Oldtimer noob buying an instrument


New Member

I started playing tuba at 8 and became quite proficient, playing solos in the bands and giving solo concerts.
My teacher wanted me to go all the way to the philharmonics.
Too late I realized I would need to double on something, so picked up trombone and string bass.
But never became really good on either.

Now after a thirty year hiatus I thought of buying a Bb tuba and see what it feels like, and if I still have 'it'. Just play a little for fun.
No looking to spend very much.

What brand is this? Can't find any information on it.

Looks like a euphonium to me.

Is there any way to tell from pictures if it is an Eb, F, C or Bb instrument? Sellers mostly don't know what they have,

This is the one I am interested in. Same brand, "American", no other info. Mouthpiece is a Kopikup Regd. 1 1/2

Thank you. My name is Jens and I am living in Sweden.


Active Member
There was a company called Pan American Band and instrument company, which was in existence between 1917 and 1930, when it was taken over by Conn. The mouthpiece is most likely a KosiKup regd 1 1/2 which I think is a euphonium mouthpiece, but I'm not 100% sure.
Hope that helps

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
The first picture looks like a Baritone to me but might have been sold as a Euphonium, the are the same pitch (Bb) but the Euphonium has a larger bore and usually four rather than three valves. The second picture looks like an Eb Bass to me, a BBb Bass would have a longer third slide with additional bends in it and more tubing (an additional loop) after the valves. At one time the Eb Bass was popular in the USA but they seem to have standardised on the larger BBb now. In British style Brass Bands the Eb Tubas typically, IMHO, lead the Tuba Section as they tend to be given the difficult Bass lines and have less rests than the BBb’s - both require a particular skill set to drive them well. As far as I know F tubas have always been rare outside of orchestral use and piston valve F tubas are very rare.

It would be wise to identify a group to play with and to talk to them first before you purchase an instrument. They can suggest what would suit you and them best and might even have an instrument that you can borrow. If that’s not possible then the Eb Bass is very versatile. Can you recall what size instrument you played in your youth and how relatively difficult your part was? Euphonium music is typical difficult all of the time whilst Bass / Tuba music has some difficult parts but is mostly about proving a rhythmic foundation for the Band to ‘sit on’.
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New Member
Their logo says Pan American so dont think it is their product

Never seen "American" before. Thinking it may come from Eastern Europe?

Anyway, I bought since the price was right. Haven't seen it yet. :)
Should be here next week, than I will know if it is playable.

I once had a beautiful Coesnon 3/4 Bb tuba, light weight, rich sound, easy to play, really loved it. But it was stolen out of my car 30 years ago and I haven't played a tuba since.

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Good luck with the new instrument. It’s an old design but IMHO one that works well. The European instruments that I’ve seen tend not to be silver plated and the engraving suggests USA to me.
[Edit. I’m wondering what the large M within the engraving means, perhaps once it’s polished up it will be easier to identify the manufacturer / brand. ]

I don’t think that you’ll find the Pitch change (Bb to Eb) to be much of an issue.

Typically on small Eb Basses the third valve slide will need to be pulled out 5cm when being played (or else notes will be sharp).

Once you’ve got the instrument it would be interesting to hear about how you get on with it, there are people on this forum who are happy to help and encourage you too.
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