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Thread: York Silver Eb's from circa 1912 +/-

  1. #1

    York Silver Eb's from circa 1912 +/-

    i have two... one - is in playing shape, looks pretty good when shined, i bought it to learn Eb for a reenactment group. high pitch. have not used it in a long time.
    two - is a bit older, it was found in an old music store closet. it's apart, but i have all the pieces. needs a good clean, lots of dark tarnish.

    i don't play Eb anymore and if i decide to, i'll got a newer instrument.

    is there any value in these to anyone?

    when i was playing #1, i had it chemically cleaned (i kept thinking spanish flu) i doubt the bacteria would still be there, but still, it gave me the creeps not knowing what lurked in the darkness... the valve corks/felts, etc replaced.

  2. #2
    These can have value, but it depends. First and for most, condition. If they are in great shape then they are worth more. Next is size and style. Old Yorks come is at least two sizes and can be front or top action. The ones with the most value are the front action, 4 valve large size horns. If in good to great shape, you might get up to $2000 or more for it. A really nice example might go for a lot more. The small size, 3 valve top action horns might go for $500 or so. Some people want those to make a small F tuba. Others just like to play them. The one in pieces might go for a couple of hundred if the bell and large branches are in good shape. People like those parts to make a frankentuba using a King valve set. Check on the tubenet for more information. The folks there will give you a better valuation and sale possibility than most can give you here.

    I owned a small size 3 valve top action horn for a while. It was a challenge to find all the missing parts and get it in playing condition. I played it at tuba Christmas. It had a great full large sound for a small horn. It now is somewhere in Maine being loved by another player.
    Wessex BR140
    Bunch of Eb tubas

  3. #3
    Thank you... When I figure out how, I'll send you a picture. F TUBA, i had not thought about that.

  4. #4

    york picture

    Click image for larger version. 

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    my little York Eb beside a King 2280. the other is a twin...

  5. #5
    You have a model 641 (or maybe a 642). It is a 3/4 size or small size top action 3 valve Eb. It is a high pitch. That means it is tuned to about 445 or 450. You will have a lot of trouble pulling out the slides far enough to get it to play 440 to make it usable with any modern band. If it hasn't been (and it doesn't look like it) tuned (aka slides lengthened) yet, you will need to take it to an experienced tech and have him/her lengthen the slides. That commonly means creating new slides. The low pitch version of this horn has a "W" shape in the main tuning slide. If you find one of those that fits, you can shorten it which is much easier. The catch is finding one. York changed designs in the 1902 through 1915 time period a bit and older slides do not fit the newer horns. These are fun horns to play and have a big sound. They are reasonably in tune across the range. The false or ghost tones are hit and miss. The valves on these horns are usually in poor to not playable shape. With the high/low pitch issues and bad valves, you can understand the attraction to convert these to an F tuba. The bell design and metal is legendary. That is why folks find these to be a great horns for upgrading with modern parts. Most folks change the mouthpiece receiver because this horn only accepts a small shank mouthpiece. There are a few who like the small shank mouthpieces and feel that the horn plays better with them. That has not been my experience, but to each his own.
    Wessex BR140
    Bunch of Eb tubas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,997
    I would say that high pitch makes it considerably less attractive as a player. I'm not sure how useful a 3-valve F tuba would be -- especially if the surgery left it with intonation issues. The problem in this regard can often be the tuning of the 2nd valve since tuning the instrument higher may likely require shortening each of the valve circuits (even if it starts off life as a high pitch Eb), and there's just not much to work with in the case of the 2nd valve. If someone wants to play in a group, then intonation tends to matter a lot. So horns like this tend to be either: (a) of historical interest, as is; (b) perhaps useful just for grins and maybe for playing in ensembles that don't care too much about exact tuning (Tuba Christmas, German band, ...?); or (c) project horns with somewhat unpredictable results.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 04-10-2018 at 03:43 PM.
    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)

  7. #7
    thank you... perhaps this "matched" pair would make some great yard art... i thought about floor lamps until i saw the discussion about the old holtons.
    Last edited by mbrown; 04-11-2018 at 07:08 AM.

  8. #8
    Do these little horns use a different mouthpiece? The mouthpieces I use with the BBb work but to find one that felt right I went to a Bach 25 and still felt like I could go smaller. Maybe because I've been playing so much euph lately. It played well... Despite that I was fighting fingerings and I haven't played much tuba recently. I'm tempted to relearn Eb fingers again and buy a modern version.

    My 2341 gets heavier every year... I find myself playing euphonium more and more. A little Eb might keep me in the tuba world for a while longer. This one is not much larger than the king 2280 euphonium. (see photo attachment up thread)

  9. #9
    i think i like this little fellow... thinking about how to use it, would it be ridiculous to have it changed to F and take a valve from the other one and have a 4th loop added? or would just have an old junk F tuba?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,997
    Really impossible to predict unless you've already done it to that model tuba and know how it came out. There are people who have done this sort of thing. You should post the proposal to Tubenet and see what responses you get.
    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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