Posted by Rick Denney on July 28, 2002 at 22:18:28:
In Reply to: Re: Why cut a BBb to a CC? posted by BBb'ist on July 28, 2002 at 22:03:13:
Good one, Klaus.
But I don't think most CC cut jobs these days are catering to the CC mafia. I think they are being done by technicians who want to broaden their market and use the best currently available parts.
A typical modern conversion starts with a BBb carcass that probably has three front valves that are worn out or more likely top-action valves. The first thing they do is discard the valve body, and go buy a new one from Meinl-Weston or Nirschl. Next, they put a bell from a shorter tuba on it, like, say, the bell from an Eb. They might have even started with a high-pitch horn from antiquity. So, they are already sharp and their valve branches are already the right length for a C. It's nearly as easy to retaper it to C as it is to make a first-quality BBb tuba, and they will have ten potential CC buyers at the $8000 and up price point for every one BBb buyer at the $5000 price point. It's just a good business decision. Rarely do they seem to start with a perfect BBb, although it does happen.
Even Joe, in his YM project, used a shorter bell that made it about a B-natural tuba. Going to C is no harder than going back to Bb, considering that it would all have to be overhauled anyay. The availability of really wonderful-sounding bells in sufficient lengths for most BBb tubas seems to be quite limited, or so is my guess.
Rick "who thinks this doesn't explain it all, but it covers some of it" Denney