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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby tubeast » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:55 am

Markneukirchen was interesting, but not primarily for the Tuba manufacturing.
B&S had not been prepared to welcome Tuba-tourists when I was there in 2008. But the Erzgebirge is unique for its traditional woodturning, toy- and Christmas decoration manufacturers. High quality glass-makers, too.

From Black Forest to northern Italy ?!?
Put Willson in Flums, Switzerland on Your list.

Depends on Your route, just Google-map the places I´m mentioning:
Fly to Frankfurt, Germany. Rent vehicle.
Short drive to Alexander, Mainz.

Then along Rhine river down towards Baden-Baden, which is where the Black Forest region begins. I strongly suggest exploring smaller destinations such as Wolfach on Bundesstrasse 294. http://www.dorotheenhuette.info/

From Freiburg im Breisgau take a trip via Basel and Zurich, Switzerland, to Flums to visit Willson. From there You have several opportunities to get to northern Italy, depending on the region that is of interest.

Taking the Autobahn may save time, but using County-roads will offer access to more picturesque sights.

Have fun.

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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Three Valves » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:47 am

I'd pick the one nearest to the Mercedes factory for a tour there also, or the one nearest to Munich for what should be obvious reasons...

:tuba:
Who needs four valves??

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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby marccromme » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:46 pm

I suggest you go and visit Marktneukirchen in Voigtland, near the border to Czech Republic.

There you find the factories of

Helmut Voigt (contrabass, bass and tenor trombones)

Jürgen Voigt (all sort of low brass)

Schmidt (mouthpieces)

B&S (tubas and euphs and other low brass)

Musikinstrument Museum (nice collection of trombones and the largest tuba ever build)

Mechanisches Musikinstrument Museum (very nice collection of auto-pianos, organs, early recording devices)

There is a very good turist information where one can book events, company visits with guided tour to the workshops

14 km away is Klingental where one finds two tuba builders (sorry, don't remember the name)

Nearby is Cerveny in Kraslice - a town in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic, just across the border.

You can easily spend a week in that corner looking for interesting music stuff and testing a ton of instruments.

Try to inform yourself here: http://erlebniswelt-musikinstrumentenbau.de/en.html
Yamaha YEB-321 Eb 4v TA tuba
Meinl-Weston 2141 Eb 5v FA tuba
Hirsbrunner Bb 3v TA compensated euph
Wessex Dolce Bb 3+1v TA compensated euph
Alto/tenor/bass trombones in various sizes/plugs
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:41 pm

Having mainly been a cerveny owner for 30 years, that factory really interests me
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby cambrook » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:20 pm

Having visited the Willson factory I wouldn't place that at the top of my list.

It depends which part of Germany you want to visit. I think it would be interesting to visit Andreas Klingspor near Freiberg - he makes Gronitz tubas now
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby toobagrowl » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:09 pm

marccromme wrote:I suggest you go and visit Marktneukirchen in Voigtland, near the border to Czech Republic.

There you find the factories of

Helmut Voigt (contrabass, bass and tenor trombones)

Jürgen Voigt (all sort of low brass)

Schmidt (mouthpieces)

B&S (tubas and euphs and other low brass)

Musikinstrument Museum (nice collection of trombones and the largest tuba ever build)

14 km away is Klingental where one finds two tuba builders (sorry, don't remember the name)

Nearby is Cerveny in Kraslice - a town in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic, just across the border.


Is one of the tuba builders in Klingenthal perhaps Hartmut Geilert? I believe he was the lead tuba mastercraftsman at B&S for several decades. He and Voigt brass built that gigantic BBBb 'Reisentuba' a few years ago. There are YouTube vids of it :tuba:

Mark Finley wrote:Having mainly been a cerveny owner for 30 years, that factory really interests me


It would be great to visit all the tuba/brass factories in Europe. Dunno about you, but if I could only pick two, it would be the B&S/VMI and Cerveny/Amati factories for two big reasons.....

- They both make a LOT of tubas and low brass, and
- They are both fairly close to each other; each one on each side of the Germany/Czech Republic border. :idea:
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 am

The trip is scheduled for June of 2020! Not sure we are going to be near any tuba factories, but if any tubenet members are near Rome, Naples, Pisa, Venice, Salzburg, Munich, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Zurich, Lugano, or Milan....

Let me know, My wife and I would love to meet you
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:30 am

Were I to go to Europe again (as a tourist, rather than dragging my instruments around with me), I would probably avoid large cities in favor of interesting small towns...and avoid tuba factories.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:35 am

I don't think we are going to be near any major tuba factories, and there are some really interesting small towns on our list. I just listed the large towns near the small towns.

For example, look up hallstatt Austria. That is somewhere we are excited to go
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby tubeast » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:51 am

So Mark, have You decided upon Your means of Transportation yet, during Your stay in Europe ?
Car ? Train ? Plane ? All of the above ?

Also: please define "near". Example:
The straight line between Salzburg and Zürich passes the lake of Constance and misses my place by about 35 km.
If You go by car and drive via Tyrolia and Arlberg pass, You could simply get off the Autobahn at Bludenz and stop by for a hot or cold beverage of choice.
Vorarlberg is an awesome Region to spend a couple of days and go for a hike.

I´ve been to Karlsruhe University way back when, so I might be able propose some sites to visit there, as well. That simply depends on Your subjects of interest.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:54 am

Right now the plan is to fly into Milan, make a triangle tour of all those places I mentioned before winding back up in Milan for our return flight

If we find a good deal on a round trip into Rome (usually more expensive). We might start in Rome, and then take an inexpensive flight from either Strasbourg or Zurich to Rome.

There is also the possibility we might book two one way flights, one flying into Rome, and the other returning from Zurich, Frankfort, or maybe Munich.

Too early to book flights, so I'm just exploring options and researching travel methods
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby bloke » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:01 am

My understanding is that in Europe - where there are fewer guns - pick-pocketing is an art.
I'd probably only carry basic I.D. and credit cards in my shoe, and a few loose bits of cash in my two front pockets (with more cash - if actually needed - in my shoe).

In contrast, when I'm visiting an American city (such as a visit to Chicago three years ago) I use the same strategies but carry a "throw wallet", which contains fake credit cards (those plastic promotional ones that companies mail to you), fake i.d. (a scan of my driver license, with name/numbers changed using "Paint"), and a real $20, a real $10, and two $1's.

In Memphis, robbers will shoot you regardless, and just for the principle of the thing.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby dopey » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:23 am

I've known a couple folks be pick pocketed here. I'd certainly keep your passport and other items you don't *need* while out and about somewhere secure. I would not carry them all in anykind of bag that could be taken. I also always kept a photocopy of them in a second location just incase. Fortunately never had to deal with a lost passport while abroad.

Personally i've never had an issue being pick pocketed . Either when initially here for work or since living(and traveling in Europe). However, I tend to keep my wallet in my coat pocket or backpack and ensure I always have it connected to me somehow.

If you have a Credit/Debit card which has Chip+Pin that will be the easiest to use across Europe. If your card(s) do not have chip+pin be prepared to show you're ID allot, and some awkwardness. Some cab drives/cashiers will be confused when you can't use chip+pin as it's not common to need to swipe+sign cards here:). Also cash is far less common to be used.

And last random unsolicited advice. In some countries(Sweden for example) there is two types of cabs. 'Official' ones and 'black cabs'. Be mindful when using cabs. At an airport use the scheduled location and if in doubt ask. Otherwise, try to identify the local companies and use those cabs. (Often a smart phone app you can download to order the cab). In Sweden cabs must show their rate/fare on the window. A normal cab may be 325kr rate while black cabs can be upwards of 3,000kr rate -- Yes that extreme. I had colleagues make this mistake. That said, you can haggle with a black cab for a fixed cost in cash.. but for a tourist, I wouldn't recommend it.. Stick to official cabs:)

If by some chance you make it by Stockholm feel free to reach out. I'm not the greatest tour guide but can probably suggest a few sites worth seeing, it is a gorgeous city.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:36 am

I have heard about the pickpocket problem, so I was thinking of getting something like this (assuming I'm wearing long pants)

Raine Security Ankle Wallet Pouch, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PWRIXZU/re ... zCbJE5AF05
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby bloke » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:45 am

In Memphis, savvy women (and men) do not wear valuable rings.
When robbers have trouble getting them off, they snip off fingers...
...and then (again) shoot the victims in both legs.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby royjohn » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:22 pm

Well, everyone must investigate the current situation and do as they see fit. I bought something very similar to this:
"Shacke Hidden Travel Belt Wallet w/RFID Blocker" on amazon for my last trip to Italy, since I was going to be in metro Naples.
From what I read, Naples is notorious for pickpockets and the fabled Italian traffic. I stayed out of the traffic mostly, just picked up a car at the airport and drove out on the Autostrada. Mostly stayed out of Rome, too. I didn't find the driving or the drivers on the Autostrada much trouble once you get used to how quickly they pull back in when passing you and how there are guys speeding in the left lane out of whose way you should quickly get...I used GPS, but found I could mostly use the signs as they are pretty logical if you know what the next town is that you're going to.

As far as crime, my understanding is that there is less violent crime in Italy and most of Europe, but more pickpocketing and maybe still some oaffish Italian males pinching women. I was alone on my last trip, so I didn't encounter them as we did on the bus near Florence 15 years ago when my 17 y/o daughter was gropped and elbowed the guy...she was afraid to tell me for fear of what I'd do, but she handled herself well.

I carried copies as well as originals of my passport and International Driver's License, which you can get at AAA and should have (~$27 for a year). I carried cash in my front pocket for convenience, but carried the wallet (which had a belt loop) fastened to my belt and then put down inside my pants between my pants and my tighty whites (TMI, I know). The bulk of my cash plus whatever other valuables I was carrying went there, as did my credit cards. So if my pocket was picked, I was only out $100 or so.

I never did have any trouble with any crime at all. Last year's trip was cop-free, but on the trip in 2016 I got stopped about six times, but the cops were always very nice and as soon as I spoke English they said "Oh, English" [did they think I was British?] and waved me on. It is important to know some of the Italian signage, esp. the signs that tell you not to go into certain parts of the cities (centro storico), because sometimes a camera will take your car's picture and you (or the rental car company) will get a ticket in the mail which you will be responsible for. Just google and you'll find sites to explain driving in Italy and Europe in general. Outside of Naples and Rome traffic, the only place I drove that was pretty scarey (but was the only way to get where I was going) was the Amalfi Coast Highway, very narrow with Italians passing with almost no visibility. An oncoming tour bus making a wide curve almost took me out on that road, but we both stopped in time. The scenery for your passsengers is breathtaking, however. Take a bus along it if you go, if you can. Hope some of this is helpful...
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:39 pm

Very helpful, thanks.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby Ace » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:35 am

Mark Finley wrote:In a couple of years my wife and I may be in a position to visit Europe. I would like to tour at least one of the major factories if possible (cerveny, miraphone, ect)

If you could do one, which one would you pick and why?


Good choices. I've owned several Mirafones and Cervenys and would like to see them being built. Unless I am mistaken, the Cerveny rotor valve instruments are built in a factory east of Prague, quite a distance (about a three hour drive) from the Amati factory near the German border.

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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby bort » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:16 am

Regarding pickpockets, Mark, the good news is that you are like 9 feet tall, and nobody is going to mess with you. Even if you did put your wallet in your back pocket, it would be at eye level to everyone around you. Pickpockets don't want to reach UP to get to a wallet.

Or something like that. :)

I've been to Europe a handful of times, and never felt unsafe where I was. Maybe a little weirded out by the gypsies flying a sign in Venice and Berlin... but never any trouble. I know there are good and bad parts of any city though. If you can handle a trip to New York City, you should be just fine.

My best advice for traveling in Europe... don't wear an American flag T-shirt, and don't ask for ice in your drink. Even a halfass effort to communicate in the local language (and not force them to speak English) seems appreciated.
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Re: European tuba tour?

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:20 am

I'm going to organize a European tuba tour just for Brett.

I tend to suspect that those who have never been robbed at gunpoint are those who tend to feel safe when they find themselves in dicey/dubious places.

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