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Thread: Need help deciding between new horns!!!

  1. Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    Ok, ok, ok... I know that there has been a million and one of these topics, but, this makes it a million and two. I decided to sell my 842S so that I can buy a new horn. The new horns that I'm trying to decide between are the Besson Prestige 2052 and the Miraphone 5050.

    I'm pretty sure that I will be very happy with the 2052, I've been playing on an older Besson Sovereign at work lately and I love it... Great valves, great sound, great projection, the intonation is average (not as good as my 842S) but I have no problem lipping everything in tune. So with all of the positive things that I've been hearing about the new Bessons, I can only imagine that a new Prestige would be even better.

    The new Miraphone 5050 is a horn that I have been drooling over since the first time I saw it and heard it live. Demondrae and Ben Pierce both sound amazing on it (but, they would sound amazing playing a garden hose with a mouthpiece), and the build quality of the horn looks amazing. The horn has probably the most unique sound of any horn I've ever heard. It's sound is warm, dark, huge and beautiful... the thing that I'm worried about is that it's sound might be TOO unique or TOO different to play it in any and every ensemble. In the Navy Band I need a horn that I can use in every single ensemble, from concert band, to brass choir, the occasional brass quintet or quartet, and yes, soloing too.

    What are your thoughts?
    Gregory E. Lopes
    Euphonium player
    US Navy Band Great Lakes
    US Navy Music Program, 2009-Present

    Besson Prestige 2052

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    San Diego, California

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!


    I love my Miraphone 5050 "Ambassador" since I bought it new this past March. It's amazing build quality and has great intonation at all registers.

    Ergonomically, it works for me perfectly. I can't think of a thing that I would change.

    I can't say enough positive things about it.

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

  3. #3

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!


    My name is James and I play a BE2052. I currently attend Oakland university and I play in brass band and the wind symphony. I love how flexible the horn is when I have to change groups. It blends great in a brass band setting and it is awesome in the wind band. It has great projection, sound, and mechanical action. Its also is a really good solo horn. its 12" bell helps you project over ensembles well. Its sound is also really colorful. The Miraphone is an amazing instrument. Like you mentioned the build quality and sound is amazing. However, overall the Besson is the best horn I have played. Its flexible when changing ensembles, sound great, and the valves speak for themselves. Good luck with your choice.

    James Long
    Besson 2052
    Falcone Finalist
    Oakland University Brass Band

  4. #4

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    I don't think you can go wrong with either one. That said, here tuppence from a (decidedly) amateur prespective:

    If the sound of the Sovereign you're currently playing is an important consideration in regard to the Prestige, I think you would be well served to do a side-by-side test between the Sovereign and a 2052. (That's not to say that the 2052 sound isn't attractive, just that it's different than the classic "Besson" sound.)

    I played an mid-'70s Imperial for 26 years before buying a Sterling in 2009. The 2051 and 2052 and the 967 I play-tested during my search were markedly better in terms of response and intonation (and, of course, the Prestige valves were to die for), but the sound was noticeably lighter and thinner than the sound of my Imperial. (In blind sound tests between my Imperial and the German-made Bessons, the other members in my church brass sextet were able to identify my Imperial every time, whereas when I tested the York and the Sterling, no one scored better than ~60%.)

    I liked everything about the Miraphone 5050 when I tried it. I REALLY liked the sound: it sizzles without becoming bright. It is unique, but I don't think it would be out of place in an ensemble of any size.

    That said, I would be somewhat concerned about the volume of sound the 5050 puts out. The 5050 is so responsive, and the volume ramps up so easily and smoothly that I found I really had to dial back on the dynamics (at the cost of clarity and resonance--though that may have been due to my lack of familiarity with the 5050's playing characteristics) or I would bury the rest of the sextet. (Though I would hasten to note that the 14 day trial wasn't nearly long enough to adjust to the much more open blow and more facile responsiveness of the 5050 compared to my Imperial.)

    (Of course, if you REALLY want the 5050, just have the procurement officer to order 5050s for the rest of the euph section and tell everyone else to play louder! )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    I use the 5050 in a brass choir, a wind ensemble, a brass quintet (sometimes), in a tuba-euph quartet, and solo.
    Nobody has asked me to leave yet.

    If you get a 5050, make sure to get one with a short tuning slide. The one I got came with a tuning slide that forced the horn flat.

    An email to Miraphone led to receipt of a new tuning slide within a couple of days.

    Had that not come through, I was prepared to take the 5050 to a repair expert in southern Indiana to cut. That's how much I like the sound and response.

    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

  6. #6

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    For me, the 5050 did not work well in smaller groups. Too large and too big a sound, even in piano passages. But it sure sounded good!


  7. #7

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    When I decided on a new horn a couple of months ago, I test played both the Besson and the Miraphone, and eventually bought the Miraphone.

    I don't know how to describe it in detail, but the Besson just didn't work out for me. It felt a but small, not open enough, and a bit fuzzy on my lips. That said, the M5050 did feel much better, as it is quite a big horn and I loved the sound. So far, I got positive remarks from several other players and my conductors (symphonic winds). I'm not in a position to judge it in a smaller ensemble, though.

    Cheers, FKE

  8. #8

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    Both are very responsive easy to play instruments, but the feel and sound is very different. I prefer the Besson, I just don't like the miraphone's sound very much and it feels more difficult to navigate for me. That said, Besson's US operations are terrible and disorganized. I've been trying to buy a new prestige for over a month now and have been completely frustrated. Had I not already paid for it I might be tempted to go with another marque even though Besson is my favorite to play, just to spite them. It's that bad.


  9. #9

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    Originally posted by: bbocaner ...Besson's US operations are terrible and disorganized.
    How are everyone's experiences with Miraphone's U.S. operations (or dealer network)?

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10

    Need help deciding between new horns!!!

    Dave, I think I'm right in saying that Miraphone sells factory direct to their retailers, which cuts out one level of potential problem.


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