Posted by Lee Stofer on November 01, 2003 at 09:22:58:
In Reply to: Rudy Meinl 6/4 BBb --any players? posted by Matt in Oakland on October 30, 2003 at 23:17:53:
I have played several of them in visits to the factory between 1986 and 2001. To clear up any possible confusion, the "Grosse Kaiser Tuba in B", or large kaiser tuba in BBb, is larger than the so-called 5/4 BBb and CC tubas that have been imported to the US. It makes the 6/4 York tubas look slim and athletic by comparison. It is one massive tuba - when I played one at the Frankfurt Musik Messe in 1995, a fellow Army Bandsman and instrument repair tech (a trumpet player) looked at it and exclaimed that this instrument would have its own Zip Code in the US.
People stood back a ways as I rotated this leviathan on to my lap. I looked up and marvelled at the huge throat and 22" bell above me. I was rather tentative at first, just trying to figure out how to approach playing the instrument. However, in just a very few moments, I was comfortably playing the instrument. I was impressed by how quickly it started seeming, well, normal to play a horn this size. But, after all, it was a Rudolf Meinl, and the valves were smooth and sure, and the response and intonation were great, once I got the feel of the instrument. The primary difference between this instrument and mere mortal tubas is in the sound, which is the absolute largest, darkest sound available.