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Rudolf Meinl 3/4 5V Rotary CC Tuba, Used

$4,500.00

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Item Details

This is a medium-large rotary valve CC tuba made by Rudolf Meinl in Germany.  Rudolf Meinl makes the most elegant tubas you can find.  All formed from sheet brass and hand made, these are rare and very special instruments from a small custom shop.  Though designated "3/4"  (three quarter) size, it's a sizeable instrument that compares with the Miraphone 186 CC tuba. 

  • Bell 430mm 17"
  • Bore 18.5mm .728"
  • 5 valves, right hand, 5th long whole step, traditional linkages
  • Body yellow brass
  • Leadpipe and main tuning slide red brass
  • First slide stop with Amado air vent
  • Sold without case

 

This is a nice old tuba with some miles on it.  Built in the 80's, imported to the US through Custom Music, its current owner received a performance degree using this tuba.

The instrument overall is in good shape but has a lot of smaller dents in the bottom bow.  They can be removed, it's worth it.  Valve action and linkages seem tight.  All slides will satisfy the professional slide puller.  The rotors have some play up and down but don't seem to make any noise.  We'll look at this and make sure they are tighter.

The Rudy is similar in size and specs to the venerable Miraphone 186.  Rudy's bore is smaller, but its bell shape gives it this voluminous tone, larger than you'd expect and broader than the Miraphone.  The response is clear and it's fairly nimble.  There is more resistance down low due to the smaller bore, so your maximum volume may be a bit less in the basement range.  Call this a smaller-ensemble-tuba.  Show orchestra, opera, pops, double with bass trombone, chamber music.  This Rudy can do all that really well.  This is also a fairly light tuba because it's made the old way.  The large bows are made from sheet brass so the wall thickness is more even than most modern tubas.  It also makes them susceptible to denting, as illustrated here.

Pitch summary, high to low:
  • high C - good
  • G - good
  • E - good (!)
  • Eb - good
  • D - low, push 1st slide in
  • Db - same, push 1st slide
  • bass C - rides a little high - breathe lightly
  • bass G - good
  • bass E - 1-2 good
  • also...G-E - sometimes a little airy in this range, maybe try RT-50S (small shank)
  • low C - good
  • low Ab - 2-3, on this note the horn resonates right down to the floor
  • low G - good
  • low E 2-3-4 good

 

I used an RT-50 mouthpiece to play the Rudy.  The Rudy surprised me.  This pitch is really right on except the 1st valve D is a little low and the open C below it is a little high.  The latter is weird, but it's not far off.  Of course it's always helpful if the oompa notes are right in tune since we're used to doing other adjustments, but the in-tune open E is a nice respite from my old Miraphones which were rather low in pitch there.

First and fifth slides are easily accessible and move easily.  The first slide has a custom Amado waterkey to vent the slide and avoid valve pops after moving the slide.  Cool idea.  The third slide has a top-accessible pull handle.  The fourth slide on the back also has some good pull.  There's no reason this tuba can't work with all the tuning opportunities.

Repairs

The Rudy was stored in this worn out Protec gig bag and has a lot of dents in the bottom bow to show for it.  Simply for vanity and preservation it's worth taking them out.  It might even play better.  The plan is to bring this tuba to Sawday Music for dent removal and check for leaks.  But he's busy so it may be a while.  If you'd like to buy it as is, the price is $4500.  I expect the repairs will add $500 to this price, so it'll be $5000 once finished returned here.  It's sold without case but I bet it will fit in the new Protec Platinum gig bag, we can make a deal on one of those if you like.  SKB hard case will fit and is in stock.

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