King 'pit' model tuba

Here's another tuba you just don't see every day.  It's a King 'pit' model BBb tuba.  Here's what H. N. White said about these horns in 1934:



In the third picture above you can see a King 1241 sitting on a stand behind the 'pit' model.  The bore is the same (.687") and most of the slide crooks are the same.  It's clear that King used many of the same parts on these two models.  The major difference (other than the 'skinny' configuration) is the implementation of string-operated rotors.  The long finger paddles appear sort of 'clunky' but the valve action is actually quite nimble.  A good thing is that condensation runs straight to the waterkey on the main tuning slide.  The bad thing here is that it is impossible to reach that waterkey while the player's lips are on the mouthpiece!  It's necessary to play the horn using a pair of King sousaphone bits.  Needless to say...  this is a VERY fun horn to play!

I'm interested in collecting data from other 'pit' owners or from tubists who have ever played one of these horns.  Does anyone have a clue as to how many were produced?  ...  or how many 'survivors' there are?  Contact me at


Page last edited on May 24, 2012