Posted by Sean Chisham on May 12, 1999 at 16:18:38:
In Reply to: For The Good Of The Order posted by Ellis on May 12, 1999 at 15:34:16:
I am not sure I agree with the point of passing up an instrument which costs more simply because it costs more. One year ago I purchased a Besson 983 Eb . I believe the 983 to be a great instrument, but I have always been a huge fan of the B&S F tuba sound. Even though the B&S F was a better instrument for me I chose the Boosey because it was $4500 as opposed to $7000 for a B&S PT-15. I didn't believe that that small percentage of sound difference and ease of playability could justify the extra 50% or so in price. Well, after an entire year of still wanting that B&S sound I sold the Besson and bought a PT-15. I am soooo much more satisfied with this instrument for me that I almost feel foolish for having tried to cut corners and save money in the first place.
Due to the incredible prices of tubas, in comparison to other brass instruments, the purchase should hopefully be one to last a lifetime. If not a lifetime, then at least 10-20 years. I cannot imagine owning an instrument for 10+ years which was not exactly what I wanted.
I have done some fishing before and would be just as capable with a canepole and a worm as I would with fancy lures and a boat, but that is because I am by no means a professional angler or have any hopes of being one. I can afford to save the cost of a boat and lures and sonar when fishing.
If you plan to play professionally then it is certainly possible to succeed with equipment which has more "problems" then other equipment may. Again, why would you want to use such equipment for something as challenging and important as your career?
Some people seem to do well with horns like Cerveny, Miraphone, and Kalison. At the elite level, though, those instruments are rarelly used. Why? I believe it is because professionals, in any field, tend to use equipment which makes their jobs easier and people become accustommed to certain sound qualities from these instruments. That is why trumpeters mostly use Bachs, a great deal of horn players use Conn 8D's, and American euphoniumists don't play miraphone euphoniums that often.
Again, there are exceptions to the rules. People DO play Miraphones professionally. People DO play Cervenys professionally. People DO play Kalisons professionally. No instrument is generally bad or "worse" than another. Instruments fit people and situations.
People don't usually purchase $17000 Yorkbrunners and $15000 Nirschls simply because more expense makes them feel more confident. People usually lay down that kind of money because the instrument was a little bit better than the "next best" which may have been 50% cheaper.