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Thread: Cheap Euphs

  1. Cheap Euphs - Schiller Elite

    My Schiller arrived a couple days ago, I just wanted to add my two cents. I LOVE THIS HORN. I find it to be better than my school-owned Besson 700. The tone is great, I love the compensating system (new for me!!), and it is easy for me to reach both high and low notes. I am thrilled as it only cost roughly $900 and the quality seems pretty darn good. My only concern about it is the valves. While they're not slow, there is much more resistance than on my Besson. Also, the distance between the handrest-thing and the valves is greater than than the distance on my Besson, so it feels a little funny. Not bad. Just different.

  2. #122

    Cheap Euphs

    Congratulations on your new horn!

    The valve resistance could be due to heavier springs or simply the newness of the instrument.

    Valves take a bit of time to "bed in," and sometimes lapping compound from mfg migrates into the slide receivers and airways and doesn't get completely removed prior to the horn leaving the factory. (That happens with top-dollar premium horns as well as entry level horns, so it's not necessarily a sign of inferior workmanship or quality control.) Cleaning the valves (and valve slides) frequently can help accelerate the "bedding in" process.

    There's a thread on best practices for breaking in a new horn that's worth reading, if you haven't already.

  3. #123

    Cheap Euphs

    Congrats!! I just had a PM conversation with a fellow forum member the other day about Schiller valves and what we did to help them bed. Here was my process.

    "I really use nothing special on my valves other than Blue Juice and a MicroFiber cloth. For the first six months I had the horn, every single time I took it out of the case I took each valve out wiped it down, applied valve oil, and then work the valve in and out of the casing while twisting it around. It really helps the valves bed in quicker and better. After I practiced, or did whatever It was I was doing, I would repeat the process of wiping, oiling, and working the valves before I put the horn up. I was pretty careful to get all the moisture off the valves, it has to be better to put them up with oil on them than water right? After I started feeling really good about how the valves were moving I stopped doing both and only do it when I put the horn up now. It's a habit, and I feel a little weird if I don't do it."

    Pretty simple really just takes a little patience....

  4. Cheap Euphs

    I ordered a Schiller Elite Compensating Euphonium last week... Very excited for it to come... first euphonium purchase!

  5. #125

    Cheap Euphs

    Congrats on the purchase!!

    Don't forget to be kind to the valves for a while, it will pay off in the long run.

    After you've had it a few weeks let us know what you think.

    I really think the guys at Jim Laabs owe the Dave Werden Forums a nice fat royalty check!!! Or maybe just a Pizza Party.......

  6. Cheap Euphs

    (Finally) Receiving my Schiller tomorrow! I'll give my initial impressions either tomorrow or Saturday then follow up on in in a few weeks. Very excited about it.

    I have a regional orchestra audition (for trombone) on Saturday where I'll be doing a lot of waiting around after the audition for other people to finish. I plan on bring the euph as well to get some more practice time in on it!

    I wonder if the guys at Jim Laabs have even seen this thread...

  7. Cheap Euphs

    Mark my words, as these Chinese stencil horns get better and better, which I think they will, you should see the price of the brand name horns fall a bit.

  8. Cheap Euphs

    All righty - I'm in to add more commentary on the Schiller Elite. After reading through this thread I decided to take the plunge. I haven't played since high school... 32 years ago, and really had the bug to play again, but in no way could I justify the the expense of a 'serious' instrument.

    I've had my lacquer finished Schiller Elite for about two weeks now and have been suitably impressed so far. The only recent comparisons I can make is to a rental instrument I got for a while to prove to myself I could still play. That one was undoubtedly a chinese stencil horn, 4 valve, non-compensating F. Schmidt branded. That one had generally decent appearance, but sticky, gritty valves that I could not keep moving without oiling two or three times an hour. They'd lock up on me completely everytime I put the horn down for a few minutes. Intonation was dreadful and aside from verifying I could still read and play, it was a lousy horn. That experience made me a bit nervous about buying another chinese made horn.

    All I can say is that the Schiller is night and day different from the rental horn. The valves had just a bit of grit to them from manufacturing, but that very quickly went away with a little oiling and cleaning with silver cloth. They're mechanically quiet, smooth and have a strong spring (in a good way). The valve casings have the nipples on the base that allow for a grime gutter for those who are so inclined.

    I've seen some commentary on the horn seeming fragile or lightweight. I haven't used a high end horn, so I can't compare that aspect of it, but as far as I can tell, it's no lighter weight than anything I used in school (Olds, Jupiter, Conn). I'm not seeing that to be an issue in the least.

    Intonation seems quite good. My ear isn't as good as it was when I was young and beautiful, but the tuner indicates it's hanging in there when I'm doing my bit.

    I've put in about 2 hours a day on the horn since I got it (funny perspective on that... as as kid I couldn't stand to practice for more than about 30 minutes. Now I have to stop myself at two hours....) so, after something like 20 hours of play time the valves feel very good; I expect that will continue to improve. I just gave it it's first bath last night; seems to be slightly more free blowing after that, but the difference is marginal.

    For a guy that's looking to take up an old hobby and play in the local community band a bit, I'm hard pressed to find a better value in an instrument. It might be that sometime down the line I might feel a need to upgrade, but thus far I'm absolutely satisfied with the quality of this horn. Thanks to all who have contributed so thoughtfully to this thread. Without this encouragement I probably wouldn't be playing again simply because I couldn't justify the expense, but this wealth of information helped give me the assurance I needed to make the leap and to start doing something that enriches my life.

  9. #129

    Cheap Euphs

    Originally posted by: Baron

    I've put in about 2 hours a day on the horn since I got it (funny perspective on that... as as kid I couldn't stand to practice for more than about 30 minutes. Now I have to stop myself at two hours....)

    After I read this review, I immediately went to click the "Like" button only to be flummoxed by its absence. Oh facebook, what have you done to me?

    Pretty funny on the practicing bit as I found myself the same way. When in college I'd rather run head first into the wall than practice scales, or really anything for that matter. In the year since getting the new horn I can play all 12 Majors and their relative Harmonic minor, going the circle of fifths, circle of fourths, or chromatically from memory. What that does for me now as opposed to ten years ago when I was in school and actually needed to do that I don't know, but my kids at school seem pretty impressed...

    Congrats on the new horn!!!

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Cheap Euphs

    There is a 'like button' of sorts. If you click on the avatar of a poster, you can then rank them. Not exactly like facebook though.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (recently sold)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
    Greensleeves (arr. Alfred Reed)

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