Posted by Lee Stofer on May 30, 2003 at 07:53:47:
In Reply to: The Best Sousaphone is......? posted by Jack Kinsella on May 28, 2003 at 13:30:39:
Antique sousaphones are wonderful, but the gentleman asked about what sousaphones to purchase for a school band.
If you must purchase new instruments, then I'd strongly suggest purchasing Conn 20K sousaphones. There will be a wait to get them, particulary since the Eastlake factory was recently on strike, but they will be worth the wait and expense. the instruments, when received, may or may not be ready-to-play. I'd suggest having a good local repair tech give the instruments a good going-over before they go into service. No string player would play a new instrument without having it shop-adjusted - same idea.
The Conns do weigh a little more than King sousaphones, but are of a more substantial design which will require fewer repairs. If you have a real tendency to have smaller students, then you might want to opt for the Kings. I do not think there is a waiting list for them. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that the present-day Kings are Jupiters, for the two instruments have parts so identical that they are interchangeable. Furthermore, I recently received some King sousaphone parts in a Jupiter box, shipped from Austin, TX (Jupiter USA headquarters). If you go with a "King", check to see how the price compares with the Jupiter. I may be wrong, but I think that the Conn 20K may be the only American sousaphone available any more.