This is a large rotary valve F tuba made by Miraphone in Waldkreiberg, Germany. It's based on Miraphone's venerable model 181, now known in its updated form as the Bel Canto Model. This Bel Canto Solo model has a body that is made out of lighter weight gold brass. This thin wall brass is more akin to the metal in a lightweight Alexander or Rudolph Meinl tuba. What this does is add a clarity and electricity of tone. It's very lively and is easily heard. This does not have the same oomposo power of a heavier 181 tuba, and you may find the projection in a large concert hall is less that that of a 181. We usually stock these in six valve versions, either German style 4+2, or US style 5+1. The advantage of the 4+2 is that your right thumb can relax a bit, and some of the lower fingering patterns may seem simplified. For example, the scale from low C down to pedal F would be played like this on a size valve tuba: C 4, Bb 4-5, A 4-5-6, G 3-4-5-6, F open. Since 5 and 6 are on the left hand, the pattern is very easy. The only drawback we see from a 4+2 setup is that pulling top slides might mean for a bit more movement of the left hand. What if you had a tuba that didn't need slides pulled though? If you appreciate a tuba that well in tune and with a perfect response on all the low notes (including the dreaded low C), the 381 might be your baby.