Posted by Iain Fisher on January 07, 1999 at 00:34:22:
In Reply to: Piston or Rotary? posted by Santos on January 06, 1999 at 21:23:34:
The small amount of knowlege that I have acquired in this area has mostly come from the archives of the instrumentalists journal with the main source being an article written by Roger Bobo roughly 20 years ago. In it he was calling for improvement in design of Tuba's particularly in the valves. His contention stated that the piston valves were slow and heavy and that the rotary valves were far superior. However he also named a number of ways in which the piston valves could be sped up by making from lighter substance or of hollow substance...
In between then and now many innovations have been made with both piston and rotary valves and I would say that personal preference is almost the entire difference. This is to say that people will play their best if they play comfortablyand the valves behave predictable. This is why I am glad to see many companies making tubas with an option of rotary or piston but many players can behave brilliantly with either.