The cimbasso was originally an Italian instrument specified by Verdi and other Italian opera composers to be used as the bass voice for the brass in the orchestra instead of a tuba. It is also used in Italian bands and is becoming increasingly popular for playing film music in the recording studio, for jazz and whenever a different voice would be effective.
The cimbasso has a big trombone like sound which makes it blend well with the trombone section, rather than standing out as an individual voice like the tuba. It is played with a tuba size mouthpiece and is distinct from the contrabass trombone in having valves, rather than a slide.
The Eb cimbasso is based on a German design, but has improvements, including extra bracing, to make it stronger in use. This cimbasso plays superbly well, being easy blowing, with a characteristic tone and good tuning. It works well in providing tonal variation in a recital and played softly without attack therefore making it a good substitute for a muted tuba (with much better tone). It is also incredible fun to play. The feedback from professionals is that this Eb cimbasso is of high quality and plays just as well as the most expensive cimbasso available.
After playing this cimbasso for Italian music, it makes the music complete as the composer intended – no tuba will sound quite the same.
This is an instrument any serious orchestral tuba player will want to add to their collection.
- Bore: 0.73″ (18.5mm)
- Bell: 10.63″ (270mm)
- 5 rotary valves with tuning trigger
- Nickel silver leadpipe
- Nickel silver inner and outer tuning slides
- Detachable bell section
- Wessex cimbasso mouthpiece