Posted by Klaus on December 31, 2001 at 22:29:05:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Besson Imperial posted by Bill on December 31, 2001 at 21:52:33:
What is "in tune throughout their range"?
The synthesizer/piano-like-automatic hard slotting into a common-wisdom-equally-tempered-detuning all over the range?
Or the possibility to lip/breath-support your way into a musically satisfying intonation?
The latter was, what I was out for.
Which disqualified the Besson 983 Eb for me. Its "French horn" type long and quite narrow leadpipe restricted my manipulations through breath control.
The 982 Eb parade model for me was pre-disqualified by its inherent sound concept determined by its slowly expanding leadpipe.
The 981 Eb immediately made my heart dance in joy over close to 5 octaves. The 10th partial notes always calls for substitution by fingerings 1+2 and 2+3. The 5th partial notes always call for great attention, but only in certain situations for 1+2 (alternatively 3), 2+3, or 4 substitutions. Hardly ever for 2+4. Even the 2 notes just above the pedal can be played well in tune, even if math considerations would exclude this fact as likely. The drawback of the 981 is that it easily dwarfs the other 4 in a 5-tet. And yet it is not a contrabass in an orchestral sense (the superb Brit symph tubists repeatedly prove me wrong on that point).
I have tried the 994 BBb to some extend. Its ease of playability was striking. But the price was a limit in sound expansion especially in the lower range. Which made me turn towards York and Conn for contrabass instruments.
Some strictly personal views based on tests/playing on larger than average mouthpieces (DW 1L and PT-50 with expanded backbores).