Posted by Joe S. on November 16, 1999 at 01:46:18:
In Reply to: replacing linkage posted by Dave on November 14, 1999 at 00:57:09:
I offer the "hobby shop" stuff for sale as a kit, but I always like for the purchasers of these kits to be "handy" so they will not e-mail me over and over again with questions.
I will say that I don't make much off of the kits that I sell, so I don't "push" them, but the "hobby shop" parts are generally better made, and of better plastic than, say, the current Miraphone grey-colored stuff, as one example. The Miraphone factory grey stuff is prone to cracking, and I have put years of hard, professional use on the "hobby" set on my own rotary tuba and have NOT had to replace any of the "hobby" parts on my instrument - not one...and they are SILENT. There is a pic. of my linkage in an archive from some previous month.
To answer your "honing" question: Yes, if you buy conversion linkage, either from me or someone else, and do a great job of installing it, you will still have rotors with crummy fits and tolerances on the "standard" St. Pete. You do not (I wouldn't think, if you are asking others about it.) have the skills required to make them fit better, and I really don't think they can be improved without a very costly (well over $100 per rotor) "remanufacturing" job which involves nickel plating and refitting. This process, even without its great expense and skill level requirement, is generally undesirable because nickel plating wears through after a few years.
I would recommend just holding on to your coins, saving for a few more months, and getting a "real" tuba. This will save a lot of unnecessary headaches and messing around (sorry, St. Pete fans).
I DO think that a lot of people make poor choices on WHICH "hobby" linkage they choose. If you look at my tuba in the archive, you will see which linkage I have chosen to use. The superior thing about the type that I use is that it is TENSION ADJUSTABLE. (You can adjust how tightly the plastic bears against the brass ball.)
I would also like to say that the stuff tuba manufacturers use is NOT "specially made" for use on tuba linkage. They, also, have just bought linkages that they found manufactured by others that would work, from some other application or for general use.