Posted by Rick Denney on February 27, 2003 at 13:42:49:
In Reply to: Re: BBb vs. CC for music major posted by Mark on February 27, 2003 at 11:22:40:
When comparing top-of-the-line BBb's to top-of-the-line CC's, the choices in BBb are indeed more limited. But who says a music-ed major or a recreational player needs a top-of-the-line isntrument? How many music-ed majors are going to spend their own $14,000 for a new HB-21? How many college kids need to spend that kind of money on a tuba?
In the more moderate price ranges, I say that you can often find a better tuba in BBb. I paid $4500 for my BBb Holton. Try to find a wonderful-playing CC Holton in similar condition for less than about $7000, and it would be more in pristine condition. You can get an excellent Miraphone 186 in BBb for under $3000 used, but a CC will cost you another kilobuck at least. There's a big advantage in value for BBb tubas when you are shopping on a tight budget. A King 2341 may not be finished and detailed as well as a Conn 56J, but it plays similarly and costs $3000 less. For that savings, you can have the little things fixed and still have enough money for a good sousaphone to take to TubaChristmas.
But even considering all that, read Lee Stofer's comments about the differences in quality between a Rudy Meinl BBb and a Rudy Meinl CC. There's no difference in quality, and no difference in price, unless the CC has an extra valve. I wonder if a Willson 3100 is significantly different in quality than a 3050. Even with new horns, there is often a price advantage in BBb. A Meinl-Weston Fafner, for example, is by all accounts a world-class tuba, and it is significantly less expensive than their high-end CC tubas. A Miraphone 191 is a top-quality professional tuba.
I agree with all your advice to go play a bunch of horns--I'm just adding some data points that you may not have considered.
Rick "who has enjoyed the BBb price advantage" Denney