Posted by Sean Chisham on May 07, 1999 at 09:00:48:
In Reply to: Elkhart, IN-What's the deal ? posted by JRTapes on May 07, 1999 at 08:46:21:
I will try to remember the history, but I will probably flub it up somewhere.
Conn used to make instruments in Elkhart back in the 60's. They moved the factory to Texas or Mexico or somewhere and the skilled artisons were lost. The instrument quality went to pot and people stopped liking Conn horns.
Recently Conn figured it out and moved the facilities back. Probably as much of a political move as business move. Now they make horns there again. For horn players, the Conn 8D made in Elkhart in the early 60's is equivalent to an older Mt. Vernon Bach trumpet or trombone. The quality of workmanship was generally higher and the instruments are generally of good quality.
As far as "American" manufacturers of tubas, there are few. Getzen makes the G50, but that is about it. Hope I didn't forget someone obvious. Conn still makes their 3J's and such, but they are not the type of instrument today's American tubist is after. Harvey Phillips worked with Holton recently to design a new tuba, but it blows a lot like the Conn's. All of the most popular tubas and euphoniums are made in Germany, Switzerland, England, and the Nation of Yamaha. There are other countries which make them such as Czechoslavakia, Russia, China, Italy, France, and others. It seems though, that the Germanic countries have musical concepts closer to those of American tubists than the other countries.