Contrabass Digest

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Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 22:32:17 EDT
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

I have a question:  is the LA SAX company the only company that sells the EEB
contrabass saxophone?  And why is this instrument so expensive?  Does anyone
know of anyone that owns such an instrument?  Isn't there like a 6 month
waiting period on that horn.  If I had 37.5k I would definitely get this
horn!!!  It is a nice saxophone.  Does anyone know of any decently priced BBb
bass saxes for sale?

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 23:01:56 -0500
From: M Rubin <>
Subject: Re: The mighty Helicon

It's essentially the mother of all Sousaphones. European models, much like
thier concert tuba cousins, are often rotary valve. I adore mine, (a snappy
'22 Beuscher BBb) though I can't tell you why.You got a spare one laying

Mark Rubin

POB 49227, Austin TX 78765


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 00:18:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: Adam Kent-Isaac <>
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

Adam KI

--- wrote:
> I have a question:  is the LA SAX company the only
> company that sells the EEB
> contrabass saxophone?

 No, ORSI makes contrabass saxes, and so does Evette-Scheffer. Buffet makes them too.
 Contrabass saxes are expensive first and foremost because of their
size. Yes, I know, a contrabassoon is longer that a contra sax. But it
has an infinitely smaller bore.
 The contrabass saxophone's pads are large and expensive, and the
amount of power-forging necessary to create the leys and bore of the
monstrous beastie cost more money than a contrabass clarinet,
contrabassoon or contrabass sarrusophone. This is why brass basses
(baritones, tubas, sousas) are much cheaper than woodwind basses
(bassoons, contras, saxes, etc.) It's about the keys! valve systems can
be made on the assembly line with little human craftsmanship.
 Today I spent so much time playing bass that my fingers gor blisters.
Do you know anything that can be put on the fingers while playing
guitar or bass to prevent injury?
 Kielwerth makes fine bass saxophones, at a price like $16, 000 and up.
So does Leblanc, and Selmer, fine companies both, with bass saxes
ranging from $20k and up.

Email me if you have more questions

Adam K-I

Bassoon - Baritone Sax - Bass Clarinet
"virtuoso" *I wish!*  ;:)  *that's right, the face has 4 eyes.*
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free address at


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 01:22:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Helicons

In a message dated 7/16/99 4:24:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
> Dear List:
>   Ever since I have looked through the Amati-Cerveny catalogue I have
>  been wondering about the helicon.  To me it looks like rotary sousaphone, but
>  I don't know.  If some mongerer out there can tell me a history and about the
>  helicon, I would appreciate it very much.
>  Drew Emery
>  (Bass) Oboist at large

I believe helicons were originally designed as bass horns for cavalry bands
to be played on horseback, but they are much easier to carry on foot as well.
Most helicon owners I've chatted with believe the helicon has a much bigger
sound than a similar sousaphone. John Philip Sousa had the sousaphone
designed to play along with woodwinds and strings. Please remember his
original version of the sousaphone had a bell that faced straight up,
directing the sound into the rafters of a hall or toward the sky. These have
been nicknamed "raincatcher" sousaphones. I don't know who had the idea to
face the bell forward, thus defeating Sousa's idea of a softer sounding bass
horn. I think the helicons (bass, baritone, tenor, others?) were invented
around 1850 and the sousaphone was first built by J.W. Pepper about 1890 or
so, although Sousa preferred those built by C.G. Conn. My Bb Conn helicon is
one of the best helicons I've played, too! I was really bummed out that I
couldn't afford the baritone helicon that was sold on eBay this week! I spent
too much on Patrick Gilmore memorabilia! Got some nice items, too!
Glad to see there is still a company building helicons! Do they make cases
for them?

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 07:36:02 -0400
From: Robert Howe <>
Subject: Re: Helicons

I just bought a baritone helicon from a Manhattan dealer.  It is by
Wurlitzer, in Bb (trombone range) and circa 1900.  All in silver, three
valves.  A nice piece.

Since I collect oboes and other woodwinds, I am at a loss to explain why
I bought it, except that it is so fine looking and my sons play
brasses.  Any excuse, I guess.

What did the EBay piece go for?

Robert Howe

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 14:34:07 -0500
From: Bonnie/Oscar <>
Subject: Re: Helicons

I got an E half flat helicon many years ago.  Still not in playing
shape.  Brisson Philadelphia.  Not Besson!  Any clues as to age???

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