Recording Bass & Tuba

1936-1949
Model Size Description Example
TBD Bore: .685″
Bell: 25″
Reynolds BB♭ Recording Bass | Valves: three (3) or four(4) side-action valves | Height: 51″ Model TBD [SN 19534]. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: ford-c600.
TBD Bore: TBD
Bell: TBD
Reynolds E♭ Recording Bass | Valves: three (3) side-action valve Model TBD [SN 18138]. Photos used with permission from Dave Marinich (eBay Member: 2005marinich).
1218 Bore: TBD
Bell: TBD
The Regent E♭ Bass | Valves: three valves | Finish: polished brass with gold lacquer finish; triple silverplated, satin finish, bright silver points with bright bell or gold bell finish also available. SN 29839. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: buddyrogersmusic.

Note: Regent basses were produced by the Ohio Band Instrument Company (located in the same building as F.A. Reynolds Co.), which was focused on sales to student instrument dealers.

1949-1964

Circa 1949, the Reynolds sousaphones were rebranded as Contempora models. The Contempora Recording Bass and Tuba models were the same instrument with different bell configurations: 23″ bell front for the former, 20″ upright for the latter — extra bell flares could be purchased to allow for both setups. The Regent models were discontinued as Reynolds and Ohio Band operations were consolidated under the Roth-Reynolds name.

Model Size Description Example
170 Bore: .687″
Bell: 23″
Contempora BB♭ Recording Bass | Removable front-facing bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve fine tuning trigger | Finish: polished brass with lacquer finish; silverplated bright bell or silverplated gold bell finishes were available at an additional cost | 50½” height Photo source: eBay
175 Bore: .687″
Bell: 20″
Contempora BB♭ Tuba | Removable upright bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve fine tuning trigger | Finish: polished brass with lacquer finish; silverplated bright bell or silverplated gold bell finishes were available at an additional cost | 46″ height Photo source: eBay
180 Bore: .687″
Bell: 23″
Contempora E♭ Recording Bass | Removable front-facing bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve fine tuning trigger | Finish: polished brass with lacquer finish; silverplated bright bell or silverplated gold bell finishes were available at an additional cost | 46½” height Model 180. Photo courtesy of Craig McClelland.
185 Bore: .687″
Bell: 20″
Contempora E♭ Tuba | Removable upright bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve fine tuning trigger | Finish: polished brass with lacquer finish; silverplated bright bell or silverplated gold bell finishes were available at an additional cost | 42″ height No photo available
1964-1970

In the late 1960s, some parts, e.g. tuba and sousaphone bells, were produced in the Fullerton plant, then shipped to Abilene for assembly with the other parts made there.

Model Size Description Example
TB-09 Bore: .656″
Bell: 16″
Contempora BB♭ Student Tuba | Fixed upright bell | Valves: four (4) pistons | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish No photo available
TB-10 Bore: .656″
Bell: 16″
Contempora BB♭ Student Tuba | Same as Model TB-09, with three (3) valves Model TB-10. Photo source: eBay.
TB-11 Bore: .686″
Bell: 23″
Contempora BB♭ Recording Bass | Removable front-facing bell | Valves: three (3) side-action piston valves with first-valve tuning trigger | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish (silver plate with bright or gold bell optional) No photo available
TB-12 Bore: .686″
Bell: 23″
Contempora BB♭ Recording Bass | Same as Model TB-11, with four (4) valves Model TB-12 [SN 218xxx]. Photo source:  Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works.
TB-13 Bore: .686″
Bell: 20″
Contempora BB♭ Tuba | Removable upright bell | Valves: three (3) side-action piston valves with first-valve tuning trigger | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish (silver plate with bright or gold bell optional) No photo available
TB-14 Bore: .686″
Bell: 20″
Contempora BB♭ Tuba | Same as Model TB-13, with four (4) valves No photo available
TB-15 Bore: .686″
Bell: 23″
Contempora E♭ Recording Bass | Removable front-facing bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve tuning trigger | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish (silver plate with bright or gold bell optional) No photo available
TB-16 Bore: .687″
Bell: 20″
Contempora E♭ Tuba | Removable upright bell | Valves: three side-action piston valves with first-valve tuning trigger | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish (silver plate with bright or gold bell optional) No photo available
1971-1979
Model Size Description Example
TB-091 Bore: .656″
Bell: 16″
Contempora BB♭ Student Tuba | Fixed upright bell | Valves: four (4) pistons | Finish: highly polished brass with baked epoxy finish No photo available
TB-101 Bore: .656″
Bell: 16″
Contempora BB♭ Student Tuba | Same as Model TB-09, with three (3) valves No photo available
Notes and Quotes

Ohio Band catalog:

THE REGENT Bass, while designed for use in school bands, will also meet the needs of the professional. Because of its scientifically correct balance, it is easy to handle. The bore and all proportions are carefully designed to produce a round, smooth tone, with ample volume. Its rapidity of response and ease of playing are the result of this accuracy of design.

1950s Roth-Reynolds catalog:

Presenting the Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass BB♭ or E♭ Symphony models … the magnificent result of years of careful research. They are especially notable for accurate intonation and correct, deep tonal color for orchestras and symphonic bands. Contempora Recording Basses are built with detachable bell. They incorporate all the fine Contempora playing qualities and workmanship. Available in three finishes. Set of Cases consisting of separate unit for body and another unit for bell available at additional cost.

1958, 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalogs:

The new Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass adds symphonic richness to the foundation of either band or orchestra. Culminating years of extensive research and development, this new model has been immediately acclaimed by noted band directors and symphony players. The larger size of Reynolds Contempora provides practically unlimited possibilities of solid, rich tone ranging in dynamics from a full fortissimo to a faint whisper in all registers. Lightening-fast action of the valves together with easy response make possible the playing of the most difficult and intricate passages with great facility. The remarkable tone control of the Reynolds Contempora Basses is a result of many years of research to obtain just the right resistance in the air column. Of great importance to the audience during a performance is the breath-taking beauty in the greatness and gracefulness of Reynolds Contempora Recording Basses.

The Reynolds Contempora Tuba with its beautiful pipe organ tone creates a full, yet diffused, foundation for band or orchestra. Popular choice of famous symphony artists, the upright (European style) bell has many advantages. Basically the tuba possesses all of the marvelous playing characteristics of model 170 Reynolds Recording Bass for the body sections are identical. The long, graceful upright bell distributes widely the full, rich Reynolds tone and imparts a thrilling sonority which blends with either brass or strings. With the use of interchangeable bells, it is possible to alter the complete tonal color of either symphonic band or orchestra. Further, the conductor may select the ‘non-directional’ sound of the tuba or the comparatively ‘directional’ tones of the recording model. Reynolds Contempora Tubas are designed to rest safely on the bell in an inverted position.

1966 Reynolds catalog:

Reynolds Brass Recording Basses incorporate all the fine features of other Reynolds brass instruments. Lightning-fast chrome-plated nickel-silver valves, detachable 23″ bells and unique trigger on first valve slide, permits maximum tuning compensation with the flick of a finger. Removeable upright bells at extra cost. Brass finish, silver-plate with bright or gold bell optional. Two-piece formed cases also available at extra cost.”

The Reynolds TB-10 Tuba is now recognized by music educators as the finest student tuba on the market. Beginning players find it free-blowing and responsive — advanced performers like its accuracy and tone quality. Lightweight, durable, and trouble-free, the TB-10 is the pride of the Reynolds Company — a superb product.

1970 Reynolds catalog (TB-11), (TB-12):

The Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass … is designed for the professional or advanced player whose requirements demand an unusual instrument — one which responds to the slightest urging in a pianissimo passage or is capable of the utmost volume called for by the score. And the traditional intonation problems of a recording bass no longer exist. First-valve tuning trigger provides instant adjustment of those ‘difficult’ notes and the 4th valve makes additional alternate fingerings available.

1977 Reynolds catalog:

Expert design and precision craftsmanship have made the Reynolds Tuba the choice among music educators and performers. Lightweight and easy to handle, this tuba provides the full resonance required of any bass. In addition to the unexcelled intonation in all registers, the TB-101 responds quickly while retaining its balanced clarity of tone. [TB-091 has the] same features and specifications as the TB-101 except with the addition of a 4th valve to permit complete flexibility and extra range.