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King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Heavy_Metal » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:11 pm

I'm pretty sure the valves are string-action and the first valve string is broken..............

https://www.ebay.com/itm/KING-Tuba-by-H ... :rk:9:pf:0
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby edsel585960 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:23 pm

Interesting old horn. Only one I've seen in the 'flesh" Was at Vince Simonetti's museum. Do I want to road trip to Ohio in winter? :? :roll:
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby YORK-aholic » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:45 pm

That one is a BBb monster which is larger than the King 1241/2341 sized CC model.
Neat looking horn.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Ken Herrick » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:07 pm

Yes, that is a King Monster - .750 bore. It is string action which is very easy to fix. The serial number is only 5 off from the one I owned.
I'm pretty sure Kanstul makes an upright bell replacement for these. It would be quite easy to insert a fifth valve.

If I were young enough to justify it, I would be snapping this up. Jake had me buy one for him as the bottom end blew his York away.

If somebody wanted a truly great BBb they should be grabbing this and doing it up. THIS is the large horn todays makers should be copying.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby lost » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:31 pm

More of a 5/4 though, yes?
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Ken Herrick » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 pm

lost wrote:More of a 5/4 though, yes?


5/4 or 6/4 ..... who cares!!! They are a very efficient amplifier of sound and, for example, the same input effort will produce greater output than say a Conn 6/4. I did a direct comparison with a 24J while at Northwestern with John Paynter and Hugo Viannello (band and orchesta directors) as witnesses. AND they both agreed the tone quality was superior. Intonation was also a winner. When well set up the valves are as fast as anything else around.

They are absolutely NOT one to cut to CC - it would just not work. But as Jake said when he tried mine - if he had had one available when he was young he never would have bothered playing CC.

While they can bury a large orchestra a good player can also fit into a quintet, or trad jazz band, or most any other ensemble.


Ohio State had a set of six made and mine and the one I got for Jake were from that set. I believe all were upright bell. These were built one at a time at that stage and minor variations occured. In the mid 60's Connie Welling (sp?) from Miami and Charlie Guse of Lyric Opera were using these Kings Don Heeren of Denver got the one Jake had as he was desperate for a good instrument so Jake let it go. OSU had started trading for 186s but when they heard jake liked them they stopped and held onto the 4 they had left. Who knows, they might still be there just waiting to be given new lives.

I believe a certain repair guru in eastern Iowa has one in his shop as well as his avatar.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby lost » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:37 pm

Ken Herrick wrote:
lost wrote:More of a 5/4 though, yes?


5/4 or 6/4 ..... who cares!!!


As one who collects big horns, me? "Monster" is used for York and Holton on their massive 6/4 horns. King never acheived the size, but sure got the design right. Best playing horn I've ever tried was one of these kings.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Ken Herrick » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:50 pm

No arguments - we all have our preferences.

Here is a Link "Yorkaholic" sent to me some time back. It is the one Hake then Don had.

https://marge.home.xs4all.nl/King%20180 ... %20Bbb.jpg
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Sam Gnagey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:25 am

I grew up in a small town just north of Dayton. I remember seeing this horn in the early 1950s in the front window of a taylor's shop. It may have been used in the Dayton Philharmonic by Doug Baker who was the tubist then. Tempted to bid for nostalgia purposes, but no room for it.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Donn » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:59 pm

If that thing showed up around here for local pick-up only, it would be gone. Good thing the seller won't ship - I bet that mouthpiece is stuck.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby bort » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:46 pm

My dad constantly talks about driving out to Wright Patterson for the AF museum, but hasn't made it there yet (he's an AF veteran). Hey dad, want to make a tuba run for me?!
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby bloke » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:45 pm

Donn wrote:If that thing showed up around here for local pick-up only, it would be gone. Good thing the seller won't ship - I bet that mouthpiece is stuck.


and mundstück, as well.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby edsel585960 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:56 pm

bloke wrote:
Donn wrote:If that thing showed up around here for local pick-up only, it would be gone. Good thing the seller won't ship - I bet that mouthpiece is stuck.


and mundstück, as well.
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:lol:
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Gus_Pratt » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:54 am

I generally find that if a seller says local pick up only, they can be persuaded otherwise. It usually means that you have to do all the paperwork, and set up for a pick up at the house. Last year I got a Conn 80J for under $250 this way. The seller of the 80J actually boxed it up, and I used to size and weight info, went to the Greyhound website and scheduled Greyhound to pick it up at their house. Cost to ship was under $150. Other times I've had to pay a place like PakMail to pick up the item, and box it. It can be expensive, but for the right horn it could be worth it. I've bought several antique concert harps this way that had said local pick up only.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby roweenie » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:36 am

This model horn is probably the only rotary valve tuba I'd ever contemplate owning 8) Definitely worth a road trip to Ohio (at least from my perspective.....)

Very tempting, but if the valves are shot, it could be problematic....
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Donn » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:03 am

Gus_Pratt wrote:I generally find that if a seller says local pick up only, they can be persuaded otherwise.


If someone tries this, let us know whether it arrives with the mouthpiece still stuck in it, and how well that worked out. Who knows, maybe the leadpipe needs to be repaired anyway - it maybe it was just bent, but that doesn't explain what looks like solder all over it at that point. My tuba's receiver was bent down like that, possibly on purpose - I guess if you can't manage to get the tuba into a comfortable position, it might seem like a good idea to torque the receiver around until it suits you.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby BopEuph » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:21 am

I'm just getting a kick that current bid is $1234.56.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Dan Schultz » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:15 pm

I've owned (and sold) several of those .750" bore rotary Kings. Not bad players. The fact that this one appears to have complete linkage (less a string) is a plus. The only problem I've notice with them is a pretty flat 4th valve circuit... not difficult to fix by eliminating the 'curly-cue". Don't go looking for a factory upright bell for one. I've assembled bells for them but the bell throat is huge and the tenon can only come from a giant sousa or has to be fabricated from strip stock.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby Sam Gnagey » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:27 am

Dan Schultz wrote:I've owned (and sold) several of those .750" bore rotary Kings. Not bad players. The fact that this one appears to have complete linkage (less a string) is a plus. The only problem I've notice with them is a pretty flat 4th valve circuit... not difficult to fix by eliminating the 'curly-cue". Don't go looking for a factory upright bell for one. I've assembled bells for them but the bell throat is huge and the tenon can only come from a giant sousa or has to be fabricated from strip stock.


Maybe I'm stating the obvious here: It's pretty typical of instruments from that era that the 4th valve tubing was pretty flat, because at that time it was not intended to replace the 1&3 combination. It was meant only to be used to extend the low range using the 4th valve plus the octave higher fingerings for the low notes much as the 4-valve compensating system does. Of course it isn't as precise, but in the hands of a good player it offered pretty good results.
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Re: King Bell-Front Rotary that needs some work

Postby YORK-aholic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:21 am

Sam Gnagey wrote:Maybe I'm stating the obvious here: It's pretty typical of instruments from that era that the 4th valve tubing was pretty flat, because at that time it was not intended to replace the 1&3 combination. It was meant only to be used to extend the low range using the 4th valve plus the octave higher fingerings for the low notes much as the 4-valve compensating system does. Of course it isn't as precise, but in the hands of a good player it offered pretty good results.


Thanks Sam. I didn’t know that and it explains a similar condition on my CC rotary King.
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