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Thread: B&H Sovereign Euphonium query

  1. #1

    B&H Sovereign Euphonium query

    Hey all,

    Apologies if this seems as if its a repeat but this ties into my previous post.

    Just as a general query, what do use guys think about B&H Sovereign Euphoniums from the early 1980's? I am thinking of using one as my main euphonium for at university studying my BMus. This is because I virtually have no money at all to go out and buy one and my church (Salvation Army) has a spare euphonium which is a 1981 B&H Sovereign model that I might be able to use. I know there are guys out there who still swear by them and will take them over a modern Prestige, Eminence or Yamaha Custom by a long shot. This I assume is to how great they were built at that time and the tone production they have. The only worrying thing I have is due to the age of it (30+ years), the valves might be in poor condition and the intonation might be a tad wonky. So it would be greatly appreciated if anyone could give their views on this type of euphonium and whether it will be fine for uni use.

    Also on a side note, what is the main difference or differences between Besson Sovereign and Besson International euphos? Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but I am still relatively new to the world of euphoniums and low brass, so I am trying to get an understand for them.

    Also if you wouldn't mind, swing by my other thread which is discussing something else that ties in.

    Thanks all and have a great week


  2. #2
    The valves may or may not be OK. It's not possible to tell that just from the age, because it depends on the care they received and the amount (and conditions) of playing.

    If the horn seals OK then it could be just fine for your purpose. I played a Sovereign professionally for about 10 years. The intonation on the 6th partial is a problem (other than that, it is not bad). I used alternate fingerings to address this, which is the simplest solution. You could install a trigger, but that is expensive and can bring other complications.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
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    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    El Paso, Texas
    I just sold my 1985 B&H/Besson Soveriegn 967 and I loved it. Valves were good condition, and like you said the tone was unmatched for most horns especially the new Bessons in my opinion. Like Dave 6th partial is an issue but is manageable with 2-3 for E, 1-3 for Eb, and various ones for F worked. It would work just fine, the only horn I played that I thoroughly liked better was my current horn, Adams.
    Last edited by RickF; 05-18-2015 at 04:26 PM.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  4. #4
    Say you need all four valves redone, that's about $1,500. If the guides need to be replaced, well worn, original brass guides might have to be drilled out. If you're approaching $1,800, or more to fix that horn, it might be best to look at used Yamaha 642, or the Wessex brand.

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