Whats the ruling on piston F tubas? Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:15 am

pjv wrote:I wonder what the audience hears when they hear an F tuba.
Would they hear the difference between a B&S Symphonie and a Kanstul 90?

People with a discriminatory ear might notice it up close, but in the hall? On a recording? Amplified?

We talk about the German sound (even the Germans talk about it). Common practice in German orchestras is to use the F for the difficult high stuff then they go back to BBb for the meat and potatoes work.

If it’s true that the unique timbre of a German F is most prominent in the lower register, then in my opinion the “average” German listener won’t even get a chance to hear that German F sound because the German orchestra players avoid playing them down low.
Yes a lot of generalizations.
A tuba player should just play on whatever he’s into instead of working themselves into a frenzy about how it’s “supposed” to be. (Something which I feel only becomes relevant when other players also join in on the “authentic instrument game”).
Orchestras are big and loud nowadays. There’s nothing dishonorable in wanting a F that makes the players work easier in all registers.

If I understand the OP correctly, he played on a MW F that played quite admirably. Which model F tuba did you play, Bloke?


I've tried absolutely every model of F tuba that I've been able to get my hands on.
I even bought a piston Gronitz (used/new condition - c. $8XXX) just to see how they play...as they never are brought to shows. ...I played it for about ten minutes, and sold it within a week.
I bought a B&S "Symphonie Modell" in 1982 from Germany, which I own to this day. For several years, it was my only tuba, so it was used in all symphonic applications, ethic music applications, jazz band applications, quintet applications, recording applications, and (well...though there's no money in this...) solo recital/concerto applications. It features six rotors and five bore sizes. I took the six-valve (luckily, out of ignorance, at that time) because it was what was available for sale in Europe. I seriously doubt that I will ever sell it. I continue to test new models. I've even tested that one made in Italy (as, I'd wager, most have not). New somewhat similar models (to my B&S "Symphonie') offer some advantages - at the cost of equally-apparent disadvantages. It seems as though manufacturers have discovered ways to make F tubas play "bigger"...and "even" (low-range-wise) "easier"...but (again) there will always be detrimental effects. Challenges can be overcome with practice time, but "extra practice time" (at least, in my view) is the same thing as "less money". Have I been encouraging a maker that I represent to offer a similar model (to one they offer), yet with
- slightly smaller bell throat
- smaller mouthpipe tube
- five bore sizes
- six rotors
...??
Why yes, I have.

"piston"...?? I'd be just fine with a "piston" whatever-tuba or a "rotor" whatever-tuba. I'm always looking for an extraordinarily "GOOD" tuba - which helps me sound as if I practice a whole bunch...which I typically do not.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41569
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:37 am

ren wrote: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.


I have tried some MW 2250's, and one in particular I really liked. I liked it well enough that I thought I might get one as my only instrument. New ones were out of my budget, and no used ones were available. So I attempted to purchase one (very inexpensively by comparison to here even with import duties) from a German retailer. They said they would not ship large instruments to the US. After several frustrating emails, I gave up on the idea and wound up getting a 181. I really like how easy the 2250 plays, and I like the size of the sound (as a possible do-it-all instrument), but I'm a bit like Joe in that the tone can be a bit hollow and less rich/singing than smaller, more traditional F tubas. At the time, I liked how I sounded on it enough that I figured with the right mouthpiece, I could make it work well for my purposes. But I wound up going back to tradition, and having a German traditionalist square head, the 181 felt like the proper choice in all the German stuff I do (I'm probably the only one who really cares about it, aber et war richtig!).

I did have a chance to buy a Petrushka from a pro here on TN, but I decided to go with the local 181 and save some money. After having spent a short time honking on one, I have to say that the Petrushka seems to be the best of both worlds - It plays very easy, has just a touch of that big-belled presence in the sound and has a touch of sweetness. Kind of a marriage between a 2250 and a rotary F tuba. The low range is very easy (think Yamaha 822), and the intonation was very nice. Of course, I'm still enamored with the Elektra. And, of course, I don't have the dough to plunk down on any of them. Not yet. :mrgreen:

If you want a big piston F tuba, get a big piston F tuba. You likely won't be the only one at auditions with one, and if you make it sound better than anyone else on that day, that's what counts.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:42 am

bloke wrote:
Have I been encouraging a maker that I represent to offer a similar model (to one they offer), yet with
- slightly smaller bell throat
- smaller mouthpipe tube
- five bore sizes
- six rotors
...??
Why yes, I have.



Do they need encouragement from the TNFJ? Would they respond if they got poked with enough sharp sticks?
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby russiantuba » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:33 am

I use a Gronitz Piston F. I have owned a B&S F from the 1980s, a YFB 621, and a Miraphone 180 prior.

I choose the Gronitz because of its playability without sacrificing the sound. My B&S F had a 3rd line Db that was 25 cents flat with everything else able to be somewhat tuned with a bit of work. When I was looking for a piston F, I was considering the Yamaha and the Petrushka. I trusted my professor to go with the Gronitz...his last DMA student had one and said it’s a good playing horn.

In the long run, I sounded like the sound I envisioned on the Gronitz. It was physically more comfortable to play and was easier to get around the horn where I can focus on making music.



A side note: I have been fortunate to spend some time on a tuba like Bloke’s when my B&S was in the shop. It was a 6 valve, and had a very nice tone. I had my mid 1980s B&S, had played a mid 1990s B&S PT 10, and the newer PT 10/15. The newer models, in my opinion, do not play anything similar to the older ones, and was like comparing apples to oranges, and in my opinion, don’t offer the sound difference between piston horns like some of the older B&S models do.
Dr. James M. Green
Lecturer of Music--Low Brass
Ohio Northern University
Gronitz PF 125
Miraphone 1291CC
russiantuba
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:47 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:36 am

yup...Were there to be some outside insistence (combined with outside funding) towards a "piston F tuba" (something that - I doubt - has ever happened with anyone), would probably end up with the Miraphone piston F tuba.
I played a 2250 for several hours a few years ago...and the price was no-brainer (even though "new", I could sell it "used" today at a profit) and I enjoyed playing it, but the extreme high range - with this (as it seems to have become a) set of models - seems to be actually more work than the same actual pitches played with a really fine contrabass tuba. Thirty years ago, I may (??) have bragged that I was "strong enough" to play this-or-that tuba, but not today. I'll leave that to those who are thirty years younger.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41569
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:27 am

I tried a 2250 at midwest a few years ago. It seemed like a small/medium sized CC in F. It fit that niche better than any of the horns that size that I tried that trip, but seemed like a lot work in the high register. I thought it would make a great quintet horn though. I wonder if this horn would benefit from a smaller leadpipe?
Kalison DS
B&S PT-18p (MRP F)
pauvog1
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:34 am

All that being said, I chose a different piston valve F tuba, an MRP F tuba.
Kalison DS
B&S PT-18p (MRP F)
pauvog1
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:36 am

pauvog1 wrote:All that being said, I chose a different piston valve F tuba, an MRP F tuba.


What was it about the MRP that caused you to choose it instead of the 2250 (and all the other F tubas available)?
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:58 am

Doc wrote:
pauvog1 wrote:All that being said, I chose a different piston valve F tuba, an MRP F tuba.


What was it about the MRP that caused you to choose it instead of the 2250 (and all the other F tubas available)?


I didnt want to work so hard for upper register / solo rep as I had to on the 2250 (though I did really like the instrument, i just didnt have a need for that niche).

The MRP was the easiest playing horn I tried on that trip. My top two picks were the MRP and the PT10, followed by the smaller Miraphone Bel Canto. They played fairly similar, but the MRP felt more comfortable. The Miraphone sounded great, but seemed a little small (more of a solo horn). The MRP felt a little more even, and slightly less work higher than the pt10, maybe slightly more open. Both B&S horns had better pitch than the other horns I tried (I haven't played a Petruskca or any of the recent Elektra models).

I didn't care for the PT15 or JBL either. The 15 was kind of hollow, and the JBL seemed to be too dark / heavy (slightly slower response) for my taste. I tend not to like many goldbrass horns/bells. Generally I prefer the zing/projection from yellow brass.

The MRP still keeps a lot of the B&S sound I got with the 10, but feels a little better / more even.
Kalison DS
B&S PT-18p (MRP F)
pauvog1
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:08 am

pauvog1 wrote:
I didnt want to work so hard for upper register / solo rep as I had to on the 2250 (though I did really like the instrument, i just didnt have a need for that niche).

The MRP was the easiest playing horn I tried on that trip. My top two picks were the MRP and the PT10, followed by the smaller Miraphone Bel Canto. They played fairly similar, but the MRP felt more comfortable. The Miraphone sounded great, but seemed a little small (more of a solo horn). The MRP felt a little more even, and slightly less work higher than the pt10, maybe slightly more open.

I didn't care for the PT15 or JBL either. The 15 was kind of hollow, and the JBL seemed to be too dark / heavy (slightly slower response) for my taste. I tend not to like many goldbrass horns/bells. Generally I prefer the zing/projection from yellow brass.

The MRP still keeps a lot of the B&S sound I got with the 10, but feels a little better / more even.


Thanks. I have yet to put in some time with an MRP, but I hope to do that at some point. I want to revisit the JBL and PT 15/16 also and just simply compare them to the newest/latest/greatest.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby bloke » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:12 am

I've played a good MRP F tuba.
I forget about those, and shouldn't.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41569
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:14 am

If you like the large F tubas the 15/JBL or even 2250 might be really appealing. If you like more traditional sized horns the MRP compares more to a 10 than the above mentioned horns.

Some day I'd like to try a symphonie model. I wish someone would make somthing similar now.
Kalison DS
B&S PT-18p (MRP F)
pauvog1
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Whats the ruling on piston F tubas?

Postby Doc » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:23 am

pauvog1 wrote:If you like the large F tubas the 15/JBL or even 2250 might be really appealing. If you like more traditional sized horns the MRP compares more to a 10 than the above mentioned horns.

Some day I'd like to try a symphonie model. I wish someone would make somthing similar now.


I was never really excited about the PT10, and I wasn't really enamored with the PT15 (low range a bit better, sound a bit more bland/hollow), but the Symphonies I've tried were special. But as time goes on, sometimes tastes (and skills) change, so I try to be reasonably open-minded when testing tubas. I've always liked Miraphones and had success with them, but I'm open to what sounds/works best.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Previous

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GC, Google [Bot], katietes, tastuba and 34 guests