Posted by Jay Bertolet on June 20, 1999 at 10:21:01:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Tubas for around $2000? posted by Jim on June 20, 1999 at 09:23:39:
Touche, Jim! I am sorry if my above post appeared to be a personal attack on the individual asking about his pending tuba purchase. That was not my intention. But, in defense of what I wrote, it seems unlikely to me that anyone who reads the posts on this BBS would not run across the stated concept of "play the horn and see how you feel/sound on it" many times. It appeared to me that the original poster had not seen or understood this dictum in posting his question.
I agree with you that we do seem to get the same rerun questions on this BBS concerning which horn is better or worse. So the question is, why? Really, you might as well go around asking people why they like a certain color. The answer may make perfect sense but of what value is the information? Will I ever go buy a Meinl-Weston 2165 because of how Warren Deck used to sound on his or buy a York because of how Arnold Jacobs used to sound on his? Absolutely not! I have developed my own style of playing and the instruments I have fit that style. Until I play something I like better, I'm confident in my current equipment.
So maybe the genesis of these questions about instruments are an outgrowth of a player's confusion about what they want to sound like. I don't know if that is true but I suspect it is a good place to start. I also think that a general lack of experience with the plethora of tubas available today contributes to the confusion. It seems to me that if you're going to spend thousands of dollars on a tuba and play that horn for the better part of your life, it would be wise to invest the time and money needed to make an informed choice. I just don't buy the assertion that some players can't get an informed player/listener to help them evaluate a potential purchase. Take a few days and go to where the tubas are! If it costs you a few dollars in plane fare and hotel nights, what is that compared against getting the right tuba? Just about every tuba seller offers a trial period on their tubas so it isn't that hard to make some choices and then arrange to get a lesson with a teacher whose ears and opinions you respect. No disrespect to the current crop of tuba salesmen but it must be understood that you cannot take their opinions as objective. They are selling you a tuba, nothing more. The best salesmen I've run into are the ones that stick you in the testing room with their products and leave you to figure things out. They also understand that they will get repeat and referral business if you are happy with your purchase. If they are pushing an instrument, I would be immediately suspicious. I'm not suggesting that salesmen are malevolent per se, just that their priorities are different than yours.
I'm sorry that this post is so long. Obviously, this is a very complex subject which also adds to the general confusion about an instrument purchase. The subject of teachers helping students make tuba purchases has come up before and I thought the general consensus was that the teacher should help or something was wrong. It is my hope that all teachers will decide to help in making sure that they get the best fitting equipment for their students knowing that the effort will manifest itself in an advanced potential for improvement.