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Thread: Another Adams thread

  1. Another Adams thread

    I don't know if this forum needs another "I just got an Adams" thread, but just like others in the same situation, I am excited about it and wanted to share my experience so far. My perspective may be a little different than others since I am an amateur. One can argue whether it is "appropriate" for someone like me to invest in a high-end instrument (which was discussed recently in another thread), but at this point I have no regrets.

    This instrument is the .60 mm E1 lacquered brass with sterling silver bell. From others' descriptions that seems to be the most often preferred model. I have always said that with this sort of thing that one should "try before you buy" but I did not follow my own advice. I kind of came upon it by "accident", as I was inquiring about another instrument that was advertised on the Tuba Exchange website. The one I bought had been returned by a previous customer and had "tiny nicks" in the bell, which was good of them to disclose, but quite honestly it took me some time to find the defect--it is trivial in my opinion. But that plus the fact that it was a return was an opportunity for a really good deal that I felt was too good to pass on.

    **This brings me to a question which hopefully someone can address... It was described to me as .60 mm and I have no reason to think that it is not, but I was wondering how would one verify this, i.e. is the metal thickness stamped on the instrument somewhere?

    It arrived un-damaged via truck on a pallet with a HUGE box (which apparently at one time housed a Chinese C Tuba), and the case was suspended in the interior of the box by several cubic feet of foam. It would have been hard to damage the instrument in that box even if you tried. That, plus other impressions I got from Tuba Exchange in my limited experience dealing with them would make me inclined to recommend them.

    Appearance-wise this thing is beautiful. It has some serious bling going on, and seems so "bright" in contrast to my Besson (which is lacquered brass with 43 years of patina). I love the way the silver bell and accents go with the brass.

    Tone-wise, it sounds very nice, but not really all that different to my ear from my Besson--which is a good thing I suppose, because I really like the way my Besson sounds. All things being equal, it is maybe a little "fuller, richer, louder", not quite as much "edge" to it? I don't really perceive the unique silver-bell resonance thing that I have read about, but as has been pointed out to me, I have not played it in a large room, so it is likely I am not getting the full effect.

    I have fiddled a little with the adjustable receiver a little but haven't really figured out the best place for it yet. I imagine it has more to do with the mouthpiece being used rather than the person playing (?).

    **I am using an SM4X--anyone out there using the same mp with this horn, and if so, where are you placing the receiver. (I currently have it 2 turns out from all the way in.)

    The valve springs are MUCH lighter than what I am accustomed to. I wiped out the casings and oiled the valves prior to playing. They seem to be a nice tight precision fit, but even with the light springs, I haven't noticed any sticking. I may consider going to a little heavier spring at some point.

    Lower register is a little more "full" than my Besson but not dramatically so. Upper range and just playing in general seems to be do-able with less effort. It doesn't exactly play itself, but on faster stuff I have a better chance of hitting the right note and it just doesn't seem like I am working so hard. Others have described this better than I could, but I'll just say it is definitely a noticeable difference in terms of effort. I would THINK that if it is easier to blow, the air would just go through the horn faster and I would run out of breath, but that is not the case, it is not that simple. Something else is going on that I don't pretend to understand. Bottom line, it is easier to play on and sound better doing it, so I foresee that I am going to play more and enjoy it more, so that right there is the main return on investment, or at least that is what comes to mind at the moment.

    I didn't spend a lot of time using the tuner, but did enough to verify that the sixth partial Eb concert (the sharpest note on my Besson) is right on , but there a couple other notes (6th partial F, middle G, middle Gb) which I noticed were kind of sharp but I think "lip-able" for the most part. In general I would say the intonation is definitely better than what I am used to, and it seems easier to adjust pitch with my embouchure.

    So far so good!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,259
    Congrats Daniel on your new Adams! Thanks for taking the time to share your first impressions.

    I agree with you on Tuba Exchange shipping being excellent. My M5050 came on a semi-tractor-trailer strapped to a pallet. It had to be pretty expensive to ship that way but VERY SAFE. Hope you have many years of satisfying playing on your new horn.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  3. #3
    Thanks for sharing all those points! Let me answer a could things now. The metal thickness is stamped on top of the receiver "holder" (the part that the silver tube turns within).

    With the same mouthpiece I am at two full turns, but I'm still not sure that is where I will remain. I just have not taken time to really fuss with it.

    If you are having trouble with the middle F, it may just be matter of it being different than what you are used to. I don't find any problem there. However, on Gb and G there is a mathematical shortcoming because you are using 2 valves together. You can use 3 for the G, which I often do. It is the best in tune, although 12 is easily lipped into tune. The Gb needs to be lipped down. But you can play with the Gb and G a bit by adjusting the 3rd valve slide. If you pull it out a bit, then it might be too flat to play a G with 3, but it will be better for the Gb. Sometimes I'll change that 3rd slide for a particular key. The Db below is of roughly the same tendency. If I have lots of those in a piece, I might choose to tune 3 out more and use 12 for G. But they are all pretty close and can be lipped on sustained notes.

    Extra tip: Because your entire horn is lacquered, even the silver bell, you can just use Lemon Pledge furniture polish on it to shine it a bit and get rid of fingerprints. I keep the spray version around, and it is really quick to shine it up when I'm in the mood. Just keep the polish off the valve caps!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. Thanks for the tips! It is indeed stamped .60. It is right there but somehow I didn't notice it before. I wasn't really having trouble per se with any note or notes (that I have noticed anyway). I haven't really spent a lot of time with the tuner yet, and as you say, it is definitely different from what I am used to. Speaking of the receiver I was noticing an unpleasant "buzz" on the D above the staff and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from...but finally I figured out that the receiver clamp wasn't tightened enough so there was apparently a little vibration of the clamp against the receiver. It seems that you really have to tighten it pretty well to keep the receiver from turning (and to keep it from buzzing).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daniel76309 View Post
    Speaking of the receiver I was noticing an unpleasant "buzz" on the D above the staff and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from...but finally I figured out that the receiver clamp wasn't tightened enough so there was apparently a little vibration of the clamp against the receiver. It seems that you really have to tighten it pretty well to keep the receiver from turning (and to keep it from buzzing).
    That is surely true, although I've never had a problem. The outer piece is heavy brass so it does take a little effort to tighten it. I would advise to not over-tighten it, though. That little screw is threaded into brass, which is not a real hard metal. Just tighten it enough to secure the receiver itself.

    Basically, almost all brands of horns all put together securely. If something rattles or buzzes, always look to the adjustable or removable pieces first! Valve springs are a common source, usually because the horn was held at an angle when removing/replacing the piston for oiling. That lets the spring get a little crooked. Valve caps can be loose; lyre springs can be loose; even a water key mechanism can get loose enough to rattle (which would soon be followed by the mechanism coming apart!). And don't forget the largest removable piece of all - YOU and your clothing. I've been mildly panicked more than once by a sweatshirt zipper, tie clasp, or pen clip buzzing lightly against the horn!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    lubricate the threads with some slide grease

  7. Thanks.

    I was purposely being careful not to over-tighten for the reason you mentioned, but it does have to be pretty tight to prevent rotation of the receiver.

    I did actually lubricate the threads on the leadpipe, not having anything to do with the buzzing, but just because I am a "tinkerer" and it is what I do. However, maybe you are referring to the threads on the clamp, and that is something I didn't do which may in fact help--I'll do that next.

  8. #8
    yes - on a musical instrument the constant vibrations tend to allow anything threaded to back off over time. I have this problem a lot with all the pieces on my modular shires trombones. Putting a little thick slide grease on the threads tends to "encourage" them to stay in place.

  9. #9
    The threads on my Adams' receiver were gunked up with something from the factory. The adjustable gap receiver would barely turn. A good cleaning fixed that, though.

    The sound of the silver bell is subtle but special. After almost 18 months playing an Adams, I find no real interest in anything else. And it will take as my as I can give it without sounding bright or edgy when I need to play loud.

  10. #10
    Please accept my on your purchase. I would not be concerned about being an amateur and yet playing an Adams. This amateur, with not all that many playing years left, would get and Adams in a New York minute, if he had the $$$.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

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