Sov Baritones - Tuning problems?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Red Elvis, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    My band have just shelled out on nice second hand old "blue case" Sovereign baritone for me, which I've been playing now for about a month.It has a good sound to it , but I am having real problems staying in tune in the higher register. This could be down to me ( being a recent return to playing after a few years rest ) , but I never suffered from this in my previous life as a Eupho / trom player.
    Has anyone else out there suffered from a similar problem with this make ( I know the old sov Eupho's could get a bit wobbly tuning-wise on certain valves ) , and if so , how did you go about rectifying them ?
    All suggestions greatfully received :)
  2. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    You're playing very sharp at the moment- maybe use a bigger mouthpiece?...... I think that SM9 (aka 'rangefinder'!) is too small for you! Also, I did notice the other week that you were sharp on your euph too! :lol:
    My horn tuning slide is pulled out about 1.5 inches, so much so that I cant get it in the case when pulled out! The sov middle brass are notoriously bad for tuning! Also the heat may have something to do with it!
    First things first though- in your case Id move to a bigger mouthpiece, youve got too much power for that little one- and it cant cope! :shock:
    You may feel like you are playing flat, but you'll get used to it eventually!
    (You may have to find alternative fingerings for some notes too! On besson sov horns the 'e' (second space down) is SO out of tune on open that most horn players use 1st & 2nd. I suspect the bari may have similar problems)
  3. Despot

    Despot Member

    Nature of the beast! I recently changed to bar to give the young lass on 1st Bar a go at euph. My tuning high up is pretty wild but I'm putting it down to the change. Coming from a euph, I have a tendency to overblow which isn't helping! But with time and practise and I'm sure it'll sort itself out! You're probably in the same boat!

    An SM9 seems a bit small really. I'm using a 4AY to match my eupho 4AL. Personally wouldn't go smaller than a 6XX, but that's me! :D

    But really the way to sort out tuning is to listen and adjust! All instruments have their quirks, you just have to deal with it! :D
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Many of the older Sovereign baritones are considerably sharp in the upper register, particularly on the first valve. It's a relative thing - a bigger mouthpiece might help give you more "room" for adjustment, and you might have to use some alternate fingerings.

    I switched from an older Sov to a new Yahama pro baritone last year. It took me most of the season to get used to the different tuning issues with that one. If you play enough, you'll probably adapt to the Sov tuning over time.
  5. Owen

    Owen Member

    There is no doubt that the sovereign baritones do come with some intonation challenges. Certainly, if you are used to playing a euph, you will find that top G is somewhat flatter than where you are used to. The only real way to get top A in tune is to play on 3rd valve and for D on the stave (4th line) you will really need to play on 1 & 3.

    I play on a size 5 mouthpiece, which I have found to be the best compromise on top register playing vs sound.

    Hope that helps a bit!
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I'd also go bigger. you may also find your sound may round out more too. When I played baritone, I only used a small mouthpiece if I was doing a lot of range jumpiong, but the tone definately became brighter.

    I personally found the Wick 6 (can't remember the full details) too small for me, but quite realistic for tuning. We also had a 5, but the other baritone player had dibs on it. In a eupho I prefer a 3 or 2, but in a tenor trom I used a DW4AL or Bach 5 depending on what I am playing and prefer my baritone mouthpice to be similar.
  7. Shy Ted

    Shy Ted New Member

    I changed from Euph to Bari six years ago and have tried various mouthpieces but have always returned to 6BS as I find it gives the best sound throughout the range (for me anyway!)

    Sovereign Baritones have had slight tuning problems such as mentioned before about G's E's and D's being slightly 'under' although I believe there have been slight changes in the new design to compensate. It surprises me that you are finding you play sharp so I would spend some time trying a few mouthpieces to see if it makes a difference. Good Luck!
  8. impycornet

    impycornet Member

    I have always found the best way to deal with the tuning problems is to throw away the baritone altogether & use 4 euphs !

    Cheers :)
  9. Ross Berry

    Ross Berry Member

    Having recently spent a week on tour playing baritone (not my usual instrument), I found that to get A's in tune required 3rd valve and A flats required 1st. The downside of this is that in quicker passages you need to keep your brain in gear to use the fingering that is not natural, the upside is that I found that these alternatives gave an easier blowing note, I guess due to less tubing being used. I am now going to experiment more on my Euph to see if I can get similar benefits whilst keeping the tuning in line.
  10. horny

    horny Member

    elvis hair

    Nice hair, in fact very much like your real hair do elvis?!?!?! I think I might just have mine done like that. Hope your practising hard and have solved the tuning problem as harrogate is fast approaching!
    X x x
  11. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    Nice Avatar, Horny! Looks like someone familiar, cant quite think who though!!!!... Hee hee hee....

    PS Might take you a while to grow your sideburns like B-Elvis'!!!!!!!
  12. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    The new BARITONES(4VALVES) are utter useless with the valves very sluggish and you would be better getting shares in a valve oil company!!
  13. impycornet

    impycornet Member

    Or they could just need a proper clean ??

    (I mIghT StaRT UsiNG your RANDom Capital LETTEr Generator tOO ItS VERY veRY ANnoYING !! )
  14. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    They have and are STILL USELESS.Our other BARITONE IS THE SAME!!
  15. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Our band had probs with the sov baris, they were very sharp. We bought a 4 valve one to see if it was any better, but I don't really think they are... think they're going to have to resort to sticking sellotape around the mouthpiece again!
  16. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Well-made modern instruments are built to very close tolerances. It can often take four to six months for the valves to work in properly. Do your baritones have nickel-monel or stainless steel valve bodies? Some oils do not work well on the steel valves that are being shipped with newer instruments. It's not just Sovereigns, it's any of the newer breed of top-line instruments (I'm currently playing on a four-valve Yamaha professional baritone, and it's taken almost a year to get the valves to work well all of the time).

    As far as the tuning "problems" go, every Sovereign baritone I've ever played (and that's quite a few) has been sharp on the first valve, enough to cause me to have to pull the slide out and use 3rd valve instead of 1&2.
  17. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Valves have been in for MAJOR OVERALL and ok for about 2weeks then BANG we go back to the same problem.
    This is my 3rd Soverign/Besson Baritone and the others were BRILL but this one is the worst one i have ever played on.

    50 th POST!!!!!!!
  18. trombone-john

    trombone-john Member

    Ornamental Radiators

    Probably the best thing to do with a soveriegn bari, is convert it to a radiator.
    Mind you knowing the quality of ours, it'd most probably leak!!
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

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