How good is good enough? Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Stryk » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:47 am

bloke wrote:To tie two previous posts together, a Miraphone 186 C tuba with a Bb main tuning slide extender is not 'too good'.


It was pretty bad. The tone was still Mirafone, but seemed to have a lot of the pitch issues the Alex C does. Based on previous posts, it sounds like it followed the same (well reversed) logic Alex did when creating their C.
Terry Stryker

Old, ugly horns that play really, really well.
User avatar
Stryk
Retired Educator
Retired Educator
 
Posts: 2154
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:55 pm
Location: Panama City, Florida

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:56 am

Stryk wrote:
bloke wrote:To tie two previous posts together, a Miraphone 186 C tuba with a Bb main tuning slide extender is not 'too good'.


It was pretty bad. The tone was still Mirafone, but seemed to have a lot of the pitch issues the Alex C does. Based on previous posts, it sounds like it followed the same (well reversed) logic Alex did when creating their C.


I honestly don't believe so.
The C instrument still feature[d/s) a horizontal main slide. I've spent quite a bit of time staring at both the Bb and C 186 instruments over the years. The C is basically a factory-cut Bb, and cut (not just by eliminating the horizontal slide curly-cue, as it seems Alex did, but) by cutting some from just about everywhere (other than the large bow and bell). Some of the older C instruments played pretty well in tune, but others were really problematic. Over the years, 186 C instruments with really flat lower G's and really flat open E's and Eb's (still flat, but within striking range) were no longer made. Obviously, Miraphone eventually trial-and-error-ed those characteristics out of the C version (and, likely, created separate C 186 mandrels, rather than cutting down bows for C versions made with the Bb mandrels). Today, I really don't have a use for a 186 (as it would greatly overlap other instruments that I already own and like very much), but - like others - I do prefer the 16-1/2" bell and thinner-gauge sheet brass versions WHEN they are in tune. Surely, though, a hand-made 186, today (new) would have to be priced up in the $XX,XXX range, likely greatly reducing its market...a market which is already reduced by consumers who really don't seem to be bothered by knock-offs' annoying rotors, linkage, and poorly-aligned slides.
Last edited by bloke on Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43679
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Stryk » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:59 am

Three Valves wrote:The law of diminishing returns...

Would I pay 200% more if it made me sound 50% better??

Maybe...

400% more??

NO!!


I think that is the point. Will a $40k tuba make anyone play 10x better than a $4k tuba? No. When I watched that video, it made me really question my desire for a top tier horn. A great horn may make me sound somewhat better, it may have somewhat better intonation, and it may be somewhat easier to play. How much better? 15%? 20%? Maybe. Is an $1800 Miraclone good enough for me and what I do? Probably so.
Terry Stryker

Old, ugly horns that play really, really well.
User avatar
Stryk
Retired Educator
Retired Educator
 
Posts: 2154
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:55 pm
Location: Panama City, Florida

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:11 am

Stryk wrote:
Three Valves wrote:The law of diminishing returns...

Would I pay 200% more if it made me sound 50% better??

Maybe...

400% more??

NO!!


I think that is the point. Will a $40k tuba make anyone play 10x better than a $4k tuba? No. When I watched that video, it made me really question my desire for a top tier horn. A great horn may make me sound somewhat better, it may have somewhat better intonation, and it may be somewhat easier to play. How much better? 15%? 20%? Maybe. Is an $1800 Miraclone good enough for me and what I do? Probably so.


I'm being really redundant, but (again) all of the instruments that remain here for my personal use, and are not put up for sale
are instruments (whether they are $12,000 instruments that cost me $3000, $8000 instruments that cost me $600/$1200, $17000 instruments that cost me $8000, or instruments that I built myself) which play better than anything available on the market.

I sell my playing, am pretty particular about the quality of the product that I sell to others, and am asked to sell a wide range of playing styles to others. Further (as I do other things for money as well), I don't want to be spending all of my available time "practicing" (which - I suspect - with some other players, partially involves constantly re-overcoming so-so instruments' quirks), just so I can play between $10K (or - in a good year - $20K) of gigs. Getting real, here: Where I live is not any sort of "tuba gig Mecca", I absolutely refuse to teach, and my friend has held down the best-paying-around-here not-really-ever-a-full-time orchestra job since I was in junior high.

...and yes, I tend to be fairly shrewd regarding person instrument acquisitions, and no, nothing that I personally use is Jinbao-made. I rate my musical product as "good", but not so astonishingly good that it is just AS good when an instrument's goofy playing characteristics and/or mechanical flaws (regardless of country of origin) cause me to become much more instrument-aware and thus less music-aware.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43679
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby MaryAnn » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:03 pm

Donn wrote:
MaryAnn wrote:I'd change that to "more than is needed" rather than "too good." And if the price is right, i see nothing wrong with getting more than is needed. I do it a lot myself; I appreciate not having to fight to play in tune or get a decent tone.


If the "too good" idea is the one I brought up, that isn't what it's about. My own anecdotal example might be a good one, if you subscribe to the common belief that my old BBb Miraphone 190 was no great shakes at playing in tune. I don't know - I sure wasn't experienced enough to notice. I just had got me a great big orchestral Kaiser - that probably for me really wasn't as "good" as my 3V Olds "student model", though it would have been much more "good" than the Olds in the hands of a more accomplished player. I suppose the same comparison would apply to my current BBb tubas, a King 1240 or 2340 or whatever it is and a big old Holton 109: the King is easier to play, in tune and everything, so is it better? No, but it would be better for, uh, someone else.

This isn't as obvious with tubas as it is with some other choices. Bloke's example with flutes was a good one, if you sift out the usual digression into Chinese bla bla - open hole is "better", but it isn't something they give you to make it easier to play. Saxophone mouthpieces.



Well, I'd say that my violin matched my talent at the time, which was easily in the first violin section of a regional orchestra. I never had to "learn" intonation. It was there to start with, and with a violin you're not stuck with what the tubing will allow.
Since my change to brass....I have bought pro level instruments because I can tell the difference. That doesn't mean I can't play reasonably well on a student tuba, or a student horn, but it means that I prefer the ease of the pro level. I can't get out of my NStar what a high level player can, but I can get more out of it than I can a lesser instrument. I rejected several pro level (French) horns because they were either ergonomically difficult or not in tune with themselves. I have a pro level oboe because why not? I got a great one used for less than I would have paid for a new student level one, and it has a much nicer tone and easier reach for my small hands. So I don't think I'm arguing with you but just extending my own POV. On a different point, those of us who can't get the most out of that level of instrument may be a valuable source of income for the makers of those instruments.
User avatar
MaryAnn
Occasionally Visiting Pipsqueak
Occasionally Visiting Pipsqueak
 
Posts: 3027
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:58 am

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby iiipopes » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:42 pm

bloke wrote:To tie two previous posts together, a Miraphone 186 C tuba with a Bb main tuning slide extender is not 'too good'.

Or to say it more bluntly: it is bad.
"Bessophone" w/ 2-piece Imperial Blokepiece,
Lexan 32.6 Modified Helleberg rim & modified .080 extender
Wessex BR115 & B&H 3-valve comp w/ Wick Ultra SMB6
King Super 20 trumpet w/ Bach 3C/76
Fanned fret bass and electric guitars
User avatar
iiipopes
Utility Infielder
Utility Infielder
 
Posts: 8047
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:10 am

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Jerryleejr » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:48 pm

Stryk wrote:
Three Valves wrote:The law of diminishing returns...

Would I pay 200% more if it made me sound 50% better??

Maybe...

400% more??

NO!!


I think that is the point. Will a $40k tuba make anyone play 10x better than a $4k tuba? No. When I watched that video, it made me really question my desire for a top tier horn. A great horn may make me sound somewhat better, it may have somewhat better intonation, and it may be somewhat easier to play. How much better? 15%? 20%? Maybe. Is an $1800 Miraclone good enough for me and what I do? Probably so.

Fortunately I have my top tier horn, I did not pay top tier price for it. But Im looking for a 2nd horn and wrestling with that top tier price lol...

JJ
Miraphone 289...
Adams F5
Kanstul 991 Custom
Always room for more....
User avatar
Jerryleejr
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:31 am

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Alex C » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:14 pm

How many full time performers play Chinese made tubas? The only one I know is Porkorny who plays a BMB sometimes. There are a few others, I think. Is the run-of-the-mill Chinese tuba good enough for professionals? Based on what professionals play I would say no.

If your standard is lower than a professional, by all means, play what feels good to you. But understand, the highest goals in music require the highest quality professional gear. Most of us never reach our goals, so the lower you set your goals, the lower your results will be. not everybody wants the same results.
City Intonation Inspector - Dallas Texas
"Holding the Bordognian Fabric of the Universe together through better pitch, one note at a time."

Practicing results in increased atmospheric CO2 thus causing global warming.
User avatar
Alex C
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:34 am
Location: Cybertexas

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby bloke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:59 pm

intonation/response/valves/slides - in that order...regardless of price, country of origin, or pitchman, or motivation for posting
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43679
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Dan Tuba » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:21 pm

bloke wrote:intonation/response/valves/slides - in that order...regardless of price, country of origin, or pitchman, or motivation for posting


I own a BMB J765 BBb tuba. It's a very nice tuba, and it's not too much work to play. However, my employer provided me with a MW 195P to use on jobs. All of the above attributes that Bloke mentioned above are better on the MW 195P. Do I ever choose to use my BMB J765 BBb tuba at work, no...because it requires more work to perform. Could I use the BMB J765 BBb tuba at work...yes, and I could "probably" perform reasonably well. However, why would I want to work harder if I don't have to. After many years of "learning" to overcome "quirks" on different tubas, I really think that you you should pick an instrument that affords you the opportunity to focus on the music. All tubas have "quirks," however some have fewer quirks than others to overcome. You should try as many tubas, regardless of the key, or country of origin, in order to find what works for you. Perhaps if you are going to play "professionally," the question shouldn't be "Can I get by playing on such and such?" Perhaps the question you should ask yourself is " Should I play on such and such if it inhibits my ability to perform my best and offer the best possible musical product while I have the means to do otherwise ?"
BMB J765
KT50/24AW
Dan Tuba
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:21 pm
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee

Re: How good is good enough?

Postby Three Valves » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:18 pm

I played a Miraphone 186 BBb recently for the first time.

That was good enough. :tuba:
Who needs four valves??

Mack Brass Artiste
MackBrunner 210L
RT50
User avatar
Three Valves
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3508
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:44 am
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living

Previous

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Billy M., Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], MN_TimTuba, sloan, Tubameister and 28 guests