Posted by Gary Press on October 12, 1999 at 20:21:14:
In Reply to: Rudolf Meinl 5/4 CC tubas posted by Jeff Miller on October 12, 1999 at 13:34:38:
I have owned my Rudy 5/4 since '88. I had been playing a Mirafone 186 up to that point (quite a switch!) I had always felt so constricted on the 186...I could never cut loose without producing a sound I did not particularly like. I remembered hearing a guy from Chicago playing a Rudy 5/4 at the first Keystone Brass Institute in 1986. I loved the sound of it so much...that's what stuck in my mind. So as my senior year approached, I had already made up my mind. I wanted one!
I was actually a little scared when the horn first arrived..it was huge, but as mentioned in another post, surprisingly easy to hold. The instrument will take all the air you can give it. The sound is full, mellow and rich in overtones. Unlike many of the 6/4 size horns I have played that have huge but colorless sounds, it maintains some highs in the sound. That is what makes Rudy's in general sound so warm.
There are some really fantastic players who play Rudy 5/4's. Ellis Wean is one of my favorite players. Incredible sound and projection AND he's a great musician! Check himout on any of the Montreal Symphony recordings in the 80s...especially the Tchaikovsky 4th recording. Rex Martin is phenomenal, as anyone who has heard him can attest to.
I can't recommend any instrument more highly. I think that for someone with a small lung capacity it could be more challenging to fill the horn because of the enormous bore size (I think I rememeber it being .920 or something like that), but it is worth all the extra breathing exercises in the world for the sound it allows you.
Definitely try the horn out. I bet you'll love it.