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Thread: Can you help me identify this instrument? Eb Alto Horn?

  1. Can you help me identify this instrument? Eb Alto Horn?

    I recently came into possession of what I believe is, according to the York Loyalist, a Model 27 Eb Alto Horn used between 1915 and 1921. It has an 8 inch upright bell. It is the bell size that distinguishes this instrument from others on the list. It is 10" long. I don’t see any markings on it to show me if it is low or high pitch but I believe it is low pitch. The mouthpiece that came with it reads “Conn-Euphonium”. It has a small shank and looks like a “smallish” baritone mouthpiece.

    The thing that is confusing to me is the extra bit of tubing beside the third valve slide. I can’t find any picture of any instrument that has this particular additional tubing or any details on what it is. I’m attaching pics of the instrument.

    Thanks in advance for any additional info you can provide!
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    Last edited by jjwhitis; 12-14-2021 at 08:39 PM. Reason: adding pictures

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    That extra loop is interesting. Can you post a couple photos from rear and side angles so we can see the whole travel of that loop? If it can be bypassed or extended, it could have been a high/low pitch switch or an Eb/F switch. Just guessing!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. Here are some additional pics. Hope this helps.
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the extra pics. There does not appear to be a removeable slide or any way to use this to adjust anything (other than the amount of water in the horn!).

    Maybe it was a loop of convenience, to keep the rest of the wrap under control so nothing pokes out anywhere, and to give you convenient access to the water key.

    Anyone else have an idea?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. The loop looks like 2 things Dave has mentioned. 1st, it would collect water, but so would the main tuning slide. I doubt this was a design element, maybe just something that happened due to the shape. 2nd, it looks like you could easily unsolder a couple of joints and remove about a half-step worth of tubing, and then close the circuit without the extra loop. Not an instant change, but something that was designed in and could be changed easily by a technician. It might have been added after manufacture, or put in during manufacture with the option of being easily removed later. My guess would be the second option.

  6. https://emuseum.nmmusd.org/objects/5...ae9f6fe9&idx=1

    Above from the York museum confirming an Eb Alto.
    Richard


    King 1130 Flugabone
    King 2280 Euphonium
    King 10J Tuba
    Conn 22B Trumpet

  7. Quote Originally Posted by hyperbolica View Post
    The loop looks like 2 things Dave has mentioned. 1st, it would collect water, but so would the main tuning slide. I doubt this was a design element, maybe just something that happened due to the shape. 2nd, it looks like you could easily unsolder a couple of joints and remove about a half-step worth of tubing, and then close the circuit without the extra loop. Not an instant change, but something that was designed in and could be changed easily by a technician. It might have been added after manufacture, or put in during manufacture with the option of being easily removed later. My guess would be the second option.
    Thank you for your input!

    The "loop" doesn't look like it was added after manufacture and is original to the instrument. As you mentioned, it certainly looks like it would be easy to remove it and close the loop. I wonder how much that would change the pitch. I wonder how much that would change the pitch. Right now it plays a bit under pitch. You can lip to an E-flat but not easily. Would it just be easier to shorter the tuning slide to raise the pitch to make it a playable E-flat. Removing that loop could possibly bring it up to F? I really don't have any experience with that.

    Is this a viable instrument to play in a brass band? Is it just too old? What would you do if you actually wanted it to be a viable instrument?

  8. I've seen that pic and they are certainly very similar. This one does not have the unique "loop" with the spit valve.

    Another interesting thing that I forgot to mention is the U.S.Q.M.C. that is stamped on the bell. The gentlemen that originally owned the instrument played it in the U.S. Quarter Master Corp. I found one other Eb Alto that was a Buescher and had the same stamp on the bell.

  9. #9
    This will be hard to measure, but can you find out the length (even roughly) of the extra part of the loop? That is the part that could be removed and the remaining stubs connected

    If the loop is roughly the same length as the 1st valve, then it was maybe a factory method of changing the horn from F to Eb, based on what is ordered. The 1st valve is a whole step, so that would be about the length needed to move it from an F to an Eb horn.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    884
    A nice mate to my York Bb tenor horn. Very similar construction techniques, same era.

    F/Eb sounds like the most probable deal with that little curl. The horn may have been ordered in F, then changed to Eb down the road.

    The main procurement division of the US military for many years:

    https://quartermaster.army.mil/history/

    Dennis
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

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