Wagnertuben from China

Wagnertuben from China

Wagnertuben from China    06:28 on Tuesday, August 04, 2009          

(27 points)
Posted by mave

I've recently noticed no-name Wagnertuben surfacing on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.de/Advanced-Gold-Lacquer-Wagner-Tuba-Horn-4-Valves-F-Bb_W0QQitemZ110401905258QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBrass_Instruments?hash=item19b477626a&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177

I am very tempted to go for it just for fun. Wagnertuben have always fascinated me.

To my point: Does anyone of you have experience with these or any other of the no-name Chinese instrument sold on Ebay? 350€ isn't that much money, but nevertheless, if the Tube is rubbish that's 350€ thrown out of the window.

American Professor for Horn John Ericson wrote:

At IHS Denver I gave a presentation on playing the Wagner tuba, based on materials in my new book on the same topic. At the end of the session someone present brought one of the Wagner tubas that are being sold on eBay now for around $400, made in China. I tried it briefly. Actually, the first impression was not bad. It is a compensating double. Don’t expect it to be a top end, pro quality instrument at this price but if you want a Wagner tuba to play some for personal enjoyment it is very worth looking into and certainly better than some of the old beaters that are out there. The owner was clearly enjoying his and I am glad to see this instrument on the market.

Re: Wagnertuben from China    08:47 on Tuesday, August 04, 2009          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

I saw one of these on Sunday. One of the Horn players in the Los Angeles Philharmonic has it. He is trying out different leadpipes and things to see if he can improve the sound quality and what have you.

In new condition is sounds more like a Baritone than a Tube. But the valves seem to work well. They are very similar to the Conn 6D type valves and set up.

Re: Wagnertuben from China    00:29 on Thursday, August 20, 2009          

(132 points)
Posted by granny

Paul Sharp, the principal horn player of the Berlin Opera orchestra endorses a Chinese made Wagner Tuba. You can see him demonstrate it on you tube. Just search your tube for "Wagner's Little Tuba." It will come right up.

Notice that Paul Sharp a very experienced, accomplished horn player has trouble playing it in tune. I understand this is typical for all Wagner tubas.

Valerie Wells
"The Balanced Embouchure" for French Horn

Re: Wagnertuben from China    04:31 on Thursday, August 20, 2009          

(208 points)
Posted by ekdavies

I have one of these Wagner Tubas. For the money its much better made and has better intonation than I expected based on Western manufactured horns. All the horns I've played require some embouchure (or hand) movement to play it really in tune and I don't find the Wagner Tuba any different or harder to play in tune. As a compensating instrument, I sometimes feel its a little stuffy on the F side but this isn't noticeable at the low end.

I have played it in a UK brass band and would dare to suggest that's is more suited to playing baritone parts than a baritone. I attribute this to the retention of higher harmonics which allow it to blend with the Tenor horns better and perhaps the combination of mouthpiece (PHC 21Z+US2) and bore is responsible for the ease of playing high notes (compared to a baritone). With the UK brass band trend towards larger bore and darker brass bands sounds my thinking is probably out of line with most brass band players.

If a composer wants a Tuba sound, then a Wagner Tuba isn't the best instrument to deliver it. Even with a larger PHC mouthpiece, its out classed by a Besson Euphonium and obviously a BBb tuba partly because the player isnt reliant on pedal notes but also because of the ease of attack and volume especially on lower notes.

Re: Wagnertuben from China    07:17 on Monday, March 01, 2010          

(1 point)
Posted by hornblowerharry

I've had my hands on several of these instruments and at least for my embouchure and playing style the instruments seem to be a little long. In a room that is 72 degrees F or cooler it seems the horn plays flat even with all slides pushed in all the way. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience? I had mine modified by cutting off 1/2 inch from both sides of the main tuning slide. It is tuneable even in cold rooms now but I'm wondering about a really hot day playing a summer concert. After the cut, I did have to pull the first valve slide on the B flat side out quite far to make those notes be in tune. I would appreciate any input from people who have one of these. Regarding the valves, they seem to get sticky quite quickly with regular rotary valve oil but free up quickly turning the valve spindle by hand. Heavier less volatile oil seems to work a little better for me.
I have found the horn to play quite well. The F side requires a slightly different embouchure setting in the mid range to play well. The sound is quite marvelous and is very sensitive to the type of mouthpiece I use. Someone mentioned Paul Sharp. He noted that it can sound like a horn or a sweet trombone. I am the person that made the "Wagner's Little Tuba" YouTube video. He did tell me later that there was nothing wrong with it in terms of playing characteristics. Thanks. Ted Greaves


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