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Need help buying first baritone


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  • Need help buying first baritone

    Hello, I played tuba for two years in school and wanted to buy a baritone.
    I went to my local shop, they had a King three valve, upright bell for $395. It appears to be in great condition. The valves feel great. It comes with the original case. (but the case really smells bad) The shop employee said it might have been made between 1920-1940s.

    Is this a good buy?

    Also, I am not sure that it comes with a mouth piece. What size mouth pieces would you recommend? ( I have played tuba, so I am used to a large mouth piece)

  • #2
    King used to be one of the more well-regarded makers, particularly for jazz and marching horns. Those years were also really good ones for the whole line of King instruments. Assuming it really is in great shape, that sounds like a very good price. Considering the cost of baritones and euphoniums, you aren't going to get a whole lot cheaper than $395 for anything worthwhile.

    Stinky cases can be helped by opening them up, spraying them with a bunch of Febreze, and letting them air out outside. I've had to do this with a trumpet case. It's also possible the horn wasn't well cared for by the previous owner, so give the horn a cleaning as well if the shop hasn't done it already.

    Before you go mouthpiece hunting, you'll need to determine whether it is large bore or small bore. I believe most American baritones are small bore, but make sure before you spend the money on a mouthpiece. Baritone mouthpieces are interchangeable with trombone mouthpieces of the same bore. The Bach 6 1/2 AL is a good starting point, or a Yamaha of similar size. The mouthpiece itself will be smaller than you are used to on tuba, even the big ones.
    Play more bass.


    • #3
      ^^^ Thanks for the help. I picked it up today, and it sounds great.


      • #4
        Play more bass.