Here's how things looked at the Lansdale, PA TubaChristmas this afternoon:
Having started to dig into the history of the helicon bass lately, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of these great old horns at our concert (front and center above; my son is the third Sousaphone from the left in the back - the second bell-front horn; me and my tuba are buried in the middle somewhere!).
Talking briefly with the helicon owner afterward, he shared that it was built in 1905 and imported from Europe. It did sound a little muffled, but I think I know why . . .