Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Calling all Adams and Sterling aficionados!

  1. Question Calling all Adams and Sterling aficionados!

    My first post to the forum... take it easy on me.

    I've played a Besson Sovereign for the past 23 years and have wanted a Sterling Virtuoso for nearly as long, but the rave reviews of Adams are hard to ignore! The trouble is, I have no idea which Adams options will yield the desired results.

    I'd like a tone somewhere between the Sterling Virtuoso IV with heavy red brass and the standard red brass models, but with the responsiveness of the standard red brass. Can't get enough of the singing quality of Sterling instruments. A shorter valve travel than the Sterling is definitely appreciated.

    So, what Adams configuration produces the above? What metal gauge, bell material, E1 or E2 model, et al?

    Regarding bell material, what does Adams mean by sterling silver (Ag) bell? Is the entire bell, from rim to bottom bow, made of solid Ag? If so, is it durable? When I spoke with the folks at Custom Music about the Ag bell option on Sterling brand euphoniums, they said it's only the top 4-5" of the bell that are Ag. They also said this particular application of Ag doesn't make much difference in tone. Thoughts?

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I have zero patience for poor craftsmanship with respect to fit and finish? Does Adams have any plating issues (bubbles, peeling, et al) on the valve block?

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Peter
    Last edited by 50MilesToGo; 04-30-2013 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Strange formatting.

  2. Quote Originally Posted by 50MilesToGo View Post
    When I spoke with the folks at Custom Music about the Ag bell option on Sterling brand euphoniums, they said it's only the top 4-5" of the bell that are Ag. They also said this particular application of Ag doesn't make much difference in tone. Thoughts?
    I just heard from Paul Riggett about the Ag bell and he stated that it's no longer available due to metallurgy changes by his supplier. Apparently, the supplier refined their Ag to 99% pure, making it too soft for use in instrument bells.

    The rest of my question(s) still stand.

    Best,
    Peter

  3. #3
    In Adams' case, they use solid sterling silver for the entire bell section, from the last joint on the bottom bow to the rim of the bell. They told me it took them a lot of effort to perfect the soldering of the bell flair and bell neck together because ss is so soft.

    I used to play on a Virtuoso with a heavy red bell. My first Adams (a loaner) was the .55 metal with ss bell. In comparing them in my studio, the Sterling won out for tone. However, I found that was an anomaly of testing in a small room. Once I got to a large room the Adams won. It has all the singing qualities I liked with a little larger sound overall, and it easily won the day for responsiveness. Now I am playing a .60 metal horn with the ss bell. It has a little larger sound, especially when pushed, than the .55. The heavier horn doesn't feel quite as "nimble" as the .55, but it is still much more nimble than my Virtuoso was.

    Look for a PM from me later today.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  4. Hey Peter,

    Having been an artist for both brands I can confidently say that you will have no problems with quality from either. They are very different instruments though, it all depends on your personal preference. Adams has a few more options in terms of bell materials and bell thicknesses. Best scenario would be to try both first if possible. Good luck with your purchase!
    Last edited by cochranme; 05-02-2013 at 11:29 AM.
    Martin Cochran
    Adams Performing Artist
    mceuph75@gmail.com

  5. #5
    I purchased a Model IV Sterling Virtuoso in March 2009. I gave the horn almost 4 years of training myself to deal with its intonation quirks (4th space G is about 45 cents sharp) and the infamous 6th partial is about 20 cents sharp. The trigger helps somewhat, but I still find myself fighting the horn.

    The Model IV has a heavy red brass bell and there's a tuning trigger on the main slide, as mentioned. I don't hear much difference between heavy caps and regular caps, so that's not a selling point with me.

    But I went ahead and ordered an Adams E1, 0.6mm sterling silver bell (pretty much the same as Dave, except for a different finish and a couple of other aesthetic things). I found the Adams that I tried at TMEA this past February to be more friendly in terms of intonation, ergs were good, and the sound was malleable and controllable.

    The finish of the Adams is where you have lots and lots of options. After having talked to Miel, there doesn't appear to be much that they can't/won't do. I guess some of the heavy hitter players have gone to the factory and had the horn custom-fitted to them but that's beyond me. All the same, I opted for things like a grime gutter and rosewood finger button inlays (rather than mother-of-pearl). The upshot is, Adams will do more for you than what they post on their web site.

    I'm still playing on my Virtuoso and will until the Adams comes in -- should be in about a month or six weeks. Looking forward to it! If you're looking for an Virtuoso and you think you'd like to consider mine, it'll be for sale soon. Shoot me a PM.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  6. @Eupher6 Thanks for your response. I have an irrational desire to own a brand-new horn, cost be damned. That's partly what makes the decision so intractable... spending $7k on an instrument that I can't play test or readily return. Dillon Music will have a new Sterling Virtuoso IV in about two months, so I'll wait to see how it plays. If that doesn't go well I'm going to bite the bullet and order Dave Werden's exact horn, just with a bright silver finish over the various metal types he selected.

    Looking forward to hearing your Adams vs Sterling comparison in a few months.

  7. Did you have to put the money down before they ordered the Sterling for you?
    Christopher Chen
    bolded are for sale
    B&H 967 - Globe Stamp
    B&H 960 (3 valve comp euph) - Globe Stamp
    Salvation Army Triumphonic Eb Alto, silver plated


    On the lookout for:
    Silver plated:
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Alto/Tenor Horn
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Baritone (3 valve)

    York/Sterling/LMI variants accepted

  8. No, they ordered the instrument for inventory... I just have an option to purchase.

  9. Oh okay. Did they order it because you asked?
    Christopher Chen
    bolded are for sale
    B&H 967 - Globe Stamp
    B&H 960 (3 valve comp euph) - Globe Stamp
    Salvation Army Triumphonic Eb Alto, silver plated


    On the lookout for:
    Silver plated:
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Alto/Tenor Horn
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Baritone (3 valve)

    York/Sterling/LMI variants accepted

  10. No, they sold their inventory horn at a conference... sounds like it's a replacement. They're just giving me an option on it.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •