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Thread: Older Boosey & Hawkes Tubas

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    Maybe to some degree, but I don't think that's the real issue.

    A lot of the classic German/Czech tubas have 15"-ish bells and have no problem projecting their sound (true for both BBb and Eb). The bell on my Cerveny 781 was 15.7" and had no problem supporting a full concert band. Likewise, the Norwegian Star Eb has a 15.7" bell (but a .772-.835" bore !!). I think the sound projection feature is much more closely related to bore size (and perhaps bugle taper) than to bell size. I'm sure the bore of that B&H tuba is < .69", and perhaps significantly less. My Wessex Champion (981 clone) has a .69" bore and a 19" bell, and if it's the ONLY tuba in a fairly large band ( > 45 players), can be at or beyond its limit....
    Hmmm, this is an interesting topic. I agree that the bell is clearly not the whole thing. My thinking is with a given size tuba, the BBb, CCb, Eb, and F would sound biggest to smallest in that order. Then, on any one of those tubas, the size of the tuba (outer branches usually being the determining factor) would be the main factor changing the bigness/fullness/gravitas of the sound. With a 6/4 tuba sounding way bigger than a 3/4 tuba. I don't know how much the bore size does for the overall sound. But I could be all wrong on that. On a trombone, say a jazz horn with a bore size around .500, and a trombone with a bore size of .547 (like most full sized tenor trombones), I suppose you could say the bore size determines a lot of the character of the sound. So maybe the bore size on a tuba makes a big difference on the sound?? Would be curious to hear other's thoughts.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    I can't offer any intelligible thoughts on this since I don't have a good enough idea of how to measure the "bigness" in question. But my own experience and intuition (and I suspect that of most tuba players -- and perhaps most brass players generally) is "The bigger the bore, the bigger the sound." (Indeed, a lot of advertising seems to be oriented in this direction.) And that the "bore" in this case isn't the diameter of the outer tubing, but the diameter of the tubing before and through the valve section, since the "published" bore of a tuba is measured through the valve section -- although certainly all the bits of tubing contribute to one degree or another. A tuba is a large or a small bore tuba because it's large or small bore through the valve section -- independent of the outer tubing and bell.

    However, it would be at least amusing to see a variety of opinions expressed. I suspect they already have been expressed on TubeNet, but I haven't looked for them there.

    It would be helpful if players of some of the old "giant" or "mammoth" Eb tubas could weigh in, and perhaps some players of Sousaphones and helicons having different bell and bore sizes. For my part, I find the sound of my Wessex 981 clone to be significantly "bigger" (more gravitas) than that of my 1924 Buescher, and don't believe that this is largely owing to the 2" difference in bell size or larger bugle size. But that's still pretty much at the level of a "belief" or "feeling".
    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
    I recently acquired a 15" bell Boosey & Hawkes Eb Tuba from 1952, formerly owned by a Euphonium Player. I'll try to post some thoughts once I get the hang of it in comparison to my BBb Yamaha.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, 1952 B&H Imperial Eb Tuba, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

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