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Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby ren » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:29 pm

I am speaking strictly in the US sense, as far as tone quality. When I was in school obviously B&S F tubas ruled the world.
However I happened to play a Meinl Weston piston F the other day and found it to be very free blowing and not really much of an adjust chop or resistance wise to playing a piston CC.

So whats the ruling on these do people use them in big orchestras or are they sort of producing an "american sound", that doesnt compete with the traditional European F sound (alex or B&S)
I realize that B&S kept making them bigger and bigger but the piston F seems to sound quite different.

Would you walk into a symphony audition with a piston F?

troll alert: I bought the Wessex F just to noodle on, not with any intention of walking into an audition with.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby J.c. Sherman » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:39 pm

Alive and well! I use a YFB-621 as my F... not perfect for anything, but can do anything!

(Would still like and Alex F in the arsenal...)

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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby smitwill1 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:47 am

I’m no pro—I play in a local per-service symphony, teach a bit, and play in a couple of quintets. But, I use my YFB 822 as my “go-to” tuba for about three-quarters of what I do.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby the elephant » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am

I used a Yamaha YFB-621 at work for twelve years. Two years ago I sold it and bought a Kurath F. (Oddly, both were manufactured in 1989. Hmm, good year, I guess...)
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby MikeMason » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:55 am

If I used it only for high orchestra stuff, I would own a b&s for the sound. But for use in quintet,solo rep, teaching, and general utility, it’s great to have that Yamaha low register. I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with my 621, and am starting to be pretty pleased with the sound I’m making. Mouthpiece selection and working the lip slurs/long tones.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:02 am

haven't played one that I had to own.
If I had to own one, it would be a 621.
I picked up the best 621 that I had ever played several years ago, with the purpose of flipping it for profit. The typical 621 quirks we're minimized.
I sold it to a student. A few years later, that student "upgraded" to a model of a F tuba which universally features a 40c sharp second space C, among other problems…but it's very fancy looking.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Casca Grossa » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:31 am

the elephant wrote:I used a Yamaha YFB-621 at work for twelve years. Two years ago I sold it and bought a Kurath F. (Oddly, both were manufactured in 1989. Hmm, good year, I guess...)


Many years ago, I wanted to buy the 621 based on playing one a friend owned. His was built in 1989. I was never able to find one that was so nice to play as that one.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:56 am

yeah...
I don't know the year of the 621 that I bought to flip...but I know the owner had it for well over a decade (and add four of five years to that, now).
It was in super condition, didn't even need cleaning or felt washers, and I only polished the bottom bow cap a little bit and sprayed some additional clear lacquer in the area on the bottom that I polished.

It would have made no sense to keep it...and every time I've owned two F tubas (mine that I'll never sell, plus another one that was "very good, but...") I always ended up selling the second one anyway. Here's the thing (yeah, I digress, but...) about owning "multiple tubas that do the same job". Only ONE of those will be the best-all-around, and the other(s) will sit and collect dust. Tuba collectors are collectors of tubas that collect dust.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby the elephant » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:19 am

MikeMason wrote:If I used it only for high orchestra stuff, I would own a b&s for the sound. But for use in quintet,solo rep, teaching, and general utility, it’s great to have that Yamaha low register. I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with my 621, and am starting to be pretty pleased with the sound I’m making. Mouthpiece selection and working the lip slurs/long tones.


Try a Laskey 30C with that 621, Mike.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby happyroman » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:21 am

smitwill1 wrote:I’m no pro—I play in a local per-service symphony, teach a bit, and play in a couple of quintets. But, I use my YFB 822 as my “go-to” tuba for about three-quarters of what I do.


I am pretty sure that Chris Olka and Carol Jantsch both use the YFB-822, as does Sergio Carolino. There are probably a lot more pros that I am not aware of that use this tuba as well.

I think it really boils down to finding the instrument that most easily helps you recreate the sound you have in your head.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:23 am

When I see really fine players using those 822 instruments - and playing them in-tune, I'm even more in awe of those players' ability to overcome (and willingness to tolerate) the obstacles that some instruments offer.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby ren » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:36 am

Perhaps I should refine my query. good to know that they are used in orchestras by top players. But is the sonic comparison to a B&S sound that we all know and maybe love or hate depending on how you think about it there?

These piston things dont sound like B&S F's as far as I can tell. So is the piston F just a good convenience, or are we trending in this direction in general. I love free blowing piston tubas, just not sure if in an audition vs in concert the sound would get you there. In concert I could just play it on CC and say YAY me! I rock!.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:50 am

I have Communist-era 6-rotor B&S F tuba, which I purchased new.
The 6th rotor (as many seem to have discovered...or - at least - "have bought F tubas with 6 rotors" lately) offers a push-button remedy to quite a few quirks which - otherwise - would require slide-pulling or lipping. At that time, the F tuba that was sold to me "just happened to have" 6-valves. I was ignorant at that time, but long since have realized how lucky I was to have been sold one set up that way.

I've (always seeking better instruments) played just about every F tuba introduced to the market since that time.
Re-read the first sentence in this post.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Bnich93 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:19 am

I've only ever owned my 5 rotor Mirafone 181, which has a beautiful rich sound everywhere above D below the staff. Everything below that mark is why I wish I had a piston horn, as many of the ones i've tried have a much easier low register. I am particularly fond of the Miraphone Petroushka, and I actually really liked the Wessex Gnagey Eb. The only reason I haven't sold the 181 to buy the Wessex is because i'm very cautious about chinese build quality, and i'm not sure the one I would get would be as quality as the horn that I tried at SERTEC.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby ren » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:38 am

bloke wrote:I have Communist-era 6-rotor B&S F tuba, which I purchased new.
The 6th rotor (as many seem to have discovered...or - at least - "have bought F tubas with 6 rotors" lately) offers a push-button remedy to quite a few quirks which - otherwise - would require slide-pulling or lipping. At that time, the F tuba that was sold to me "just happened to have" 6-valves. I was ignorant at that time, but long since have realized how lucky I was to have been sold one set up that way.

I've (always seeking better instruments) played just about every F tuba introduced to the market since that time.
Re-read the first sentence in this post.


Nice!
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby ren » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:44 am

ren wrote:
bloke wrote:I have Communist-era 6-rotor B&S F tuba, which I purchased new.
The 6th rotor (as many seem to have discovered...or - at least - "have bought F tubas with 6 rotors" lately) offers a push-button remedy to quite a few quirks which - otherwise - would require slide-pulling or lipping. At that time, the F tuba that was sold to me "just happened to have" 6-valves. I was ignorant at that time, but long since have realized how lucky I was to have been sold one set up that way.

I've (always seeking better instruments) played just about every F tuba introduced to the market since that time.
Re-read the first sentence in this post.


Nice!


So not to be too specific I do have my own concept of sound, but regarding these FFFF tubas. And having access to every one on the planet. Which one would you take into the St Louis Audition? :D
So tacky but I said it anyway. :tuba:
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:12 pm

You quoted me...so "me" or the plural/collective "you"...??

- I'm neither interested in living in Missouri or Illinois. Twelve years ago, I spent a year moving myself and my stuff out of a place like this: https://www.forbes.com/pictures/mlj45jggj/2-st-louis/ Why would I spend as much time moving back into one?

- Orchestras - which, primarily, deliver a visual experience (elegant room / elegant clothing / dozens of people with synchronized movement / one wild-haired or shaved-headed person doing an ad libitum dance in front of all the sound / etc.) - prefer hiring handsome and fit young people (particularly as they prompt more ticket sales/donations and are easier to intimidate), and there are quite a few of those who play quite well.

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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:59 pm

ren wrote:
Would you walk into a symphony audition with a piston F?



Sure. B&S was certainly a big trend in the tuba community, but there are many more viable options today, and today a variety of piston and rotary F tubas are represented among paid orchestras.

I hearken back to Wade’s excellent post about auditions and audition committees, and how much of all the “tuba minutiae” we wring our hands over doesn’t really apply. Maybe Wade can repost it here...? I think we players are more concerned about the piston vs rotary sound stuff than any audition committee.

I’d say a player should find the instrument that matches his personal concept of sound (and one on which he can play in tune, good response, clarity, warmth, brilliance, breadth, etc.). That is the instrument he will likely be most comfortable on (sounding the way you want to sound), and be the easiest to communicate with musically.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby hockeyched » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Of the last several orchestral tuba auditions, I think many have been won on piston F tubas. Baltimore, Seattle, West Virginia, North Carolina, Cincinnati I believe all were won on piston f. Food for thought.
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Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby djwpe » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:29 pm

bloke wrote:yeah...
I don't know the year of the 621 that I bought to flip...but I know the owner had it for well over a decade (and add four of five years to that, now).
It was in super condition, didn't even need cleaning or felt washers, and I only polished the bottom bow cap a little bit and sprayed some additional clear lacquer in the area on the bottom that I polished.

It would have made no sense to keep it...and every time I've owned two F tubas (mine that I'll never sell, plus another one that was "very good, but...") I always ended up selling the second one anyway. Here's the thing (yeah, I digress, but...) about owning "multiple tubas that do the same job". Only ONE of those will be the best-all-around, and the other(s) will sit and collect dust. Tuba collectors are collectors of tubas that collect dust.



8)

I've kind of figured that out.
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