Re: Re: Flogging a dead horse...

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Posted by Rick Denney on February 13, 2003 at 14:35:41:

In Reply to: Re: Flogging a dead horse... posted by Jim on February 13, 2003 at 00:23:40:

Jim, you and I may be the only ones reading this far down on the list.

I suspect that we see more C tubas being offered for sale because that is the instrument used by college tuba players. These are the players who buy and sell instruments, looking for an edge in professional auditions and the like. Kids with no professional aspirations tend to keep their horns, and so do adults.

The other reason is that the online forums tend to attract those who play seriously, and thus might draw a higher percentage of C tuba players who converted to C in college. I suspect most folks who happily play Bb tubas in community bands are nearly as rabid on the subject as I am, and don't spend so much time on these forums.

I would bet that the vast majority of tuba players use BBb instruments, and tend to keep what they buy to a greater extent. And if they do sell them, they put them up on ebay, because the price points of BBb tubas is more in line with what the market on ebay will bear reliably. The CC tubas seem more apt to be offered directly, or through a dealer (or should that be "broker").

So, it goes like this: Amateur Joe buys a BBb Miraphone in high school, stops playing to have more time for chasing girls in college, and picks it up again to escape from the kids after a few years of the Real World, heh, heh. He may have sold his Miraphone, and will lament at how much it costs him to replace it. So, with this scenario, you have a maximum lifetime sale rate of perhaps one.

Or, Pro-Wannabe Fred buys (with his parents' money) a Miraphone CC in high school, plays it until his sophomore year in college, sells it to buy a Kalison DS (because it is bigger and still affordable), plays it until he goes to grad school, sells it because it has lousy intonation, and buys a PT-6, which he plays until he is on the audition circuit, where he can't win a job, so he sells the PT-6 to get a Yorkbrunner to get a BAT edge, which doesn't help him win an audition, so he sells the Yorkbrunner to help pay off student loans and buys a Miraphone or a Conn for freelancing. By the time he's 25, he's sold four tubas, not including the two F's that followed a similar track but lagged behind by a couple of years.

There are amateurs like me who are buying and selling tubas constantly (mostly buying--it took me until age 44 to sell four tubas), just as there are pros who buy and sell tubas continuously in a constant search for the one that really does it for them. And there are amateurs who didn't own their own tuba until adulthood, and sell the first horn they buy after starting up again after a year or two to get the one they really wanted and wouldn't pay for the first time. Again, their lifetime sales volume is perhaps one tuba.

If you go to the Army or ITEC conferences, you'll see mostly C tubas, because you'll see pro, pro-trained, and pro-wannabe tuba players there with a few exceptions. But if you go to the education shows, like TMEA or MENC, you'll see mostly Bb tubas intended for the school market.

Rick "enjoying another slow day in engineering-land" Denney

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