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Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon

Postby UTSAtuba » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:46 am

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Re: Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon

Postby BRSousa » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:57 pm

These don't show up very often. If someone is looking for a nice Helicon, it probably doesn't get much nicer than that.
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Re: Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon

Postby sugawi » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:53 am

I've been looking for a BBb helicon for a while. This is by far the best I have seen. I have not seen used Cerveny for sale before nor ever had a chance to play it. Looks like a current model. Is the price reasonable? have search but I can't find any info on them except on Amati website. Is there any other current manufacturer of helicons?
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Re: Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon: Now on Ebay

Postby sugawi » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:57 pm

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Re: Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon

Postby Donn » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:24 pm

sugawi wrote:I've been looking for a BBb helicon for a while. This is by far the best I have seen. I have not seen used Cerveny for sale before nor ever had a chance to play it. Looks like a current model. Is the price reasonable? have search but I can't find any info on them except on Amati website. Is there any other current manufacturer of helicons?


Not really. Melton is supposed to make one, and I'm sure it's very nice, but I don't believe you can get it.

Cerveny makes 3 in different keys - F, Eb and BBb. BBb is the only one that was ever marketed to any great extent in North America, and by most accounts it's OK. Quality in tubas is mostly about consistency, in my opinion, and so is price. Cerveny is somewhere in the middle of the range on both accounts, which probably explains why reviews of this helicon from owners are usually good, but not always. Sometimes a good repair tech can find and correct assembly defects and radically improve a tuba, and it might be worth it in this case, if it came to that.

Of course it's always best if you can play the tubas you're thinking about buying, and with a helicon it's also best if you can pick it up and carry it home yourself - it's a gigantic, awkward package to put in the mail, and Cerveny is kind of notable for their thin, soft brass - good for tone and comfort, but vulnerable to damage. Since you're paying for the relatively pristine brass here, it would be a shame if the seller were the last person to see it in that pristine condition.

Another caveat for helicons, at least the European ones, is that they are set up with a fixed-angle leadpipe, where a sousaphone would have much more flexible bit assembly. You can turn the leadpipe this way and that, but it can be a problem if your neck is longer or shorter than the person the helicon is designed for. On the bright side, as the Wikipedia helicon article observes, if it works it's going to sound better.
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Re: Cerveny 4v BBb Helicon

Postby Lew » Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:42 pm

I tried one of these a few years ago. Some kids from a local high school that used them for their marching band brought them to tuba christmas and let me try one. My impression was that it played similarly to the Cerveny tubas I have owned and played. That means not too much color to the sound, but competent. Response was fine, but I didn't get to check intonation. I am a little taller than average and didn't really find it very comfortable. The asking price seems to be a little less than I have seen them selling for new, but I haven't checked prices anywhere recently.
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