Over the years I’ve made several F extensions for Yamaha 321’s. This was their four valve Bb horn. The Bb horn is generally overlooked in the States where school music programs often began their students with a single F horn. In Europe many students begin their playing careers on a Bb horn. Recently I came across this King Bb model 1158 and built an F extension for it. Kings use .468 tubing instead of the metric tubing used by the Yamaha horns. Because of this the F extensions for a Yamaha and a King are not interchamgable… The H N White company made four and five valve Bb horns. Today’s discussion will center around the King 1158. It was King’s four valve Bb horn. It was touted as being a horn that you could play both F and Eb parts, using the same fingerings.
Shown above is the horn with the H section in place.
from a 1963 catalog:
“Use of the thumb valve on the King Bb horn.
By using the thumb valve, you can play Eb parts with F fingerings, eliminating transpositions from F to Eb.
The thumb valve lowers the pitch of the horn one full step- When the H section of the fourth valve slide is in position.
When you read an Eb part, pull the first, second and third slides to the scribed markings. Depress the thumb valve and use the same fingerings for the Eb part that you would if reading a F part.
Pulling the three valve slides is important to maintain intonation balance when using the alternate transposition.
The thumb valve is also used as a muting valve when playing stopped horn. For this use it is necessary to remove the H section of the fourth valve slide and close valve slides.”
When using the F extension it is placed to function with the thumb valve . The king four valve Bb model 1158 w the H section in place weighs 4# 60z. The F extension adds about 5 ounces. The Bb w/ F extension is a good horn for elder players because of this light weight. Additionally the F extension gives the players almost all of the pedal tones missing on a Bb horn. If you’d like to chime in, please do. There is a lot of info that has fallen out of my old head + a bunch which, probably, never was there….