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Thread: Sometimes-sticky rotary valves

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by garryw View Post
    Hi. All right, so maybe it's not a Wagner tuba. But my understanding is that, at least in Germany, it is the horn currently colloquially called a "tuben", and that German tuben's are "probably" direct descendants of the Wagner tubas... yes?
    No, what you have is an ovalform bariton or a tenorhorn, depending on what the bell shape and bore size are. These existed as military band instruments well before Wagner Tubas were invented. German-style Bariton is roughly the equivalent of a euphonium, just with a different shape and usually with rotary valves. This is still used for euphonium parts in German and other Eastern European concert bands. Tenorhorn is similar to the british-style baritone -- but again, usually with rotary valves and in the oval shape, but not quite as small. The overall sound and bore profile is closer to a smallish american-style baritone horn than anything else. These are mostly useful these days in German and Austrian folk music.

    Tuben is the plural of tuba. It is not uncommon to see a section of Wagner tubas referred to as just "tuben", whereas an actual tuba would be "tuba" or "basstuba" or "kontrabasstuba." But I am not aware of bariton and tenorhorn being referred to in that way.

    Wagner tubas were invented in the early 1860s. They aren't really members of the tuba family at all, but a hybrid between a horn and a saxhorn. They come in two sizes -- Bb which is the same length as a baritone or euphonium, or F which is the same length as an F tuba or a single F horn. There are a few manufacturers who have made double wagner tubas, but this is not ideal as it ignores the inherant tonal differences in the two instruments. They are almost always used by composers as a group of four, two tenors and two basses.

    Yes, it's possible that your issue is a problem with the spring or linkage rather than the rotor itself. Does your instrument have clocksprings? These are leaf springs that are wound into a coil and are usually in a cylindrical container attached to the valve paddle. These are notoriously difficult to adjust and you may want to try to substitute in a more modern linkage and springs.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 09-24-2015 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #12
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    Bob has all the details right. The Germanic peoples love these oval euphonia (and tenorhorns, etc.). However, the Russians traditionally have been nuts about them as well. If you want to see an entire section of them (and one of the great military pieces of music), take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QZFzK2BFyE. You can see them clearly at about the 1 minute mark on the left side. And again from the rear of the section at about 1:35. There's one poor guy on the end who seems to have an upright baritone or maybe an alto or tenor horn. Likewise, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrFhfPYPUl4 at about 1:38 (with the tubas behind them).

    For German appearances, just search Youtube for "Blasmusik" or "Blasmusik Baryton". Here's a classic example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmXu_31fuws. There is a huge variance in what people are willing to call a baryton/bariton/baritone/tenorhorn. Many Americans insist on calling any oval horn a tenor horn. I've had professional repair people do this with me. There's no arguing with them. Go on the Cerveny site (www.cerveny.biz) and look in both the "Tenor Horns" and "Euphoniums" sections and you'll see what the real story is.

    If you have clockwork springs, these can be cleaned. Also, lubrication can help a lot. Generally if they aren't actually broken, then nothing's wrong with them. My horn has clockwork springs (and the 'S' linkages) and they work great (some people prefer them). You can buy (if you work at it a bit), new spring/linkage sections made for the Chinese clones that should fit your horn if you need to.

    If you haven't yet cleaned the horn (I mean in a bath with soapy water, trombone snake, and flushed it thoroughly), that would also be an excellent idea and you might be amazed at the result.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    Bob has all the details right.
    Barry

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,989
    Sorry. Brain slippage. Trying to multi-task too much. My brain sees 'bbocaner' and partially translates it to 'bob'. I'll work on it.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #15
    No problem. I had someone call me Brian for 10 years once before I got up the nerve to correct her
    --
    Barry

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,989
    For years when he was young, my oldest child (Christian) endured being referred to by various bureaucrats, nurses, etc. as "Christine". A lot of people in a lot of position that seem to require it just can't read very well.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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