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Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby tclements » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:34 pm

Friends,

Years ago, Custom Music carried Rudy Meinl tubas. I bought a 5/4 CC from them. Their 4/4 CC was also a wonderful instrument. They have some really interesting looking tubas, especially the F's. Does ANYone in the US carry them? Russ Dickman has a large piston CC that he swears by. I would love an opportunity to play some of these instruments. Any info out there? Thanks!!
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bloke » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:54 pm

You can email me if you like.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Ted Cox » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:27 pm

Tony, Two months ago, my friend Ryan Robinson invited me over to his house to play his MRP and a Rudy 5/4 he just picked up. When I was at I.U. in the early 80's, one of my classmates played a Rudy 5/4, he did his undergraduate degree at Northwestern with Jake. In all that time, I have never seen another and have never played one of these instruments. The very next day, he found another Rudy he wanted more than the one he had and sold it to me. I didn't hesitate - it was by far the best tuba I had ever played. A couple of weeks ago I drove it out to Martin Wilk to have him work on it. Now it's even more amazing. For the past many years, I've stayed interested in finding a big 6/4 tuba - which this is. Not wanting to spend the $$ for one of the York copies and not being all that interested in any of them, I kept looking. I'm no longer looking - this tuba is truly amazing. This past weekend I performed Planets on it and the response from those in the orchestra was extremely positive. Ryan came to a rehearsal and declared it "a game changer." These tubas are out there, but with all the new stuff, I think many overlook how great these tubas really are. It's my understanding that no one is carrying these tubas in the U.S., but I could easily be wrong. I paid Ryan what he paid for it - 8K, and worth every cent. The bore is huge, .866. My two Alex's are .810. It was great to play the MRP next to the Rudy and also hear Ryan play both horns. It wasn't even close - the sound on the Rudy is incredible. If anyone is in the market for a big tuba, put this on your list. My Rudy is about 30 years old. These are handmade horns by the guy who's name is on the bell. If you want to hear a 5/4 Rudy in action, check out Rex Martin playing Tchaik 4 on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arQAJjThhys&t=44s And by the way, the Rudy Ryan bought is the one Rex is playing.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bort » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:39 pm

Lee Stofer is the guy in the US.

I had a Rudy 4/4 for a while. A good tuba but the 5/4 and 3/4 CC's are really special tubas!
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby oedipoes » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:42 pm

Tony,
I have a Rudy 4/4 BBb and couldn't be happier... added a 5th valve (original Rudi parts) and that made it my perfect tuba!
Don't know how set you are on CC, but you could at least consider the BBb ones, I have seen at least two reasonably priced 5/4 BBb's in the for sale section.
You might try and contact Cameron 'cambrook' for his experience with Rudi, he has a couple of Rudi tubas, and has also owned or at least played the 5/4CC version, if I remember well:
http://forums.chisham.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=86367


Just my 0.02EUR ... FWIW
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Dan Schultz » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:47 am

I cannot vouch for the Rudolf Meinl CC tubas but the 5/4 BBb I bought about two years ago is by far the finest tuba I've ever owned or played. I thought at first about putting a fifth rotor on it but after a few months playing it regularly I decided that it is not necessary.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bloke » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:12 pm

All of us who owned 'em (and I've owned all three sizes of the 5-rotor C instruments) liked 'em when we owned 'em.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Doc » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:30 pm

My 3/4 CC needed two alternate fingerings (bottom line G and D in the staff, both 1&3), and both responded perfectly. The sound was superb. I should have neve sold mine.
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: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Tubaru » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:15 pm

I had a Rudy F a while back and I wish I never sold it. Bought it at the WW&BW back in the day for a steal. I was never certain what model it was as it was not stamped on the instrument anywhere but it was 5 valves with the 5th valve left hand activated and had a 2nd and 5th valve trigger. What a great tuba. If only I could find one in the states I just might buy another one.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby happyroman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:13 am

Ted Cox wrote:Tony, Two months ago, my friend Ryan Robinson invited me over to his house to play his MRP and a Rudy 5/4 he just picked up. When I was at I.U. in the early 80's, one of my classmates played a Rudy 5/4, he did his undergraduate degree at Northwestern with Jake. In all that time, I have never seen another and have never played one of these instruments. The very next day, he found another Rudy he wanted more than the one he had and sold it to me. I didn't hesitate - it was by far the best tuba I had ever played. A couple of weeks ago I drove it out to Martin Wilk to have him work on it. Now it's even more amazing. For the past many years, I've stayed interested in finding a big 6/4 tuba - which this is. Not wanting to spend the $$ for one of the York copies and not being all that interested in any of them, I kept looking. I'm no longer looking - this tuba is truly amazing. This past weekend I performed Planets on it and the response from those in the orchestra was extremely positive. Ryan came to a rehearsal and declared it "a game changer." These tubas are out there, but with all the new stuff, I think many overlook how great these tubas really are. It's my understanding that no one is carrying these tubas in the U.S., but I could easily be wrong. I paid Ryan what he paid for it - 8K, and worth every cent. The bore is huge, .866. My two Alex's are .810. It was great to play the MRP next to the Rudy and also hear Ryan play both horns. It wasn't even close - the sound on the Rudy is incredible. If anyone is in the market for a big tuba, put this on your list. My Rudy is about 30 years old. These are handmade horns by the guy who's name is on the bell. If you want to hear a 5/4 Rudy in action, check out Rex Martin playing Tchaik 4 on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arQAJjThhys&t=44s" target="_blank And by the way, the Rudy Ryan bought is the one Rex is playing.


FYI, I went to school at IU with Ted and still have my Rudy (and still love it). After corresponding with Ted, I am seriously considering taking it to Mr. Wilk to have the same modifications made to my instrument. When Jake first played my horn, he told me he had taken one into a rehearsal with the CSO. He said that Kleinhammer told him it sounded good, but had a little lighter sound than the York, FWIW.

I am also under the impression that Lee Stofer can get these instruments here in the US.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby chhite » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:33 pm

I own two, a 4/4 CC and a 5/4 F. Both are set up the same way with five right hand operated valves and a second valve kicker in the left hand. My F was the first Rudi that Lee imported to the US in 2001 when he established his business and it was also the first to be ordered in that configuration from RM. Matter of fact, Rudi, Jr. asked, "You want what?" And that's how I wanted and received it. I purchased the CC from Matt Gaunt in 2003. It had been through a few owners prior to him and they had done some modifications which I'm not crazy about (altering rotor direction on 3 & 4, Amado water key on MTS) but I can live with the rotor direction. Doesn't bother me. I did replace the leadpipe and installed the slightly larger MTS and legs that are installed on the current models, and replaced the standard thumb ring with the large comfy rounded style. That should be first on anyone's option list, IMO. Both my horns sport that thumb ring.

I love both of my horns and their sounds are my voice. That's not to say I don't enjoy playing other tubas, I do. But mine are such a part of me and I enjoy making music with them.

As far as mouthpieces go with these horns, I've been using a Stofer Geib with the CC and several with the F; PT(RT) 40, 64, 65, and Rudolf Meinl RM9 with 7.8 backbore.

Lee does import these still and can give you a price on whatever model you're considering. Most of the popular models are hovering around the 14K-18K Euro mark, more if your options increase, order silver plating, or add a Cariso case (or similar).

Take a look at his PDF brochure. It's about ten years old but his models are still accurately reflected.
http://www.rudolf-meinl.de/fileadmin/te ... ospekt.pdf

And feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:06 pm

Geographically, they seem to "seep" out of the Michiana and lower Great Lakes area, as Custom Music and later The Brasswind used to stock them before the prices got so high that no one was interested in stocking them anymore.

The nice-playing 5/4 that I had with all the stuff on it (the 5th rotor...the #2 trigger, and more jazz that I added myself) "seeped" out of western Ohio.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Lee Stofer » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:48 am

I import new Rudolf Meinl tubas into the U.S. Due to the pricepoint, there is a small market for Rudolf Meinl tubas in the U.S., and I cannot afford to stock the full line. To have two of each of the most popular tubas in stock would cost me in excess of $150,000.00. So, I import new Rudi's on request. I am happy to provide a firm quote from Rudi for anyone that is seriously interested in purchasing one, and since they are pretty-much individually built-to-order, you can have it built to your wishes, ie., plain bell rim or nickel-silver rim, raw brass, lacquer or silver, anywhere from three to six valves, and other special considerations. I have been ordering the new Rudolf Meinl tubas with the Kariso case, a really sleek modern woodshell case in black faux alligator, with very nice wheels and large chrome-plated latches that will stand up to just about anything. The price is the same as the lightweight-but-not-the-best-for-flying Jacob Winter plastic molded case.
When a pre-owned Rudi comes in on consignment, and I try to service it to factory standards and offer it for resale. While I was a full-time player, twice I bought a new Rudi 3/4 CC, later sold it and then regretted it. I have a 40-year-old 3/4 CC that came in this summer, and I'm torn between keeping it and selling it. I took it into a rehearsal a few weeks ago, and after the first piece, the principal euphonium player sitting next to me said, "Damn - What is That??!!!" The original owner picked it out at the factory circa 1969-70, and played it as his chamber orchestra horn. You'll most likely see it for sale on the website soon.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bloke » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:57 am

In the distant past, I sold a few new ones.
A pair of well-known tuba players (two buddies... one: now deceased but a widely-known/very-well-liked tuba player, the other - quite well-known, also very-well-liked, and a busy player today) came to the old blokeplace and bought a 4/4 5-rotor C and a 5/4 5-rotor C. The 5/4 was around $5000, and I was a bit concerned that the person who ordered that one would "like" it, because I really didn't want to be stuck with it (no internet, etc.)...but that person liked it very much and purchased it.

Adjusted for inflation, based on the date sold (at market price at that time) the 5-rotor 5/4 C, today, would be about $10,000. I believe the current pricing has quite-a-bit outrun inflation.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby Lee Stofer » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:17 am

The current pricing is not only affected by inflation, but by currency exchange rates. For the work involved in hand-making an instrument such as these, the company and workers just do not make a lot of money. When first at the factory in early 1986, I asked Rudolf Meinl, Jr. the unthinkable - "Why do tubas cost so much?" Rudi, Jr. just smiled, then proceeded to take the time and walk me through the process, from the huge rolls of sheet brass at one end of the building, through all of the patterns from which they mark and cut the brass, all of the forming, brazing, working and fitting, past the enormous lathe for bell-turning, and all the individual work stations for the many tasks involved in manufacturing some 200 specialized parts, then expertly assembling, buffing, and finishing the instrument. At the end, he told me that the most common, 4-rotor BBb tuba required a minimum of 38 man-hours to build. Quickly figuring nearly 400 man-hours times a decent living wage for skilled craftsmen, my next question was, "How can you afford to make them so cheaply?" It is all in your perspective. For example, if Rudi makes a 5-rotor, 5/4 CC tuba, which takes 400 man-hours to build and complete, and the shop rate is the equivalent of just $50.00 per hour, that's $20,000.00 before you figure in the cost of the materials. The price of brass, rose brass and nickel-silver has outpaced inflation, to be sure, and the last full-size Uniball links I purchased cost in the vicinity of $70.00 each. Before the brick-and-mortar Woodwind & Brasswind went out of business, I had quoted a price for new Rudolf Meinl tuba to a customer, who then told me that WW-BW had that model available for $x,xxx.00. I told them that my cost from Rudolf Meinl would be signifacantly more than that, and that I could not compete with that price. I then called Rudi, Jr., and asked him about the pricing. He told me that he had taken the President of WW-BW to task about that issue, telling him that he would not allow them, or anyone else to sell them at below cost. We saw how well that tactic worked out for them when they soon thereafter ceased to exist.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bloke » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:24 am

People will buy what they like or need, and - when funding is avaiable - will pay what something is worth to them.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:04 pm

Every time I read Lee's posts about Rudy Meinl tubas, it's like a pep talk and I get excited about them.

I do miss my Rudy 4/4 at times... but the old Rudy 3/4 that I used one summer (very similar to the one Lee might be selling) was an outrageous tuba, just incredible. I wanted the Rudy 4/4 to be a bigger version of that, and it just wasn't. A nice tuba... but not a bigger Rudy 3/4.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby circusboy » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:07 pm

Had a chance to blow on a used 5/4 CC that was for sale a few years back. It was the most wonderful horn I've ever played in every way: sound, feel, response, finish, etc. I regret not having found the money to snatch it up.
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby bort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:13 pm

I tried a wonderful Rudy 5/4 at BBC a few years ago. For how large the tuba was, it didn't seem unwieldy, but it took a lot of air.

Are the brand-new Rudy 4/4's more like the good 3/4's?
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Re: Rudolph Meinl tubas

Postby toobagrowl » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:58 pm

Tubaru wrote:I had a Rudy F a while back and I wish I never sold it. Bought it at the WW&BW back in the day for a steal. I was never certain what model it was as it was not stamped on the instrument anywhere but it was 5 valves with the 5th valve left hand activated and had a 2nd and 5th valve trigger. What a great tuba. If only I could find one in the states I just might buy another one.


That may have been the same Rudi F I tooted on @ a WW&BW booth back in 2002? I'm not an F player (Eb is my bass tuba), but that was perhaps the best rotor F I have played on. Everything about it was great -- sound, pitch, and response were all easy and buttery.

I agree with the others on the 3/4 and 5/4 CC models. Still remember the guy who sounded great on a concert playing his 3/4 Rudi CC on Academic Festival Overture with the chamber orchestra in my hometown. I think my dad went to school with that guy back in the day :!:
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