The bulk of the musical talk
Hello forum frequenters.
I'm playing the first trombone book on the Lion King in Salt Lake right now. Having checked out the bass trombone/tuba book a little bit for fun, I realized that if I were playing that book I would be in a lot of trouble. There are dozens of pedal Cs all over the place on tuba. Big deal, you say? It would be for me, since I have a King 2341 BBb...
So, having played the other guy's Conn 2J and realizing how easy a horn it was to play, I was sent immediately on a quest to find a high-quality and small CC tuba. I would like your opinions on what you think might fit the bill.
And yes, I posted a WTB Conn 2J in the classifieds because I really liked one, but more options are always good!
A Rudy 3/4 is a great smaller instrument...
If you can find one. They don't seem to pop up too much.
At some point within the next couple months I may be selling mine, but that's up in the air.
The Yamaha 621 seems to be a fun tiny CC, also I've heard good things about the Cerveny Piggy.
Just my two cents.
Rudolf Meinl 5/4 CC Tuba (Beatrix)
Rudolf Meinl 3/4 CC Tuba (Rudy)
Rudolf Meinl 4/4 F Tuba (Elsa)
Olds 0-99 BBb Tuba (FubaTuba)
Conn 26K Eb Sousaphone (Amazing Grace)
"Do the work" - JPL
You should talk to Joe Stanko, who is a bass trombone player in NYC who frequently plays (played?) the LK shows there. A while ago, he was going through a similar search to find a compact but strong CC tuba. It was too long ago, and I can't remember where that search ended up.
I agree that the Rudy 3/4 is an excellent smaller instrument, but I don't think it is particularly compact (tall!). Something like a 621 might be too far on the other side of the spectrum. I would want to check out a MW 2145 or B&S PT-3.
Try using a peferred (false pedal) fingered 12. A lot cheaper than buying another instrument. If this is all just "for fun" rather than likely on the job use it makes even more sense. Otherwise, practice and using 1234 should do the job. Another CC to consider would be a Miraphone 184.
Free to tuba: good home
That note also pops out easily on a good Eb (1-2).
1914 Conn Monster Eb (my avatar), ~1905 Fillmore Bros 1/4-size Eb; Denis Wick 3CC, 2CC; Bach 42B trombone; Ibanez SR-506 6-string bass, MarkBass 102P combo bass amp
From fading memory: Many years ago, Joe was looking for an inexpensive used small CC tuba. He was doing a show (Gypsy?) in NYC with singer Roberta Peters and was playing bass trombone and tuba. I sold him my used no-name CC for just a few hundred dollars with the caveat that it had some intonation and timbre problems. He wrote back that his repairman's tweeks still didn't fix the horn's weaknesses so he sold it and bought I think a used Cerveny CC which met his needs. I can't remember the model number.
Reason enough for me to add a 5th valve to my BBb ... which I did. (Rudi 4/4)
Zero regret so far, made a great tuba even better!
No idea if this could be done on your king ...
He comes around here from time to time. I just bought a gig bag from him he posted on the "For Sale" forum last week. Maybe he'll weigh in on this.
Huge bore, compact wrap. Hard to beat indeed. I have one pedal C in a folder now, and it never fails to bring a grin to the conductor's face.
I played the book the last time it was in Houston on a Piggy and dabbled with a Miraclone CC tuba. There is an exposed higher tuba solo in the second number, and some low pedal CC's, including the one at the end of the first act that is a must.
I am playing it again this summer and plan on using my e flat tuba (Wessex Solo) as the pedal CC works great on it, as does the low pedal e flats that are written. I was toying with the idea of going to an FF tuba, but I will probably stay on the e flat.
I thought the Miraclone worked great if CC is what you want to stay on.
The bass trombone part is a beast too!
The Rudi 3/4 is not small at all. It is every bit the size of a Miraphone 186. Only RM calls it a 3/4-sized tuba. Everyone else knows it is a full 4/4 horn. It is bigger than the OP's King 2341 in bore, is taller and takes a bit more air. It is a 100% top drawer instrument and a great horn to recommend to someone, but it is not small at all.
The 621, on the other hand, is a decent 3/4 CC tuba, but it has some weird pitch issues, a very barky low C that you have to get used to, and no 5th valve (which seems to be a problem for some folks). I like these tubas, and they are very compact.
When I saw the topic, "Compact CC Tubas - Excellence Preferred," I must say something did come to mind . . . . .
Besides that, I have refitted two King 2341's with a .770" 5th rotor just after the main tuning slide, and it works.
Lee A. Stofer, Jr.
That sounds like a great idea, Lion King or no Lion King!
Wow! There have been some excellent options posted here. I appreciate it very much. I'm especially intrigued by the Piggy, and may start hunting for one. Maybe I can find a local one to try out.
Oh, and what is a fair price range for one (dependent upon condition, of course)?
As for the very large bore of the Piggy, what do you feel are the downsides? Clarity or sound? Articulation? I'd also like the horn to be good for recording, since I'm doing some recording sessions these days.
Thanks to all for the commentary!
As I’ve owned or tried some of the instruments mentioned, take my comments as a bass trombonist who doubles tuba and not a full time tubist. Costs are across the board with these options.
<<You might like Dick Barth's 3/4 CC Big Mouth Brass tuba. Fatter than the Weril, more durable than the Piggy, more free-blowing than the 2J.>>
I tried the BMB - it is a larger horn than a Piggy or 621/Weril. By larger I mean more 186 shaped. Very nice instrument but I would consider it a 4/4 from a doubler’s perspective.
Conn 2J - haven’t played one, but a great option. I know some doublers who use this horn and enjoy it.
Weril 681 - I owned one. I felt the Yamaha 621 and Schiller 621 copy more open for me.
King 2341 BBb - this was my last BBb horn. I liked it, but from having tried a 5 valve BBb the resistance of playing through 5 valves as compared to a CC makes a CC the obvious choice.
Miraphone 184/186 - great choices.
Rudy - haven’t tried but I understand they are terrific.
Eastman - ditto..but keep costs in mind in comparison.
Yamaha 621 - great 3/4 and expensive; the Schiller copy is a very good buy.
Piggy - many versions and I owned one. I found it too wide to be comfortable - difficult to access tuning slides. It has a large bore - and pitch can be odd.
Keep in mind that a tubist’s opinions will be different than those of a doubler..clean, in-tune and clear win over “big sound” as every show has musicians playing into microphones.
If you happen across a Yamaha 661, those are very good as well. Excellent intonation and compact. The fifth valve is usually a string linkage and on the left hand which is the only downside. The are usually very affordable used.
A G/C-50 is also another decent route for a smaller sized horn, though the size of this horn has always been debated. A little pricier though...
That which is dead can eternal lie and with many strange aeons even tubas will fly
-A Misquote from HP Lovecraft.
I also owned one of these..very nice and compact - the bell is close to your ear. I found the low register somewhat closed in comparison to some other horns. Yes, expensive and not so easy to find.
Who is online