Posted by Anon on November 18, 1999 at 08:41:32:
First off, I apologize for the anonimity, I am seeking advice that is not biased by who I am or the type of instrument that I play.
The Problem: I purchased a very nice shiny new tuba a little over a year ago and have been extremely pleased with it during that time. Recently, during an extended period of rests in an orchestra rehearsal, I looked down and noticed that my bell is no longer attached at the top of the collar that goes over the connection between the bell and the bottom bow. In effect, the bell is held in place by my lead pipe and one small brace. Now that I look back on things I remember hearing 'popping' noises from this area of the horn when I bought it but I assumed that the horn was just 'settling' and it went away on its own. I now think that that joint was already on its way out when I purchased the horn. The horn still plays great and I am still very pleased with my purchase. However, it has been suggested to me that when I call up my place of purchase that I request that I have the horn completely dismantled and put together correctly to make certain there isn't undue tension being created in other places on my horn.
Although I am pleased with the horn there are a few notes that stick out in terms of response and I'm curiuos to hear from those on this BBS that have an understanding of these matters how much I should expect/request from the place that I purchased this horn. My currest thinking is that if the horn were completely dismantled and put back together it could only improve my horn. It would be an opportunity to remove the occasional minor dents and solder blobs as well as improve the fit of all the parts. The downside is that it would be very unlikely that they would resilver plate the instrument. This doesn't actually bother me that much since I don't plan on selling it. On the other hand, if I were the seller I would just want to fix the bunk joint and send me on my way. In which case I would definately insist upon having that area resilverplated to like new condition.
Any and all advice and what to say when I call up this place of business will be greatly appreciated.