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VMI 3302 vs Wessex Viverna

Postby LibraryMark » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:23 pm

Folks -

These two horns, VMI 3302 and the Wessex Viverna, look very similar. Which one is the better horn?

Thanks!
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Re: VMI 3302 vs Wessex Viverna

Postby Awegner2 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:37 pm

I owned a 3301 and it was a great horn. Comparable to the 3302 but only 4 valves. The Viverna is considerably larger in size. I felt the Viverna slotted better than my 3301 but was a bit less free blowing. If you're the type of player who naturally puts a lot of "center" in your playing, go for the VMI. If you want a horn that can focus those slots a bit more, the Wessex is a good choice. Hope this helps!
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Re: VMI 3302 vs Wessex Viverna

Postby LibraryMark » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 pm

Thanks, Andrew -- Can you comment on the comparative quality of the two horns?
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Re: VMI 3302 vs Wessex Viverna

Postby Awegner2 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:43 pm

The fit and finish of the VMI I owned was good. No complaints. I also found nothing wrong with the Viverna. The one I played was a silver plate horn and appeared to be very well made. The valves were very smooth and slides pulled smoothly. I did have my VMI apart down to the last valve guide so I really got an intimate look at the good build quality. I can't speak on this level for the Viverna, as I just sat and played it at the Wessex warehouse. It's definitely a sturdy (hydroformed) horn. The brass was thicker gauge than the VMI. The valves felt faster, but were likely not as tight of a tolerance as the VMI. I found those valves to be a crazy tight fit, and without a true B&S lapping job were problematic at first. A quick polish job made them operate smoother and I really enjoyed them thereafter. If you're handy enough to polish and align things, both horns will serve you very well and you'll have no issues. Just don't expect too much out of either instrument. They are right at home with a tuba "section" in a community band per say, but may leave too much headspace as a one man operation in a medium-large sized orchestra.
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Re: VMI 3302 vs Wessex Viverna

Postby BBruce107 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:04 pm

By far of all the BBb tubas I have owned I have not found one that played as easily as my former VMI 3302. It was probably the best 4/4 tuba I have ever played. Some days I miss the horn as the only reason I sold mine was to get a larger tuba. Trust me, you will not be disappointed if you are looking for a 4/4 BBb tuba buying a VMI 3302.
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