Posted by Jay Bertolet on May 10, 1999 at 14:58:24:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: M. Weston 2145 posted by Leland on May 10, 1999 at 10:27:57:
I guess I'm never going to outrun this story about the 601 modifications, am I? Oh well, here goes one more time. Please, if these modifications interest you, make some sort of note of them. I don't want to use up anymore of Sean's BBS space posting them again.
The 601 is an .835 bore Kaiser CC tuba. It comes in BBb as well. I have a student who recently purchased one of the BBb versions and didn't like it so he sold it. From what I could tell playing on it, it played virtually the same as the CC version. But both tubas have problems coming out of the factory. When I bought mine they weren't offered with 5 valves. Fortunately that has been corrected but I had to order an additional 1st valve assembly with extra slide crooks and tubing to fashion a flat-1st style 5th valve like the Rudolf Meinl design. Also, the horns have valves installed in them with a bore of less than .835, typically between .795 and .815 for some reason. I've heard it suggested that these are the largest size valves Cervany makes. No matter, they are smaller than the surrounding bore so I had the valves in my 601 "scooped" so that the valve ports are the same bore as the surrounding tubing. Lastly, I had a large quantity of half round solid wire stock soldered to strategic points on the tuba to deaden the fairly thin metal and reduce sympathetic vibration loss. This was focused mainly on the bell, bottom bow, and top bow of the instrument. It was also suggested that the leadpipe and main tuning slide be deadened (by Don Harry, whom I consulted about these modifications and who helped me greatly) but I decided against this after consulting with the repairman who did all the work, Roy Lawler of Orlando, who also makes trumpets and trombones.
I'm guessing that these modifications would work well and be necessary on the BBb version of the 601. As to the other .835 bore and 19.69" bell tubas Cervany makes, I can't tell you how they play because I never tried any of them. When I was searching, I was looking for a very specific type of tuba and it was made clear to me that the 601 was the most likely candidate to fit my needs. It is my understanding that the other models were attempts to scale back the size of the 601 into a more manageable (read more marketable) tuba with wider applications so I never bothered with them since that was not the direction I wanted to go. Despite the correctible problems with the 601 design, I feel it is one of the best "kaiser" style tubas out there and it also happens to be about the cheapest, a somewhat happy coincidence.