Does anyone know anything about a Walter E. Sear BBb tuba Bookmark and Share

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Does anyone know anything about a Walter E. Sear BBb tuba

Postby J tuba » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:54 pm

Hi i was wondering if anybody knew anything about Walter E. sear tubas cause i was looking at getting one but i dont know much about one, and i would like to be more confident before i commit myself to getting one

Thanks[/b]
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Postby Phil Dawson » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:44 pm

I bought a horn from Walter in his shop in NY City in 1969. At that time he had about 50 different models to choose from in his shop. They were all imported form Europe and I believe that he had secured horns form several different manufacturers. Some of the horns were great and some not so great so I would advise playing one before you buy (this goes for any horn). Good Luck, Phil
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Postby Alex C » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:45 pm

I understand that most of the tubas labeled with the Sear name were Cerveny's. I think he especially liked the piggy model.

He also imported Mahillion DuPrins tubas but I don't believe he stenciled his name on any of them.

Walter is a real character and deserves note for what he did for tuba players in the 60's-70's. His Orchestral Excerpt Book (written along with Lew Waldeck) was standard for tuba players until the Kalmus parts were published.

Check out his duets! Book 1 of the Advanced Duets is especially good.
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Postby Doc » Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:47 pm

I've got both volumes. Fun duets.

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Postby brianf » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:39 pm

Once I stopped in his place and he was doing soundtracks for skin flix then he disappeared from the tuba world.

What ever happenned to Walter Sear?
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Postby Alex C » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:50 pm

Last I heard, Walter was doing soundtracks for movies. Not Hollywood movies (the less said the better). Synthesized stuff. No money in tubas anymore.
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Postby harold » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:59 pm

He also imported Mahillion DuPrins tubas but I don't believe he stenciled his name on any of them.


I just sold a MaHillon that was stenciled by Sear. It was manufactured in the late 1970's.
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Postby Art Hovey » Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:28 pm

Walter's rotary-valve tubas were Cervenys. His top-action small-bore piston tubas were Mahillons, and his front-action piston tubas were dePrins. The piston tubas generally had good intonation, but the slides had to be pulled way out to reach 440 and they are rather awkward to hold because of Walter's strange opinion about mouthpiece position and angle. The dePrins tubas are exceptionally durable, and can make a surprisingly big sound for such a small bore. Walter deserves a lot of credit for jump-starting the Cerveny company, which was on the verge of oblivion. He also had an amazing stock of strange used tubas; a visit to his shop was always an adventure.
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Postby SHS Tubamaster » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:33 pm

Walter appeared recently in an article in Stereophile magazine. Apparently, he's running Sear Studios in New York City, which is an all-analog fortress in a world of digital. It seems that he is enthralled with Moog synthesizers, and doesn't play tuba much. There's more to the article, but that's what he's doing.

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Postby SHS Tubamaster » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:40 pm

Walter appeared recently in an article in Stereophile magazine. Apparently, he's running Sear Studios in New York City, which is an all-analog fortress in a world of digital. It seems that he is enthralled with Moog synthesizers, and doesn't play tuba much. There's more to the article, but that's what he's doing.

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Postby MichaelDenney » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:53 pm

I have one of the Walter Sear De Prins tubas, a BBb four-piston front-action horn with a .687" bore and a 19" bell. As a previous poster said, it has a surprisingly big sound, plus it is agile and has a rich timbre. Good scale too. Some sources consider this design (Walter designed horns as well as imported them) and the piggy Cerveny to be his best designs.

My tuning slide is pulled only 1/4" at 440 Hz, contrary to Art Hovey's experience, and the ergonomics work well for me, a medium-size male at 5'-10". In fact I find it one of the more comfortable tubas to play of those in my experience. (At the least comfortable end is probably the Conn 25J I played for years in college. It was like dancing with a very large girl--lots of activity on the guy's part while the girl pivots in place. Once I set that horn on the corner of a chair it didn't slip no matter how much I moved around.)

Walter Sear went to Curtis, I believe it was, and was the tubist of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. One source said he is a metallurgist. I don't know what the basis for that is, but he certainly chose durable materials for my horn. It is 40 years old and solid.
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Postby dtemp » Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:50 pm

SHS Tubamaster wrote:Walter appeared recently in an article in Stereophile magazine. Apparently, he's running Sear Studios in New York City, which is an all-analog fortress in a world of digital. It seems that he is enthralled with Moog synthesizers, and doesn't play tuba much. There's more to the article, but that's what he's doing.

SHS"Daylight Savings Time should be abolished"Tubamaster


I know that Wilco recently did some recording and/or mastering in the Walter Sear studio. I recognized the name because I played his "Sonatina for Tuba and Piano" way back in HS.
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Postby LV » Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:58 pm

MichaelDenney wrote:At the least comfortable end is probably the Conn 25J I played for years in college. It was like dancing with a very large girl--lots of activity on the guy's part while the girl pivots in place. Once I set that horn on the corner of a chair it didn't slip no matter how much I moved around.


That, my friends, is what's known as a "classic"! :lol: :lol:
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As a former student...

Postby Roger Lewis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:53 am

of Walter Sear I can clear up a few things for you. The Sear horns were made from Cerveny parts but assembled by their sister plant, Amati (according to George Seger of Amati USA). They were and are great horns.

Mr. Sear was very involved in the recording industry when I first met him and did a lot of "jingles" as well as other things. He was not the tubist with Radio City, but After Toscanini passed away the NBC Symphony became the Symphony of the Air and Walter was Principal tuba with them. Mr. Sear had studied at Curtis and was also a student of William Bell. I have played a number of his canons for two tubas which were quite well writen as well as very good examples of the canonic art. He also had etudes and duets for the tuba. I remember one that he wrote that is quite good and it runs you through the lick from Also Spracht about 30 times in one page. He and Lew Waldeck compiled one of the most extensive excerpt books ever, but only a limited number of copies ever got out to the public.

Mr. Sear is a great person and fine teacher and I hope he is doing well.
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Re: As a former student...

Postby Kevin Hendrick » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:52 pm

Roger Lewis wrote:of Walter Sear I can clear up a few things for you. The Sear horns were made from Cerveny parts but assembled by their sister plant, Amati (according to George Seger of Amati USA). They were and are great horns.

I can second that -- my Sear-Cerveny CC still plays beautifully (and frequently) after 31 years! Looking forward to a lot more. 8)

Roger Lewis wrote:Mr. Sear is a great person and fine teacher and I hope he is doing well.

Amen to that! :)
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