Hirsbrunner BBb Compensating Tuba HB192

Ever since I first heard Chuck Koontz play Norm Pearson’s HB6 CC Tuba by Hirsbrunner, I was smitten with this maker! Let me start by saying, as you all know, I’m primarily a trombonist, and I leave the serious tuba playing to those who have dedicated themselves to mastering it—I have immense respect for them because tuba is no walk in the park! However, there are times when I find myself needing to double on the tuba. Over the years, I’ve tried out various tubas—EEb, CC, BBb—to find one that feels comfortable.

When I discovered that Hirsbrunner offered the HB192 model as a 3-valve compensating instrument, I was immediately sold! It seemed like the perfect tuba for my needs. A 3-valve rotary compensating BBb tuba based on their renowned design—how cool is that? The HB2 CC tuba is highly regarded in LA studios, with players like Doug Tornquist and Gary Hickman producing amazing sounds on it. This HB192 tuba is essentially the same, and I was convinced on the idea. Unfortunately, it’s been out of production for many years, but I was lucky to track one down, and here it is!

Playing on a 3-valve compensating tuba is quite cool! Sure, you might miss a few extended notes, but for someone like me who doubles on occasion (when do I really need to go lower than an E natural?), that’s not a big issue. Plus, I get near-perfect intonation and don’t have to worry about using alternate fingerings. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not! Hirsbrunner quality, tone, and aesthetics all wrapped up in an efficient package—perfect for trombonists who want to dabble in tuba playing. What’s not to love about this horn? This one I played on the score to Black Adam, lol!