The bulk of the musical talk
If you could choose basically any 5/4-6/4 Bb with 5 valves, what would you go for?
Choices seem to be:
Gronitz PBK / PZK (I gather both in stock!)
A converted vintage horn
Rudolf Meinl Bayreuth or "5/4" 5v
Nirschl 6/4 Bb (to order)
Fafner 5V piston BBb is stupid-good and Miraphone rotary Siegfried is stupid-good.
They are VERY different from each other, but both astonishing.
I don't see many people picking up either one, when they are on display at shows.
The old butt-ugly totally-of-the-radar Besson recording bell compensating tubas are stupid-efficient and glorious-sounding instruments. About the only "fix it" pitch is Eb in the staff. These tubas piss off aggressive bass trombonists (yes, in symphony orchestras...yes, BBb...yes, recording bell), because these instruments will ALWAYS (in the right hands) win.
I wouldn't hesitate either (amazing Thorish-yet-6/4-breadth BBb powerhouse)...but (in a fantasy world as all of us but Mr. Peach are in) I would ALSO ~love~ to own a Miraphone Siegfried:
Miraphone 98 Siegfried:
- 6.5/4 size YET focused (NOT "fluffy") powerful ROUND sound
- astonishing touch-no-slides intonation
- priced at little more than a M-W 5450 price
If you've ever played a 98-Siegfried, I believe you would continue to think about it.
Again, at exhibits (if there at all) I typically see their Siegfried down on the floor (not on the table) and it not getting that much attention.
well...It's rotary, isn't it?
Well, in all fairness... a four valve 5/4 to 6/4 BBb tuba is already the largest size of the lowest pitched tuba (i.e., big and heavy). When you add a 5th valve, you are adding another valve, tubing, braces, solder, etc...
My point is, I'd be surprised if any five valve large BBb is going to be particularly lightweight, especially if you want a true 6/4 tuba. Sure, the Willson is probably still at or near the heaviest option... but by how much?
Two more thoughts:
-- If buying new, I'd be curious how many 4v rotary tubas could be ordered as 5v. I forget the model (GR-55?), but the big B&S BBb that's a lot like the Thor/Tuono is only listed as 4v. I bet if you asked real nice ($,$$$) they would make a 5v version.
-- For obvious reasons, I would want to check out a rotary 5v version of the WIllson BBb.
I guess there's something big and 5v that Cerveny makes. In my experience, new Cerveny tubas are like Kanstul tubas. I guess they exist, but I've sure never seen them anywhere... and when you do, it's kind of like "if these are good, why aren't there more?"
Alexander 164 = 9.75kg (or 21 1/2 lbs)
I sometimes wished my BBb tuba had 5V. Then I thought to ask an expert if there was a low B natural in any piece I might need to play. He couldn't think of one, and so far I haven't seen one.
I struggled to tune E and Eb, and after some extra time on those notes, have managed to get them tolerably tuned, at least as well as I play in tune otherwise.
If Hollywood ever calls to have me record those pitches, I can bring an F tuba and play them on a tube half as long.
Yeah, but that's a 4-valve tuba. You're clearly forgetting the... uh... 6... pound fifth valve? Crap, you're right.
But, there are still a lot of very heavy BBb tubas. I'd imagine a Holton 345, fitted with a 5th valve, could be in Willson territory.
Another vote for the 164 5V BBb. Everything the 163 is known for just bigger in all respects. Not all that heavy for its size.
Alexander 163 CC 5V, B&S PT3, Mel Culbertson Neptune, Gronitz PCK, B&S Symphonie F 6V
Six pounds for a whole step valve? Seems unlikely.
Willson BBb tubas all list at 27.5lbs.
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