Posted by Rick Denney on June 28, 2002 at 13:07:33:
In Reply to: What F?? posted by Zach on June 28, 2002 at 07:43:11:
Seniors in high school buying F tubas--what is the world coming to?
Meaning of above: You can do all the things on your list with your PT-4, and it is as lyrical as you are.
But, to answer your question, the F tubas I've played recently that I liked the most were the Yamaha 621 (I own one), a Miraphone 181, and a Willson 3400. That should give you a range of sizes. I may look into the Miraphone next year, but only after I get a chance to try the new Conn when it comes out. The Yamaha 822 has many of the same good points as these, but for me it just isn't as much fun to play.
Disclaimer: I want an F tuba that goes where I point it with greatest ease, gets a good sound with my favorite larger mouthpieces, and doesn't require a lot of coaxing to make the low register work. I want one that sounds like it feels, and I'm used to the feel of a contrabass.
If you want an instrument that gets that ethereal, smooth, resonant, (okay, I'll say it) German F tuba sound, the Miraphone and the Willson both do, but not to the extent of the classic, like the B&S Symphonie and the Alexander. These don't feel like they sound, and you really have to bring a lot of confidence and experience to them to get the most out of them (more than what I have, anyway). Tubas to try in that category are the B&S, and the similarish VMI Culbertson Apollo. Good compromise tubas include the Meinl-Weston 45SLP (haven't tried the SLZ yet, so I won't comment). If you want something tiny--even smaller than the Yamaha 621--try the Meinl-Weston 182.
All of these can produce the results if you can.
Rick "who has tried two of the Miraphones and loved them both" Denney