I need some advice on buying my first tuba. Bookmark and Share

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I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby JoseU1 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

I'm currently in college, my freshman year to be exact, and I've decided to be a music major. For the past few weeks, I've looked at tuba makes from Schiller to Wessex, to Melton Meinl Weston and Miraphone. Even The Tuba Exchange. I did some research and found that some companies make clones in China, and other countries, and ship them to the U.S and they may or may not be worth the money spent on them. I was almost completely set on getting the Wessex CC Mahler tuba for just under three grand until I found out that they're one of those companies. Reading threads here on TubeNet I've found out that it really depends on the person, how well the instrument plays, and if the price was good. Some people went for price, and others went for quality. Something about these copies doesn't sit all too well with me, so I want to find a tuba that's both of a good price and quality, if possible. I forgot to mention that I've played euphonium for 3.5 years and a BB Flat tuba for one year after that, and I'm not sure if the transition from BB Flat to CC so soon would be beneficial as I plan on auditioning for universities in a year and the military branches in another two. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank for reading this if you have. I am not 100 percent sure this is where I should post this, but I'll learn my lesson if it isn't. Thank you again, and have a great day.
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby edsel585960 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:09 am

Don't be afraid of Wessex. Good reputation and quality control. I have one Wessex horn and it is great. :)
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby The Big Ben » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:44 am

Don't be afraid of a piece of used equipment. If you keep it in good repair and/or pay to have any of its shortcomings rectified, you probably can get out of it what you paid. Whomever is giving you instruction at the college should be able to give you some direction. This person may know of a college-owned horn you can use indefinitely until you really make up your mind or know of some used instruments you could use for a month or so to really learn to play before you buy. If you are planning on a military career, learn the BBb sousaphone as a major instrument.
Last edited by The Big Ben on Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Three Valves » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:14 pm

I was never a music major so I just don't know. (Marching Band at State U 30+ years ago)

Don't Colleges and Universities with serious music programs have school horns??
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Michael Bush » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:43 pm

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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Three Valves » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:59 pm

Michael Bush wrote:It's a much-discussed topic.


No doubt.

That's why I'm curious about the need!! :tuba:
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Tabor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:09 am

http://www.thevillagetinker.com/horns_for_sale.htm

I've never seen a bad deal on Dan's page. (edit) he may not have exactly what you're looking for a the time, but you can always ask what might be coming down the line.

In new stuff, things are just worth what they are worth to you, regardless of what it is. If it is a good deal to you and what you want to play, go for it. If not, skip it.
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby swillafew » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:15 am

Good news and bad news: the cost of the most expensive horns is not as much as your time is probably worth. Meaning, if you can afford one, they are not much compared to tuition and even less compared to your time.

One the other hand, if money is dear, good instruments can be had for a fraction of the cost of a new expensive model. If the school can provide you a horn, take your time. If you are doing auditions to specific places, visit those places if you can, or at least write to someone there and do some learning that way.

I had the same fear about learning a new key, a tight budget, etc. at your same age. I should have had less fear and been more interested in shopping used.

Once in awhile a BBb Miraphone will go begging in the used section here. I currently play next to a young player using an old and battered school owned model, and he sounds great on it. It never holds him back.
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby arpthark » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:00 am

swillafew wrote:I should have had less fear and been more interested in shopping used.


Huge +1.
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Rebel » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:47 am

I would agree on finding a used horn as well. Yes, the horn may have some dents and dings, and may be not as shiny as that pretty new one....... BUT.... You will generally get a better quality horn for a decent price. Just because the Mercedes is used, doesn't mean it's not STILL a Mercedes. :tuba:
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1990 Yamaha YBB-631 4/4 BBb Compensating Tuba
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Re: I need some advice on buying my first tuba.

Postby Stryk » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:45 am

Find a used Mirafone 186 - you will never be sorry. You can do anything you want on that horn for as long as you want at any level.
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