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Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby bigboymusic » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:43 am

I am awaiting delivery of a MW 20 that plays, but it will need a new (or used) bell.
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby edsel585960 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:22 pm

I take it you got the one from Panama City.
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby bigboymusic » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:24 pm

Yes
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby edsel585960 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Enjoy! Needed some TCL but has potential.
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby bigboymusic » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:56 pm

I’ve always loved the 20, and it appears that the bell is the main culprit. MW already gave me a quote, but I would rather find an old 70’s bell if possible.
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby edsel585960 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:24 pm

I had a 20. Was a great horn. Sometimes sorry I traded it off. Have fun with it and good luck on finding a bell.
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby iiipopes » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:39 pm

Are you firm in wanting an actual M-W bell? The chances of getting an old bell in better shape than the one arriving is slim. And yes, the new ones, well, you might as well purchase a new horn. The various techs of the TNFJ who have their respective shops might be able to find you something cost effective, including TubaTinker, Bloke, Gnagny, Stofer, Oberloh, Dillon Music, the other shops who sponsor the forum, etc. (sorry - that's all I could think of for this lunchtime post).
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby bigboymusic » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:06 pm

I’m shooting for the moon first.... I just would rather not have a Chinese pressed bell on there quite yet... I need to check the circumference of the bell at the point it meets the bow to see what my options are... possibly a bell from a 186....
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby iiipopes » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:49 pm

Even at that, your chances of finding a 186 bell are only marginally better than a M-W bell. Now, from experience, here are the other issues if you don't find an exact match M-W bell:

1) Even with the same manufacturer, the specs as to bell stack height, placement and diameter of the bell ferrule, throat taper, etc., all change over time;
2) All bells have a slightly different taper. Make sure you measure the critical points of diameter at the ferrule, diameter of throat where the last brace between the bell and the bows, and at the leadpipe, so it neither crowds the bell or sticks out at an angle, assuming you want a "vertical" bell relative to the bows;
3) If you go with another bell, then as these measurements change, so does the effective length of the horn, even if the physical overall measurements are nominally the same; and therefore the tuning: too long, and you may have to shorten your main tuning slide; too short, and you will have to lenghten it. My Bessophone ended up with the lucky accident that the diameter at the ferrule was too small and had to be trimmed, shortening the overall length. By lengthening the tuning slide to get it back down to pitch, and therefore adding more cylindrical tubing at a critical point that tends to expand the overtones, this almost cured the notorious "flat fifth partials" characteristic of these horns, including Miraphone, M-W, Weltklang & stencils, etc. Lucky fluke. You can't predict how the change in the overall taper of the horn, or the reproportioning of the cylindrical/conical ratio of the tubing will affect intonation and "blow" (i.e. stuffy notes, dead spots, etc.).
4) Depending on the flare of the throat of the bell, your leadpipe may fit, or have to be repositioned, or, as in my case, a brace soldered between the leadpipe and the bell casing to maintain its proper orientation, especially if the leadpipe was previously soldered directly to the bell along its length.

When I replaced the bell on my Bessophone, we took a very long time to measure, fit, measure, fit, measure, fit, then cut long, then measure, fit, measure, fit, measure, fit, trim to length to match the bell stack ferrule, then measure, fit, measure, fit, measure, fit to make sure it had the correct orientation and the lead pipe and receiver were positioned correctly. In other words, the process of changing a bell, even if it is the exact make, model, range of years of manufacture, etc., can be much more of a chore than "wax on - wax off."

My tech was patient with me, we had a great time with the project, and I made sure his remuneration was commensurate with the superlative job he did for me. Sometime in the past when there was a bandwidth glitch on the forum, the pictures mysteriously went away, and I will have to repost them to my thread about the Bessophone, here:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=61956
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Re: Bell for MW 20 Bflat tuba...

Postby toobagrowl » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:06 pm

So you got the $800 tuba? That was a great deal, even if the bell is 'messed up'. I noticed the bell had a band/patch on it; is it really so bad you NEED a new bell? Or can a good tech smooth/clean up the bell a bit more?

Good luck trying to find a M-W 20 bell; those are much harder to find than the 25. I'm thinking the B&S 101/Sonora bell (and its clones) would be the next closest in size and taper to the real thing. I'd think a bell off a trashed B&S Sonora or clone would look and sound pretty similar to an original M-W 20 bell. As stated above, you could also delve into a possible Mira bell off a trashed 186 or even a Yamaha 201/321 as they have a similar shape & taper. But that would stray a bit sound-wise. Another possibility would be a bell off an old trashed Yammy YBB-641.

I'd personally look into a B&S Sonora/clone bell for that tuba if you must change out the old bell. Tinker may have something like that, if not now, possibly in the future. :idea:
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