Re: Need a CC tuba for Quintet playing

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Posted by Joe S. on April 22, 1999 at 23:41:16:

In Reply to: Need a CC tuba for Quintet playing posted by Steve Steager on April 22, 1999 at 10:13:35:

I do respect tubaguy's opinion. The Yamaha seems to be a popular choice. I used to own one of those 4 piston Yamaha 3/4 CC's. I got it like new for $2000. I played it on one quintet job, and then sold it to the tuba teacher/symphony guy here. I don't think they offer enough resistance, and have too many intonation problems for a small tuba. (I thought that pitch problems were expected to begin to disappear as you made the horn a more normal size.) and I'll bet if you survey people, you will find quite a few that will tell you about sticking valves on these little Yamahas. The valves on mine stuck, still stick with the new owner who plays it all of the time, and the first one of these that I ever played, the one that belonged to that dark-haired guy who played in the Dukes of Dixieland before they went defunct (I sat in for a last set one night in Mahogany Hall and used his horn.) had one and HIS valves stuck badly. Further, I see the little F version of this with chronic sticking valves. You can clean them and they work perfectly...for a few months.

For better response, better intonation, and a more interesting sound, seek out a Mirafone 184-CC (3/4 size rotary). Listen to Roger Bobo's first album. He used a 184 on most things on that recording. I owned one of those, sold it, regretted it, and bought another. I didn't sell the second one until I got an amazing B&S F that I finally decided could take its place. Readers will think that I am bragging -- no brag guys -- I DIDN'T get the gig (only counts in horseshoes, remember?): I showed up for an Alabama Symphony (now defunct, I think, unless they cranked back up - I don't keep track) audition with about a jillion others in 1980 (I think) with nothing but the 184-CC. I ended up being first runner-up there to a fellow named James Jenkins, who took the job. This to demonstrate the versatility of that fine little Mirafone tuba...perhaps their best product.

As a final note, some people, back when a LOT of these 184's were being sold, used to fatten up the sound of this rather directional-sounding little horn by putting a student-model BBb 18" Olds or Reynolds <(same) bell on these. The Reynolds model was called TB-10 and the Olds Model was called O-99. Now that these Olds/Reynolds horns haven't been made for 20 years, I would imagine that finding a cheap beat-up one and buying it for its fixable bell would be do-able. Note: I never stuck one of these Olds/Reynolds bells on my 184. I tried it for a few minutes, one time when I was undenting the bottom bow, and decided for the original bell.

Find and play one of these 184's before you poo-poo me.

Good luck with your search. I hope you fine what you want. I haven't yet, in a CC.

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