Re: Yamaha F compared to B&S F

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Posted by Kelly O'Bryant on December 14, 1998 at 08:13:33:

In Reply to: Yamaha F compared to B&S F posted by Michael Sanders on December 11, 1998 at 15:00:23:

As someone who plays F tuba 100% of the time, I find the YFB-822S to be the best instrument on the market, at least for what I do for a living. My personal experiences with the B & S F tubas is that they are very traditional in nature, i.e., the high range is very colorful, and the horn really sings up there, but the low range (D right below the staff on down...) is practically non-existent.

I've played the YFB-822 now for over 3 years, and I am very pleased with the horn. As a soloist, I need an F tuba that provides me with 100% security in all ranges of the instrument, not just the top, and I find the YFB-822 is that horn, at least for me. As someone who also makes a good chunk of his living playing in a lot of brass quintet situations, I need an F tuba with a low range that is capable of dealing with the "beefier" quintet tuba parts. Again, for me, the YFB-822 is that horn.

Now, I have had my F considerably "hot rodded" by Matt Walters at Dillon Music. As a general rule, I find that most YFB-822's don't require alot of "extras", but again, I only play F tuba, and I need an F tuba that is as close to "perfect" as possible, since I use it for 100% of my profession. So, here's what Matt has done to my horn -

Installed the Adjustable Gap Receiver, which makes a huge impact on the response you can get from the horn.

Re-aligned the lead pipe.

Lapped all pistons and main slides.

Bevelled the piston ports.

Bevelled the main tuning slide.

Larger finger buttons.

Different type of felts and neoprenes on the pistons. Makes for much better valve action.

Installed extra water keys (on 3rd and 4th slides....)

Vented all pistons.

Made me some honkin' pull rings for slides 1, 3, and 4, so I can get to them very fast.

That's all I can think of at the moment. For details, you would have to call Matt himself at Dillon's. Remember, all the modifications that I have had done to my 822 F were done to make it the ultimate solo/chamber music "weapon". I need an F tuba big enough to project over a 75 piece concert band when soloing, but still be "delicate" enough to execute the most sensitive chamber music pieces. For me, my modified 822 is the answer.

In regards to using it in orchestras, let me first say that I do not make a living as an orchestral tubist. I have used the 822 F in orchestra settings before (about 70 piece or so...), and I had no problems being heard, etc. But, the orchestra I was playing with wasn't of a professional quality like one of the "Big 10" symphonies, so I don't feel that my input in this particular area is that significant.

As a genral rule of thumb - the silver 822's (YFB-822S) tend to be better than the lacquer version (YFB-822). I don'n know why, but this has been my experience, as well as everyone else's that I know who has played both horns.

In my opinion, the YFB-822S is quite possibly the most versatile F tuba out there. I am really, really pleased with mine.

Take care!

Kelly O...

Kelly O'Bryant

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