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 Post subject: "Paxman descants originally designed for the Vienna Phil..."
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:51 pm 
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A newly-placed ad on the IHS website (under Descant - Full Double) makes the claim that "These rare descants were designed for the Vienna Philharmonic, and incorporate the famous Merriweather system."

The writer is referring to the old design of the Paxman Model 40. I just find it counter-intuitive that an innovative and unusual design by an English firm would have been commissioned by the Vienna Philharmonic.

And were they all that "rare"? What with the dodgy spelling, I'm wondering if the seller knows what he's talking about.

Or maybe one of you knows better...


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 Post subject: Re: "Paxman descants originally designed for the Vienna Phil
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:56 pm 
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This advertiser has got his facts rather mixed up, and furthermore he doesn't know ( and can't be bothered to find out - it's all available on the internet!) how to spell Richard Merewether's surname.
What is true is that in the 1960s/1970s, Merewether via Paxmans developed a double 'descant' horn in 'L' bore - not XL - that was in F ( 12 foot F) and F alto, specifically aimed at players of the traditional Viennese F horn in the Vienna Philharmonic.
Somewhere I have an old 1960s Paxman catalogue that lists and describes this model.


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 Post subject: Re: "Paxman descants originally designed for the Vienna Phil
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:31 am 
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I, too, have this catalogue. The basic F/f-alto was a Mod 50 and the variant with stopping valve was a Mod 51. In both cases, an optional kit of slides could be had to convert the long F side to Bb (which would make the Mod 51 a Mod 40, I suppose). Further variants of the Mods 50 and 51 were Mods 53 and 54 respectively with ascending third valves on the long F sides only.

Although the catalogue does mention that the first Merewether-designed F/f-alto was in L bore, people placing orders for any models in the catalogue could specify which bore (A = the narrowest, M, L or XL) they wanted for their horn.


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 Post subject: Re: "Paxman descants originally designed for the Vienna Phil
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:09 pm 
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I had one of these and liked it. Dick Merewether suggested that we had a single tuning slide which put the horn into Bb as well as the two long F side tuning slides. There were four parallel tubes on the back of the horn. You could use two tuning slides to connect all four or one differently shaped slide to bypass the long F tubing. Two separate sets of three tuning slides for the front three valves gave us a horn in F or Bb as well as the F alto from the back row of valve slides. As I always played a lot on the long F it seemed like an interesting approach to the work I was doing then. It didn't seem to take long for Paxman to make nor did it seem expensive to me at the time but I'm not sure how much it cost.


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 Post subject: Re: "Paxman descants originally designed for the Vienna Phil
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:42 pm 
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I remember seeing a horn made specifically for Roland Berger by Robert Paxman that was in F and high f.
It was made in the style of a Vienna horn in that the leadpipe was curled round like a Vienna horn F crook.
If I remember correctly, the instrument was in large bore and made of nickel silver.
This was 30 years ago so I may not be accurate in these details.
I wonder if he still has that horn?!


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