Posted by Sean Chisham on May 08, 1999 at 01:09:08:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Elkhart, IN-What's the deal ? posted by Steve Marcus on May 08, 1999 at 00:32:21:
There are other niche type builders which I did not mention, such as Bob Rusk cuts, Dillon customs builds and cuts, and some others. I believe there are some ideas in the works between Dillon Music and UMI to build a new King tuba. It is tough for American manufacturers to make great instruments because you really need craftsman and apprenticed artisons coupled with enthusiastic highly skilled musicians to really do it right. It seems that many of the American companies are missing the enthusiasm, patience, and persistance needed to evolve a truly world class professional instrument. Companies want to churn out high volume adequate products. People like Meinl and Hirsbrunner are in the game as much for the artistic advancement of the musicians who need their innovations as they are for the dollar.
It is sort of a chicken and the egg scenario though for manufacturers. It is great that Harvey Phillips hooked up with Holton to produce a new student horn. It would equally great if Pat Sheridon had been able to work with someone like Conn to come up with a radically updated Eb tuba, instead of Boosey and Hawkes. I don't claim to have any clue as to how his relationship is and was established with B&H, but I am just using him as an example since his Eb and F collaborative designs are among the very newest and hottest in the market.
Today, it seems unheard of for most of us to even consider a Conn or King tuba for professional usage. That wasn't always the case. I don't understand why it must be that way now. Wouldn't it be great if we could buy a high quality F tuba from an American manufacturer? Or how about a 6/4 orchestral CC which both played easily and sounded great which was made in the US? Sometimes you can find these horns, but they are typically older instruments which have been cut.
What happened to Holton, Conn, and King professional tubas?