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Thread: Older Boosey & Hawkes Tubas

  1. Older Boosey & Hawkes Tubas

    Has anybody experienced issues with playing these Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Tubas.
    I find when playing them it is quite hard to keep up with the rest of the band.
    Anyone else experienced these issue with these type of instruments?
    The tubas are small shank so maybe it might be part of the issue.
    Sammy Wong
    St George Brass Band, Sydney
    Bass Trombone (Senior Band)
    Bb Bass (Junior Band)

    Bach Stradivarius 50B3G (Vincent Bach 1 1/2G Megatone/Vincent Bach 1 1/2GM)
    Conn 88H (Denis Wick 3AL)
    Yamaha YSL-154 (Denis Wick 4AY/Vincent Bach 6 1/2 AL)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Regent 4v non-comp Eupho (Denis Wick 4AM)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 3v comp Bb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4v comp Eb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L/Besson Copy of Vincent Bach 24AW "TU-24")

  2. #2
    Are you saying the Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Tubas are "slow"? Or are they in a bad state of repair?
    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)

  3. No the amount of sound needed to fill the band.
    Sammy Wong
    St George Brass Band, Sydney
    Bass Trombone (Senior Band)
    Bb Bass (Junior Band)

    Bach Stradivarius 50B3G (Vincent Bach 1 1/2G Megatone/Vincent Bach 1 1/2GM)
    Conn 88H (Denis Wick 3AL)
    Yamaha YSL-154 (Denis Wick 4AY/Vincent Bach 6 1/2 AL)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Regent 4v non-comp Eupho (Denis Wick 4AM)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 3v comp Bb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4v comp Eb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L/Besson Copy of Vincent Bach 24AW "TU-24")

  4. #4
    Do you have one of the older models with a 15" or 17" bell? I think the Eb and Bb Imperials had 15" and 17" bells before going to 19" late in their production (before the Sovereign). If you have one of the older models, this might account for the smaller sound.

    I have an Eb tuba with a 15" bell. It is nice for chamber work, brass quintet, etc., but not big enough for a full sized concert band or orchestra. I mean I could play it in a band, it just wouldn't have the gravitas needed to really fill out the band.
    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)

  5. I've got both an Eb and Bb on loan from by band. I think it is they are 15"/17" bells.
    The band is a British Style Brass Band and I'm playing Bb Tuba for the Junior Band at this year's State Band Championships in Sydney.
    We only have 2 junior tuba players and my section mate playing Eb is using a B&H Imperial Eb (small bell 15"?)
    Any ways around it?
    Sammy Wong
    St George Brass Band, Sydney
    Bass Trombone (Senior Band)
    Bb Bass (Junior Band)

    Bach Stradivarius 50B3G (Vincent Bach 1 1/2G Megatone/Vincent Bach 1 1/2GM)
    Conn 88H (Denis Wick 3AL)
    Yamaha YSL-154 (Denis Wick 4AY/Vincent Bach 6 1/2 AL)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Regent 4v non-comp Eupho (Denis Wick 4AM)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 3v comp Bb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4v comp Eb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L/Besson Copy of Vincent Bach 24AW "TU-24")

  6. #6
    I edited this post after getting some message that I had to wait 30 seconds to post. This post should not have been posted, the one below should.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 06-16-2019 at 11:51 PM.
    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)

  7. #7
    So two tubas total? Usually there are 2 Eb's and 2 Bb's in a British Brass Band. But you only have 2 tuba players total, 1 playing Eb and you playing Bb? With smaller sized tubas? Hmmmm. Blow real loud. I am not real experienced with brass band, just some, and less so with the tubas. It would seem that 4 tubas are usually needed, but I suppose you would have to make do with two if that is all you have. As for the tubas themselves, if all you have are the B&H Imperials, then there isn't much you can do there either.

    Only suggestions I have are:

    1) Find some bigger tubas to borrow (maybe a music store)?
    2) Find some more tuba players
    3) Most likely: Use what people and equipment you have and play just as darn good as you can (and the other fellow on Eb, too)

    Good luck!!
    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)

  8. I probably can get hold of the Besson Sovereign that another fellow in the senior band is playing, the other fellow on Eb is pretty darn good so the quality is there just maybe not the quantity.
    We are playing The Irish Blessing arr. Stephen Bradnum as our Hymn, both Eb and Bb tuba parts are spilt with the second Bb Part going down to a Pedal Ab Concert. Should I perhaps take the top part so the gap isn't so large? Bass Tromb has the upper Eb part covered.
    Sammy Wong
    St George Brass Band, Sydney
    Bass Trombone (Senior Band)
    Bb Bass (Junior Band)

    Bach Stradivarius 50B3G (Vincent Bach 1 1/2G Megatone/Vincent Bach 1 1/2GM)
    Conn 88H (Denis Wick 3AL)
    Yamaha YSL-154 (Denis Wick 4AY/Vincent Bach 6 1/2 AL)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Regent 4v non-comp Eupho (Denis Wick 4AM)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 3v comp Bb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L)
    (On Loan) Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4v comp Eb Tuba (Denis Wick 1L/Besson Copy of Vincent Bach 24AW "TU-24")

  9. #9
    I guess that depends if the Pedal Ab is a really necessary note in the piece. Perhaps the best thing would be to consult with the director and get his take on it. He already knows you are short 2 tuba players. The director might be able to see the big picture and provide some guidance. It is nice to see that you are dedicated enough to be concerned about this and are trying to do the best thing you can. Kudos for that!! And good luck in your performance.
    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)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    2,039
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Do you have one of the older models with a 15" or 17" bell? I think the Eb and Bb Imperials had 15" and 17" bells before going to 19" late in their production (before the Sovereign). If you have one of the older models, this might account for the smaller sound.

    I have an Eb tuba with a 15" bell. It is nice for chamber work, brass quintet, etc., but not big enough for a full sized concert band or orchestra. I mean I could play it in a band, it just wouldn't have the gravitas needed to really fill out the band.
    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.

    When I decided to (after 20 years) go back to an Eb horn from the BBb, and was looking at the cost/performance trade-offs for playing in a band, one of my concerns was how well the horn would be able to support a band. I decided to go with the 981 clone because I REALLY like the Eb horns, I like the comp horn, and I didn't have the $$$$ to spend on a 4/5-valve German/Czech style non-comp horn, and it was likely that I would only infrequently be the only tuba in the band. My only regret is getting the 19" bell. I'm not at all convinced that it adds much in terms of sound projection capability (I suspect it just affects the timbre more than anything else), and the 15" bell would be a lot easier to haul around. But none of these can compare to the incredible "surround sound" that Cerveny produced.

    If you want better sound projection, dump the comp Brit horn and get a German/Czech non-comp tuba.
    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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