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does anyone know what model this is and what price

Postby Tubadork » Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:48 pm

Hi,
does anyone know what model this is and what price they sell for new?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 60974&rd=1

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Postby Lew » Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:32 pm

This is a very OLD Besson tuba. I believe that the serial number dates it from the 1930's. There isn't really a comparable model for sale new today. I wouldn't even venture to guess its value.
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Postby Rick Denney » Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:57 pm

I once bought for my wife's uncle an instrument of similar vintage. It was perhaps a bit older. This looks like the four-valve version of that instrument, which was a three-valve Class A "Enharmonic Prototype" compensating tuba. It did not actually have enharmonic valves (that is, valves that shorten rather than lengthen the bugle), and the compensation, though laid out a bit unusually, was all Blaikley. It was a BBb tuba.

I paid $900 for it off eBay. Subsequently, my wife's uncle had the valves replated, many dents removed, he polished it nicely and bought a good gig bag for it. We sold it to a Tubenetter who is using it in a period-instrument brass band. The price was higher commensurate with the repairs that had been made and the included gig bag.

The instrument you are linking I presume to be the forerunner of the modern Besson 981. But the 75 years from when it was made defy a direct connection to modern offerings. My presumption rests on it being Besson's top-line four-valve Eb compensating tuba in the day, just as the 981 is now.

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Postby Chuck(G) » Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:35 pm

Unless you can get this one as a real bargain, you may want to pass on this one. Here's my reasoning:

1. It's old--that means the valves could be really worn. The amount of disasembly and reassembly to get the valves done on these 3+1 instruments is considerable and adds to the cost of a valve job.

2. It's been converted from high pitch. What that guarantees you is that some notes are in tune, but otherwise, the intonation may be a little strange.

3. The bell looks like it's had the bejeezus bashed out of it. That's pretty hard to do on old Bessons, as they were generally built like tanks.

4. It's going to be a little uncomfortable to play, as the extended tuning slide appears to dip below the bottom bow.

OTOH, if it stays cheap and you feel lucky or if you want a project horn.... :?
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