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B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bort » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:11 pm

Simple request: I'm just curious if anyone has opinions about the B&S GR51 that they might be willing to share. Seems like a nice-sized tuba. The GR55 looks nice as well, but concerned that it might just be too big. Thanks! :tuba:

(Yes, I'm aware that it's in BBb! :shock:)
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby tclements » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:53 pm

I JUST got one in today! I would say that it plays similar to the Mirafone 186 (with the bigger bell throat) but with a more open, darker sound. I think the low notes have more depth to them as well.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:58 pm

might be good, were it a piston tuba - or made in Asia...
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby kmorgancraw » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:10 pm

The 51 and 55 are the same size except the 55 has a larger bell flare and larger 4th valve bore. I had a 55, it was great with freakishly good intonation with itself.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby ArnoldGottlieb » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:41 pm

I played 2 at Dillons a few years ago. Fantastic tuba! Bigger than what I needed then, but Mirafone intonation with a darker sound, and very comfortable to hold. If it was a CC tuba, everybody would buy one. I didn't buy one because i thought it would be a bit big for the pit orchestra situation I was in then. I may be buying one soon now that I'm a freelancer again.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bort » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:48 pm

Thanks! Not sure why I thought the GR55 was just all-around bigger than the GR55. If it's just the bell... then maybe not a bad thing.

tclements wrote:I JUST got one in today! I would say that it plays similar to the Mirafone 186 (with the bigger bell throat) but with a more open, darker sound. I think the low notes have more depth to them as well.


Interesting, for some reason I thought it was significantly larger than the 186, so this is helpful to know!

I'm not quite sure where this is heading... but it's something to consider. Thanks!
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:54 pm

ArnoldGottlieb wrote:I played 2 at Dillons a few years ago. Fantastic tuba! Bigger than what I needed then, but Mirafone intonation with a darker sound, and very comfortable to hold. If it was a CC tuba, everybody would buy one. I didn't buy one because i thought it would be a bit big for the pit orchestra situation I was in then. I may be buying one soon now that I'm a freelancer again.


Hasn't Miraphone themselves since come out with a lookalike? How does it play? Would that be considered a "knock-off"...or does that just pertain to Asian instruments?

Who made this...?? :D

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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bort » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:01 am

ArnoldGottlieb wrote:If it was a CC tuba, everybody would buy one.


That's the category that I am in. I've just been playing CC for about 20 years, so I'm not totally wanting to switch to BBb. But there are more and different options...
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby cambrook » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:08 am

I played the GR 51 and 55 at Thomann earlier this year - they were the best BBb tubas there.

There are 3 small differences between them:
450mm vs 480mm bell
all 19mm bore vs 19/20mm
yellow brass vs rose brass

The significant difference is the price tag! I preferred the 55, but only slightly - the difference didn't come close to justifying the price gap for me.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby williamp » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:38 am

I've played the GR55 as my main horn for a 13 piece theater orchestra for the last 6 years or so, and it has been very satisfying. Of the numerous tubas I have owned, it's probably my favorite. It is incredibly nimble and responsive for its size, plays exceptionally in tune and produces a rich dark sound (which is to my liking). I tried the GR51 when I selected the GR55 and liked it very much, but I absolutely loved the presence of the sound of the GR55. I didn't want to put it down. All of the tracks from our River Raisin Ragtime Revue CD "Animal Fair" are on Youtube, if you care to hear the larger horn in a small orchestra. Thanks.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bort » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:43 pm

Cam' and William, thanks for the info! It does seem like quite a price gap between the two, which is interesting (mostly because Thomann's price for the GR51 is REALLY low!).

The Youtube clips are great, thanks for sharing -- clearly you're a good player, regardless of the tuba. But it does sound very nice!
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby swillafew » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:50 pm

I bought one from Custom Music in 2010, it was the door buster special.

I think I had my curiosity piqued on account of all the people worked up about the Thor at the time. They are supposed to have the same bugle. It was about half the price or less maybe, and that was that. It has served me very well.

I am getting the seven year itch now, though, so if you want to try it, come on by. This is what it looks like on the right, Fafner is to the left. One on the right is 38.5 inches tall
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby WakinAZ » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:50 am

Bort, before you pay big $$ for the original, consider the Eastman clone:http://www.dillonmusic.com/p-23900-eastman-ebb562-rotary-bbb-tuba.aspx
Call Matt for the real price vs MAP on the site.

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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby swillafew » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:32 pm

Clone is an excellent term for that.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby WakinAZ » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:05 pm

I believe this is basically the same horn as the PT – 605: http://www.customtubas.com/proddetail.php?prod=BS_Perantucci_PT-605_BBb_Tuba
You might find some additional opinions if you search for that model as well.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby Lectron » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:45 am

swillafew wrote:I bought one from Custom Music in 2010, it was the door buster special.

I think I had my curiosity piqued on account of all the people worked up about the Thor at the time. They are supposed to have the same bugle. It was about half the price or less maybe, and that was that. It has served me very well.

I am getting the seven year itch now, though, so if you want to try it, come on by. This is what it looks like on the right, Fafner is to the left. One on the right is 38.5 inches tall
Image

Would that be the 51 or 55?
Throat looks larger than the Fafner
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby swillafew » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:31 pm

I believe this is basically the same horn as the PT – 605


Good catch: both names are engraved on the bell. Can't remember what the PT name for the GR 55 was. The one I played was really nice, had a bell that was red or maybe rose brass.

I didn't buy one because i thought it would be a bit big for the pit orchestra situation I was in then.


I have used an F tuba for just this reason a few times.

Throat looks larger than the Fafner

I had not played a Fafner before the day I took the photo. The Fafner felt a lot bigger of the two. The photo is a little trick of the eye, I think the throats are about the same.
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby kmorgancraw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:35 am

GR55=PT-600
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby bort » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:48 pm

Thanks everyone for the public and private replies, very helpful!

This video seems to explain some of the differences, however I don't speak German well enough for it to be totally helpful:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us3MUnot3mE[/youtube]

Both tubas are appealing to me, and numerous people have had great things to say in particular about the GR-55 (both on its own, and as compared to the GR-51 or the Fafner). In other words... they are all winners, just depends on what the player wants. Nothing new there! :P

One especially interesting thing about the GR-51 is the low price -- if you buy from Thomann in Germany, it's about $1,500 LESS than the already decent price at WWBW. Not that price is everything... but price is *something.*

Now, is this all enough to make me switch back to BBb? Hrmm...
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Re: B&S GR51 opinions?

Postby iiipopes » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:57 pm

Some years ago, I got to audition a GR-51 right after they first came out. I was playing tuba avocationally in three ensembles at the time, so it would have gotten a lot of use (still would!), but I was also supporting a family. If my situation had been different, I would have purchased it then and there, as it was the most consistent, in tune, responsive, in both dynamic range and pitch range, BBb tuba I have ever played, especially when using the recommended PT-82 mouthpiece with it.
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