Posted by Frankie Farragasso on January 09, 1999 at 09:23:31:
In Reply to: Willson BBb tuba posted by Arnie Rosen on January 05, 1999 at 23:18:49:
I have played various versions of the Willson BBb from its earliest prototype to the production model for extended periods. This past summer I spent several hours at DEG in Lake Gevena playing a couple of the production models. The instrument is not quite ready for prime time. It needs some adjustments still. While the intonation problems of the prototypes have been pretty much corrected, the center of pitch of the notes above Eb in the register are poorly defined. Moreover, the horn is big and its response is not what one would like. That is, in a passage requiring an expressive interpretation, it would be difficult to get this instrument to perform.
Another disconcerting feature was the loss of the spectatular resonance in the lower register that the prototypes possessed. It has just gone away.
Finally, and all other things considered, if you happen to be the the only tuba in your mid- to large-size ensemble and need some output, you can crank this puppy up. This is the only instrument I have ever used in a large ensemble playing fffff where the director said "... nice tuba sound." I was not overwhelmed by the 12 french horns and 15 saxophones.