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Thread: Alternatives to the Adams Horn

  1. Alternatives to the Adams Horn

    Hello all,

    I am going into the Army to play euphonium so I ordered an Adams E2. Unfortunately, Adams sent a shipment of three instruments to the dealer and all of them were wrong. None of the customizations were right and the finishing was sloppy. I was very disappointed by this, but not completely shocked. The school I go to ordered an Adams and they received an E1 instead of the E2 that was ordered.

    I am looking for advice about where to go from here. I really want an Adams because it is hands down the best horn I have played, but I am obviously leery of doing business with them ever again. The dealer I ordered from is dropping the brand because of how inconsistent Adams has been. I could try and order one from somewhere else. Again I am leery of going through this all again. It will be another 6 month wait and no guarantee of having the right horn waiting for me after boot camp. How do other models stack up? I have played a Meinl-Weston 551 and the Adams killed it. I have also played The Miraphone 5050 and enjoyed it, but it still wasn't as good as the Adams. How do other brands stack up?
    All input is appreciated!

  2. Hello euphphilli,

    My name is Aaron Hunt and I work in the export department at Adams Musical Instrument in the Netherlands. It is unfortunate to see you post, but I understand that something is not as it should be.

    I don’t know what has happened in the current situation—whether the wrong instruments were delivered, or if something else has gone wrong. From your post, you sound interested in an Adams Euphonium. Please contact me directly at aaron.hunt@adams.nl, and I’ll work with you to expedite a solution for both your personal horn, and also investigate and solve the E1/E2 issue that your school experienced. I’m looking forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

  3. #3
    Thanks to Aaron Hunt for responding to this issue directly!

    I'm sorry you had such problems, but I think your quest may be worth it. If you have read the forum and blog you already know this, but my own feeling is that Adams is the best horn out there. They are constantly working to improve it, too, which is an advantage of a hand-made horn - they can be more flexible when producing instruments. If they learn today that a particular tweak somewhere would improve the horn, they can implement it very quickly. With many brands, making a small change requires a lot of $$ and time to do the necessary retooling.

    My own horn is the brushed finish with sterling bell. That's in most of my pictures lately. However, a few weeks ago they sent me a sample from the newer production. It had been on display at TMEA, so it was already in the country. It has the same specs as mine except for being shiny. I like it so much that I just used it on a recital at the University of Iowa last night (that breaks one of my rules of getting a horn well broken in before relying on it for an important performance, but I went for it anyway!). The new production version plays ever more smoothly than mine, which is darned impressive, given how well my own horn plays. Oh, and while this one does not have my custom-angle leadpipe (modified for my upstream embouchure), it has a more comfortable wrap, which lets the horn "lean out" a bit more from your body. That makes it more comfortable for the right arm. AND they have reduced the reach for the left hand to make that even more comfortable. My own was customized in a particular way to reduce that reach for my weakened left wrist, but this new one is comfortable "out of the box."

    So there are some of the reasons I say to stick with the quest and get an Adams.

    Here is a shot from last night:

    Click image for larger version. 

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    El Paso, Texas
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    Dave... Now I just want another one! I did eventually start to notice the weird placement of the 4th valve and my wrist didn't let me forget it. Other than that the only issue I still have is the inability of my horn to keep slide grease solid. My last effort before I give up is pure lanolin, fingers crossed. Last thing I tried was Thomas Music's Tune Lube which from what I've been told is what Adams uses in factory, and it liquified and actually got into my valves and it is a real labor to play fast passages now.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    Now I just want another one!
    I think having one in silver and one in lacquer would be a good choice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    I did eventually start to notice the weird placement of the 4th valve and my wrist didn't let me forget it.
    Interesting. I had a 2010 horn for a loaner and did not really have a problem with the reach, although I still chose to have my permanent horn made with a reduced reach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    Other than that the only issue I still have is the inability of my horn to keep slide grease solid. My last effort before I give up is pure lanolin, fingers crossed. Last thing I tried was Thomas Music's Tune Lube which from what I've been told is what Adams uses in factory, and it liquified and actually got into my valves and it is a real labor to play fast passages now.
    I use plain old Selmer grease and it's been just fine. It is compatible with my Blue Juice oil, based on the results I'm getting.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    OP,

    In case you can't tell, these are hallowed halls for the Adams. They clearly make an effort to satisfy their customers, but clearly, you are not satisfied. You may be interested in tracking down an old Hirsbrunner (specifically the small-bore 'Standard' model 378), as I believe Adams used the old Hirsbrunner tooling for their euphs and tubas.

    If you're willing to wait, have the money, and want to play something.... different, I'd suggest the Inderbinen euph, but I can't speak towards any of it playing qualities.

    Connor Jones

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DaTweeka View Post
    You may be interested in tracking down an old Hirsbrunner (specifically the small-bore 'Standard' model 378), as I believe Adams used the old Hirsbrunner tooling for their euphs and tubas.
    Nope, not the euphonium. The tubas DO use Hirsbrunner tooling, although they are modified from the original. The euphoniums are a design unique from the HB.

    euphphilli: are you still following this thread? Do you plan to contact Aaron or are you set on going a different direction? Thanks.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    El Paso, Texas
    Posts
    383
    A silver horn would be amazing! Too bad I'm saving to buy a used tuba that is a better fit for me than the school horns, which aren't bad, just a little under taken care of. Dave, or anyone else, do you know if the old Selmer grease is the same as the bach grease now? A while back I looked for some and either no one had it or it was out of stock, and the bach stuff is pink/red just like the selmer was.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    A silver horn would be amazing! Too bad I'm saving to buy a used tuba...
    Even with my enormous wealth I can't afford two either!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    ,,,do you know if the old Selmer grease is the same as the bach grease now? A while back I looked for some and either no one had it or it was out of stock, and the bach stuff is pink/red just like the selmer was.
    I don't know, but my last order came with Bach subbed for Selmer, and they sure SEEM the same to me. In any case the Bach is what I've been using on the loaner Adams I have now and it seems to work just fine.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    El Paso, Texas
    Posts
    383
    Ideally in a world of unlimited money, I'd have one for solo playing/anything requiring a lighter sound, and one for ensemble playing.

    I tried it, and still no luck keeping my grease solid, none went into the valves but makes my slides dry and scratchy after oiling my valves only maybe a week later(light oiling every one to two days depending on my playing load and out of case time). As mentioned in prior posts, this seems to be an anomaly only I am experiencing with this individual horn. I never had an issue with my greases while using my Besson 967 on a regular basis using the same greases as I started with on my Adams.

    And to clarify on the 4th valve position topic, it is just a little far of a reach and strains my wrist on long days, and days I spend an extended amount of time on tuba. I showed a graduate trumpet student my left hand wrist position and he cringed.
    Last edited by Jrpetty24; 03-29-2015 at 05:50 PM.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

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