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Thread: King 1135 for an adult?

  1. #1

    King 1135 for an adult?

    Greetings everyone! For a little background I was a tuba major in college and continue on to earn a master’s degree in music while continuing to play and study tuba. I played a Meinl-Weston 25 BBb in college and switched to an Amati- stenciled Cerveny BBb with rotors in post graduate study, not Sue of model number. After much experimenting with mouthpieces, settled on a good old Conn Helleberg 120s as my favorite for comfort, flexibility, and sound. I played tuba for around 30 years total, but then poor health left me without the wind or stamina I used to have in my youth. I sold my tuba and switched to playing euphonium for a while. Finally I gave up on that as well. Fast forward 20 years. I have lost around 80 pounds, am in much better health, and have an urge to start playing tuba again. It would be mostly for my own pleasure at home, although there is also a possibility I might have a chance to participate in a college jazz band reunion next year. I know it will take time to get my chops and technique back, but first I need a horn. I have spent literally hundreds of hours I’ll bet looking at what’s available these days. I don’t see myself spending 10,000 dollars or more on a Mirafone or Meinl-Weston, and anyway I don’t think I would be able to handle the weight, bulk, and wide bore at my age. I am thinking about a smaller piston valve horn, 3 valves to keep the weight and cost down. The horn I’ve found that seems to fit my requirements is the King 1135, but it is marketed as a “student horn”. The specifications state that the lead pipe is “placed appropriately” for a student. I am afraid, as a normal sized adult, that the lead pipe would be too low to be comfortable for me. Is it unheard of for an adult to play this particular horn? Has anybody here done it successfully? What about the King 1140, which has upright valves instead of up front? There are very few choices for small horns anymore. I know there are Chinese made options but want to avoid those for a variety of reasons. Also wondering if the Helleberg mouthpiece would be a good choice for this horn. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give this old geezer!

  2. #2
    Hello and welcome. The Helleberg mouthpiece works well on most tubas. I have switched back to tuba from euphonium and use it on my Ceveny 601. The only way to know if the King fits you is to try it. If you like it then it works.

    I did find a Sander (Cerveny) 3/4 tuba for sale -

    I am only posting it as I found rotor tubas to be lighter than valve tubas.

    You also might want to check out the Tuba Forum at : for more options.

    I do think the King would work for you.
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply! I did see the Sanders Cerveny on Music Go Round but it is a mess cosmetically and I want to buy new or if I buy used I would want mint condition or at least dent free, or I have considered overhauled horns. That you you pointed out sure has been through it! It needs serious love.

    I would love to try the King first but nowhere near me has it in stock. As I’m sure everyone here is aware, only a few stores in the country have tubas in stock. If I bought the King through my local music store I would get a great price but I would have to agree to keep it unless it arrived damaged. That is their policy on “Special Orders”.

  4. #4
    That clarifies things. I don't have any experience with the Kings. I have played the Jupiter four rotor 3/4 BBb tuba and liked it. It fit well for me. I don't know where you are located to give advise on shops. Matt Walters over at Dillon Music is a tuba player and you could contact him about options through Dillon Music. They might have a trail policy. Baltimore Brass (Baltimore) has quiet a few tubas along with Tuba Exchange (North Carolina). Dan Schultz who goes by Tuba Tinkerer does Tuba refurbs. Then there is Horn Guys on the West coast. Wessex Tubas has a Chicago showroom. I know they are Chinese instruments but they have a trial policy. Then there is Oberloh in Seattle area. I hope this helps.
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven


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