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Thread: How to adjust the tuning slides for a King 2341 tuba

  1. Question How to adjust the tuning slides for a King 2341 tuba

    Dear all,

    I just got a King2341 BBb tuba. Just want to have some experienced player to guide how to tune the upper and lower sets of tuning slides.
    I noticed some players are constantly adjust the upper tuning slide during performance, should this applied to all tuba (and tuba in all keys).

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2341.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    Somewhere on this site there's a good article on how to tune slides on a euphonium. It's the same for tuba. Find that article.

    If by the "upper slide" and adjusting it, you mean to refer to the 1st valve slide that sticks up, then ...

    It is common for tuba players to use this slide to adjust the pitch dynamically as they play, on certain notes. I did this on my Cerveny BBb and consequently almost never used the 4th valve for intonation issues. HOWEVER, ...

    You can do this ONLY if that slide is lapped to the point where you can (a) easily move it by hand as you're playing (almost like a trombone hand slide, but not quite so slick), and (b) not lapped so much that it won't stay in position (so NOT like a trombone hand slide to that degree) if you want it to. This is a bit tricky to achieve, and if you want to go in that direction, I recommend you take it to a (good!) repair tech and have it done. If you do that then ...

    You should have the first valve vented. Without venting the valve, then when you pull or push the slide as you're playing, you'll create either a vacuum or a positive pressure that resists moving the slide. In addition, you'll get a little "pop" if you use the valve when there is such a vacuum or pressure. You really want to avoid both of these things. If the additional expense isn't too much, have all the valves vented. There's no reason not to, and it makes adjusting slides a bit easier. Venting piston valves is very simple and involves virtually no labor -- so shouldn't be too costly.

    Lapping the first valve slide (on a non-compensating horn) is well worth doing and learning to use -- IF it's done correctly.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 07-14-2018 at 10:00 AM.
    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. #3
    I would recommend that after you have the slides lapped and lubed that you spend time with a tuner playing long tones and learn the characteristics of both your playing and your horn. It helps to also change dynamics and monitor how that affects your tuning as well.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  4. Generally, decades ago when I played the school's King 4-valve tubas, we generally set them as follows: 1st valve - dead, then pull the slightest bit that Ab and Eb would still center; 2nd valve - dead, then pull the slightest bit so A nat and E nat would still center. Then G and D 1+2 are centered when slightly lipped down. 3rd valve is pulled and set so Gb and Db 2+3 is in tune. 4th valve C and low F is pulled so it is a couple of cents flat, but can be lipped up, so that 4+2 B nat and low E nat can be in tune with just a little lipping down.

    The interesting thing about these King tubas is their overall intonation characteristics. When I say "the slightest bit," that is exactly what I mean. These tubas are remarkably "point-and-shoot" and are mostly tolerant of just about any mouthpiece you would want to use on it. The tubing is tailored so that the 5th partials are only slightly flat, if at all, as opposed to something like a Miraphone 186 with notoriously flat 5th partials. The trade-off is the 6th partials and up can go sharp in a hurry, 4th line F up.

    Once you get used to the horn, pitches will center without conscious thought if your embouchure is properly conditioned and your ear knows what shading of pitch to go for. Very little, if any at all, "riding throttle" on a valve slide is necessary, again, as compared to many other tubas.

    Have fun!

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