Posted by Lew on December 25, 2001 at 23:56:26:
In Reply to: tuba vs. sousa posted by Patrick on December 25, 2001 at 21:41:33:
For a fair comparison, I have a Conn 20K sousaphone and a Conn 22J tuba. Both are 3 valve, short action, BBb horns, although the tuba has a larger bore. I find the sousaphone slightly more responsive and to have a "rounder" sound. Intonation is almost identical on them. Both have a flat 3rd partial and the rest of the notes are close enough to be played without any slide pulling, which is a good thing because there's really no way to do it on these. If the sousaphone were a little less inconvenient to hold sitting it would be a good all-around contra-bass for a band. In fact I used my 20K last summer for all of our outdoor concerts. It's just a little too much to use indoors.
I think that the Conn 20K is the best of the currently available production models. The Conn 14K, which is no longer made but can be found used fairly often, is a very similar horn, but with long stroke valves and a little smaller bell. If you can find one, the Conn 40K is one of the best sousaphones made. It is a large bore, 4 valve horn. The old York and King sousaphones come in second in my opinion.