Alexander, Model 163, BB flat tuba, 4 rotary, c.1960

200303-1  200303-3200303-2 200303-4200303-5

This Alexander BBb tuba dates from circa 1960 and was considered one of the finest of its type at the time it was produced. It was originally acquired by a Native American school in South Dakota in 1961.

The Alexander firm, which is still in existence, dates back to the late 18th century. That makes it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuous brass instrument maker in the world. Alexander was, and still is, known for the high quality of their double horns and their bass and contrabass tubas which were considered some of the finest produced in Germany after World War II.

I had the privilege of visiting the Alexander “factory” in 1994, while I was attending the “Musik Messe” (Music Trade Show) in Frankfurt, Germany which was the largest musical instrument trade show in the World at that time.

The Alexander Company is located in the tiny town of Mainz, which is near Frankfurt. When I got to the address for the Alexander “factory,” there was only a piano store. The Alexander workshop was on the floor above the piano store. It had ten employees and the “Tuba Meister” was the only person designated to produce tubas. When I asked if there were any tubas to try out, he said he did not, and I had to place an order with him a year in advance because it took that long to make a tuba. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

We are pleased to have this fine instrument in our collection. We also have other Alexander tubas in our collection including a CC tuba very similar to this BBb tuba. VS.

Tag #: 200303

Serial #:

Bell Diameter Bore Size Height
16 1/2″ .810″ 41.0″


“GEBR. ALEZANDER; MAINZ” on rim of bell.

4 thoughts on “Alexander, Model 163, BB flat tuba, 4 rotary, c.1960”

  1. Stevan Leiden said:

    I own what Alexander thinks (based on my photos) is a pre-1950 BBflat 4-valve Alexander tuba, maybe a 164. They say it may even be pre-WWII. It was playable (it was my main horn in college, through the 1960s, though I haven’t touched it for many years). It has a few large dents on the large tubing, and I remember it having some bad notes. But, I also know old Alexs are finicky.

    I can send photos. Would you be interested in purchasing it?

    • Hi Stevan, any inquiries about instrument purchases should be sent in an email to Please send pictures of the full front, full back, engraving, close up of any damage, and a close up of the valve section. Also, please include the measurements of the bell diameter and height. Thank you! – Aiyana

  2. Neal Sipe said:

    Is it possible to buy a VMI 2103 any more? New

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