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Gronitz FZ-127 6V Rotary F Tuba

$11,500.00 $15,200.00

Item Details

Here we have a lightly used Gronitz FZ-127 6-valve rotary F tuba owned by Los Angeles tubist Steve Yerkes.  Steve was the owner of Miraphone USA back in the day, and is playing his Miraphone 188 CC exclusively at the moment.  He asked us to find the next player for this gorgeous Gronitz.  Steve bought it here in 2018 when he chose it from a room full of F tubas, including the best from Miraphone.

Custom

The newest Gronitz tubas are built by Andreas Klingspor in Merzhausen, Germany.  Andreas can deliver most Gronitz or Klingspor instruments in several months with a small deposit.

This Tuba

This large 6-valve rotary F tuba was made by his predecessor Dietrich Kleinehorst in Hamburg, Germany. Dietrich was a master musical instrument maker, and the source of Gronitz' popularity in the US.  The FZ-127 tuba is fabricated of yellow brass with nickel trim and a gold brass leadpipe.  The larger bows are made from sheet brass, making it lighter than some similar instruments whose bows are formed from tubes.  Veteran tuba fans remember that Gronitz and Hirsbrunner have offered some similar tuba designs, but this Gronitz doesn't quite compare.  It's more like a larger bore HBS389 piston F than an HBS289 rotary F despite the rotor set.  Hirsbrunner kept to the old-school model with his rotary tubas:  long leadpipe and straight rotor block.  This Gronitz is the next generation with some innovative features and improved playability.

Shorter Pipe - Triple Bore

The Gronitz leadpipe is fairly short for a rotary F tuba of this style.  This trait locates the fixed dimensions of the rotor set (19/20/21mm) closer to the player so there is more conical tubing in the main bugle after the rotors.  It's subtle, but this tuba gets larger faster, with more girth in the middle.  With these proportions, you get a bigger tuba with smaller bore valves.  But neither is the tuba too weighty nor unwieldy.  The Gronitz is just easy to play all around.  The triple bore rotor set keeps the expansion of the bugle closer to optimal, increasing playability.  Enjoy the ease of a piston tuba with the liveliness and ergonomics of rotors.

Off Topic: What's an FZ-126?

The FZ-126 is nearly the same tuba as this one except its leadpipe is long and its tuning slide area is smaller with less top bow than the FZ-127.  The 19/20/21mm rotors of the FZ-126 are located further along the bugle, so the tuba is a little smaller from the beginning to middle.  The resulting sound is compact and centered and excels in the high range.  Subtle but it's there.  FZ-126 is the solo model, FZ-127 is the all-around big-tone F tuba.  Either model may have 4-6 rotors.  Pictured here is a 4+1 FZ-126.

Gronitz FZ-126 F Tuba

Kyle Said

Local tubist Kyle Richter noted why he likes this Gronitz FZ-127...

  • flexible
  • in-tune
  • little effort, especially considering its size
  • breadth of tone
  • colorful, sweet or loud, easy to color as you wish
  • even below the staff


Six Rotors

The 4+2 setup is less common in the US, but lets your right hand relax.  No right thumb energy is needed.  Six valves offer a multitude of alternate fingerings if you need them.  On a Gronitz you likely won't need many alternates, and the slides are easily accessible if you need to adjust anything. 

Activities for the left hand: 

  • 6th valve (long half step) first finger
  • 5th valve (long whole step) second finger


Low-Mount Fifth

An innovative feature of this Gronitz is that the fifth rotor is mounted low at the bottom of the stack, near the tuning bow.  Since the fifth rotor is used for low notes almost exclusively, it makes sense to in crease its bore and place it at the end of the valve block.  You'll notice the improvement over traditional rotary F tubas that place the fifth rotor at the end of the leadpipe.  Miraphone Electra does it like this too.

Condition

The Gronitz is in very good condition with some finish blemishes.  The tuba is well taken care of but also well traveled.  Several edges of bow guards are beginning to tarnish.  A few dents appear, or have been removed.  It doesn't quite sit flat on its bell rim, I think even new it was like that.  Photos show any notable defects.  Rotor action is good but some of the T-hinges in the linkages are loose.  I'm going to take it to someone before sale to tighten those because silent rotor action is obligatory.  Standard or Euro shank mouthpieces fit fine.  RT-64 or RT-64S both work, maybe the former a little better, can't decide.  Includes Miraphone gig bag.  If you'd like to make an offer for the Gronitz, let us know.

Specs

  • 6 rotary-valves
  • open spring levers and minibal connections
  • 5th and 6th valves: left hand
  • instrument in yellow brass
  • with nickel silver slides and gold brass leadpipe
  • rotors by Meinlschmidt
  • reverse tuning slide
  • adjustable thumb ring
  • lacquer finish
  • bore size = 19/20/21 mm
  • bell diameter 420 mm
  • height 900 mm

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