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My New 2015 Adams Euphonium

Rating: 11 votes, 5.00 average.
As discussed in the forum, I recently traded in my 2012 Adams for a 2015 model. The specs are the same:
  • .60" metal
  • Sterling silver bell
  • Brushed finish.
  • E1
  • I asked them to copy the vertical angle of my original leadpipe. This helps me play with a more normal head position (I have an upstream embouchure).

One incentive to trade was that Adams has made some incremental improvements in performance along the way. The new horn plays even more easily and smoother than my already-impressive 2012 horn.

Also, there are invisible design changes:
  • The tubing wrap was changed to provide a very comfortable left-hand grip. My left wrist was injured years ago, and it tires easily. My 2012 horn had been customized for this, but it is now standard.
  • The leadpipe wrap was also changed to have the body of the horn angle slightly more out from the player's body. This makes the right arm more relaxed, which I like (because the arm is a bit straighter).

Customizations (now the fun starts)

Aside from the leadpipe angle, I asked for a few other special features.
  • I asked for Amado water keys all around. A regular water key has a short little "tunnel" leading from the bore to the water key pad. The Amado key eliminates the tunnel, so there is less disruption to the smooth bore. The first Amado key I tried (actually on my Sterling) was on the 2nd valve. The only practical way to mount it was at the very bottom of the curve (if it were further around the bend, like the others usually are, water drips right on the 3rd valve slide). This position requires me to hold the horn upright and tip it forward slightly to empty the slide. Since the 2nd valve is the one that seems to need emptying the most frequently, I asked for the same position for the Amado keys on 1, 3, and 4. For the main slide, though, I wanted the normal position. The special request there was for the Amado key to be mounted backward, with the plunger inside the body of the horn. Otherwise, my belly could accidentally active it! Despite what you might be thinking, it is quite easy to operate in that position.
  • On the 2nd valve slide, I did not want to have to tug on the Amado key to pull the slide, so I asked for a little knob as well. You can see it in the closeup photo below.
  • I asked for all 4 valves to be vented. This is just a little hole that meets a valve tube when the valve is up. If you pull the slide out without pushing the valve, there is no "pop" because the pressure is vented to the hollow inside of the piston. The reason I wanted this is that I have been bothered by the popping sound my horns have made when I work the valves. Little pressures build up during playing, and I could hear a bit of popping in recordings, especially during slurred passages. Now... no pops! (This may be somewhat player dependent. It may depend on particulars about your airflow.)

So that's the list! I'm having a lot of fun with this horn, and I'm really liking the Amado keys and vented valves. The former would not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think I will suggest to Adams that they vent the valves by default.

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Updated 07-31-2015 at 09:22 PM by davewerden

Euphonium-Tuba Blog , General Tuba-Euphonium Blog


  1. RickF's Avatar
    Wow! Congrats on your new Adams, it looks great! I like the changes or improvements you had done. Amado water keys all-around makes sense. The knob to pull the 2nd slide out is a smart idea since pulling on the Amado water key wouldn't be very wise. The vented valves is a good addition so there should be less popping noise heard during soft-slurred passages. I really like this feature on my Miraphone 5050 (suggested by Demondrae Thurman).

    Thanks for the excellent review with great pics.
    Updated 08-01-2015 at 10:25 AM by RickF
  2. Pat's Avatar
    Great looking horn. I look forward to your upcoming video, putting it through its paces.
  3. davewerden's Avatar
    You can see the horn in action here:

  4. euphdude's Avatar