Posted by Jay Bertolet on January 31, 2000 at 23:32:26:
In Reply to: Miscellaneous Questions posted by MG on January 31, 2000 at 22:59:47:
Okay, to answer your questions in order:
You won't find many candidates in BBb, let alone your price range. However, one of the most popular BBb instruments available these days is the VMI 3302 which does have 5 valves and is well under your price range. The models made by Willson and Rudolph Meinl are priced well over your budget but are very good instruments if you can afford them. Since having a horn you personally like is so important, why not consider getting whatever horn you like the best and then, if it doesn't come with 5 valves, have one added. This operation is alot simpler than it may sound and, in my experiences, the added valve doesn't change or hurt the instrument at all. Going this route would allow you to buy a used horn and really save more money.
I would only buy a gig bag that fit the horn you will use it with. If the case is larger than the instrument, the tuba will roll around in it and maybe unbalance it enough for you to lose your grip on it while carrying it. In any event, you want the padding that is built into a gig bag to be in the strategic places it is designed for. That means having the bag fitted to the particular horn you're going to use it with. I would tough it out until you get your tuba.
I tried out the R&S adjustable mute and I didn't like it at all. Mutes are very "horn specific" so you might want to try it on whatever tuba you buy before you write it off. For my money, the Humes & Berg Symphonic models are the best mutes going. You might try one of those too.