For those players wanting a medium-small rotary CC tuba, this reissue of a classic model may fit the bill. It has 5 rotary valves, the same valve section as the 4/4 size 186, and a smaller bell and body for a lighter weight, a fast response, and a compact, centered tone. This was a very popular model in the Los Angeles tuba scene for many years. Tommy Johnson, Jim Self, Don Waldrop, and many others, played this horn for various recording work. The low range is excellent for a smaller CC, and the pitch is good if you do a little pulling of the 1st valve slide on D and Db. This model hasn't been made for a few years, and I'm sure many fans will be eager to try the newer version. The old model came with a 2 whole step 5th valve slide. These have the now standard flat whole step 5th slide, unless you order otherwise. I find the new 185 to be an improvement over previous generations of this model. The tuba has a bit more weight to it, the tone is more stable and there is less of a bark when you need to push the volume. You could say they tamed the 185 a bit. It's now easier to sound good on this excellent tuba. If you have a petite body type, this may be an excellent choice, along with the 186 and 188, so that you have an instrument that's easy to carry and comfortable to hold. The rotary valves have a short throw which aids technical playing, but also improves ergonomics for those with smaller hands. This tuba is usually made to order in 90 days. Options include four or five valves, and the fifth valve paddle can be mounted for either left or right hand actuation.
Glenn Cronkhite makes a gig bag with a perfect fit for the 185. Hard cases can be difficult since it's tall and narrow. The SKB390W will work, but it's overly huge. If you insist on a hard case, your best bet is to order the tuba together with a custom hard case from Winter. It's a compact wheeled case with a perfect fit, and runs about $1000.
Included: Miraphone mouthpiece and lubricants
Shipping: $250 within the US 48, quote elsewhere