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Thread: 3 + 1 vs. 4 Inline (valves)

  1. Quote Originally Posted by TheJH View Post
    I did that when my main euph was under maintenance and I got a 4-inline Yamaha clone as a borrowing instrument until it was finished... my entire posture went to hell because of the unnatural position of the left hand, because suddenly the part of my body that carried the most amount of weight was in a position where it couldn't carry that weight anymore. Left hand and shoulder cramped up, position of my euph was terrible, etc. Never gonna try that again xD
    Even trying to imagine that is hurting my arm.

    Having played on a 3+1 for a week now, I don't think I can ever go back to 4 valves in a row. It just makes so much more "sense" in my trombonists brain. This of course means I'm doomed to have to get a compensating tuba should I ever decide to get one of those.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS - Hammond 11L , Bach 42T - Laskey 59MD, Kanstul 1588CR - Hammond 11ML, Yamaha YBL-612 RII - Faxx 1 1/2G

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    ...I'm doomed to have to get a compensating tuba should I ever decide to get one of those.
    Not necessarily. There are some non-compensating 3+1 euphs on the market. Besson makes one; so does Yamaha (YEP-621 I think).

    Besson BE163:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Besson-Mode...W/362706629799

    I found some Yamaha 621's, but they were quite overpriced. I'm not sure if that changes from time to time or not (market forces & such).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
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    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Smoketown, Pa
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    198
    I guess I'm what you might say walking a different road or on a different planet. (ha ha) I've been playing the straight inline 4 valve since high school. My horn then was the Conn 24I. It is a valve front configuration. I've since in recent years bought a straight 4 upright euphonium as well as the oval 4 valve euphonium. About 2 years ago I purchased a compensator the 3+1. Had real issues at age 71 trying to make my left hand work and when it did to keep it in tempo. To this day the straight inline 4 is still easier and maybe it's just age. I'm getting better at it but not where I would like it to be. To answer your question is for me the straight 4 is quicker. May also be the arthritis in the first knuckle joints of both hands. However I'm a determined individual to make both configurations work.
    B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
    B&S PT33-S Euphonium
    B&S PT37-S
    Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone

  4. The 3+1 valve layout is very much a British tradition - almost universally used in brass bands with the compensation system, which much aids nibble playing in the low register, which would be difficult, if not impossible with 4 in line valves, as the little finger on the right hand is much more difficult to control independently than using left hand. The main reason to have 4 in line valves is if they are on the front it allows the player to pull slides and adjust for tuning while playing. Also personally I think front action is more comparable to hold. The Wessex Festivo does allow for the use of the left hand to operate the 4th valve, or work 4 in line as preferred.

    So which to get depends on use and personal preference.
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
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    133
    I have also seen that 4 inline horns come in two variants, four up top, or four in front. I asked once before, but I am not sure I saw an answer. I know how to tell if a 3 + 1 is compensating. I know where to look for the extra tubing of a Blakeley compensation system. The jist of what I got before boiled down to "Most valve front horns are not compensating. Only two or three brands are. And the Wessex Festivo is."

    Where do I look, and what do I look for, to see if a 4 inline, front action horn is compensating?

    It appears that the 4 inline, in front is the preferred construction among this community. It does seem to boil down to, "Its all in what you get used to."

    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
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    258
    Quote Originally Posted by Sara Hood View Post
    I have also seen that 4 inline horns come in two variants, four up top, or four in front. I asked once before, but I am not sure I saw an answer. I know how to tell if a 3 + 1 is compensating. I know where to look for the extra tubing of a Blakeley compensation system. The jist of what I got before boiled down to "Most valve front horns are not compensating. Only two or three brands are. And the Wessex Festivo is."

    Where do I look, and what do I look for, to see if a 4 inline, front action horn is compensating?

    It appears that the 4 inline, in front is the preferred construction among this community. It does seem to boil down to, "Its all in what you get used to."

    - Sara
    Hi Sara. Perhaps I’m missing something. If so I apologize in advance.

    When you say valve front are you exclusively referring to upright bell euphoniums or also bell front horns often called baritones and generally used in marching bands?

    There are very few valve front euphoniums like the Festivo. Willson also makes one but it’s a rare bird. Both are compensating. Valve front “baritones”
    in common use are 3 valve non-compensating.
    Last edited by MichaelSchott; 07-28-2019 at 01:21 PM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by Sara Hood View Post
    Where do I look, and what do I look for, to see if a 4 inline, front action horn is compensating?
    What to look for is always the same: The extra tubing (which then also leads to longer valves because they have to support two runs of tubing going through them).

    As a simplistic approach, if you can follow the tubing through the valve section and each of the tuning circuits and out the bell, and then there's a bunch of tubing "left over" that takes a second run through the valves, then it's compensating. Or if you start to follow the tubing from the lead pipe, through the valves and through each tuning slide, but you get confused about which branch to follow at some point, then it's compensating.
    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)

  8. #28
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    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
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    133
    I was referring to the placement of the valve cluster, not the style of the bell. Though that also has a "upright" or "front" orientation choice, as you pointed out. In instruments with the valves "on top," they are at nearly the tallest point in the tubing and point upwards in the same direction as the bell. In valve front instruments, they are located on the front side and point at the audience. They tend to be in a slightly curved or angled arrangement, rather than a straight line across.

    I was hoping that this posting would help shed some light on what the differences are between the builds of horns are, and what one gets out of them. Is a different construction really a "better mousetrap," or just a cosmetic difference that comes from routing the piping differently. I wanted to understand the trade offs between them. Gary's previous post helped me to know what to look for on a 4 inline, valve front style instrument.

    The final (at least I think that it is the final) construction detail I would like to explore is the compensating system. I know that the Blakeley compensator is not the only compensating system out there. But unless I am misinformed (and I do want to be corrected if I am), it is the only one in use in modern horn manufacturing. What were the other compensating systems? What were they like? Which brands used them? How did they work? What were their trade offs?

    Does all these questions about how and why the horn works make me a "gear head"? I never really thought of myself that way in any other setting/context. I simply want to have a more complete understanding of the music making machine that is a euphonium/baritone/tuba etc. I think that understanding the mechanical side of the instrument will develop and benefit the artistic/musical side of how I play it.

    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  9. From what I have seen, valve front piston Baritone/Euphoniums are pretty much an American design, and over here there really wasn't a big distinction between the two. Many are also "bell front", possibly with a swivel bell, and in general they were made for marching brass. There really isn't any tradition of professional American Euphoniums, like there is over in the UK and in Europe.

    In the UK, the Brass band tradition is such that all of the instruments have 3 valves or 3 + 1, and this way the music for every player is written the same due to different transpositions. All of the parts are in Treble clef transposed, even the tuba. The idea is that you can have any player play any part theoretically. They really went for the compensating system that was developed at Boosey by Blaikley. The patent on piston compensating systems did not expire until 1974, which is one reason why it didn't really spread around the world until relatively recently. I think the only U.S. Maker who was making a professional compensating euphonium was Kanstul, and they are now defunct.

    Elsewhere in Europe, the Kaiser Baritone oval euphonium / tenor tuba came about. It has 4 or 5 rotary valves, and represents a pretty different lineage than the British style euphonium.

    The only other compensating system I have seen/heard of us one used in French horns. Instead of the standard double horn, which has two sets of valve slides, and double height rotors with two sets of channels, it was a compensated version. The change valve would instead put the air column through both sets, and there was less tubing required. However, the increase in resistance and such was ultimately deemed too much, and the double horn became the standard.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS - Hammond 11L , Bach 42T - Laskey 59MD, Kanstul 1588CR - Hammond 11ML, Yamaha YBL-612 RII - Faxx 1 1/2G

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    258
    Quote Originally Posted by Sara Hood View Post
    I was referring to the placement of the valve cluster, not the style of the bell. Though that also has a "upright" or "front" orientation choice, as you pointed out. In instruments with the valves "on top," they are at nearly the tallest point in the tubing and point upwards in the same direction as the bell. In valve front instruments, they are located on the front side and point at the audience. They tend to be in a slightly curved or angled arrangement, rather than a straight line across.

    I was hoping that this posting would help shed some light on what the differences are between the builds of horns are, and what one gets out of them. Is a different construction really a "better mousetrap," or just a cosmetic difference that comes from routing the piping differently. I wanted to understand the trade offs between them. Gary's previous post helped me to know what to look for on a 4 inline, valve front style instrument.

    The final (at least I think that it is the final) construction detail I would like to explore is the compensating system. I know that the Blakeley compensator is not the only compensating system out there. But unless I am misinformed (and I do want to be corrected if I am), it is the only one in use in modern horn manufacturing. What were the other compensating systems? What were they like? Which brands used them? How did they work? What were their trade offs?

    Does all these questions about how and why the horn works make me a "gear head"? I never really thought of myself that way in any other setting/context. I simply want to have a more complete understanding of the music making machine that is a euphonium/baritone/tuba etc. I think that understanding the mechanical side of the instrument will develop and benefit the artistic/musical side of how I play it.

    - Sara
    Perhaps I was not clear. Valve front euphoniums with upright bells are an anomaly. In that context they are barely worth discussion academically. Valve front horns with front facing valves are far more common and are usually beginner horns or used in marching bands. When marching it’s far easier to balance a horn with front valves than upright. You use the crook below and to the right of the valves helps to support the horn with the thumb. These are almost exclusively non-compensating horns with 3 valves.

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