All posts by Chris Cournoyer

Instruments in Process

  • King Giant BBb Sousaphone, serial # 96320, .750″ bore, 28″ diameter bell, with original case.
  • Sander, Kaiserslautern 4-rotor CC tuba, a pre-WWI instrument hand-made in southern Germany.
  • Holton, Chicago (York) 6/4 BBb helicon, manufactured ca. 1916.
  • King 1241 recording bass, one-piece recording bell, 1942, with original one-piece case and King 26 mouthpiece.
  • King 1140 3/4 BBb tuba.
  • Besson BBb helicon, silver-plated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Please call for more information concerning any of these instruments.

Frank Holton, Chicago 6/4 BBb Tuba

Frank Holton, Chicago 6/4 BBb tuba, serial #33960

Frank Holton, Chicago 6/4 BBb tuba, silver-plated, serial #33960. Virtually identical to a York model 91, this early 1916 Holton was either made in Grand Rapids, or from parts from Grand Rapids. The York syle of construction, using thin and very hard metal results in very resonant instruments that are relatively lightweight, such as this. The instrument has a .750″ valve bore, a 22 1/4″ bell diameter, and stands 37″ tall. Originally owned by Augustana College of Rock Island, IL, this tuba has a satin silver finish with bright silver trim, and most of the gold plating in the bell interior is still intact. The bell is actually engraved with, “Augustana College” above the mouthpiece receiver. The instrument has been brought to modern pitch, and has a lovely deep voice just like it’s York counterparts.  With three valves, this is the lightest-weight 6/4 tuba you’ll ever play, and very likely the least-expensive one, too.  With beautiful red Messina Covers bag…..$3,250.00

Contact us for more details.

Conn Factory Model Donatelli model CC tuba

Conn Factory Model Donatelli model CC tuba, serial number 395437, 22″ bell, 36 1/2″ tall, .734″ bore, raw brass. The C.G. Conn Company at one time had unfinished, raw brass working models of all of their brass instruments hanging on the wall at the old Elkhart factory. In the photos you will see the tag that was affixed to the main tuning slide of this rare and beautiful CC tuba, built in 1951. Inside is a check-out card, so that the instrument could be accounted for when checked-out from location C-2 in the factory for testing and evaluation or for a build project. This instrument was bought from the estate of a collector who bought it at the factory sale, and had had it in storage for over 40 years. This is one of approximately five Donatelli models built in 1951, and is still essentially in factory-original condition. Besides saving the original factory tag in an airtight container, I also removed the original felts and corks from the valves, as they are in new, unused condition. Since the bell has an unmistakable reddish color indicating a very high copper content, and the flare is of pre-1930-style construction, it is very likely that the bell and possibly more of the parts for this tuba were made in the 1920’s, when the first CC tuba was made for Donatelli. The instrument is as tight as a new instrument, and is a fabulous player. The sound is very dark and focused, very full-sounding, and more agile than a 22″ bell might suggest. The low range is legendary, and the privileged tones speak virtually as well as valved combinations, so that the instrument really can be effectively played chromatically down to the pedal range. I have cleaned the instrument and done careful restorative work, and did buff and lacquer the finger buttons and top caps only. This is a real historical piece that is one of the very best CC tubas I’ve ever played, and will be appreciated by anyone who sees, hears, or gets to play it.  With Altieri bag and provenance………………………………………….$6,550.00

Please call me for more information.

Stofer Custom CC Tuba

Stofer 4/4 Custom CC tuba – .687″ valve bore, 19 3/16″ bell diameter, 31 1/2″ tall, bright silver plated or lacquered, either traditional vented, or MAW vented pistons, convertible to BBb, with case. After 20+ years of dreaming, apprenticing, praying, working and hoping, here it is, a professional 5-valve CC tuba built in my shop by the Grace of God. Based on the Getzen tubas built between 1993 and 2001, I have sought to correct all the details of that model, incorporate improvements such as the MAW pistons, and spent an enormous amount of time performing the most thorough and careful soldering job possible in assembling this instrument.  Particular attention to optimizing the leadpipe taper and bracing takes this instrument to a level never found in the Getzen instruments, making it really play like a York tuba.  To keep with the old-school quality construction, after buffing and hand-ragging, I have Anderson Silver Plating of Elkhart, Indiana plate the silver-plated models.  The instrument is also available with a baked-on epoxy lacquer finish.  I find the instrument to be profoundly responsive and easy-to-play, remarkably consistent in response and intonation throughout the entire instrument, with very light and quick valves, and a York-like tone quality that I would describe as a dark core of sound surrounded by a clear edge. The tuba has reference rings cut into the upper valve slides, so that the slides can be pulled to them, the stop arm removed and the rotor turned 90 degrees, and the instrument becomes a fully-functional BBb tuba where actuating the thumb rotor gives you a great pedal C, and thumb-2 is a clean B-natural, making this both a fully-chromatic CC or BBb tuba. In the 40+ years that I have been playing tuba, this is the most flexible and agile tuba I’ve ever played. If this is the sort of 4/4 CC that you’ve been seeking, feel free to call or e-mail and discuss making this instrument yours. With mouthpiece and MTS hard case………………………………………………………$14,995.00

Update: pictured above is serial #0002. Serial #0004 is in process, being built to the same specifications.  Serial #0005 is finished and available, also silver-plated, with vented traditional pistons and an elaborate 1920’s-style engraving.  Please call for more information.