Posted by Lew on December 31, 2003 at 14:51:17:
In Reply to: Conn - vs. Besson- sousaphone posted by Ulrich Meierhofer on December 31, 2003 at 11:15:34:
I have played Conn, King, Besson, and other sousaphones. I had troubles with intonation on the Bessons that I have played and they just never felt right to me. I would take a Conn or a King over a Besson any day. I currently play an older King BBb sousaphone that I like nearly as much as the 20K I used to own, and it's a lot lighter. I prefer the smaller bore of the King to that on the older Conn 14Ks, but if you like a large bore, the older 14K would be the way to go. You can often find used King's in good condition at auction in the US for less than $1000, so that even with shipping to Europe they shouldn't be too expensive.
When looking at Kings or Conns realize that only the older Conns have the larger bore. More recent Conn 14Ks were exactly the same as the King 2350, with the 0.687" bore rather than the 0.734" bore. UMI (whoever owns them) now only sells them under the King name. If you purchase one make sure to check on the bore measurement to make sure you are getting what you want.