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Thread: Sovereign 967 & 968

  1. #1

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    Haven't posted much lately. Ran out of things to say; got tired of my opinions. But have switched to Besson, selling everything else.

    Have a German 967 and a German 968.

    The 968 is used in small group -- a tuba/euph quartet and 15 piece brass group.

    The 967 is used in wind ensemble.

    Loving both instruments, especially the 968 with its 11 inch bell. Quite remarkable really how responsive and different it is from the larger bell horns. And non-euph playing brass players really like the 968 sound.

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    919

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    Well, John...

    I never let having nothing to say stop me from saying anything, and my opinions are fine pearls of succinct logical wisdom that would make Plato green with envy. So there!

    I had a British 968 before I had the Willson (acquired in June 2005) that I sold to buy the 5050 (in August 2010).

    In retrospect, I should have kept the 968, but then I never would have had the Willson that I never took to as I took to the 968, and then I never would have had the Willson to sell so I could get cash to acquire the 5050.

    Of the three, I like the 5050 best and the 968 next-best. I had Kevin Powers put a trigger on the 968. I wasn't nuts about how the trigger worked (no stop-screw for tuning) but I made due by using a hose clamp on the main slide for tuning purposes.

    Always loved the 968 sound with the Wick 4.

    Though I followed you into the land of the 5050, you aren't gonna lead me out of the land of the 5050! ;-)
    The 5050 with the replacement shorter tuning slide is a gem.

    See you perhaps between Christmas and New Year's if you are around!!

    Jim W.
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meter CW)
    Shires Q41, Yamaha 321
    Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Wick 4AL or Alliance E3A
    Conn 50H trombone, Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  3. Sovereign 967 & 968

    John,

    I have my Prestige 2051 (sound equivalent to 968) and my Sterling (a bit darker than the 967). I love playing both and use them for the same purposes as yourself.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  4. #4

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    Hi Jim -- the 5050 is a great horn, no questions about it. I simply had some issues with its stiff springs and valve layout; my wrist has an long term injury ("SLAC wrist") and it hurt to play the horn. (Hurts to play all of them, some less than others.)

    I'm here through the season -- give me a call if you are in town.

    Doug -- not surprised that you use the 2051 in the same way as I use the 968. Those smaller belled horns are wonderful in chamber music situations. I've also found that the 968 works great subbing for the trombone in a brass quintet.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    421

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    I'm looking at buying a Besson Sovereign 967. The serial number is 968-762151. Its at a music shop and on consignment. It sounds great to me; much better than my current Yam YEP321 which I bought many moons ago (30 yrs). Cosmetically it has a few minor dings, the bell is in excellent condition. Is it strange the serial number starts with 968 when its a 967, or am I reading too much into it?

    I'm currently getting back into playing and was seeking opinions about the instrument. I've read some of the threads about the differences in sound and different models.

    Any opinions would be helpful.

    Thanks.

    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

  6. #6

    Sovereign 967 & 9682

    Tonewheeler,

    It's very strange. Usually, the three digit prefix was the model number, so unless there's an engraving somewhere on the instrument (probably the bell) identifying it as a 967, I would suspect that the horn is mis-identified.

    It's possible that a 967 bell was married to on a 968 body at some point in the horn's life (the s/n dates to 1987-1988), but that would be a fairly unusual occurrence. Your best bet would be to measure the bell and trust the tale of the tape: the 967 bell is 304mm (a hair less than 12"); the 968 bell is 284mm (a hair less than 11 1/8").

  7. Sovereign 967 & 968

    Are you sure it is a 967? Measure the bell. 11" = 968 12" = 967
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    421

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    I'm not sure now! I took the test drive on Saturday without ever really thinking about the serial numbers. The horn piqued my interested mainly because it was a Besson Sovereign. I noticed the serial number on the side and wrote it down, with the intent of doing some research.

    I'd also be interested in getting an opinion on price, but I don't know if it would be appropriate to mention it on this forum since I'm a newbie to the group.

    Maybe their advertisement was incorrect.

    Either way thanks for clearing up the age range.



    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    421

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    I just verified that it is a 968 (11" bell) and it was not stamped incorrectly on the bell. The advertisement (marked as 967) was wrong on their website. I neglected to look at the model number when I played it.

    That said, does anyone have an opinion to a fair value for a 1988 model #968?

    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

  10. #10

    Sovereign 967 & 968

    Well, how does it play? What's the condition like? How are the valves? 1988 is generally just about as bad as Bessons get but they did let some good ones through... I'd say probably up to around $4000 if it was in absolutely pristine condition and was a really good player. Basement's the limit if it's beat to heck or doesn't play particularly well.

    --
    Barry

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