Posted by Jay Bertolet on October 01, 2001 at 13:17:45:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: BBb vs. CC (C) - not the usual debate posted by Rick Denney on October 01, 2001 at 11:49:47:
On a trip to Custom Music many years ago, I tried the then new Kurath F tuba. This is the basic design that became the Willson F and Eb tubas. It was among the first F tubas I ever played that I actually liked. Of course, I really didn't like the price tag so I never owned one. However, my recollection (clouded by many intervening years) is that the two horns (the Kurath F and the Willson Eb) played VERY similarly. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, as I put the Kurath that I tried down, there was no appreciable difference between this horn and my Boosey Sovereign except about $10,000. Please remember that I am an Eb player and so my standards for a good bass tuba derive from the playing characteristics of the Eb. The Kurath, as well as the Yamaha 621 and 822, were the first F tubas I ever played that felt to me like the Eb tubas I had played. The only advantage I could see to the Kurath design was the fact that all the valves were on one hand (you all know my disdain for the compensating system and, especially, the 3+1 valve configuration). I hardly felt the extra $10,000 was warranted for this feature, especially since it would also require me to learn F tuba fingerings. Of course, that was before I discovered that I really couldn't play as technically on a 3+1 setup and it became inevitable that I would eventually switch to a setup with all the valves on one hand. When that Kurath design first came out in Eb (as a Willson), I was first in line to try one because, by then, I had sufficiently confirmed my inability to make the 3+1 setup work for me. After playing two of the early Willson Eb's, I promptly called Bob Rusk and consulted with him on ways to cut my Boosey into a 4 piston + 1 rotor front action, non-compensating Eb. Thankfully, Willson came out with the improved version of the Eb before I could make any cuts to my Boosey.
My opinion for what it's worth...