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The prototype for both Eb and BBb helicon have been approved and play great. Better than I could possibly hope. The Eb prototype I play myself all the time. It is my go to horn for marching gigs. I will be playing in France at Thiepval on the Somme for November 11th next week with the Band of the Hampshire Constabulary. One thing highlighted playing the last 3 months is how durable is the new Helicon. Although kicking around with no case and used extensively, it still has hardly no dents of note.
What we are waiting now is for new cases to be made to get the Helicon into production.
Both keys of the production helicon will have easily pullable 1st valve slide ( just under left hand), long enough main tuning slide to cope with large range of temperatures and removable bell for easy transport.
I hope to have on display and to try at NAMM and US Army conference and available to buy as early as we can in 2017.
Sorry, I can't tell you the weight until we have got the BBb in our warehouse, but I can say the Helicon is quite a bit lighter than an equivalent sousaphone. Only about ⅔ weight of BBb sousaphone
Things are progressing at factory with new Helicons. Here are new BBb (left) and Eb helicon with detachable bells being tested for size in their cases. Both have 4-valves with 1st slides made adjustable while playing. The first expected available for sale will be May 2017
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