Posted by Rob P-M on July 23, 2003 at 05:55:18:
In Reply to: Re: Sousa pads,R&S Helleberg II, misc.drivel posted by Jeff Hicks on July 22, 2003 at 13:12:53:
If it's a 'real' King 1250/2350 (that is the same HN White design used since the late '20s- I hear new Kings are like Jupiters, but I haven't seen one), you should really try a King 26, or equivalent. That mouthpiece was original equipment on Kings for more than 50 years and was designed for the horn. The Hellebergs you see today were mostly derivative of one of Conn's Helleberg designs. Those were designed for Conn basses, which had a larger bore than the King (.734 vs. .687). I don't particularly like the King 26 for my own playing, but I almost never play a King sousaphone -- I play a Conn 20K. For that I use a Conn 2, a cushioned rim version of the Helleberg 7B.
As to sousaphone pads, I can't help. I've never used them much, and didn't think they helped when I did. (I suppose the bottom pads are useful to protect the horn. Some people in high school and college I knew put cotton, wool or foam (ensolite) pads on their shoulders under their uniform jackets with fair results. I think the best thing is the metal pad on the Conn 20K/38K, with or without other padding. The function of the pad seems to me less to cushion than to distributed the weight over a broader area. Only a pad that distributes the weight from the round branch to a flat(er) surface before it hits your shoulder will do that.