BBb Bass

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Despot, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. Despot

    Despot Member

    Hi All,

    Can anyone recommend a BBb Bass? Considering getting one in the future, but it's not the thing you want to replace too often so hoping to get it right first time!

    Any make, new or secondhand! (Primarily looking for an instrument for our senior band, but we have a junior band and adult beginner band, so thoughts on all models welcome.)

    Also is there any model out there that is worth grabbing if we see second hand, maybe even get reconditioned? One of our current instruments is a round badge sov BBb that's actually quite good, and we'll be keeping!
     
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  3. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    The Besson Soveriegn 994 Model is a nice playing instrument .
    I have played a Yamaha ( old type with 4 valves on top ) , and various besson tuba's ( not keen on the 700 non compensating ).
    Really depends on what you are using it for. Is it in a section or solo work? blending with other instruments is also a factor , what do the other members of your team use? I think price is definitly another factor , not many players / bands have 6 -8,000 to spend on a brand spanking new rotary ( which has a lot more problems in understanding the instrument , also future repair costs) Bb
    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  4. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    The early Sovereigns are far superior to the later (994 on) models IMHO, especially the "concert" (on your lap, not chair, models). They are easier to hold, better in tune and have a better projected sound, although I have to admit are not as free blowing as the new ones that seem to be designed for maximum volume, but unfortunately not tuning or agility (made to make average players sound huge!).
    I've played all the models in various bands, but always end up using my own 25 year old 992 on contests and big concerts. I also play it in a 10 piece ensemble, big band and orchestras as it is quite a versatile model.
    I think the latest, squat and squashed version, is the most unweildy and out of tune BBb I've played, although I have only played 4 of them.

    Unfortunately, the best BBb tubas are Hirsbrunner, Miraphone etc, but they don't seem to be favoured in the brass band fraternity for some reason :-(

    In short, get an older Sovereign and have it reconditioned!
     
  5. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I'm probably in the minority here, but I heartily recommend a Courtois as supplied by Fred Rhodes.

    It is Eb shaped, and so has the following advantages:

    You can get it in the boot of a small car in its hard case
    A small learner who can play an Eb can also be encouraged to play the Bb
    It is marginally heavier than all the other tubas I've played and has a wonderful resonance as a result.
    It dings less easily as well.

    About the only disadvantage I can think of is that my one is totally in tune with concert pitch and so may not tune too well with a band that is routinely flat.

    Give Glyn or Jonathan a call.
     
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I'm probably in the minority here, but I heartily recommend a Courtois as supplied by Fred Rhodes.

    It is Eb shaped, and so has the following advantages:

    You can get it in the boot of a small car in its hard case
    A small learner who can play an Eb can also be encouraged to play the Bb

    In addition

    It is marginally heavier than all the other tubas I've played and has a wonderful resonance as a result.
    It gets dings less as well.

    About the only disadvantage I can think of is that my one is totally in tune with concert pitch and so may not tune too well with a band that is routinely flat.

    Give Glyn or Jonathan a call.
     

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