Re: Re: Re: Nirchl York Copies

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Posted by Joe Sellmansberger on May 28, 1999 at 08:33:04:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Nirchl York Copies posted by Mark E. Chachich on May 26, 1999 at 21:02:11:

I haven't yet made arrangements to ask anyone if I could go to their city and "audition" their Nirschl for a few minutes, although I would love to, and am very curious.

One time when I was preparing to take a lesson with Mr. Pokorny in the basement of the CSO hall, he went to change out of his "gig" clothes and handed me the CSO-owned York to play for a few minutes. The locker room was terribly overly-resonant acoustically, I had no electronic tuner to refer to, and I was a bit distracted by playing both a "different" and a "famous" tuba.

My best recollection is that I was surprised that the G at the bottom of the staff was not flat, but the first valve F just below it was a problem. Similar to the Holton York model 345 that I shortened to CC, the genuine York seemed to have reliable 4th and 5th partials, and the 6th partial had a tendency to rise up on some notes.

Mr. Pokorny, obviously, knows every flaw in that instrument's overtone series. Just write him c/o the orchestra and ask him. If you think that he might be too busy to write back (I have always known him to write back), send him a stamped, self-addressed envelope and some sort of pre-drawn chart for him to use to comment on tuning.

Several years ago, Mr. Pokorny was into using false tones on the York below low F#. I don't know whether he is still into this. From playing the York briefly, I see how he could get away with it. As nice and resonant as my Holton is/was (sold it), I felt much better with "real" fingerings on my Holton rather than low note false tones.

That is about the limit of my first-hand knowledge of the York, other than this: From examining very old photos of the York and then seeing the York up-close, I believe that the instrument was originally satin-silver finished (a "matte" sandblasted finish). When I played it, it was bright silver, and the engraving on the bell was not 100% sharp. I can tell you from experience that to make a satin silver instrument smooth-finished and "bright" requires a LOT of buffing. When I played the York, I was surprised at how lightweight the instrument was. I personally believe that sometime(s) in the past, the York had the c--p buffed out of it in an overhaul.

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