Posted by Mike on June 20, 1999 at 17:47:43:
I'm not sure what credibility an occassional poster who actually likes his three-valve Whaley Royce can claim, but let me suggest the following with regard to the numerous "what tuba should I buy" questions posted here.
For most instruments, I have been able to find a published article somewhere talking about the state of the market for that instrument. Usually written by someone in the repair field (they see the biggest variety of horns, normally at their worst), such articles can typically take the form:
1. Student Horns: What the limitations are (intonation, "stuffyness"...), how long it usually takes to outgrow them, what typical price ranges one sees, which brands are usually manufactured to at least a minimum mechanical quality, and so on.
2. Mid Priced horns: (say $3000 - $5000 US ?) Who's Who, where the horns are made, which are known for consistentcy, which may be inconsistent, but are known for being very good when they're good, which to stay away from.
3. Top of The Line: What are the legends in the industry and why.
I say this because, for someone like myself who has been away from tubas for about 20 years and only ever did play 5 horns in my life (3 of which came from one company), any attempt to start a search for a new horn is pretty intimidating. Who knows, a student may be encouraged to try some horns he/she otherwise wouldn't, or may even be able to better protect himself/herself from the unscupulous.
I apologize for the length of this post, and if such articles or pages exist feel free to point me in that direction. Otherwise, please consider this the identification of an open opportunity I meant it to be.