Enhanced quality from Wessex
Having now been in business five years, this year finds Wessex Tubas with a real drive to ensure that the quality of its instrument brands matches the most expensive brands in the market.
Jonathan Hodgetts, the owner of Wessex Tubas, told BBW: “We are aiming for German quality of instruments, whilst at the same time maintaining affordable prices.”
Last year, Wessex adopted a new process for bell hardening that offers greater resistance to denting, and also improves response and projection. Said Jonathan: “The Wessex Dolce Euphonium now plays so well that the professional tuba/euphonium quartet, Tubalaté, is performing using Wessex.
The cosmetic finish of Wessex instruments has also been enhanced from double to triple polishing, which gives them a really high sheen, whether they are lacquered or silver-plated. The buffing room at the Chinese factory that manufactures Wessex instruments (pictured right) is just the first stage, which is then followed by hand-polishing three times
with increasingly fine compounds. After that, the instruments are chemically cleaned and finish- inspected under bright lights before lacquering or silver-plating in a modern plating shop. “This gives Wessex a deep and long lasting shine”, says Jonathan, adding, “it’s very hard work holding a tuba up to buff, so these workers get supplementary pay! Also, note the extractors to remove dirt, face masks to protect the workers’ health and bright lights so that they can see how they are proceeding.”
Once buffing has been completed, every single Wessex instrument is carefully quality-inspected and play-tested at the factory by experienced Wessex musicians from the UK or the USA.
Jonathan Hodgetts pledged: “Anything not up to standard goes back to production for correction, even if that means stripping the lacquer and reassembling. That way, quality is ensured for every single instrument supplied, be it a tuba, a trombone, or a cornet.”