Plastic Tuba's

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bumper-euph, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    Hi everyone, can anyone please tell me if they have tried/played a plastic BBb , as I am thinking of trying one instead of the usual tuba as a disability makes carrying and lifting a brass one too much.
    Also, if I was to buy one , would it be permissible to use it in contest's...........I would appreciate your views / feedback please ladies and gentlemen. Many thanks.
  2. kiwiinoz

    kiwiinoz Member

    Been looking at these Tiger Tuba's. Look ok and sound ok online. Buy a silver coloured one, no one will know!
    bumper-euph likes this.
  3. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Plastic trombones have been available for a while and their use might provide a guide for you. The sound available from them is, from what I hear on the likes of you tube, quite good but below that of professional grade instruments. I therefore think it unlikely that contesting bands will choose to use plastic trombones and by the same logic plastic tubas are unlikely too.

    Traditionally made tubas are heavy. If there is a need for you to play one then the small bell three non-compensating valve design is the lightest.

    Edit. I believe that Accidental has been involved with running local association/regional contests, perhaps a polite PM to her about the rules might help you in some way.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
    bumper-euph likes this.
  4. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Just had a look at Kapitol's rules for the Nationals, and I can't see anything about plastic instruments. Indeed, I can't see anything about the use of rotary valves either, and I thought they were forbidden for sure. I think you're more likely to be forbidden from using it on account of the fact that the Tiger's have rotary valves than you are on account of the fact that it's made from plastic
  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    How can rotary valves be illegal, most trombones have them !
    mjwarman likes this.
  6. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    That's true, Steve. Though the rules for the nationals are strangely specific in mentioning "slide trombones". Are there trombones that are not slides?
  7. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    That rule goes back to controversy at Belle Vue in the 19th century, when a player switched from euphonium to valve trombone mid-piece and picked up two 'best player' prizes as a result.
  8. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Yes, there are trombones that use three axial valves rather than a slide.

    It's interesting that the Tiger plastic tuba uses rotary valves rather than axial ones. My guess is that four rotary valves give reasonable intonation acceptable in place of three compensating (complex) valves, and that that arrangement is popular in the US and continental Europe.

    The Tiger BBb is listed as weighing 5.5 kg.
  9. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    I reckon that Tiger have gone for rotary simply because the American and European tuba players prefer them. When you read into it, there is no definitive advantage to either type and most experts say it's a matter of preference.

    On the matter of rotary valves in competition. I've never seen a rotary tuba being used. Has anyone else?
  10. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    I think you mean piston valves, 2T, not axial valves. Sorry for the pedantry.
    2nd tenor and Andrew Norman like this.
  11. kiwiinoz

    kiwiinoz Member

    Ive seen a rotary tuba in comp in Australia, lower grade though I think. There are quite a few right to left bell tuba's in use here. Looks odd but sounds same. Thoughts on this anyone. Many over in Uk?
  12. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I bet they would burn a treat !
  13. Slider1

    Slider1 Member

    I remember Rotary Valve Tuba's being used in the British Open at Belle-vue but cannot Remember which Band(s) but what stood out was the 4th Valve was replaced by pulling out the Tuning slide
    I Believe they where made by Mirafone or something like that.(it was a long time ago now)
    Also the Bb Bass player carried one to rehearsal in Brassed off but it miracously turned into
    a Valved one when he played it
  14. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Fodens I think under Howard Snell
  15. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    H'mm, given that Trombone players often have issues with the installation, size and quality of rotary valves - sometimes to the point of having them replaced with upgradeed ones or other designs - I'm a bit surprised with such expert views. If you can recall the articles you read and give some details of how to trace them then I'd be interested to learn more. If the two forms are equal then it's hard to understand why only piston valve instruments (Trombones aside) are used in Brass Bands.

    IMHO in comparison to piston valves the rotary variety appear both cheap(er) to make and simple to install; perhaps those factors and local tradition(s) influence what some manufactures offer? In use on Trombones rotary valves can make an f attachment 'stuffy' and having two in series (as is sometimes the case on a Bass Trombone) can be less than ideal. I wonder how that experience/hazard translates to three (or more) rotary valves instruments and what the manufactures do to ensure good air flow?

    One advantage I can see of piston over rotary valves is the possibility of compensating type valves (only possible on the piston type?). I think that rotary valve tubas have a 'special' type of tuning slide that is / can be actively moved during playing to compensate for the valve / valve combinations in use. It would be interesting to know more about that.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  16. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Just Google "piston valve vs rotary tuba" and you'll get all you need. Arnold Jacobs used a rotary tuba, and I doubt he'd use anything substandard. Many orchestral players I've seen use rotary. And many use a CC rather than a BBb. Rotary valves need less maintenance, but when they do then you usually need a specialist to do it. Some feel that the rotary is lighter under the fingers. Others claim the piston is better on fast passages. Swings and roundabouts.
  17. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Google's a great way to find out about stuff and I did use it before my response above. What I read was inconclusive with few if any facts but lots of preferences. Thanks anyway, 2T.
  18. Slider1

    Slider1 Member

    Last year I tried out a Rotary valved Bass Trombone with the tubing bent down to the floor. It was pitched in F and used for Wagnerian Operas etc. Great Sound but would it be allowed ? pity.
  19. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Was it not a cimbasso?
  20. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Valve trombones are permitted in the national championships of GB if the player has a mobility issue and cannot use a slide. i.e. you can't get a baritone player to cover 2nd trombone on a valve trombone.

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