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The VMI 2103 BBb Tuba
An affordable yet competitive instrument
The VMI 2103 has a unique sound and feel being modeled after the Alexander tubas. It has a traditional "German" appearance and high standards of craftsmanship. This horn will work in any situation and is very conservative in price.
2103 Series 4 Valve 4/4 BBb Tuba
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
I bought my VMI eight years ago so I could start playing again after a 21-year layoff. I cannot believe I paid less for the horn, considering what the price is now. But even at the current price, this horn is a solid buy. Sure, it's not a Hirsbrunner or a York, but it is a great horn for the price (and certainly many steps above any of the Asian horns). The sound is great. Is has a nice round sound with a good bottom. To me, the sound is darker and more rounded than a St. Pete's. I have used a Bach Megatone 12 and Conn Helleberg mouthpiece and, for this horn, I think the Conn gives a more even sound. (The Bach has better volume, but it can get rough in the low notes.) The valves are tight, but can get a little noisy if you don't keep the linkage screws adjusted. The intonation is pretty good, except for first valve notes (what a surprise!). However, the first valve slide is handy, so you can pull and push easily to keep the notes in tune. This was my first of three (and counting) tubas, and it is still my favorite. I use it for almost all of my indoor gigs because the sound is just so nice. I had hoped to buy the piston valve version (3301) of this horn some day, but it looks like WWBW no longer sells them.
This was my first tuba and I still own it. It has accurate intonation, responds well, is durable, and has a very good sound. It is made with very good materials. My horn has gotten a great deal of use in and outside of college. I discovered for myself that a Conn Helleberg works well with it. The rotors are solid. However, they can get sluggish if not oiled regularly, gum up if the oil is too heavy, or the horn has been in storage for awhile. With my horn, the lacquer has worn a great deal around the bell/bottom bow seam after a year and a half. The lacquer on these horns seems to be really thin, but this is simply a cosmetic thing. After playing, I wipe it down with a mycro fiber cloth before storing it in the case. For the money, this is a very good horn and will provide years of great service if taken care of. The MTS Large Frame Case I purchased with it was a great fit. For someone who desires to purchase an affordable, well made, German-made instrument, this is a very good choice.
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