Posted by Matt G on September 30, 2001 at 20:36:56:
In Reply to: Why is it.... posted by Chuck(G) on September 30, 2001 at 11:42:55:
A month or two ago when Marzan horns were being discussed and I was exchanging opinions anonomously with the designer (not me, him). Dr. Marzan was dead set on the idea that his horns, untouched had remarkably good intonation. I thoroughly disagree. I had a student who bought a BBb marzan and even though it sounded and responded just about as good as one could expect a horn to play the intoantion still needed work. The main didn't really need to be pulled, but the first needed to be moved like a sludge pump to center the 1st vavle overtone series. However, pulling slides doesn't bother me too much as I once owned a YCB-822 that was like playing accordian and the tuba at the same time. Thankfully, the designer did move the slide to a comfortable position for the left hand, but I think that the inclusion of the cylidrical pipe the far into the horn is what makes these horns a bit quirky. The sound is great and the projection is to die for, so I would deal with it if I were in your shoes, or you could sell it to me for $250 (just kidding).
In the CC vs. BBb intonation argument, I have always found that a BBb design carried over to CC is fairly even for intonation problems. For example a 'fone 186 in BBb is maybe a slight bit better (but not always) than a 186 in CC. Actually, I think the 186 CC has a more in tune upper register. I think that the two extra feet of pipe allow for a little more lipping room. My MW 32 plays very well in tune and I'm guessing that it's BBb MW equivalent (MW 20??) has the same tendencies.
Sometimes, when picking up a different horn, I have to evaluate not only the intonation of a certain range, but the "blow" as well. Our instruments are so large that small desrepancies can be noticable from each overtone series to the next. On some orns I have even had to change my approach to the open notes, move the slide appropriately and than the intonation becomes a bit better. All in all, I think that Marzan tubas are some of the best sounding horns ever made. I wish I owned one. Also, at the time they were very innovative in their thinking ergonomically. BUT, if they were the best thing since sliced bread, they would still be rolling off the assembly line today.