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Thread: Euphonium ID

  1. #1

    Question Euphonium ID

    First of all, I'm new to brass instruments. I just bought a second (or third or fourth or nth) hand euphonium. I saw it and loved it, don't know why. It has a Salvationist Publishing and Supplies imprint. The serial # is 30781. It indicates an address: London, UK, Judd St. Does anyone know the date of its manufacture? It is quite dinged up too and silver plated (I'm guessing) with the brass look on the inside of the horn. What is its approximate worth, considering its dented condition? Also, it came with a massive mouthpiece, almost a shooter glass shape. This seems strange. The instrument is also imprinted with the words "Super Triumphonic". I am having a hard time figuring out much about this instrument and I would love to know more about it.

  2. #2
    I'm hoping Charley Brighton (forum username "highams") will chime in on this one. He is the expert on such things. I don't know the history of the SA horns, but they are similar to Besson/Boosey instruments in many ways.

    In the meantime check out Charley's website. There are some links you might enjoy:

    Or try to shoot him a PM on the forum. I don't know how often he checks in, but he'd be happy to answer your questions, I'm sure.
    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

  3. For many years (up until 1972), the Salvation Army built their own line of horns in St. Albans under the model names "Bandmaster" or "Triumphonic". The Bandmasters were the top of the line and were available only in Bb cornet and euphonium. They tend to be very well built and very heavy, designed for long use under harsh conditions that an SA musician might put them to. However, their designs were not as advanced, didn't sound as good, nor did they play as welll as the equivalent Besson or Boosey & Hawkes instrument of the time. Thus, the best musicians, particularly Staff bandsmen would prefer to play the professional quality Besson New Standard/Boosey & Hawkes Imperial horns. Near the end of their production, the SA started producing compensating instruments using the Besson designs. I have a SA Triumphonic baritone that is an example of such a design. In 1972, the St. Albans facility closed down and Boosey & Hawkes took over production of Bandmaster cornets and Triumphonic tenor horns. This ceased entirely in 1979.

    Charley Brighton can find out the date of manufacture based on the serial number. My Triumphonic baritone #31794 was built in January of 1965. Charley has a Super Triumphonic euphonium #31907 and it was dated March of 1965. Based on this, I would guess your horn is a 1963-64 vintage. As regards the Super Triumphonic horns built by the Salvation Army, these were fully compensating 4 valve horns built usintg the Besson/B&H "New Standard" design. They are quite rare, but not necessarily terribly valuable. How does yours play? Often the SA horns have lived a long life and the valves leak, which makes them difficult to play and quite pitchy. Also, up to 1964 the SA built both low pitch (A=440) and high pitch (A=452.5) instruments. Your horn should have an LP or HP in its insignia. If it is HP, it may be a "wall hanger".

    You can contact the Salvation Army heritage center at or contact the following person for mor information.

    Steven Spencer
    Assistant Archivist
    The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
    William Booth College
    Champion Park
    London SE5 8BQ
    020 7326 7808
    Last edited by daruby; 09-29-2012 at 08:15 PM.

  4. 307xxx date to 1963/1964.

    London, Judd St. Kings Cross was the address of SPS.
    Last edited by megan; 09-28-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  5. #5
    More information about this instrument: it is a three valve and I can't find LP or HP anywhere on it.
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  6. This horn looks pretty good. I bet it would look great if cleaned up a bit. How does it play?

    This is definitely a St. Albans horn from 1963/64 built using Besson designs and tooling for the 3-valve New Standard compensating euphonium. I would also bet it is a good deal heavier than a Besson built horn. The mouthpiece is VERY strange. Is it medium shank? If so, you can get new mouthpieces like a Denis Wick 4AM to replace it (which I would recommend). If a small (tenor) shank, I would recommend a Denis Wick 4AY. If a large shank, consider Wick 4AL.

    I also am pretty certain this is a LP horn. You can tell quickly if you tune it using a modern tuner. An HP horn would require pulling all slides out tho the max and still would tend to be sharp.


  7. Here is a picture of my January, 1965 SA Triumphonic baritone. It looked pretty similar in conditioon to your Euphonium when I got it. In the first picture, you can see the LP in the insignia on the bell. Keep in mind that the SA bands were playing HP horns (A=452.5) well into the 1970's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by daruby; 09-29-2012 at 11:46 PM.

  8. #8
    I went to a music store and they said the shank was large. I ordered a new mouthpiece and am waiting for that. I bought the instrument on a whim at an estate sale because it looked so cool. Not sure why I did that, but I though 60$ (CAD) was a sweet deal. I now have to learn to play it. It needs some oil and a cleaning. Your baritone looks amazing; mine has a few very serious dents.

  9. #9
    Yes, the Super Triumphonic range was the long awaited compensated (3 & 4 valve) version of the Triumphonic, made with various parts under license from B&H, except the valves & valve blocks themselves.

    Whilst the body of the instrument retained its 'built like a tank' structure, the valves were poor and usualy plated over brass, unlike the B&H monel & stainless steel ones, hence most models you find now are pretty worn & leaky.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Thanks for the information people. Would this mean that the dates previously suggested still apply? I did buy a mouthpiece for it, but it ended up being the wrong size (stupid me). It just doesn't fit. Also, would anyone have any idea on this instruments worth?

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