Re: Re: Eb or F Tubas (Inexpensive)

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Posted by Rick Denney on April 15, 2002 at 12:55:48:

In Reply to: Re: Eb or F Tubas (Inexpensive) posted by Steve C on April 13, 2002 at 23:21:32:

I agree with Steve about the Yamaha. Sure, some don't like it, and it definitely does not have that floating, ethereal sound that a tall rotary F has. It's more like a cheerleader than a fashion model--energetic, gutsy, and muscular for its size, but not what you'd called extremely refined.

One thing that strikes me in your case: The Yamaha 621 F tubas tend to be particularly well-liked by those who also play and like Miraphones. I know of several pro-quality musicians who play Miraphones who think my 621 is as good an F as they have ever played. So, you might find that the Yamaha fits really well with your sound concept, based on the fact that the Miraphone does.

The only thing limiting the Yamaha low register is the manipulation of all five valves. I can play as low on the 621 with ease as I can on my BBb York Master (not that I can play very low really well on any instrument). If you try one out, make sure to use a decent-sized mouthpiece. Some folks try to use a mouthpiece for a little German rotary tuba on them, like a PT-64, but I have found that the instrument won't open up without a contrabass mouthpiece. I'm currently using a 132-2N R4 Doug Elliott on my Yamaha (vs. a 132-2N T6 on the York Master).

I played the little Yamaha for a long time in the TubaMeisters, on the first tuba part. We had a euphonium and a tenor tuba above me, and a Miraphone 186 BB below me. The sound of the ensemble contained four distinct voices, but the blend was excellent. We often received comments that the melodies smoothly passed from instrument to instrument. The little Yamaha was the perfect bridging sound in this ensemble.

I used to use a Musica F tuba, but found that I could not make it work in quintet literature because of the fuzzy low register. But the Yamaha works beautifully in that application (the others players in my current quintet are, like me, not monsters, and I don't need a big horn to keep up with them).

The Meinl-Weston 45SLP is a little more like the Yamaha than most F tubas. The Yamaha 822 seems like an F tuba for someone who wants a contrabass sound (which I don't). The Willson has it all, but at a price I can't afford. I'm looking forward to trying the new Conn F tuba that Scott Mendoker just previewed.

Rick "sensing the need for a 'business trip' that takes me past Woodbridge at the right time" Denney

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