J. Lw Tuba

I 'rescued' this tuba from a fellow repairman more-or-less as a project.  Langwell's Index of music instrument manufacturers lists J. Lw as being in Munster in 1900 but indicates that he built herald trumpets.

The bell engraving reads "J. Lw inst. fabr. Munster /W patent 1489055 patentiert i. 12 staaten"....  (next lines) "VERFERTIGT v J. Lw Munster VW"

The rough translation is "Made by J. Lw instrument fabricator in Munster, Westfalen - patented in 12 states".


Front and back views of the tuba above show the unique style of the tuning circuit wraps.  The 2nd valve slide is only about 3/4" long making it NOT pullable!  The 1st and 3rd slides are in handy locations at the top and the 4th slide is also handy but on the backside.  The horn played in 'A' as opposed to 'BBb'.  It's hard-telling what J. Low had in mind when this horn was built.  Perhaps it was intended to play in 'A' and was used for baroque music.  Who knows what they were thinking over 100 years ago!  At any rate...  the lead pipe in the picture above is shorter enough to raise the pitch to modern A-440hz.  The picture below shows the original leadpipe, which was mounted under the #1 and #2 slides similar to the new leadpipe.  I'll make the old leadpipe available is someone wants to put the horn back in 'A'!


The topside of the rotor housings are blank and the stops and paddle linkage is on the backside.  The cork stops are flat as opposed to the round stops we normally see.  Note the string linkage.

Over the years, the bell wire had severely rusted and there was a lot of debris between the bell and the garland.  The only way to clean everything up was to remove the garland...  straighten the parts out...  make a new bell wire...  and put it all back together.  Removing the garland is interesting.  It has to be very carefully unrolled from the front side of the bell.  Reassembly also goes slow...  making sure to re-roll the rim of the garland as to not stretch the material.

Not a bad looking tuba!  I'm anxious to see how it performs in a few rehearsals before I put it up for sale.



This page created on April 5, 2013

Last updated on April 11, 2013