Posted by Jay Bertolet on March 30, 2001 at 00:17:20:
In Reply to: E - flat tubas posted by Bob Anthony on March 29, 2001 at 18:34:27:
First of all, search the archives of this BBS to find many discussions of Eb tubas and a plethora of opinions as to which one is best for what. To answer your questions:
#1) I like many Eb tubas because they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I personally own three Eb tubas, one Willson, one Cervany, and one antique. The Willson is an incredible tuba with a very wide range of applications. The Cervany is a very nice tuba for situations when I need a smaller Eb sound. It plays very much like an F tuba. You should like whatever Eb tuba works for you and you'll only find that out by trying them yourself.
#2) In my opinion, a 5th valve on an Eb is a must! I'm not a big fan of compensating instruments and the best setup I have for in tune, characteristic sounding low notes is with a 5 valve Eb. I never feel like I have to lip notes in tune when I have all the alternate fingerings available with 5 valves. This option is especially important if you intend to use your Eb for many things. If you only intend on using your Eb to play higher stuff, the 5th valve becomes less of an issue.
#3) Absolutely! The Willson Eb is far and away the best Eb tuba I've ever played and I have over 20 years experience playing Eb. It's combination of sound, intonation, ergonomics, and quality construction are the best I've ever seen in an Eb. Over the past month, the orchestra I play with has done a number of concerts and they were basically from three different programs. One was the Berlioz Symphony Fantastique. Another was the Mendelssohn Middsummersnight's Dream and Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. The third was the Puccini opera Tosca. These are some very diverse programs and I used the Willson Eb on all these performances. It worked superbly in each instance. I've never played any other Eb tuba that could cover that much repertoire comfortably and give me the sounds I wanted. I say the Willson is absolutely the best Eb around and worth every penny.
#4) You need to take a trip to the Brasswind in South Bend, Indiana. Mike Russo will fix you up right and he's got many of the best Eb tubas in stock for you to try. It's not that far of a drive from Missouri and you won't find a larger selection of Eb tubas anywhere else that I know of.
Best of luck to you and good hunting!
My opinion for what it's worth...