Posted by David on December 29, 2001 at 13:48:31:
In Reply to: Normal High School Tuba posted by Matthew on December 28, 2001 at 23:42:48:
There is no "normal" instrument for a high school to own. I repair for a large number of schools and the instruments in use are Mirafone, Meinl Weston, Cerveny, Yamaha, King, Conn, Jupiter and a few other brands. The King is the sturdiest, the Mirafone the easiest to repair.
Every player on this list has an opinion as to the "best" horn that ever was. Most directors look at horns with an eye towards the $$$, and then hope it holds up well in the classroom.
You can see that the way we look at the picture is different. Put yourself in the directors shoes. You want the best horn for the lowest amount of money possible - stretching the budget. Another factor for the director is the recommendation of "his/her" repair guy. If the person has experience with Yamaha, Mirafone, Conn, King, or has no experience with a particular brand and doesn't like the brand mentioned, he doesn't recommend it (get the picture?). Another method is the recommendation of the local music store, in case the director is lucky enough to not have to get 3 bids, and of course that means the brand the local store sells.
When a director goes to a music convention, he gets the hard sell - mine is better than theirs - at every booth. All the horns look great and some even play that way. With so much noise and a bad room to play in, not even the finest players can pick out a winner.
So how do directors make a choice? Ask all of the directors on this list to tell you. You'll get a variety of answers, but the most common I encounter is this: Look at as many as possible at the convention; get the catalogs so can look at the pictures later; get quotes from at least 3 vendors; take the lowest quote on the instrument chosen.
I know you didn't ask for this much detail, but just wanted you to see a bigger picture.