Posted by K on December 31, 2003 at 14:33:55:
In Reply to: Re: Conn - vs. Besson- sousaphone posted by bloke on December 31, 2003 at 11:42:46:
I will not disagree with Joe. The 14K will be much easier on your back than the 20K, not to speak of the 40K.
The European market in used sousaphones however is much, much smaller than the US one.
My Eb 26K was imported by a dealer, who used it and similar instruments to keep his workshop active through slow periods. I imported my 40K privately from from a workshop in Wichita - Kansas.
Right now the $ is cheap compared to European currencies, so you might import an instrument privately. But you should start with making yourself aware of shipping costs and import duties. In my country the duties are calculated from the combined costs of instrument and shipping. And the shipper will not be allowed to hand out the instrument before you pay the duties.
I wouldn't be afraid of buying an instrument from Joe, when it comes to the quality of his overhauls. However he in all of his postings generally recommends lighter equipment, than I would have done. That is no fault of his, it just tells, that he can make more sound out of these smaller instruments, than some others can. And then he is the one who still can walk.
And I am sure, that if you want him to sell you a 20K or its older sibling with long stroke pistons (38K?), then he will do so, if he can get one for you.
Again: private import is very well possible, if one investigates thoroughly in advance. If you lean towards buying in Europe, then the eBay auction in Germany has the widest selection followed by those of the UK and France.