furnish you with a handmade Baer or Yamayork, I doubt anyone is about to jump up and say "I want that Wessex!"
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby MikeMason » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:49 am

A frequent sub/extra with Cleveland and Boston plays a large b flat. They seem to be ok with it.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby UncleBeer » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:15 pm

Ken Crawford wrote: When the band will furnish you with a handmade Baer or Yamayork, I doubt anyone is about to jump up and say "I want that Wessex!"


This is a unique instrument. There's really nothing to compare it with.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:43 pm

UncleBeer wrote:
Ken Crawford wrote: When the band will furnish you with a handmade Baer or Yamayork, I doubt anyone is about to jump up and say "I want that Wessex!"


This is a unique instrument. There's really nothing to compare it with.


I wasn't calling for a comparison, or calling into question the usability of BBb tubas. Simply stating the facts on the ground. And given the chance to have Uncle Sam buy you literally any tuba made, nobody is going to choose a Wessex. Because they aren't as well made as more expensive tubas.<--period (No need to rehash the Wessex quality propaganda, I've stopped believing)
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby UncleBeer » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:00 pm

Ken Crawford wrote: nobody is going to choose a Wessex. Because they aren't as well made as more expensive tubas.<--period (No need to rehash the Wessex quality propaganda, I've stopped believing)


Have you played or even seen a Prokofiev? No? :lol:
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:16 pm

UncleBeer wrote:
Ken Crawford wrote: nobody is going to choose a Wessex. Because they aren't as well made as more expensive tubas.<--period (No need to rehash the Wessex quality propaganda, I've stopped believing)


Have you played or even seen a Prokofiev? No? :lol:


I've seen and played the equal quality York and Chicago and French C. So yes, I've seen what the "high-end" (don't quit with the seasons) workers at Jinbao can produce.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby UncleBeer » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:43 pm

Ken Crawford wrote:
I've seen and played the equal quality York and Chicago and French C.


If you haven't seen a Prokofiev, you've got no basis for "equal quality" comparisons.


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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:47 pm

UncleBeer wrote:
Ken Crawford wrote:
I've seen and played the equal quality York and Chicago and French C.


If you haven't seen a Prokofiev, you've got no basis for "equal quality" comparisons.


Uncle "gotta stop feeding the trolls" Beer


So the prokofiev's construction quality is higher than the new 6/4 CC tubas? I'm not trolling, just navigating the Wessex apologist nonsensical double speak.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby UncleBeer » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:12 pm

You're on your own, Idaho.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby bort » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:45 pm

Is this basically a reinvented 6/4 York BBb?
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:50 pm

A fine recently purchased Wessex:

Image

Image

And yes I do live in Idaho. There is literally a potato field in my backyard. I'm 45 minutes from the Teton mountains and an hour from Yellowstone. Floyd Cooley lives about 30 minutes away. I love Idaho.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby ren » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:58 pm

The sponsors thread seems an odd place for a contest over the obvious. Horns which are not available or are prohibitely expensive do no one any good. Also military bands will buy everything but playing c York tubas in a military band is the wrong sound. As someone who has purchased 2 Wessex tubas and has played everything going back to the late 70s the 6/4 York is a fantastic sounding instrument. Any issues I had from a Workmanship standpoint Wessex would resolve with no issues including a full return.

2018 Nirshl York coming soon! Not. I dont see any reason to use this category to bash Wessex or any other sponsor. The main forum is more appropriate for axe grinding IMHO.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby Ken Crawford » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:19 am

ren wrote:playing c York tubas in a military band is the wrong sound.


Well the next time you go to a Marine Band concert make sure you tell those shlubs they sounded wrong.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby ren » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:25 am

Ken Crawford wrote:
ren wrote:playing c York tubas in a military band is the wrong sound.


Well the next time you go to a Marine Band concert make sure you tell those shlubs they sounded wrong.


They are just waiting for an amazing bflat.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby tofu » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:08 am

Bashing a Sponsor or complaining about them in the Sponsors forum is a good way for TubeNetters being allowed to comment here getting turned off again. If you have something to complain about do it in TubeNet. Sponsors pay for the place and without them the lights go out. They should have the right to the expectation that the Sponsors section should be a place they can post about new developments with their company and products without having pot shots taken at them.

And I applaud Wessex for more than any other company in the last decade bringing out several new horns and trying to fill many customers needs that have been overlooked or dismissed by all the other companies.

I own no Wessex tubas, but do own one of their gig bags and a tuba stand. I own no Chinese tubas, but I would seriously consider this horn. I do own several high quality horns and honestly don't need a 6/4 and only probably have a need for one a few times a year. So I'd be buying it for grins. While I could easily afford a Baer somehow that would be hard to justify that extra level of refinement and build quality for my limited needs (and talent) as a serious amateur. With the Prokofiev it is almost a no brainer. Look at what people have spent on old beat to death Holtons - plus the cost (and long time) to then rebuild them to a high level by someone like Dan Oberloh. That total easily surpasses the cost of this horn. A hand made new improved 6/4 BBb over the old 6/4 York style horns for less than 10 grand - hell yes!
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby jtuba » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:50 am

ren wrote:
They are just waiting for an amazing bflat.


There are several already on the market IMO. Speaking as a "professional" military musician, it's easy to get turned around on fingers for the different keys, esp. for BBb if that's the key tuba we abandoned (years/decades) ago and yet can still do the job on CC (right notes, right time, right intonation). I'm a much more capable sight reader on CC, which in turn means I prepare more quickly for performance on CC. I've used BBb for performances too, when I had access to a 195P, an amazing BBb I think. Of course that can be remedied with practice, but life happens in military music too.
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Re: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:13 am

Subject: Chris Olka tries Wessex Prokofiev #2

tofu wrote:Bashing a Sponsor or complaining about them in the Sponsors forum is a good way for TubeNetters being allowed to comment here getting turned off again. If you have something to complain about do it in TubeNet. Sponsors pay for the place and without them the lights go out. They should have the right to the expectation that the Sponsors section should be a place they can post about new developments with their company and products without having pot shots taken at them.

And I applaud Wessex for more than any other company in the last decade bringing out several new horns and trying to fill many customers needs that have been overlooked or dismissed by all the other companies.

I own no Wessex tubas, but do own one of their gig bags and a tuba stand. I own no Chinese tubas, but I would seriously consider this horn. I do own several high quality horns and honestly don't need a 6/4 and only probably have a need for one a few times a year. So I'd be buying it for grins. While I could easily afford a Baer somehow that would be hard to justify that extra level of refinement and build quality for my limited needs (and talent) as a serious amateur. With the Prokofiev it is almost a no brainer. Look at what people have spent on old beat to death Holtons - plus the cost (and long time) to then rebuild them to a high level by someone like Dan Oberloh. That total easily surpasses the cost of this horn. A hand made new improved 6/4 BBb over the old 6/4 York style horns for less than 10 grand - hell yes!


I've made it no secret here that I rate "intonation" as characteristics #'s 1,2, & 3 (even above "build quality") in a list of tuba characteristics. Beyond that is "evenness of response/clarity", and then - certainly - "build quality"...and then, other things. I have also made it clear that - having evaluated my own (two-bit "perfeshunul" - openly admitted here, over-and-over: never more than $1X,XXX to $2X,XXX annually for bass-blowin') needs (in "simfunny archestruhz"), and having owned (at one time, and absolutely ridiculously) FOUR fine 6/4 tubas (three C's & one Bb), were I to make a $h!ts-and-Giggles 6/4 ~C~ purchase at this time (and I evaluate my own current needs as "not 6/4", and others' desires as "none of my business"), there is absolutely no doubt (and I am ~NOT~ an Eastman dealer, and have to compete, locally, toe-to-toe with a friggin' Eastman dealer - on quite a few things that I truly believe are noticeably better and lower-priced offered by JP, and with JP parts being stocked by Allied Supply in Wis.) that were I to buy a 6/4 piston :arrow: ~C~ tuba :arrow: (topic of thread: a Bb tuba) I would ~only~ look towards the Eastman offering (intonation, evenness of response, clarity, build quality). At least a couple of the Eastman instruments that I have played exceeded the playing characteristics of the $40K instrument it rips, and nearly equals (perhaps a clanky rotor, which I'm certain I could remedy, and "very good" - but NOT-as-carefully-brazed-together-as-John-Packer, imo - pistons) the build quality of that $40K instrument. The only chino-most-prolific-factory instrument I previously owned, I sold and took the time to friggin' build my own. 75% of the reason for this was that it copies a model that is a lot of work (for me) to play, but 25% of the reason is "build quality". DISCLOSURE: I've not been in any Chinese factory, but I am noticing one that seems to - at an extraordinarily rapid and ever-increasing pace - be asked to produce more-and-more of more-and-more types of instruments (with most new models, obviously-to-me, being more labor intensive to produce than previous offerings) all the time. What, typically, will be the result of this set of occurrences? :|

...and back to your Bb discourse ! :shock:
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