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Thread: Why is this languishing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Gettysburg, Pa

    Why is this languishing?

    It's not that I need another horn, but I'm curious. This Miraphone euphonium (Kaiser baritone?) has been languishing on eBay all summer. Apparently it sold once but was returned, according to the seller, because "the buyer didn't like the intonation." The price seems very reasonable.

    So why is there so little interest? The Chinese instruments of this type sell for just a little less. Anyway, what don't I understand?

  2. #2
    Miraphone has several models that look similar to the American eye. Liking a horn is largely a matter of what you expect from it. You might one of the larger-bore euphonium-type oval instruments and end up with one that is more baritone-sized. And if you put down a Besson New Standard and pick up the Miraphone, it is a very different experience. That makes it a little hard to sell.

    Also, consider the odds. What percentage of the euphoniums in this country have rotary valves? I'm guessing it's way down in the single-digit percentage. Let's say it is 2%. Having 1/50th of the horns around like this one, knowing they won't fit well in a standard concert band, and having at the very least some unique intonation characteristics makes them a tough sell unless you want one for a German band or solo work (or some other unique opportunity).

    Having played alongside a Russian band that used two "baritone" types and one "euphonium" type, I can see the charm. A section like that has a nice, melodic sound. It would work well in much of our concert music, but not so well in some. And you need a whole section to agree on the style of horn.

    So that's my guess. Anyone else?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Well, the horn is different. And sometimes just being different makes it unattractive.

    I spent many years in Europe playing alongside these horns. While I agree with Dave that these horns lend a nice melodic sound, they do have intonation quirks that just aren't that severe in most pro-level horns I've played on. Stuffiness and ergonomics also weigh into it too. Meh. I'm too far gone to adapt to something new like that, so a horn like that has absolutely no appeal to me at all.
    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?)

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