Last month I looked on Mike Nye's website ( to see what instruments he had as he gets some interesting ones. I was not looking for anything. I saw he had a Cerveny Tuba. I have not seen one so I took a trip to see it. When I called about it he said "It's big."

I have owned a couple of Mirafone 186 tubas and a Conn 20J. For the past almost two years my main instrument was my JP-274 euphonium. This is the biggest tuba I had ever played.

The bell is 19.75 in and from the bottom to the top of the bell is almost 45 in. The weight was much lighter than was expected and the balance of the horn is good. Playing with it on a drum stool was very nice. I have a long torso and the ergonomics of some instruments have not been good to me. Getting a consistant tone and putting enough air in the horn is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be for a horn this size

Playing a Kaiser tube was much easier than I thought it would be. It resonated really well. The mouthpieces I used were a Conn Helleberg 120 and Dillon G5 (Geib style). It has dents and the lacquer is worn. The rotors are a little clanky. All things that can be addressed.

So I bought the tuba and put my euphonium up for consignment. The euphonium is wonderful but I am drawn to the tuba. The timber and voice of this tuba really speaks to me. Lately I am listening to and want to play in the lower registers.

I had never thought about Kaiser (5/4) rotary tubas as they were not available. I see that Wessex has developed a hand made one and Miraphone now has the Hagen series as well as the 191. The Miraphone 186 is a good tuba but it felt a little small to me. The Conn was just too heavy.

For now I am happy with this tuba and it has opened my eyes to a different set of tubas that seem to fit me.

Thanks for reading.

Here are some pictures of the Cerveny 1960s 601 Kaiser BBb tuba: