Posted by Lee A. Stofer, Jr. on August 23, 1999 at 09:17:33:
In Reply to: Why a Hirsbrunner? posted by Chris Lee on August 22, 1999 at 23:57:26:
The term "hand-made" is being thrown about a lot these days, and somewhat carelessly. All tubas are hand-assembled, and some sort of tools are used to make every last part of one. Most manufacturers have gone to making branches of tubing hydraulically, which insures a standard of quality previously unknown. How carefully the tuba is hand-assembled is the primary factor. Time is money, and when you consider that it takes well in excess of 400 man-hours to build a tuba, and do a little figuring, you might wonder why they don't cost more. I play-tested a Hirsbrunner F at the factory in 1994, and Peter, Jr., offered no significant discount from what the "Price Guys" in Detroit were asking. It is my opinion that Hirsbrunner, Rudolf Meinl, and Meinl-Weston tubas are in the same league, quality-wise, and that the best horn for your money may come from Germany, not Switzerland.