Posted by Joe S. on June 28, 1999 at 21:43:56:
In Reply to: buying horns for high schools posted by Dave Zerkel on June 25, 1999 at 14:16:40:
This suggestion is NOT for your fine young group of tuba players to own for themselves, but strictly for SCHOOL purchases, as you specified:
I really like the old "standard" 4/4 size Conn 14K metal sousaphones (NOT the oversized "short-action" model). I think they sound fantastic, have really decent intonation, amazing projection, and are flexible enough and have good enough "false tones" that they are FINE with their three valves.
[Right now, I can already hear dozens of readers sighing, "aaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" in disgust.]
A set of these could be used by a high school band for concert use AND for marching performances <(only). To compliment these instruments, a duplicate set of fiberglass 36K (same inside dimensions as brass 14K) Conn sousaphones could be used for marching PRACTICE, home practice, and the "freshman" band. I DO have a schoolmate who was judged first in the state twice with a 36K FIBERGLASS, and auditioned for (and was accepted into) "Pershing's Own" (D.C. Army Band) auditioning on the same fiberglass 36K instrument, and at the end of his twelth grade year during 'Nam in the '70's. Although he "beat out" legions on his 36K, I can only imagine how he would have sounded on a 14K brass version of the same instrument.
I realize that neither the 14K nor the 36K are in current production, but there are overhaul shops vigorously turning these instruments out across the U.S. I really think that if the 14K had been built in the shape of a tuba, rather than in the shape of a sousaphone, it would have been the most popular 4/4 BBb instrument of all time.
Please do not read into this an advocacy of just ANY metal or fiberglass sousas for high school ownership...just specifically the Conn 14K and 36K models of Elkhart, Indiana production.