For Sale - 4v Imperial BBb, 17" Bell, with case

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by AndyCat, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    I'm selling my personally owned 4v Boosey and Hawkes Imperial BBb Tuba.

    It's in good condition, plays well in tune. I've had a modern mouthpiece receiver fitted, so it takes all "normal" mouthpieces, and it comes with a wheeled case, also in fair condition.

    I'm based in Preston, and am off work for 6 weeks now, so can people can come and try it if they want!

    I've played this instrument with lots of groups including Fodens, Faireys, Freckleton, Mount Charles, Intrada Brass and even Belshazzers Feast with a Symphony Orchestra!

    Loads of photos at

    I'm asking £1200 ovno including the case. PM here or ring/text 07957 477383.
  2. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    SOLD thanks!
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear it's sold, Andy. Could you satisfy my curiosity about the blow of it? I once tried an Imperial euph that had had a large leadpipe attached, and thought it had a superior response to Sovereigns - more even, and more consistently in tune over the range - and the bigger leadpipe meant it wasn't as stuffy as other Imperials.

    Does the same improvement hold true for this BBb modification?
  4. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Yes. A small, but noticeable, difference. Also opens up a much wider choice of mouthpieces, that made picking one that suited it a much easier job! Sad to see it go, but the new Yamaha means I can get rid of all my tubas, as it's a great compromise for all situations.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Never played an imperial BB, but I had a mid-70s new standard Eb with a wide bore leadpipe on it once, and I'd stack that up against a modern sov Eb anyday. Much nicer response and much sweeter tone. A lot less woolly sound than one that's wide-bore all the way round. If the BB was similar to that, I can see why you were reluctant to let it go.

    Only problem I had was that mine had metal valve-guides that clattered like a sack of old iron in the fast stuff.....
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Thanks And{y/i}s, that was exactly what I was hoping to hear.

    Strikes me that there's money waiting to be made by someone reverse-engineering the old Imperial designs for the bigger brass and sticking a modern leadpipe on them - or just buying up old Imperials and selling them on with this modification - you could make a handsome profit and still undercut the market by a mile. It was so nice on that euph to not be lipping the upper register the whole time, and the sound carried beautifully.
  7. simonium

    simonium Member

    On a sightly related note I tried a 966 euphonium the other day - medium bore with large mouthpiece reciever - and it was stunning - a lovely focused sound. You are right about somebody resurrecting these designs. I'd buy into it.
  8. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    The Yamaha Neo is back to a body not unlike an Imperial, but with big bell and modern leadpipe. I think the body is what's solved some of the tuning issues that more recent (30 years?) Sovereigns have had.
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I believe that's largely where Mark Carter at 'Mr Tuba' started his development work. I've heard tell that lot of modernised and uprated imperials with (amongst other things) wider leadpipes for modern mouthpieces and plastic valve guides have found their way out of his company in recent times.

    Though I've not played one myself, I've heard good things.
  10. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    During my playing days I used Imperials and Sovereigns on baritone, euphonium and Eb bass. The Imperials were always of a consistent good quality and a pleasure to blow, whilst I experienced varying levels of quality with the Sovereigns.

    There is no doubt in my mind that when Boosey and Hawkes produced their Imperial range, they achieved a very high level of consistency, which sadly degenerated during the Sovereign days of Besson manufacture.

    How interesting it would be if we could now equip a whole band (including trombones of course) with Imperials.
  11. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    Andy:- Spot on!!!!
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Alas, the designs of the Imperial trombones were mostly ****. Stuffy and unresponsive - although my Imperial G/D blows pretty nicely.
  13. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Yeah, for a G trombone :p