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Guide to the Best Tubas of 2019

Kayla Carstens

The tuba is the lowest pitched horn and biggest horn in the whole brass family. It was invented by Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Moritz and developed in 1835. There is usually only one tube in an orchestra and many famous composers have included the instrument in their pieces such as Stravinsky, Wagner, Gershwin, and Berlioz. If you are a big fan of jazz or orchestral music then the tuba is the instrument for you. The tuba has been used in jazz since jazz began and continues to be used today. Despite its large size, this instrument is elegant and bold and lends a feeling of professionality to any ensemble, band or orchestra.


We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a tuba. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of tuba,

  • See useful tips about that type of tuba,

  • Select the right brand of tuba,

  • Find accessories you may need for your tuba.

Types of Tubas

Types of Product Tubas:

  • Contrabass Tuba:

    • This tuba is pitched in C or B♭.

    • The most common type in America is the C Tuba as it is used by most professionals in orchestras and bands.

    • The most common type in Europe is the B♭ Tuba.

  • Bass Tuba:

    • The bass tuba is smaller than the contrabass tubas.

    • It is pitched in F or E♭.

    • It is commonly used by instrumentalists as a solo instrument.


  • Tenor Tuba or Euphonium:

    • The tenor tuba is pitched in B♭.

    • The term tenor tuba is used to refer to tubas in the same key as euphoniums that have different rotary valves.

  • Subcontrabass Tuba:

    • The subcontrabass tuba is extremely rare.

    • It is in the pitch of B♭, an octave below the contrabass tuba.

    • Two players are needed, one to play the valves and one to blow into the mouthpiece.

What reviewers say

Tips for Consumers (100):

  • Different Materials:

    • Tubas are made out of 4 different materials:

      • Yellow Brass

      • Gold Brass

      • Red Brass


      • Sterling Silver

    • The different materials can affect what sound you will get, as they are made up of different components. For example, red brass has a very dark and deep sound whilst sterling silver has a brighter and clearer sound.

  • The Number of Valves:

    • 3 Valves:

      • If you are a beginner and have never played the tuba before this could be a better option for you if only from a lessons perspective.


    • 4 Valves:

      • The 4 valve tuba is a more viable option as it provides the perfect amount of keys a tubist need to perform in marching bands and ensembles.

      • This tuba is the best option for beginners and intermediates as it has enough valves to play any piece.

    • 5 Valves:

      • This type of tuba is more suited to professionals as it requires much more dexterity and experience.

      • This is also more expensive than the 3 or valve tuba.


  • The Types of Finishes:

    • Lacquer:

      • This is the most common type of finish on all horns.

      • It is cheaper and more durable than silver plated tubas.

    • Silver Plated:

      • This is a more expensive option but is a very nice finish aesthetics wise and creates more vibration than lacquer, amplifying the tubas sound.


Important Features

Items that Can be Used with Your Tuba:

  • Valve Oil:

    • This is oil used to ensure, that if your tuba is played with valves, that the valves do not get stuck and remain well lubricated.


  • Tuning Slide Lubricant:

    • This is used to ensure that when the tuning slide is used it does not catch or get stuck and remains easy to use.

  • Tuba Strap:

    • The tuba is a very heavy instrument and can be tiring to hold up for long periods of time. Therefore to take some of the weight off your arms, you can use a tuba strap to get more support.


  • Tuba Holder:

    • This a stand on which you can place your tuba when you are not using it but want to practice without having to take it out of its case or if you simply want it on display.

  • Tuba Case:

    • This is a specially designed case that you can store your tuba in for easy travel with damaging it in any way.

Top-Rated Brands

Different Brands of Tubas:

  • Stagg:

    • Developed in 1995 in Belgium produces a wide array of instruments From Guitars to Tubas to Drums. They aim to provide people with inspiration for a lifelong journey of music. They currently have headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Allora:

    • Allora aims to create affordably priced and good quality instruments for all those interested in learning about music and becoming musicians. They are currently located in Thousand Oaks, California.


  • B&S:

    • B&S began in 1994 under an umbrella company called JA Musik in Markneukirchen. Their aim to ensure that musicians requirements are met in order to satisfy their love for music. They are currently located in Mantes-la-Ville, France.


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