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Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby kingrob76 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:45 am

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Getzen-CB-50-C ... 2656318789

$4,600???

That's almost low enough to buy and flip. Someone is going to get a heck of a horn for cheap.

FWIW, I had emailed the seller to get the serial number and never got a response. IMHO the lower the number the better on these horns.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby MikeMason » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:55 am

Starting bid. May go higher.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby kingrob76 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:47 pm

no one bid on it at $5k last week.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby EMC » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:59 pm

kingrob76 wrote:no one bid on it at $5k last week.

That's a good point, those watching it may be trying to get the seller to drop the price as far as possible until someone takes the dive and the price goes up from there. Looks like a classic York/Nirshel style horn but I've never heard anything really definitive about those horns to be honest. I remember about 5-6 years ago there was a ton of them being sold around the internet though.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby tubazach07 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:09 am

The CB50 are good tubas. My suggestion would be to buy it and then send it to lee Stofer to have him modify it making it an amazing all around tuba. It would be worth the money. The CB50 is based off a prototype that bob rusk designed for Charles Dallenbach of the Canadian brass it is pretty much a York 33 with valves in the front. It was assembled by getzen using Meinlweston bell and bows and getzen made valve section. There were only 50 ish made and I have number 15 with Stofer modifications.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby kingrob76 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:47 am

So part of that is accurate :-)

Dave Fedderly was actively involved in the initial design of these horns and Baltimore Brass was THE place to get one as Dave was actively playing / marketing these horns. As it was relayed to me, when the Canadian Brass was moving off of Yamaha there was an opportunity to put together a tuba "from scratch" that could be sold and marketed. Chuck Dallenbach wanted something as small and light as possible, but Dave (and others I presume) was pushing for something that could be sold to schools (hence the Bb "conversion" idea with the 5th rotor) AND more established. Bob Rusk built a prototype from a York Eb (Baltimore Brass had the prototype for sale at one point several years ago) although I'm not sure of the origin of all the parts.

About 140-150 were made I believe, some as a Canadian Brass model CB-50 (made by Getzen) and then later as simply a Getzen G-50 (after the endorsement deal expired). I've played about 30 of these horns over the years as they work their way back through Baltimore Brass and owned one for about 10 years. In general, the lower the serial number the better - as production continued, certain cost saving measures were implemented and the later horns drifted further and further from the prototype in feel and quality. They were also infamous for having very thin silver plating - and interesting enough, laquer was a special order (Gil Corella has one) as silver was the default. The most common mod to help these horns was to bevel the inside of all the slides, which made a big difference I thought.

These are GREAT horns - and this one looks near mint (although the lyre holder is odd). I know of 3-4 still floating around the DC area at least.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby tubazach07 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:36 am

So part of your statement is accurate. Below is a copied post from Lee Stofer talking about the history of the CB50 and what modifications he has done. I will agree with you that they are awesome tubas and I very much love mine especially after Lee modified to mirror his current line of Stofer tubas. Mine is also lacquered but that was done at request of the previous owner.


“My understanding is that Bob Rusk worked with Getzen to make a first prototype, cutting a York model 33 BBb to CC. York did not offer this model with front valves, so they took a Reynolds 4-valve Eb sousaphone valveset and fitted it with CC-length slides. Because of the tubing layout of the Reynolds valveset, the placement of a 5th rotor would be quite difficult. Several years earlier, Boehm & Meinl in Munich had built some York-style front-piston instruments, and placed the 5th rotor in the leadpipe, and this solution was also applied to the prototype Getzen. This was happening circa 1992, and the Canadian Brass line of instruments was launched in 1993.

For the tuba construction, Melton (Meinl-Weston) produced bells, large branches and rotors, and the small branches and piston valvesets were of US manufacture. Since Getzen had it's subsidiary Allied supply just across the parking lot, which is a major parts supplier for the band instrument repair business, they did not have to worry about making certain small parts. The Getzen tubas had King water keys, a variety of thumb rings were used, and several of the slide crooks are King. Getzen CB-50 tubas were made in 1993 and 1994, but the agreement with the Canadian Brass did not survive past 1994. Getzen secured the rights to continue to make the instrument, calling it the G-50 instead, and a limited production continued from 1995 until they were officially discontinued in January 2002.

There were problems with the instrument, ranging from issues with the silver plating, to intonation issues. Some thought that the 5th rotor in the leadpipe was a culprit, and at 23 lbs., it very likely was not the lightweight tuba that Mr. Daellenbach had wanted. George McCracken, formerly of the King Company, was commissioned to form a carbon-fiber bell for experimentation to make the instrument lighter. Apparently Getzen made another 5 of these bells, and from the condition of several of the 5 of these I now have indicates that they did not fare well in use, cracking at connections.

Fast-forward to 2012, and I received a call from Elkhorn, Wisconsin one September afternoon. "Lee, we have 5 pallet-loads of tuba parts we want to get rid of, and Tom Getzen would like to give you first crack at them." For two decades I had harbored a wish that I could build some truly like-new tubas one day, and this was truly exciting. I drove the 150 miles to Elkhorn, looked at what they were offering, listened to their offer, negotiated a little, and went to my Bank and went further into debt. About two days later, I drove the van to Elkhorn, and drove home with a heavy load of brass.

There was one assembled factory model, so that seemed to be a good place to start. I cleaned the body and slides, then pulled pistons out of a box, and found that they were too large, wouldn't fit. The valve casings had not been honed, and this was not a working model. I removed that valveset, took a valveset that was ready, and set about bracing it somewhat differently, trying to follow the York pattern as closely as possible.
To eliminate harmful acoustic feedback and maximize good resonance, I had to remove two braces that were harming the product, and add 4 new braces in other places. The leadpipes used on the Getzens were not conical-enough, so they were too small in diameter to correctly mate with the rotor, or with the 1st valve in the case of a 4-valve instrument. I annealed leadpipes, hand-hammered them on a tapered mandrel and made correct ferrules to connect them, and the very nature of the instrument was transformed to a very York-like instrument. The intonation and response was correct now, and they were so very easy to play.”
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby Casca Grossa » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:40 am

If I remember correctly, a gentleman named Ed Mallett owned the prototype. He was a grad student at Michigan State when I was working on my undergrad. I was able to play on it a few times and I remember it being a very nice instrument. It might be worth tracking him down and asking him about it. I believe he bought it directly from Chuck D.
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby toobagrowl » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:48 am

I tooted on a Getzen G-50 back in the day, and thought it was very nice. Pretty sure it was a later model.
Anyway, I remember it being very easy to play with a dark yet very clear sound, and seemed solidly made!
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Re: Getzen CB-50 on eBay

Postby stewki » Tue May 14, 2019 2:09 pm

I think i might be the one who ended up with that particular CB-50. I had heard the tuba player at a local orchestra and said to myself, "What the hell is that?!" So introduced myself to him and found out he was running a CB-50 and i knew i had to have one. I happened to be perusing ebay one day shortly thereafter and a CB-50 conveniently showed up. Push came to shove, patience, and all that crap, and i'm waiting for the CB-50 to show up in a few days. We'll see how well it works for me.
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