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French horn players do the same thing in mass quantities. I should know. I spent more than forty years playing one. There is a big market for lead pipes, various screw bells, different metal formulas, and custom alterations. Wilbert in SC
I still think that cutting a tuba to a new key or creating a "frankentuba" is a bit beyond what others do from what has been mentioned. I just think it's fun. I've never heard of a clarinetist saying "I think I want this horn in Eb instead of Bb. Hand me my Sawzall please..."
The closest I come to that kind of thing is that I have some bits of metal inserted in some of the tone holes on my bassoon, in order to improve intonation. (And making reeds, of course, but that's normal.)
But I didn't know that people did that kind of thing to tubas either before I found this forum, so…
Well, what I observed on rotary F tubas and that low C was, at least on my tuba, that the C wanted to play sharp. There is that guy who dropped his mouthpiece on his f tuba and it forevermore had a good low C. (posts from him are on Tubenet somewhere, including a picture of the dent.)
So if you can call that aftermarket, and if his tuba's low C wanted to play sharp, it would have helped the stand-alone intonation.
Sometimes we forget; we have the youngest brass instrument, and we are far, FAR from being standardized... some of our CCs don't even look like they're in the same family. So applying that which has been successful on one instrument may be tried on another, perhaps dissimilar instrument; it's cheaper than buying the tuba you liked
Principal Tuba, Opera Cleveland
Principal Tuba, Firelands Symphony Orchestra
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