Posted by Scott Mendoker on April 15, 2002 at 03:19:17:
In Reply to: a nice F tuba posted by Art H on April 13, 2002 at 23:00:17:
Conn/UMI thru Dillon Music has developed a new F tuba. This has been a project that has taken years to come to where it is now - a functional production prototype.
A few years back, Steve Dillon and Matt Walters decided to make a small F tuba using many different parts from horns that they had in the shop. I had some input as far as play-testing and describe to Matt what I wanted the horn to do (tone quality, response, etc..) Matt then created a WONDERFUL F tuba. When it was fully tweaked, I took it around to a few people - Warren Deck, Don Harry, Gene Pokorny and Toby Hanks. All were in agreement that this was an incredible instrument and ALL wanted to purchase it on the spot. As a matter of fact, Gene liked it so much that he played part of a recital on it at the first Colonial Tuba Quartet Conference up in Albany........after only testing it for 10 minutes!!
Then the horn went back to the shop and was taken apart in order to send branches out to be copied. To make a long story short, the original branches never made it back on the horn and the F went from a Fantastic to only Great tuba.
When UMI/King/Conn developed the CC tuba with Dillon, they also expressed interest in making an F - especially after the success of the 52/56Js. A great effort was then made to bring the Dillon F back to its' original Fantastic-ness and then hand it over to UMI.
What has now appeared is the new Conn F tuba - as good as the original. Words cannot describe the feeling that I had the other day when I played it - I never thought I would play THAT tuba again - and here it was, brand new!!
It's my understanding - and I hope that Matt will chime in and correct me if I'm wrong - that it's going back to Conn for a couple of ergonomic tweaks and then they'll start cranking them out. I don't know what the cost will be and I don't know when we'll see the first production horns. What I DO know is that when this thing hits, it's gonna hit big!
We took pictures for Dillon's web site but I don't know when they'll get posted.
Sorry for the long-winded writing!