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Add water keys to Imperial?

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  • John Morgan
    Moderator
    • Apr 2014
    • 1885

    #16
    So, I will weigh in. I agree with Franz on this one. On my Adams, I have a water key on the main (which has a trigger), the 1st and 3rd slides. They get full enough to need emptying in this order:

    1. Main - definitely the most here and most frequently needed to empty
    2. 1st or 2nd about equal and about half as much or frequently as main - unusual as the 2nd valve on some euphoniums really catches the water
    3. 4th and 3rd about equal and little

    I use the water key on the main as it would be impossible to empty by pulling (like Misa does) as the mechanism to undo the main slide requires turning a gizmo multiple times until things come loose. How's that for a scientific explanation??!! It is way too time consuming to pull the main, even between pieces on a concert.

    But I always pull the 1st slide to empty even though there is a water key there. I always pull the 4th as I obviously have to. I seldom do much with the 3rd slide, sometimes I use the water key, other times when I have time, I pull the slide, even though it is about 3.5 miles long. This behooves you to keep the slide well cleaned and greased to avoid hurting yourself when you pull the slide.

    So, to the OP, I would not add water keys to the 3rd and 4th slides. I have a '56 Imperial (kind of sounds like a car, doesn't it?), and I get very little in my 3rd slide. I pull every slide on my Imperial in lieu of using the water keys. I agree with Franz that it gets a better drain, and as a plus, if you don't like the French horn player in front of you, you can really soak them with a good flick of the wrist when you pull the slide out.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium,
    1973 F. E. Olds & Son Studio Model T-31 Baritone
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Year Round Except Summer:
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
    Summer Only:
    Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
    Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

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    • ghmerrill
      Senior Member
      • Dec 2011
      • 2385

      #17
      Hmmm ... some of this seems as though it may be dependent on what model of the euph is being used -- which seems odd because for the most part there doesn't seem to be that much difference in geometry. I'm puzzled particularly by John's 3rd point since the difference between water retention in my 3rd and 4th valve slides is substantial. Or possibly it depends also on the amount of water the player is putting into the horn, and so needs to be drained. I know that on my tubas -- even ones of the same overall geometry -- there can be some differences in the relative amounts of water that collect in the different slides. I'm still not inclined to pull any slide longer than the 2nd one -- if there's any alternative at all.
      Gary Merrill
      Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
      Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
      Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
      1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
      Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
      1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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      • franz
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2015
        • 392

        #18
        Originally posted by John Morgan View Post

        I seldom do much with the 3rd slide, sometimes I use the water key, other times when I have time, I pull the slide, even though it is about 3.5 miles long.
        The slide of the 3rd valve is very long in almost all euphoniums, perhaps due to the fact that, in ancient times, the length of the 3rd valve was 2 tones, while it was later standardized to 1 and a half tones. An exception is the Besson Prestige, in which the length of the first slide is perfectly equal to that of the third, so much so that they can be interchanged. The only drawback is that it is no longer possible to have the interval of 2 tones by activating the third piston if there were the remote need, which I did on the French Wessex C tuba by making two brass spacers of the right length to insert on the legs of the slide, so as to restore the original configuration of the instrument from which it was copied. So I find myself better on some notes that can be intoned better and easier in some passages.
        2007 Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone, 4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; 1973 Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece.

        Comment

        • davewerden
          Administrator
          • Nov 2005
          • 11138

          #19
          Originally posted by franz View Post
          The slide of the 3rd valve is very long in almost all euphoniums, perhaps due to the fact that, in ancient times, the length of the 3rd valve was 2 tones, while it was later standardized to 1 and a half tones. An exception is the Besson Prestige, in which the length of the first slide is perfectly equal to that of the third, so much so that they can be interchanged. The only drawback is that it is no longer possible to have the interval of 2 tones by activating the third piston if there were the remote need, which I did on the French Wessex C tuba by making two brass spacers of the right length to insert on the legs of the slide, so as to restore the original configuration of the instrument from which it was copied. So I find myself better on some notes that can be intoned better and easier in some passages.
          And even in modern times the length can be useful. I did a demo recording a while back of the Vaughan Williams Romanza from his tuba concerto. It goes down to low B, which is quite sharp (the compensating system is for any single valve of 1-2-3 combined with 4, but it does not compensate for the 123 combination). So I tuned 3rd to be the same as 2&3 together and adjusted my fingerings for the whole piece, which was hard. But it gave me a well tuned low B with 1234. For occasional needs this could be a solution if you need a low B in a passage. You could temporarily tune as I did - just remember to play notes that require 23 normally with just 3.

          If that is totally outside the world you live in, you could also have a tech cut the 3rd slide tubes so the pull length is equal to the 1st slide. The leftover tubing should be fixed all the way inside each leg of the 3rd loop. So when the shorter 3rd slide is pushed in, it would meet with the leftover tubes. This would keep the inside bore of the 3rd loop the same as before (but it relocates the space where the bore increases if the 3rd slide is pulled). That would make for a much easier pull to dump 3.
          Dave Werden (ASCAP)
          Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
          Adams Artist (Adams E3)
          Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
          YouTube: dwerden
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