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Thread: The Czech tradition

  1. The Czech tradition

    Hey Tubists, on the Euph side under 'Euph brands' there's a discussion going about the Czech tradition of instrument-making. Since there have been a number of well-regarded Czech tubas over the decades, surely some of you can help out with your knowledge ...

  2. #2

    The Czech tradition

    I have been a very big fan of Cervenys since my HS days. My current 603 piggy model plays like butter, but I save it for the orchestra and brass ensemble gigs. It is only 3 years old and the intonation is greatly improved from the 70s models I played back at Ohio State. It has the heart and bore size of a Kaiser, but with that smaller stature, which is very deceiving.

    The St. Petersburg also claims lineage from the Czech tuba heritage. This may explain the .830 bore and smaller bottom bow and bell on the BBb St. Petes. My older 201 only needs the 4th valve in the pedal register, just like the many of the older Kaiser horns. The 1/3 valve combo plays correctly in tune all the way down to F (4 ledger lines below the staff). Almost as if the 4th valve was a later addition to the original tooling of the horn.

  3. The Czech tradition

    Honestly, the Czech (or Miraphone or St. P.) style design of tuba is very well regarded and they make great tubas. Although too soft of a build for schools.

    For euphs, well...
    I've played an AEP341 (Amati 4 valve inline)
    fixed many Amati 3+1's
    and played a Cerveny 4 valve rotary upright.

    They have all been very poor, especially in comparison to a popular quality student euph like a Yamaha 321.
    The Tubas are fine, just too easily beat to junk in a school setting, good for semi pro or doubling professionals who can protect their instrument in a professional environment.

  4. #4

    The Czech tradition

    You need to teach your students to be responsible.

    Really good horns were NEVER available in NW Ohio, where I am from, but we had good King tubas. I was taught to completely take a horn apart, clean valves, add new corks and make this thing play just like new. Our band room in Ayersville was set up to do this. Glenn Walker was and still is, an amazing band director and clarinet player.

  5. The Czech tradition

    The teachers here don't even have that knowledge (though when I have my ed degree I will be the exception).

    Honestly Dale, as a Brass repair technician, probably about 25% of the "repairs" I get from band teachers for tuba and euph are from teachers with Yamaha (or similar) piston brass where the student loosened the valve stem and the plastic valve guide has moved out of place (or into the vent hole) and I have to drive across town to "fix" it, show them how to "fix" it, not bill anything as it's under contract, only to have to do it again next week.

    About 90% of the low brass in this province is Yamaha, 5% Besson/Boosey, 5% other.

    The Besson euphs last forever (often without cases or even dent bags)
    The Yamahas do well but need valve work more often.

    The Amati's need constant valve work and dent work.
    The metal is too soft and the braces too small, so the 3rd valve tubing generally bends inwards, pinching the valves, causing them to seize. I've had to rebrace a couple of these tubas/euph using trombone bell to gooseneck braces cut down to fit.
    The soldering is also very weak and the contact points are often poorly designed to ensure a good bond (ie. hand rest loop on Amati 3/4 Bb Tuba).
    Overall, Amati is a bad choice and I generally rank them with the disposable no-name Chinese instruments we get in.

    Cerveny Tubas can be OK. The most important point for these is that they're usually owned by players, not students, and are taken care of. However, I'd recommend a Miraphone over them.

  6. #6

    The Czech tradition

    The last Tubas bought for the school I teach at (well before my time) were Cerveny.

    The poor bastards are beat up so bad from twenty years of kids that three out of the five don't even play a true Bb due to being warped from the extensive denting. One is almost completely dented shut at the bottom. And another has lost two spatulas off the valves in the last month.

    However with the budget and economic situation there is no chance to upgrade. Not to mention we need new sousa's for marching band, I would like to have a Bass Trombone and at least three tenor bones with F attachments for the Wind Ensemble, and at least two 4 valve euphs.

    Anyone want to donate about $30,000 to a band program?

  7. The Czech tradition

    Originally posted by: Nuck81Anyone want to donate about $30,000 to a band program?
    I'd love to, I'd just need to be able to make that much to be able to part with that much.


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