Re: Rudy Meinl

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Posted by Christian Klein on July 28, 2002 at 23:19:10:

In Reply to: Rudy Meinl posted by E on July 28, 2002 at 20:50:07:

Before I let my opinions flow...
Note that i've played only one pistion valve Rudolf Meinl instrument and I don't remember anything about it. I am not a pro, I consider myself an amateur, but I've played CC tuba since the age of 15 (i'm currently 26).

I did have the opportunity to play a number of new rudolf meinl instruments at Lee Stofer's in Atlanta recently (a 4/4 model 4345 CC which has the smaller valve set of the 3/4 CC, a 5/4 goldbrass CC, A 5/4 BBb, a 4/4 F, and a two 5/4 Fs). I also have owned a 4/4 RM CC for around 5-6 years.

Good things about Rudolf Meinl tubas:
--intonation is quite good

--the rotor valves are quite light and fast. (I prefer rotors to pistons)

--the sound is quite colorful, significantly more colorful and interesting to me than Meinl Westons, Hirsbrunners, B&S, or Mirafones. (this comment is of course subject to my own tastes)

--the instruments from the 3/4 CC to the 5/4 CC and 4/4 and 5/4 F tubas are all about the same heigth, with the valves in just about the same places. Ergonomically all of them are pretty close to one another. This is definitely not the case with Meinl Weston.

--most of them are delivered with a second valve trigger. On every one i played, the trigger was where I expected it to be, in other words, i really didn't have to change the way i hold the horn to reach it. A second valve gadget has been an option on Rudolf Meinl tubas for quite some time. If one is going to move a slide while playing, it makes more sense to me to move the second valve slide since it affects significantly more notes than the first valve slide does. (Do the math, it's easy!)

--They aren't as tall as many other german instruments. The bell is tall enough to be out of the way of my line of sight (important to me, because i can't see out of my right eye very well), but short enough for me to be able to hear myself quite well. I used to get headaches when i owned a Cerveny piggy and having the bell so close to my head really bothered me.

--I can feel them resonate in my lap and arms significantly moreso than other instruments. I like this feedback from the horn. The gold brass (or red brass or rose brass or whatever you wanna call it) versions seem to resonate a bit more than yellow brass.

--all the new ones that i've seen have nickel silver valve slides and unibal linkage.

--I have never played what i would consider a bad Rudolf Meinl tuba (i think i've played around 25 Rudy tubas in my life).

--They are handmade. I consider this a plus.

--The 4345 CC is the nicest 4/4 CC tuba i've ever played. If I were currently in the market for a CC tuba, the one at Lee Stofer's would no longer be available ;-).

--I really really like the 3/4 CC, it's perhaps a bit smaller than a Mirafone 186 but larger than a 185, a superb all-around instrument.

Not so good things about Rudolf Meinl tubas:
--all of the CC tubas i've played and remembered to check have a 6th partial g that is sharp. the good thing about this is the f# and f below this sharp note are oddly not sharp like one would expect. On my instrument, every note below the 4th space g all the way down is fine. My "cash register" requires no special effort on my part. On the 3/4 and 5/4 CC tubas i've played, this g was the only note that was really out. That's waaaaaaay better than any hirsbrunner CC.

-- _MY_ 4/4 CC tuba also has a sharp 8th partial (c above the staff). This is not too difficult to circumvent. I understand that this is not uncommon amoung other 4/4 rudy players. Never heard of or experienced this note being 'out' on the 3/4,5/4, or 4345. I think (but don't know for a fact) that new RM 4/4 CCs do not have this problem.

--I don't like where the 3rd valve slide is. Since I like to squirt valve oil down each of the valve slides before playing, It's awkward for me to get the third valve slide out and in. The addition of a ring to this slide would fix the problem. (this is a VERY minor thing)

--The 5/4 CC takes a LOT of air to play.

--Rudy tubas seem to work better with a bowl shaped mouthpiece instead of a funnel shaped one (i don't consider this a bad thing, but the good list was sooooooooo long).

Miscellaneous comments:
--The 4345 CC is the nicest 4/4 CC tuba I've ever played. If I were currently in the market for a CC tuba, this would be the one.
--the 5/4 CC is as large as any 6/4 horn out there. It's a bit too large an instrument for me personally, but many pros use these. I think I could be happy with one if the valves were smaller bore. It does have a wonderful sound. I didn't want to put it down.
--The F tubas are also wonderful instruments, but i'm guessing that you are primarily looking at CC instruments so i didn't mention them much at all.
--As far as Hirsbrunners go, the only ones i've ever liked were the rotor CCs. The piston ones with the loop in the leadpipe were better than the piston ones without it.
--The MW 2145 is a nice horn. Never played a piston 2155 or 2000. The rotor 2155 played quite well but was an ergonmic nightmare.
--The B&S PT-6 is a nice instrument, the 4/4 B&S CC instruments don't have sounds that i find particularly appealing IMHO.
--I have never played a Willson tuba long enough to have an opinion about them, but i hear they are quite nice. two of my former teachers are now playing these.

Why don't you contact Lee Stofer ? Lee's the Rudy Man! He often posts messages to this board. His email address shouldn't be too hard to find if you look down the board.


Christian Klein

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