The brass family has a long history - so long that the tuba's introduction in the mid-1800s actually makes it one of the youngest members. But it caught on fast, displacing the ophicleide to take its place in the bass role. Although the word "tuba" is Latin for "trumpet", no one would ever make the mistake of confusing the two! To say the tuba is way bigger than a trumpet would be an understatement; in fact, this instrument is so big that its size and weight are the top considerations in its playing positions and style. In exchange for all that physical heft, the tuba delivers one heck of a beefy sound, and it comes in a range of pitches, including the C tubas found right here.
The most crucial difference between any two C tubas is generally the valve layout. Most have 4 valves, like the Cerveny CCB 471-4 Junior Series 4-Valve CC Tuba and the Kanstul 902-4C Series 4-Valve 3/4 CC Tuba. This allows access to the instrument's full range with better intonation than a 3-valve beginner model. Adding a fifth valve, such as in the Miraphone 1292 New Yorker Series 5-Valve 5/4 CC Tuba, takes the intonation a step further and improves access to the low register while making trills easier. Although most tubas use piston valves, there are also options with Euro-style rotary valves, like the Miraphone 186 Series Rotary Valve CC Tuba.
Choosing the best tuba for your needs is the first step to owning one, and it's an individual process that comes down to your own preferences and budget. Whether that means a beginner-friendly Cerveny or the handcrafted Meinl Weston 6450/2 Baer Handmade Series 5-Valve 6/4 CC Tuba, the decision is in your hands - so take your time and don't be afraid to do a little research beforehand! No matter which of these C tubas is right for you, you'll definitely be glad for having done the homework.