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What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

King 2341 (modern)
15
27%
Eastman 534
3
5%
Miraphone 1291
21
38%
Wessex Viverna TB480
4
7%
Kanstul 33-S
4
7%
Other (please add a comment)
8
15%
 
Total votes : 55

What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Ltrain » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:55 pm

Asking for a friend 8)

I know some of these options "list" for more than $10K but I always know how to get a deal... and there's always the used market :)
Please list your "others" and explanations below.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bigboymusic » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:03 pm

I'm pretty sure you can still get a piston Fafner for 9K. That is a hell of a horn..... On your list, I think the 1291 wins
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby pauvog1 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:09 pm

bigboymusic wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still get a piston Fafner for 9K. That is a hell of a horn..... On your list, I think the 1291 wins


The Fafner is an awesome horn, but probably not a 4/4. I agree with you on the 1291 though.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby tubadoctor » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:25 pm

If you ever come across any, the predecessors of the 2341 are amazing horns. The one piece bell horns. Mine is from the late '20s, and a buddy of mine has two from the 30's... I haven't played many modern horns that come close to any of them.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby cktuba » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:47 pm

Miraphone 1291

Sorry I initially missed the word piston... and you had it all in caps and everything.

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Last edited by cktuba on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Art Hovey » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:24 pm

I'd vote for the Wessex. The Big Mouth Brass is also good.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bloke » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:32 pm

The Fafner that really rocks is the 195-5P, and those are a bit over 10K...more like $15K...
...and the Miraphone that really rocks is the model 98, and those seem to be priced at over $17K.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby djwpe » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:55 pm

Miraphone 496. Not 4/4, but pretty light, and seriously awesome. My offer to you to spend some time with mine stands.

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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Ltrain » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:01 am

This is pretty cool. I’m only interested in pistons, so ignoring the rotary outliers... I’m enjoying the results.

If possible I would like to know:

1. Who voted for the 33-S and why. I’ve heard literally no owner feedback about this horn... and nothing good from the non-owners.
2. More about the Viverna. Opposite of the Kanstul, I’ve heard good things but haven’t seen any owner reviews. But I like that this is Chuck Nickels creation and I enjoy working with Jonathan... so I’m thinking this one has some high-value potential.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Stryk » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:08 am

I would take a Miraphone over ANY Chinese or American horn - preferable an older Miraphone.
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Doc » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:43 am

A Fafner 195P is NOT a 4/4 tuba (and not on the poll) - no need to keep typing.

Of the options given, I’d vote for the 1291. Fantastic low range, clear high range, big sound, and and you can really put down the hammer if necessary.
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: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bloke » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:07 am

Doc wrote:A Fafner 195P is NOT a 4/4 tuba (and not on the poll) - no need to keep typing.


...and neither is ~any~ Fafner. I wasn't the one who brought them up.

Being someone who plays tubas of various lengths (BBb/C/Eb/F/Bb) for various applications, were I to actually acquire a BBb tuba that was ~not~ a sousaphone, I'm pretty sure it would be a 6/4-size (or 6/4-sounding) instrument. I have very little use for a 6/4 tuba (and that's ~not~ because I'm never asked to offer forth a ~big~ sound; rather it is because I prefer to be able to make a "big" sound without having to do too much work in order to produce one), but (again) were I to own a currently-manufactured one, I'm pretty sure it would be a BBb instrument - particularly since the Meinl-Weston 195/5P and the Miraphone 98 are both better 6/4-size instruments than are most all C 6/4 instruments. ...and yes, I'm still planning on doing a full restoration on my 50-something-year-old Besson model 225 recording bass. It plays in tune easily, is fully chromatic, and offers a MASSIVE (larger-than-6/4, if needed, which is never) sound, doesn't get lost in the clouds outdoors, and (yup) my auxiliary upright bell (that fits my recording bell Besson comp Eb) ALSO fits these tubas.

Image

...and yes, I drifted off topic...but not really...and (again) I wasn't the one who began to drift off topic. :D

bloke "IF 6/4, THEN BBb. (my way of looking at things...which is different from the way many others look at things. ...not nearly as much, but many of the 6/4 C tubas have ~somewhat~ of a tendency to offer a 'hollow' type of sound, in the same way that those 90-year-old really large-bodied American-made Eb tubas did...i.e. a bit too much breadth for the length of the vibrating column)"
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bloke » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:30 am

...and - just fwiw - the Besson 225 tubas, typically, can be found (WHEN they can be found) for WELL UNDER $10K...and could possibly (??) sneak down into the "4/4" classification...particularly since the Rudy Meinl 6/4 is labeled "5/4".
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Doc » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:06 pm

bloke wrote:
Doc wrote:A Fafner 195P is NOT a 4/4 tuba (and not on the poll) - no need to keep typing.


...and neither is ~any~ Fafner. I wasn't the one who brought them up.


I really wasn’t trying to sound like an ***, but it sure reads that way. Geez... :shock:

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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bloke » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:28 pm

hey...Image
It gave me a chance to post another offensive picture of a TOP-ACTION and BELL-FORWARD tuba (pictures which - yes? - are BANNED here !!! :x )
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby ren » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:01 am

I think this is a great list. Value for money is probably the most important thing going right now, and as new horns are introduced we might even experience some different tonal directions.

I feel the "10K" thing is kind of not the metric I would use. One because being an American tubist, 10K is too much money for a bflat tuba. I simply cant find enough reason that the tone of the BFlat tuba is interesting to me in a performance setting, unless I were playing in the DC bands. I love the sound of the BFlat tuba, but its just not my thing. But if it were, we have so many more options "under 10K", (why would I spend 10K on a bflat tuba is the real question.)

Wessex has a 6/4 and a 4/4 piston. The Viverna is under 4K! Under 4K and under 10K are pretty significantly different. The wessex 6/4 Bflat (which if I WERE in a DC military band I would want), is under 7K.

The 1934(ish?) King rotary I played the other day would be just fine as well. Not sure what the retail is. Anyway not plugging for Wessex so much as noting that, I personally dont feel that any bflat tuba is worth 10K US.
Nothing against bflat tubas. Remember it was only 20 years ago that we were all trying to justify 25-50K tuba purchases with nonsense like "well your amortizing the salary of the orchestra you'll never play in"

They were never *really* "worth it" we just had very few options. Its an exciting time to be a tuba player. Hopefully we can redo this survey someday with "best piston bflat tuba for under 5K"
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:55 am

something very interesting on the horizon...great sound / great tuning / great build quality...but not next week nor next month..."on the horizon".

no more comments, public nor private. When it's here, it will speak for (and sell) itself.

That having been said, (but I would offer this advice whether-or-not there were something really good and affordable being offered in the future), I would advise holding off on buying the notoriously hastily-built out-of-alignment and clanky stuff. I just had to deal with some more of that (for a college freshman) a couple of weeks ago. I felt far more sympathy for that young person than anything else, particularly as they purchased it from the highest-priced outlet for that stuff.

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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby cktuba » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:43 am

bloke wrote:something very interesting on the horizon...great sound / great tuning / great build quality...but not next week nor next month..."on the horizon".

no more comments, public nor private. When it's here, it will speak for (and sell) itself.



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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby TheTuba » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:51 am

Personally, I will wait until Wessex tubas win a major audition. Then that's when I will buy them, as obviously major judges like the sound the player brings out.
Still searching for a 8/4 EEb
I mean if you want to, you can buy me the tuba in my name :P
If you're selling a good BBb or CC 5/4 or large 4/4 with 5 valves in 2021 under 6,000, please, contact me!
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Re: What's the best 4/4 BBb PISTON tuba under $10K?

Postby Steve Marcus » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:09 am

ren wrote:Wessex has a 6/4 and a 4/4 piston. The Viverna is under 4K! Under 4K and under 10K are pretty significantly different. The wessex 6/4 Bflat (which if I WERE in a DC military band I would want), is under 7K.


The Wessex 6/4 BBb “Grand” was originally marketed as a 5-valve hydraulically built instrument. But now, as a 4-valve instument (otherwise the same tuba as the one reviewed by Chris Olka in YouTube “T&E #4”), it will sell much closer to the $5K range. There have already been preorders placed for this model (TB692 “Grand”). One of the reasons for the change is to diffentiate the “Grand” from another new 6/4 BBb that is coming down the pike soon...

At the Association of Concert Bands convention in Buffalo, at NABBA, and at the NWRTEC, a prototype of the “Prokofiev” 6/4 BBb with hand-hammered bell was shown. Many tubists had an opportunity to try it. Other than the ergonomics (which are being improved by repositioning the leadpipe), there were so many remarks of praise of this tuba. Priced near $10K, there are already at least two pre-orders placed (one by a very well-known tubist). Here is a short video of Gene Pokorny testing the “Prokofiev” with Charlie Vernon playing a new Wessex bass trombone model:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oZqw2hAfsqE
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