Sousaphones Vs Contras

Discussion topics covering the brass player's experiences and needs

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Malibu
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Post by Malibu » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:42 am

Dave what a beautiful horn! You got your money's worth....that's for sure! I bet if the seller knew what he had, he would have put up a high reserve on it. Lucky for you, you happen to log on to ebay at the right time. :bow:
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Kimberly
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Post by Kimberly » Sat Feb 12, 2005 6:16 pm

It's GORGEOUS! I just bought a King G bugle off of ebay, and I know when I clean it, it won't look anywhere as good as yours!

But that's OK--I got me a horn just like the I one I marched with!

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Post by allyourbass » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:06 pm

i would like to start off by congragulating bandmaster for his find. that horn looks gorgeous.

on topic, i personally prefer a contra to a sousaphone. however, i've only played one of each type of horn, the sousa in the high school band, the contra at drum corps. the sousas at the school are in very poor condition. spit valves leak(unless they're taped over, in which case condensation collects in the horn significantly). they're dented and battered to varying degrees(one of the horns doesnt even fit together solidly because of the dents in it). the contra i play is in good condition, and it is a fairly nice horn. so from a sound perspective, i prefer contras in my experience.

visually, i definately prefer a contra. strangely, it is less of a strain on my back, and the extra arm strength necessary comes quickly. the back irritation the sousa causes on me might be due to the fact that i broke three vertebrae in my neck and back this winter, but i play on. additionally, i find that the sousa is more difficult to march with because it doesnt just sit on your shoulder, causing it to move around more if it contacts below or at your hip. it also restricts my breathing somewhat if i'm taking and expelling as much air as i physically can. i also think that a contra is slightly easier to transport. the case for a sousa is quite wide and doesnt really stack or interlock well with anything.

but thats just my humble opinion
2005-... Citations Contrabass 1. Hornline Co-captain Wicked
2003-... RMHS band West side story, Carmina burana, James Bond
2005-... RMHS tuba section leader

i play string bass too! arco and pizz. electric bass as well.

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Post by allyourbass » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:08 pm

i forgot one oher thing. i really dont like convertible tuba's. i find that they often have poor tone quality, and the position and orientation of the valves is awkward.
2005-... Citations Contrabass 1. Hornline Co-captain Wicked
2003-... RMHS band West side story, Carmina burana, James Bond
2005-... RMHS tuba section leader

i play string bass too! arco and pizz. electric bass as well.

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Post by Bandmaster » Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:34 pm

I have a new way to compare GG Contra against a sousaphone. I bought an older Kanstul GG Contra from the Mandarins a few months ago. I took it to Zig at the Kanstul factory and had them clean it up for me. They took out most of the dents, put brand new valves in it, fixed and resoldered the leadpipe assembly and finally buffed out the silver finish to a really nice shine. I also did some experimenting and found and sealed all the air leaks that I could. Now I think it plays pretty darn good. But my Conn sousa still makes way more effecient use of my air and centers the tone a lot better. Plus I can play louder without the tone cracking on the sousaphone. Plus when doing a left slide I can see where the hell I'm going on the sousa. :lol: With that Kanstul I'm "blind as a bat" looking left front. You see me marching it with Dream this weekend at any of the SoCal drum corps shows.
Dave Schaafsma
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