Eb or F Tubas (Inexpensive)

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Posted by Wayne Rice on April 13, 2002 at 22:29:07:

I used to be a serious tuba player, but left it behind some time ago. A few years ago I spent around $4,000 and got what I think is a pretty nice horn, a Mirafone 186 5V CC. It's the "student model" (i.e., it doesn't have the nickel silver that the "professional model" has) but it plays just fine. In fact, I think it plays better than the Mirafone I got in the late 70's that was the professional model. Anyway, I am thinking about purchasing a high tuba again to begin to get back into playing, at least on a local level. When I played, everyone I knew used F tubas, with a couple of exceptions (Wes Jacobs played a Yamaha Eb). At the time the Yamaha was cheaper, had a better low register and played in tune better, but tended to become vague (at least for me) above high Eb. The F tubas were stuffy down low, had more intonation problems, but tended to have a more "soloistic" sound that most players seemed to favor. I have two questions: Is there a good solid Eb tuba available, maybe even used, that doesn't cost a mint? (Maybe a Yamaha?) Second, is there an F tuba with a good low register that could work? Oh, one more thing: the thing can't cost a mint--which leaves out the likes of Willson and Hirsbrunner. I'd appreciate any information.

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