Posted by Goran Krmac on May 29, 2003 at 15:22:17:
In Reply to: Re: Re: helicons vs. sousaphone? posted by Volker on May 29, 2003 at 08:19:50:
As far as I know, Cerveny does not manufacture the BBb Kaiser Helicon anymore, and here is one of the reasons. During the manufacturing process, the (still straight) tubes are filled with lead and then bent into the desired shape. For the instrument in question, one of the lead-filled tubes weighs around 150 kg, and that's a bit too much for ordinary men to handle. (At least that's what Cerveny's director told us on a meeting.)
Mr. Igor Krivokapic, a tuba master from Slovenia (that's where I'm from, too!) was lucky to stumble upon one of those helicons. He had it restored at the factory in Hradec Kralove - they disassembled it, installed a new valve mechanism, nickel-plated the inside of the tubes, polished and lacquered it - and when I saw it I couldn't believe the instrument is more than 60 years old! Now it looks as good as new, and its sound can easily fill an entire concert hall.
As I said, sadly these instruments probably won't be manufactured at Cerveny anymore. There may be a chance that some other factory will manufacture it (if Cerveny give them the blueprints). I'll post any news I hear.