Posted by Kelly O'Bryant on September 28, 1999 at 09:53:00:
In Reply to: Vintage Hirsbrunner horns? posted by Tim on September 28, 1999 at 00:51:13:
I had one of the original HB-1 CC tubas - 4 rotary valves. It was made in the
early 70's. It didn't even have a serial number - someone had scratched one in
it later on for their use, but it wasn't a number from the factory. At the
1992 ITEC in Lexington, Kentucky, I showed it to Peter Hirsbrunner, Sr., and
he told me it was one of the first prototypes, and was a little sentimental
when he saw it ;-)
That horn had one of the finest examples of "warm, rich, dark, resonant" sound
in the world. I won my first professional gig on it. At that point, it was 20
to 25 years old, and the valves were pretty much crap, so I sold it. Youthful
In terms of sound and craftmanship, it was far superior to any Hirshys I've
played as of the last couple of years. Technically speaking (valves, etc.), it
didn't nearly stack up to the modern Hirshys, but man, what a sound.
There were definitely certain characteristics about it that would make one
say "they don't make 'em like they used to".
As far as differences between the old and new Hirshys, I can't really say.
With the exception of 10 minutes here and there, I haven't been behind a
Hirshy in about 6 years. The ones I've honked on have been very, very fine
horns, but I don't recall any of them having the "voice" that my old HB-1
had. But again, I'm not one to really say, as my time with Hirshys the last
6 years has been very limited.