Posted by Jeff Chronister on October 20, 1999 at 23:55:29:
I've recently been playing on an older (borrowed) Miraphone 186 CC. The bell is stamped 8847. I guess that is the serial number. I think that it was made around 1969. ALL of the valves are vented: does anyone know if this is the usual case, and is it still that way today? The valves seem to leak a bit, so, it may be hard to tell how good a horn this was or might have been, but still it has got me interested in possibly purchasing a "phone". I remember playing on a 188 that another student owned back in the 80's (way back in time when I was in school and all things seemed possible). Anyway I digress. I thought at the time THAT particular 188 was awesome. As far as number games go, I wonder how many 188's a guy would have to play to in order to find one that was particularly outstanding. The ease of playing, tone and intonation all seemed excellent on that 188. I don't think I even had to play third space E (5th partial) as 1and 2 valve combo, but that it was okay as an open note.
If I was to purchase a 188 it would be my ONLY horn for a while (till I got it paid off). I'm thinking it might be a little overbearing for a quintet, (I would use it for quintet though) but for any ensemble with more players than 5 it might be even better, and an excellent all around horn.
Also was wondering if you Miraphone players out there feel the quality of Miraphone tubas is better, the same, or worse than it was 30 years ago?
Please no Miraphone bashing, (I've heard it all before): Miraphone sux, I hate Miraphones, ripping sheet metal sound etc. Admittedly these horns CAN very easily be made to sound awful, but with a little self control (hard to come by at times) and diligent practice I think these horns sound great!
Please pardon my rambling thoughts on the matter; as I am thinking of spending some major bucks on a horn in order to do some real playing again, just trying to get some things sorted out.
Next possible posting: Miraphone VS The World! (the world being all other tuba brands)
Ciao for now.