Posted by Gus Pratt on January 27, 2001 at 07:49:14:
In Reply to: Besson Compensating 3 Valve BBb posted by Chuck Jackson on January 26, 2001 at 22:06:54:
I don't know why but I agree with your assessment. Part of the sound may be that because of its heighth, it may have one less loop which effects sound. The intonation is easier to explain. Most manufacturers of brass instruments have to adjust the length based on compromised numbers. In other words, since manufacturers need to consider the fact that 1+2, and 2+3 valve combinations are mathematically sharp they need to lengthen the second valve slide to get these better in tune. So what happens is you have horns that are designed so that no valve length is perfectly in tune but instead they design it so all valve combinations are closer to intune. The 3 valve compensating horns are designed so all three valves if used independently are in tune (note: 3 should be used in place of 1+2 whenever possible on these horns). Then the other valve combinations with the 3rd valve are compensated so both 2+3, and 1+3 are in tune. 1+2+3 is then the only fingering that is mathematically out of tune, but still better in tune then 1+4 on a noncompensated horn. I don't know why so many community band members are going out and buying 4 valve tubas in the $2500 range when there are still some of these used 3 valve compensating tubas around. Unless you need to go below low E, these Besson are superior instuments. There a recording bell one just on eBay that the opening bid was $650 and only one person bid on it so he got it for that price. What a steal!