Posted by Tony E on October 20, 2002 at 02:22:35:
In Reply to: Re: Holton 6/4 BBb - Update posted by js on October 19, 2002 at 22:33:42:
I knew you and Dale would have some insight on my questions.
You're correct...the horn never had "terminal" intonation problems like what you are describing.
I'm like you in that I absolutely believe people when they report how bad the intonation is on a Holton that they've owned, or even just played a bit. That's what's so facinating about this for me. Mine was pretty out there too, but now it isn't. For me, that sure sets the wheels spinning with questions.
You may have written about the issue before, but this is the first time I've heard a connection between the intonation problems and the shape of the top bow.
I'm not even sure how many readers actually understand the magnitude of the manufacturing variances between these horns. Yamaha folks think in fractions of an inch...we're talking fractions of a foot. Likewise, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I say the pieces don't fit together worth a crap.
Of the people you've met who claim to have a big Holton with solid intonation, do you happen to know if the horns were in their factory condition, or had the horns been improved in some way in a shop before they played that way (carefully reassembled, for example)?
Maybe it's somewhat misleading to even talk about the "design" of the horn, as if the design can be understood in a vacuum. Perhaps the "production" of the design is more relevant. Whether or not the design of the instrument was or was't flawed might be a non-question. Could anyone say that their horn is the design, if by that they mean plus or minus 3 or 4 inches here or there? Maybe the simple fact is that the Holton factory produced horns with a varying degree of intonation accuracy. And, some used horns that seem to have problems, like mine, might have other culprits at play.
But, folks that claim the big Holtons have bad intonation, by definition of being a big Holton, are just wrong.
What's facinating here for me as an owner, is that I'm not sure we can ever reconstruct the whole story on the intonation rap. As Dale points out, the story involves a small number of horns with a lot of variables, and a lot of heresay.
Isn't the Tubenet great?