Posted by Jay Bertolet on May 09, 1999 at 22:04:16:
In Reply to: Re: Re: M. Weston 2145 posted by Joe S. on May 09, 1999 at 18:40:04:
In keeping with the "respectful" theme, I must respectfully generally disagree with some of what you say. I remember your previous post when you addressed this topic and it rubbed me the wrong way then as it does now. When considering which horn to choose, you must consider price. Let's state the obvious: You don't buy what doesn't work for you, period, at any price. That being said, here is my opinion illustrated by what I actually did in my own case.
About 10 years ago I decided that I needed a really large CC tuba for those few works that would benefit from the different type of sound. So I went searching and what I found was fairly limited in scope. After looking at old BBb tubas that had been cut into CC, I decided that was too dicey an option for me. I decided to stick with something currently in production. After much playing and searching I was able to narrow my choices to 3: The Yorkbrunner, the prototype Meinl-Weston 2165, and the Cervany ACB-601. At the time, the Yorkbrunner was around $16,000.00 and I had never played one I really liked. They were okay but they never lit a fire under me. The Meinl-Weston 2165 was just coming out of prototype and it played pretty well but this was before the tone ring was included so the tuba wasn't really in its final incarnation. You could tell this design was going to be promising but it still needed some polish. It was priced at $12,500.00 and I distinctly remember the fellow I was working with at Meinl-Weston proudly telling me that "at least we're alot cheaper than the Yorkbrunner!". And then there was the Cervany. At the time, the Czech's were just emerging from the former Soviet Union and they needed cash. As a result, they priced their tubas significantly less than the competition. I bought my 601, brand new, for $2800.00 through Tuba Exchange. Now, admittedly, this instrument needed some modifications too. By the time the dust had settled, I had spent about $5000.00 total for the tuba plus custom work.
The point I'm trying to make is that my Cervany plays as well as any example of the above mentioned tubas I've played and by choosing it I was able to save a bunch of money in the process. All of the different makes of tubas were finely crafted but they all had strengths and weaknesses. If I can get the type of tuba I want for less money, why should I "sacrifice" in other areas of my life to validate the conviction of my professionalism by owning a tuba costing two or three times as much? The suggestion that looking for the most cost effective solution in choosing a tuba is akin to a "Walmart" type of attitude seems out of touch with reality. There are many factors other than supply/demand type forces that determine pricing on given instruments. I'm sure anyone who looks at how the major European manufacturers were marketed in this country over the past 30 years will see quite clearly how and why prices have changed over the years.
The bottom line on any instrument purchase is that you need to find what works for you. Like you haven't heard that before! But I hope that the people reading this thread will not get the mistaken impression that expensive tubas are a symbol of a player's commitment to the art. If you find a tuba that you can't live without, by all means find a way to buy it. I would suggest that such a tuba is going to be very hard to find. Explore all options and make the common sense choice!