My son is 16 and has been playing euphonium since he was 10 years old. He is currently playing a well-worn Yamaha YEP321s. He is quite talented, has made the state regionals (1st chair this year!) and loves music, his euphonium, plans to major in music in college.

His teacher, whom he has been with from the beginning says he is ready for a professional grade instrument, and I agree. I am already aware of which horns are preferred, my problem is, how and/or where can he have the opportunity to try them out before buying? There is no one in my area (Phoenix, AZ) who keep more than one, if any, of any brand of professional grade euphoniums in stock. He has been able to try out one of the Besson Prestige, but wants to compare it to others in its class.

I have no problem spending $5K+ for a good horn, but to buy one without having tried it out first just isn't an option. I know some of the online retailers have "trial periods" but shuffling what could be a number of large, expensive instruments through the postal/ups, etc system over the course of a number of months does not sound very practical.

Ideally, I would like him to have the opportunity to try more than one at a time, which I am beginning to realize may not be possible.

Where do I go? Are there any retailers in the southwest (CA,AZ,NM....) that would have these instruments on hand to try? Euphoniums-R-Us?

I am at a loss at where to go from here. How does one decide on which euphonium to purchase, if one cannot get hold of one to test?

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

H. Peterson