Last week, I received my 1906 Conn double bell euphonium from the repair shop. I had gone back and forth for a few years to get one, and back in May I came across this one. It has four valves up top and one on the side for the smaller bell. Most that I had seen had three on top and two on the side, so I was happy to find one to which I'm used. It seems to be all original, including the case (although the leather strap has been replaced with a rolled up plastic bag). I was told it hadn't been played in 20 years, and the valves and slides were either stuck or hard to open. So, I brought it to Carl Chudy in Stonington, Conn., who did a phenomenal job. The horn plays and sounds absolutely wonderful. It also came with the lyre, and separate mouthpieces and slides, which leads into the next part.
I thought the extra slides, which you can see below in the pictures, were to change the key of the horn. Last week, before a concert with the community band in which I play, I used the horn for the first time since I got it back from the shop and it played very sharp. I pulled out the main slide nearly all the way out and it was better after that. Tonight, before our concert, I swapped the slide with the larger one and it sounded much better. You can see the difference in size in picture 2; the one in the background was the one I used tonight. There's also a separate slide to swap out with the one for the smaller bell, which you can see in picture 3. Clearly these are not used to change the key, but I can't seem to figure out what is their use.
This horn also came with two mouthpieces, which you can see below in picture 4. One has the letter B, and the other the letter E (both have Conn on the stem). Before I swapped out the slides, I thought these were for the different keys of the horn (like Bb and Eb) but I don't think that's true. What is it? I feel like this is an episode of "Ask This Old House."