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BBb tuba for school

Postby Tubaryan12 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:56 am

If you needed to purchase a BBb for a school, what would you purchase? Maximum price: $4000 - $5000.

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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby lowtones425 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:00 am

A nice used Miraphone 186... The gold standard.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby opus37 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:13 am

I'd look seriously at the Wessex and J. Packard horns. I think you get a lot more value out of those horns. The Miraphone is a really nice horn that plays very well. I don't think most high school players would notice the difference among any of them. The Meinl Westen 25 has been around for years and has proven to be a durable excellent player, if you can find one.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:08 am

From a repair person's p.o.w., NOTHING rotary...mangled linkage and broken-off #1 and #4 rotor stems when knocked over.

Top-action piston tubas (when knocked over) suffer from bent-in slides which torque valve casings...valve casings which are INACCESSIBLE with casing truing tools, as the bells are in the way.

:arrow: Front-action pistons is the only way to go for schools.
The Eastman King 2341 knock-off (a short/wide tuba, which is less likely to be knocked over) for 4/4, or the John Packer 179 (loosely based on Yamaha 621) for a LARGE BORE (.689" - .728") 4-piston 3/4 tubas tuba.

IF rotary (as there is SO VERY MUCH pro-rotary bias with band directors) the John Packer 379B is a VERY well-made and VERY in-tune piggy-style 4-rotor BBb...which (being SHORT) is also less likely to be knocked over...and (hey) also COSTS LESS than the John Packer copy of the Meinl-Weston 25 (which yeah, is tall).

NOTICE: I'm a JP dealer (so factor in heavy bias), but I've also seen stuff made in the factory that JP uses in China back-to-back compared to stuff made in other China factories that other wholesale resellers use. There are quite a few factories in China, and quality is NOT equal. Yamaha, the factory that JP (John Packer) uses, Eastman, and Wisemann are among the best-made of the Chinese instruments.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby MikeMason » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:18 pm

I spent some time with the Eastman king copy. It really played great. I like the real king too.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:04 pm

I believe there is a used Eastman on eBay right now for c. $3000 in Dallas (local pick-up only, though).
If one of the band boosters has a good friend in the DFW area...
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby Doc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:44 am

When I was in high school, I would have loved to have a Miraphone 186, and I would have taken great care of it. Back then, there was a bit more responsibility and accountability with students, BUT, for most high school students today, this is NOT the tuba to have.

I'm a long-time fan and owner of Miraphone tubas, but I do not recommend a 186 for general high school use - it's very expensive to purchase compared to other models (your could buy 2-3 less expensive ones for the same price), it's expensive to repair, most high school players treat their tubas like absolute $#!+, and there is little in the way of accountability for those abusive students. Does a 186 sound great? You bet it does, but for most high schools, it's a poor financial decision that won't yield the same ROI as will an Eastman, Packer, Wessex, or some less expensive tuba.

One of my schools has an Eastman BBb, and it is a very nice and capable instrument and reasonably easy and inexpensive to repair. This school also has a vintage 186 that, while repairable, not in shape enough to endure any more student abuse. They also have a Conn 21J that goes unplayed on the shelf because of its size. If they ever sell or auction these tubas, I'll be first in line, as both are excellent players only needing a bit of work to be in decent playing condition. This school also has several St. Pete's at the junior high and an old King 1241, another good choice for an inexpensive tuba that plays great (theirs is a very nice example).

I haven't played a Packer yet, but I trust Joe's assessment, bias notwithstanding.

One of my other schools has several St. Pete's, and they seem to do fine, although they take their share of abuse, particularly the valve linkages. At least they weren't expensive tubas to start with.

I've been very impressed with the Wessex tubas. Quality and price make them worthy of a serious look, IMHO.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby tubacharlie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:20 pm

I would go with a Yamaha 321. They have been the work horse for school bands and hold up well.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby iiipopes » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:33 pm

bloke wrote::arrow: Front-action pistons is the only way to go for schools.
The Eastman King 2341 knock-off (a short/wide tuba, which is less likely to be knocked over) for 4/4, or the John Packer 179 (loosely based on Yamaha 621) for a LARGE BORE (.689" - .728") 4-piston 3/4 tubas tuba.

This. Unless your tech who services your school has a morgue full of King tuba parts, then purchase reconditioned King tubas, 1241 or 2341 doesn't matter. They are all basically (pun intended) the same with the same .687 valve bore for over a century.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby bigtubby » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:14 pm

A budget of $4,000.00 - $5,000.00 and the slightest bit of patience should easily bring you two serviceable King 1241s with upright bells from the used market.

Skip the questionable quality, hard to find parts for clones.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:03 pm

Schools don't buy used (one of the reasons our sales/property taxes are so very high), and there's no new King for $4000 - $5000.
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Re: BBb tuba for school

Postby pauvog1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:57 am

If I could purchase used, and was looking at what is available right now, Dillon Music has a couple interesting BBb's on their site.

https://www.dillonmusic.com/brass/tubas/bbb-tubas/

If I were wanting a new horn, I'd probably call Joe about a JP.
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