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Need an Eb for brass band

Postby LibraryMark » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:35 am

Folks - I am most likely going to be needing an Eb tuba for a brass band that I play with. Living in Michigan, it makes the most sense to me to go to the Wessex warehouse and looking at theirs first.

I really like the TE465 'Gnagey' as I prefer front piston horns, but I also want the best one for a brass band. Would this be a good fit, or should I be looking at their TE560 ‘Champion’? Or is there another horn of theirs that will best fit the bill? I do plan on checking them out in person, but I welcome your thoughts on the matter.

Thanks -

Mark
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby GC » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:21 pm

The Cavalry is a compensating front-piston horn in the same price range as the Gnagey. It has a 19" bell, same as the Champion. The Gnagey will have a full chromatic range like a compensating horn, but the fingerings in the low register will be quite different. It's known for great playability and exceptional low range. Any of these horns should do for British Brass Band. It just depends on which horn speaks to you the best.

Just remember that BBB Eb tuba parts are all over the place range-wise. You need an instrument that speaks well in all ranges from high to low and plays well in tune.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby hup_d_dup » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:18 pm

I would say talk to the people in the band with which you will be playing. If they use British-style instrumentation they most likely will be playing compensating tubas. Another consideration is, do they play top-action or front action horns? Either is fine, but the band looks better when all the tubas point in the same direction, so they may encourage you to choose one over the other.

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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Levaix » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:08 pm

The vast majority of brass bands I've played in don't have a set "standard" for horn layout, and many players even play their F tuba on the Eb part. If you're not sure, ask the director or play your first rehearsal on whatever you currently have since Eb treble is essentially the same as bass clef.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby fenne1ca » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:35 pm

Levaix wrote:The vast majority of brass bands I've played in don't have a set "standard" for horn layout, and many players even play their F tuba on the Eb part. If you're not sure, ask the director or play your first rehearsal on whatever you currently have since Eb treble is essentially the same as bass clef.


I second this. I've played Eb part in multiple BBBs, and my 4/4 CC never got me any side-eye. Just depends on whether your section are sticklers for tradition or uniformity.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby bh2001 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:04 pm

I've just acquired a Wessex Gnagey and really love it. It blends well in brass band and quintet. The previous Ebs I've played have been Besson and Boosey & Hawkes compensating horns. It takes a bit of getting used to the alternate fingering but in general, it is easier to play across a wide range than a Sovereign. Of course, try out the different horns and see what you like.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Simonk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:57 am

Might I add a vote for the Melton Meinl Weston 2045/5? Front action rotary 5 valve EEb with an excellent range in all registers. I've had one for the past 6 months in the UK and, once I got used to the flat tone 5th valve, its been brilliant. I've tried the Wessex Gnagey and while its a good instrument, the Meinl is definitively better in sound and quality of finish. Its more ££/$$ than the Wessex but works for me!
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Scubatuba » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:31 am

If you are new to brass band, learn compensating Eb. I've heard many a brass band that tries to substitute CC and F but it does not work in a group that's overtones are Eb and BBb. Its kinda like bring a c trumpet into a big band.........
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Voisi1ev » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:33 am

Get what you like! I wouldn't count out the Champion. I bet you would be accustomed to the 3+1 pretty quickly.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby tclements » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:46 am

I LOVE the sound and response of the Yamaha YEB-321S.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby tclements » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:46 am

I LOVE the sound and response of the Yamaha YEB-321S.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby ken k » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:33 pm

If you are going to be playing the top Eb part you might want something with a smaller bell and a little more of a pointed sound. I play the top Eb part in my band and I recently switched from a big 19" bell compensator to a smaller belled Miraphone Norwegian Star and have been very happy with the change. The Besson 983 has a smaller 17 inch bell and some of the old Bessons has 15"bells. My NS has a 15.5" bell I think.

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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby russiantuba » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:55 pm

Scubatuba wrote:If you are new to brass band, learn compensating Eb. I've heard many a brass band that tries to substitute CC and F but it does not work in a group that's overtones are Eb and BBb. Its kinda like bring a c trumpet into a big band.........


When Stavanger came to NABBA several years back and won, their solo Eb used an F tuba. They won the championship section...

I always used F and CC in brass band with no performing issues...
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby LibraryMark » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:21 am

Guys - thanks for all the useful comments. After my trip to Wessex, I will report back with what I brought home.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Steve Marcus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 am

LibraryMark wrote:Guys - thanks for all the useful comments. After my trip to Wessex, I will report back with what I brought home.


Thanks to LibraryMark and others on this thread who have listed and recommended various Wessex Eb tubas/basses.

The Wessex facility in Michigan has been closed. All inventory has been consolidated at our Andover, England location. Ironically, US customers have been receiving their purchased instruments much faster when shipped from England than from Michigan.

Meanwhile, a new Wessex showroom will be opening in the Chicago area within the next few weeks. Assuming lease negotiations are completed promptly, this will be much more convenient for a greater number of brass players as it will be located within a short drive of O’Hare International Airport at the crossroads of several major highways. Those coming from The Loop (downtown Chicago) will be able to take a METRA train to a station within walking distance of the new showroom.

The intention is to have at least one of every model instrument that Wessex offers on display to test-play by appointment.

An announcement will be made when the new Wessex Tubas showroom is ready to receive guests.

Thanks for your interest!
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby LibraryMark » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:45 pm

Oh, Bummer! That's not a convenience for someone who lives in Michigan. Oh, well - such is life. You might want to let whomever manages the Wessex website know that they should make mention of the news there.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Wyvern » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:54 pm

LibraryMark wrote:Oh, Bummer! That's not a convenience for someone who lives in Michigan. Oh, well - such is life. You might want to let whomever manages the Wessex website know that they should make mention of the news there.

Sorry that has inconvenienced you!

The previous Michigan address has been removed from the website, and as visits were always ‘by appointment only’ we did not expect anyone to have a wasted journey. There will be full announcement once the Chicago showroom is finalized, but Wessex wants to give customers a better experience. A real showroom to visit in easily assessable location, with the whole Wessex range available to try in a much better environment than visiting a warehouse - while deliveries by courier faster than they were previously, and at no extra cost.
See our fantastic new website at www.Wessex-Tubas.com

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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby LibraryMark » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:05 pm

Well, I am glad that you guys didn't decide to move to Los Angeles. And I agree that Chicago is a much better place for more people. The website still has a 616 (West Michigan) number. Is that still valid?

I am looking forward to paying you folks a visit when you open back up.
Last edited by LibraryMark on Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need an Eb for brass band

Postby Steve Marcus » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:39 am

The Wessex phone numbers with the area code 616 are still valid.
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