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Road Trip to Durham North Carolina

Postby Dustytuba » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:35 pm

My wife and I having a case of cabin fever decided to take a day road trip to test drive tubas at the New Tuba Exchange. The new location is easy to get to by car just off of I-40,or by Amtrak train or by airplane.

You are greeted by a marching band, marching across the front of the building. You can't miss it. A tremendous improvement over the little yellow house the previous owners had downtown.

The staff are all friendly, welcoming, experienced and full of knowledge. They let you find your own way to find which tuba fits you best. They are not pushy in any way. You are given the grace of time to play many pieces, scales, use your electronic tuner and compare one horn after the other side by side. But if you need assistance they will come immediately to help out.

It is amazing the selection they have. I have never seen so many different brands, quality levels, different keys, styles, weights in one place all there for you to try out.

We were interested a new Eb tuba and were considering a used one that was on consignment and ended up purchasing a brand new tuba right out of the box. A beautiful nickel Eb St. Petersburg tuba.

We also tried the B&S PT22P, 4 piston, one rotary Eb tuba. This was one magnificent machine! Big bore, big valves, big bell, a big boy. But it was too big for me.

Also tried a Miraphone Eb again, big, heavy, big bore, big sound. But did not have the warm mellow tones I was looking for, for me. I play in small rooms at nursing homes and do not want to blast the residents out.

Tried a Boosey & Hawks Eb, a little tiny horn, not much bigger than a euphonium. You know the 3/4 size for older players like me. It was very light weight but it did not have the full rich warm tones that I wanted.

After each test drive I went back and played my 1909 Martin and then the St Petersburg. It won hands down, good clean tone, perfect intonation from way up high, to way down low. No buzzes, no rattles, just rich warm tones but not too loud for nursing homes, yet with a little more air she has a lot of punch and volume. The valves are lighting fast. I can not imagine a finer built machine at any price point for me. I am one happy camper. I was extremely happy with the Tuba Exchange experience and recommend them if you are wanting to test drive any Brass Horn, I do not want to purchase a horn ever again without test playing different brands.
1909 Martin Eb, Old US Navy Horn
1909 Martin Euphonium, Old US Navy Horn
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Re: Road Trip to Durham North Carolina

Postby toobagrowl » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:21 pm

Nice to hear you got a good tuba and good service from TE. I need to check them out again as I only live an hour and a half away. Last time I was there (probably 8-9 years ago) was still owned by Vince.
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