Posted by Sean Chisham on April 06, 1999 at 13:17:48:
In Reply to: The size posted by Jacob on April 06, 1999 at 12:06:04:
More likely is that the 3 valved tubas have a target audience of young beginners. The smaller instruments are sometimes easier to get a sound out of than the medium and large instruments. They are also easier to hold because of their smaller size. 3 valved instruments are also less expensive than 4,5, or 6 valved versions. This allows a beginner or a low budget grade school to more easily afford them.
The instruments with 4-6 valves are generally larger to meet the demands of advanced players. Personally, I don't see any reason to "invest" in a 3 valved tuba. There are budget minded 4 valved version of instruments which are not that much more than the cost of their 3 valve brethren. I would compare this to purchasing a new car without air conditioning. You will save a few bucks, but very soon you may wish you had not.