Posted by Steve Dedman on January 30, 2001 at 18:07:44:
We've had the big "What if..." conversation about the Holy York and Mr. Jacobs' contribution to its fame. I have a little different question.
I have read (here, I believe) that the composition of the brass alloy comprising the CSO Yorks is different from the combination currently used. At some point, there was a conversation relating that the Yorks have a higher copper content than "modern" tubas. Mr. Pokorny refers to the Yorks as "fragile", and since copper is a fairly soft metal, that would make sense. I have also heard that instruments with a higher copper content also tend to be darker in tone than their less Lincoln-esque counterparts. I also have listened to two different pipe organs recently. One had copper pipes, and the other looked like (?)stainless steel(?). The "stainless steel" organ was very good, but the quality was more in-your-face than the more enveloping sound of the copper organ.
Given that most everyone seems to be in agreement as to the quality of the CSO Yorks, why hasn't an enterprising tuba manufacturer tried copying not only the design, but also the make-up of the brass alloy used in those horns? Seems like a logical next step.
Steve "Rick-dust off your slide-rule" Dedman