Posted by WK on June 28, 2003 at 07:45:24:
In Reply to: The St. Petersburg 202 posted by Lauren on June 27, 2003 at 21:09:09:
Since nobody else has mentioned this: Talk to your prospective tuba professor first.
When it comes to St. Petersburg tubas, the general trend amongs those who have never actually played one is to bash the horn. I played a 201N for 3 years. They're okay horns. A used Miraphone will be a better deal than a new St. Pete, but if you can find a used St. Pete (generally $1500-2000), you probably won't find a better bargain. The biggest caveat, I'd say, is that they don't take care of themselves.. but if you're a half way responsible adult wanting to play a decent horn without shelling out a lot of cash, the St. Pete is a great value.
As far as advice re: VMI tubas- VMI tubas about the same quality as St. Pete's when it comes to playing characteristics (in my opinion, the St. Pete is a notch or two higher), but the crafstsmanship and build quality on the VMIs will be slightly higher. Slightly.
Just go play one. St. Petes are probably one of the most fun inexpensive horns on the market to play. Better intonation than some horns costing 6 times as much(not kidding), and easiest low register of any horn I've owned(I had one from 97-2000). Best of luck!