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Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:47 am
by climbingoddess
Hey All,

I've never had the privilege of owning a brand new horn, and I just got one after waiting months for it to arrive. One problem: D above the staff to F above the staff is extremely sharp. I can adjust, but it basically puts 1st position where 2nd should be, etc.

I don't want to have a horn that is so far out of whack and am wondering if you repair folks have any ideas about what would cause that? Is it an easy fix? I am able to return the horn, but getting another one will likely be several months out. I was excited to try this particular horn (and received it as a gift!) but am not attached to it, and don't particularly feel it's worth waiting any longer for. If it could be an easy fix, I can take it to my local repair person, if not, I'll probably send it back and just choose something else entirely.

Thoughts from people who know how to fix horns?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:21 pm
by Neo Bri
What kind of horn?

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:31 pm
by BGuttman
First thing I'd check is whether you are using the right size (shank) mouthpiece. Intonation problems such as you describe can be the result of a mouthpiece that doesn't insert properly.

As Neo Bri says, what horn is it, and for me what mouthpiece?

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:46 pm
by climbingoddess
Kanstul 760, Laskey 48C

(I also tried my Schilke 47B, various G&W mouthpieces, and the one that came with the horn...)

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:04 pm
by Matt K
That isn't unusual for horns to have that sharp of an intonation for that partial in particular. In my experience with playing horns, the more exaggerated the differences in the partial, the more brilliant the sound is and the more stable the partials are, you get more of a consistent/inflexible sound depending on what your choice of adjectives is and how much you like one or the other.

How is the sound? If you like the sound, it's probably worth keeping. If you don't like the sound, then it's probably best to send it back and try again with something else that is more in line with what your preferences are.

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:09 pm
by Matt K
Forgot to mention two things:

1) It's dual bore, which you're probably aware of. I've wanted to play that particular model for quite some time. I like the 500 or 508 / 525 horns generally. However, they can take some time to 'tame' for lack of a better term. Given what I said previously, the rather small upper bore in relation to the rest of the horn is kind of what I was getting at. You have a lot of brilliance relative to other medium bores because of the 500 upper, but you do lose potentially some stability and the partials can be exaggerated.

2) Has someone else played it? It's probably a bit of a departure from what you're used to playing in terms of size --- so that can throw you off until you get used to it as well. Having someone else who has good chops can verify if it's you or the horn. Neither of those are a bad thing... sometimes a horn just doesn't work for us.

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:29 pm
by hyperbolica
I owned one of those for a brief time. I remember thinking that the horn was extremely bright overall. I don't remember a tuning issue, not to say it wasn't there.

The first thing I would do would be to check it with a tuner, and get another player to play it and see if you get the same result. Next flush it with soapy water, get a snake down as much of it as you can. If you have a borescope, I'd run that through as well to look for blockages or irregularities. While you have it full of water, check it for leaks, including the valve.

I've bought horns from Kanstul before. Call them up. See if you can talk to Jack. He'll give you a straight answer. Maybe that's just the way the horn plays. They have a warrantee on those horns, you should take advantage of it.

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:07 pm
by ddickerson
Kanstul 1550 that I own is tuned high. I don't know if it was a mistake or not. I purchased it from Wind and Brass or something like that, and it could have been intended for Europe. I don't know, but it is high. I have a friend that bought his Kanstul 1550, and it was high also, but since he lives close to their shop, he had them fix it.

Now, the D and F partials tend to be sharp on all horns anyway, so that is not too unusual.

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:40 pm
by climbingoddess
Thanks for the insight, everyone. I flushed and snaked it out this afternoon, and saw a bit of gunk come out of it in the cleanse...

Took it for another spin this afternoon and it is still high, but feels better, not as far out of whack. I think the comment that I need to "tame" it may be true. I'm all over the place as a player, ranging from tuba or bass bone on one gig to lead trombone on another. This horn is yet another in a long line of mid-range tries for my bar bands, where I need the punch of a lead horn, but the speed and ease of having a trigger for fast passages (often in tight spaces, and after a few drinks...!)

I also have a Yamaha 356 (.500/.525) that sits better in tune in this particular partial, but I don't care for the sound, nor the ergonomics of the horn. The Kanstul is .500/.530, so perhaps it is simply a matter of getting used to it...

I pulled out all of the mouthpieces again and found the G&W GWC-101 to give me a decent tone and fairly in tune blow, but I am working a bit harder than on the Laskey (50C, I stand corrected from my original post). I pulled out the stock piece, and it was actually pretty good today (Kanstul 12C).

I think I'll keep at it for a bit longer. Any particular mouthpiece suggestions?

ps. So glad to have a forum back! :)

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:16 am
by Lawrie
Something I've noticed with my R10 is that what mouthpiece I use definitely impacts how in tune partials are.

For example, if I use my Laskey 50C then all partials are within about 2 cents - I.E. if I get "Tuning" Bb right, then every other partial, in both directions will be within 2 about cents. However, if I use my Conn 3 then the Bb might be right, but the D above it is quite sharp (around 10 cents) and the F above that is also sharp (about 7 cents), the Bb above that is about 7 cents flat. The F below the tuning Bb is also flat by about 10 cents and the low Bb below that is about right (again within about 2 cents).

There are 4 major differences between the mouthpieces. The Laskey is a 25mm Rim, the Conn 3 is 25.4, the Laskey has a smaller throat than the Conn, the back bores are different and finally the Laskey is a shallower (C) cup than the Conn (more an A cup) thus the shape and volumes are different. FWIW the Conn 3 seems to be a close match to a Bach 6.5 AL, it just has a rim I like better than the Bach.

It is my theory that the Laskey is in better tune IN THIS HORN because it more closely matches the requirements the shape of the venturi (lead pipe) better than the Conn. I put this down to the throat and the backbore rather than the cup or rim. Note, I think it is about MATCHING the venturi, not specifically because the Laskey has a smaller throat.

If your Kanstul came with extra leadpipes, perhaps you might try a different one and see what happens. FWIW I think your Laskey 48C has the same throat and backbore as my 50C

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:31 am
by Matt K
Yes, I tend to agree that the backbore is generally perhaps the most important thing to match with the leadpipe of whatever you are playing. The overall mouthpiece is important too, though perhaps not as important as that. I have an LB D that I use for practicing my bass rim size and it actually works quite swimmingly with my small bore with a D3 shank despite the ridiculous LB 114 rim I use it with.

There is a reason Doug offers so many stock shank options! (And the AR pieces quite a few shank options if I'm not mistaken).

When I was on a 508/525 I found Doug's "4" shank to work quite a bit better than the "3" for commercial stuff but the "5" to work better for more oriented stuff. I used an XT104N/XTE with it. Granted, this was a Shires 508/525 with a Bach 36 bell so it was by no means the same as the Kanstul but that's probably where I'd start if I wre on that horn, of course, with th erim size matching what worked best for you.

A 6.5AL might be a good inexpensive option to try as well. The "L" is a specific taper that makes the small shank larger and the large shank smaller.

Re: Brand new horn, out of tune. Easy fix?

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:59 pm
by CharlieB
One more vote here for focusing on the mouthpiece..........
Some horns just prefer a certain mouthpiece in order for the partials to line up properly.
No magic formula. The individual player's embouchure is a big variable.
Just gottta try everything to find what works.