Posted by Rick Denney on July 30, 2002 at 14:59:12:
In Reply to: Re: What's the best? posted by Tim on July 30, 2002 at 14:18:10:
I wonder if Hirsbrunner is used as the standard by which others are measured because of quality (however that is defined) or simply because they are the most expensive tubas that are generally available?
There are several ways in which a product can become a standard of comparison. One is to be the best. I'm sure many would argue that Hirsbrunners are the best. But a good case is made by others who prefer different instruments. Another way to become a standard of comparison is to be the most expensive (Hirsbrunner?). Yet a third way is to be so ubiquitous that it is a standard everyone understands. So many people of my generation have played Miraphones, that I can use them as the starting point for describing other tubas and get good understanding. That doesn't make the Miraphone the best, except as the basis for comparison.
There are so many great tubas out there today that we don't have to distill it down to the "best." I'd suggest limiting it to "one of the best." With that as a standard, many horns could be listed.
Magazine reviews often purport to offer buying advice using reviews, and they do to some extent. But I've been bamboozled by those reviews and I now believe many of them are conducted from pictures instead of actual examples. Frequently, the ad of the "Editor's Choice" is right next to the article (the manufacturers pay extra for this placement, by the way). Why do people read these reports? Mostly it is to either 1.) justify a buying decision they have already made, 2.) use the agreement of the reviewers as a reason to be haughty with their peers who chose less well, or 3.) use the disagreement of the reviewers as a reason to show why they are too smart to be sucked in by magazine reviews. I wonder if this thread is not rooted in one of these three motivations.
Rick "who has bragged enough about equipment to know how easy it is to feed that pride" Denney