Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

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elmsandr
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Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:04 pm

Every couple of years I have to dust off this concept and play with it a little. This time it was fixing some defects in the valve section. I had it together for a while several years ago and it played well enough to get through a musical in a tight pit. We’ll have to see this time when I get it cleaned up and re-make the levers. It’s just barely tacked together, if it works well enough I’ll have to redo several joints and clean up some others.

The concept is simple, much like a Bb bass is just an oversized tenor with two valves to be chromatic, this is an oversized alto with two valves. Slide is only about 5 positions, just enough to be chromatic. Would like a little more, but 84” is pretty short to be cutting down a tenor. That and I wasn’t interested in fabricating any parts, just rescuing stuff from a wrecked bin.
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Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by Kbiggs » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:07 pm

Just an observation... it seems as though what you gain in a shorter length you sacrifice in a heavier instrument.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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elmsandr
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:24 pm

It is very lightweight... But I don't particularly care about that in this context. With a cut bell flare, you can fit this into a 24 x 15 x 4 briefcase (the size of one I have in the basement), even shorter if you figure out a good way to angle the slide in the box. And also never hit things in front or behind you. Would be great for all sorts of public gigs where there is no room for a trombone.

If it works extremely well.. I'd be tempted to try something like this out of Carbon Fiber. All parts are already tooled up, just need a few trims to length. That would make this a truly potent traveler.

Cheers,
Andy
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noordinaryjoe
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by noordinaryjoe » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:38 pm

As a fan of the Yamaha 350C, especially for travel, I like it - but in this case both valves are normally closed, right? What is the bore size?
Yamaha YBL-612R II
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Schiller Heritage Bb/C (YSL-350C clone)
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elmsandr
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:02 pm

noordinaryjoe wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:38 pm
As a fan of the Yamaha 350C, especially for travel, I like it - but in this case both valves are normally closed, right? What is the bore size?
Horn stands in Eb. Bell is positioned so that the slide positions make sense for that. Thought about changing it up and making it stand in Bb with an ascending valve... but I'd want to put the bell rim back in its normal position for that and it would add a little more length to the bell section (about 2"), which is already too long.

Flare and handslide are both from Bach 42s, so 8.5" flare and .547 bore.

Another thought regarding the additional weight of a valve... there is still less tubing on this than a Bb/F trombone. Total tubing length on this only adds enough length for G. About 16" less total tubing by my math.

This horn is probably a bit extreme, would probably rather do a Bb/F/Ascending C horn if I were starting over, but I've had chunks of this trimmed and put together since 2007 or so.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by spencercarran » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:35 pm

elmsandr wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:02 pm
Another thought regarding the additional weight of a valve... there is still less tubing on this than a Bb/F trombone. Total tubing length on this only adds enough length for G. About 16" less total tubing by my math.
You mean G in first position with both valves engaged, right? So towards the end of the slide you'd get E2 for the full chromatic scale, before going to pedal tones at Eb2?

Could definitely see that being fun for cramped pit gigs. Or useful for shorter trombonists; I still think schoolchildren should start out on altos so they can properly reach 7th position.
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by brtnats » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:21 pm

Careful Andy...

...A certain forum member may see this and try to market it as an Eb Contrabaribass... :shock:
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elmsandr
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:01 pm

brtnats wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:21 pm
Careful Andy...

...A certain forum member may see this and try to market it as an Eb Contrabaribass... :shock:
Well, that’s kinda what he originally wanted to do. Told him the slide would never make it as it has to be really short to get to Eb.

I should check what key this is in with a standard slide. Not that I care, but I’m curious.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by BGuttman » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:05 pm

brtnats wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:21 pm
Careful Andy...

...A certain forum member may see this and try to market it as an Eb Contrabaribass... :shock:
Actually, he originally planned to do just that but couldn't make the tubing short enough -- hence Db.
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elmsandr
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:06 pm

spencercarran wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:35 pm
elmsandr wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:02 pm
Another thought regarding the additional weight of a valve... there is still less tubing on this than a Bb/F trombone. Total tubing length on this only adds enough length for G. About 16" less total tubing by my math.
You mean G in first position with both valves engaged, right? So towards the end of the slide you'd get E2 for the full chromatic scale, before going to pedal tones at Eb2?

Could definitely see that being fun for cramped pit gigs. Or useful for shorter trombonists; I still think schoolchildren should start out on altos so they can properly reach 7th position.
Side note, I am convinced that ergonomically, the Bb trombone is only a 5 position instrument. Even with my longish arms, 7th is a PITA and 6th isn’t that much better. I have statistical tables of human measurements for work, I know that my arms are long, sure I can make it happen, but it should be more accessible.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by CalgaryTbone » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:51 pm

Cool horn! Could have another use as a large bore alto to use on Brahms, Schubert 9, Bruckner choral works, etc. There are a couple of German/Austrian altos that are large bores - some players like them for that literature.

Jim Scott
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RConrad
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by RConrad » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:08 pm

elmsandr wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:06 pm

Side note, I am convinced that ergonomically, the Bb trombone is only a 5 position instrument. Even with my longish arms, 7th is a PITA and 6th isn’t that much better. I have statistical tables of human measurements for work, I know that my arms are long, sure I can make it happen, but it should be more accessible.

Cheers,
Andy
More or less this is how I end up playing my horn whenever I have a valve. I tend to try to only go to 6th when it makes sense and as one of those not vertically gifted 7th is rough to say the least. Love the way this is looking.
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by timothy42b » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:24 am

elmsandr wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:06 pm

Side note, I am convinced that ergonomically, the Bb trombone is only a 5 position instrument. Even with my longish arms, 7th is a PITA and 6th isn’t that much better. I have statistical tables of human measurements for work, I know that my arms are long, sure I can make it happen, but it should be more accessible.

Cheers,
Andy
That does make sense. And on the alto, I can reach 7th but it feels risky and you're out on the stockings.

So if we considered the alto a 5 position horn as well, what would the optimal trigger be? C?
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spencercarran
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by spencercarran » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:32 am

elmsandr wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:06 pm
Side note, I am convinced that ergonomically, the Bb trombone is only a 5 position instrument. Even with my longish arms, 7th is a PITA and 6th isn’t that much better. I have statistical tables of human measurements for work, I know that my arms are long, sure I can make it happen, but it should be more accessible.

Cheers,
Andy
Agreed, at least for average height and shorter people. 7th position on a Bb trombone is more or less the maximum comfortable extension of my arm (ie without stretching at all) and I'm about 182cm. My recollection of playing when I was smaller is that using the outer slide positions was uncomfortable to the point of interfering with technical and musical proficiency. Something like 10% of the US population is my height or taller and can use the full slide without problems. For the other 90% we should have more altos!
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:10 pm

timothy42b wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:24 am

That does make sense. And on the alto, I can reach 7th but it feels risky and you're out on the stockings.

So if we considered the alto a 5 position horn as well, what would the optimal trigger be? C?
My thought processes here... I went with Eb/Bb/G (Cb) because I understood it and it will work parallel to Bb/F/D (Gb).... But much like the F attachment, I generally think a G makes more sense/optimized. I have ALWAYS wanted to have a Bb/G/D (bE?) horn, making one is on the long list of things I'd like to do when I find spare parts lying around.

So, yeah, wouldn't take much to talk me in to Eb/C/G academically. Probably have enough room to cut down that second trigger to get it to C. Unfortunately, I'll need to locate a tubing stretcher for the Bb valve slides (though honestly the remnants from the trim from F to Bb are probably more than long enough). I also hope to not need the crutch to Bb too much. I haven't had an Alto for decades now and worry that I will not be as flexible going to Eb as I once was.

As with everything on this horn, I want to get this in to some real world scenarios to see if it works and chart a course forward with the design. It worked OK in the previous incarnation with the same tuning, but the valves needed a rebuild and thus began a multi-year slumber.

Cheers,
Andy
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:44 pm

Yeah, this is interesting, but for me, I think the C-Bb-f makes more sense. I like the compactness of your setup, but that seems to be its best attribute. What is the sound quality difference between Eb and Bb?
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Re: Eb-Bb-G Travel Tenor

Post by elmsandr » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:33 pm

So, starting to look at the math on this a little... I'm starting to think that horn should be a theoretical C / Bb / G That is the long valve loop should get you to G from C ~33" as opposed to getting you to F from Bb ~37". Depending on slide length, you wouldn't lose much (you have low C as a pedal) and you could gain some facility there. Need to pull up my part drawings and see what makes sense for this... or maybe just finish the dumb project I'm working on already.

As for sound quality... it wasn't bad before, but the previous valves had some major leaks that hurt all pitches. Need to get a few minutes at the bathtub and get this cleaned up and the valves installed. The levers will take me a bit, but rubber bands to hold them against the bumpers should be easy.

Cheers,
Andy
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