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Thread: Finally tried an adams

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Dave: You said you had the main tuning slide shortened. When you say that, do you actually mean the part you pull out, or rather the legs that you put the slide into? Did you find this necessary to do on "every" Adams you played? Does Adams make their horns with some of the higher European tuning in mind? I think generally A=440 is the standard in the U.S., but some in Europe tune to a slightly higher pitch if different from 440, not usually lower. So, if anything, you would think the Adams horn would not be flat.
    This is an interesting piece of the conversation, both for us on the forum and for Adams as a builder. Miel says that the European players generally want longer slides. As with John, my impression was that Europeans would be playing sharper. But it is also possible that the Europeans have a different approach to playing and that causes them to play a given horn sharper than you or I might.

    My "short" slide was modified at the piece that comes just after the inner legs; they made that one piece (well, two, if you count both sides) a little shorter. The group I play most often with seems to drift sharp, but I have never had to push the slide all the way in. That's funny, because the short slide doesn't look all that different - maybe 1/8" or so visually.
    Last edited by davewerden; 04-17-2016 at 10:19 AM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #12
    John, my E2 experiences were with .6 sterling silver bell horns. The first one I played in 2012-2013 was actually a loaner from stock and it had come with standard caps and bottoms. The second one, which I bought in 2014 came with the heavy caps and bottoms. Soon after that Adams announced they would only make the E2 in heavier gauge metal.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jrpetty24 View Post
    John: For a while, and maybe still currently, Adams was making a special E2 model with .6 gauge and a sterling silver bell. It was an interesting combination and produced interestingly different results I believe. I've never played one in person but I've come close by having all the heavy weight caps, buttons, and bottoms put on my E1 SS .6 gauge.

    Mike: By no means by saying this am I trying to discredit your findings, but is it possible that because of the openness of the SM4 you used mixed with the openness of the Adams horns that you were flat? I played all the horns at TMEA this year including your exact model horn. E3 in lacquer with short action valves, which I loved btw. I had my girlfriend listen to me back and forth between my horn and all of the display horns Adams had and never once did she notice a major difference in intonation. My E1 typically has between 1/2 inch to 1 inch of main tuning slide pull. The only time I'm flat is in rooms that are in the 60 degree area. this causes me to be about 10-15 cents flat from my normal setup.

    In reference to the valve appearance I totally agree, they look a little worn, or even wear funny or not evenly, but my valves are silky smooth and everyone in my studio has drooled over how smooth they are.
    I want to make it perfectly clear that my intent isn't to complain about the horn, or about adams as a maker! This is clearly a well made horn, and obviously Adams is a fabulous company.

    I did try my BB1 and my 51D in addition to my SM4. I had the same concern about the mouthpiece-horn interaction. In every case, I had the same result. I played the adams until it was fully warm, and I still couldn't bring the pitch up to A=440. I picked up the sterling cold, and it was in the proper range with the slide out probably half an inch. Same with the Willson. I was playing in my basement though, which is cooler than a performance space, temperature-wise.

    Again, maybe this particular horn has a quirk, or the slide should be shortened. There are a bunch of variables on this one, including the Short-action valves, which I had zero experience with previously. After playing the Adams for an hour or so, I did get to liking the sound more, though it still lacks some of the bombast I've come to enjoy about the sterling in the low register.

    Mike

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    This is an interesting piece of the conversation, both for us on the forum and for Adams as a builder. Miel says that the European players generally want longer slides. As with John, my impression was that Europeans would be playing sharper. But it is also possible that the Europeans have a different approach to playing and that causes them to play a given horn sharper than you or I might.

    My "short" slide was modified at the piece that comes just after the inner legs; they made that one piece (well, two, if you count both sides) a little shorter. The group I play most often with seems to drift sharp, but I have never had to push the slide all the way in. That's funny, because the short slide doesn't look all that different - maybe 1/8" or so visually.
    It certainly is an interesting conversation issue. I am a European brass player, having played trumpet, Tuba and now Euphonium. The only non-european instruments I have played during my career (both amateur and semi-professional) were a Conn cornet, Conn trumpet and Yamaha Euphonium. I have never given tuning much thought. I just tried to play in tune with the rest of the orchestra/ensemble or the piano when playing solos.
    So actually I never even realised this was an issue and I am indeed very interested to hear other European players' opinions.
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)


  5. #15
    I should have mentioned this before, and I think I did mention it in my first full review of the Adams in 2012. It is a general principle I've found that in a smaller room or rooms with a low ceiling, a horn with a smaller (more compact) sound will have the advantage when comparing 2 horns. I was not sold on the Adams for the first couple weeks I tried it. I gave myself several days of playing it exclusively, then did a comparison with my Sterling. Immediately the Sterling sounded better to me. But this all done in my basement with a low, acoustic ceiling. Once I took it to my church sanctuary (fairly high ceiling, but lots of soft surfaces and wood, so a good balance) the Adams started to show its stuff. As mentioned earlier in this thread, I found the character of sound very similar to the Sterling, but it had a bit more size in the room. More of the process I went through is described here:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/entry.p...stom-Euphonium

    So you need to get the horn into a large room to see what it can do. Also, be sure you are not forcing the sound, but letting the horn resonate with your playing.

    BTW, I went through the same thing many times in the past. So did my section mate Danny Vinson. He was playing a 967 at the time, and for fun tried the CG Band's Willson, comparing the two in a practice room. He thought he'd been missing something, because the Willson sounded better. I have found the same thing in various testing. But when Danny took the two horns up to our concert hall, it was a totally different story. It's not always convenient to do this, but it is necessary for a quality comparison (unless you do only recordings in a small studio or something like that).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #16
    I haven't tried this combination, but one of the disadvantages of having so many customization options is that some of the combinations just don't work very well. And it's not always intuitive. For example, you may find that you really like a heavy red bell on an E1 and you may find that you really like the E3 you tried with a light yellow bell, but when you order an E3 with a heavy red bell and it actually gets made you may find it to be a disappointment. (hypothetical scenario -- I haven't tried that particular combination myself)
    --
    Barry

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    I haven't tried this combination, but one of the disadvantages of having so many customization options is that some of the combinations just don't work very well. And it's not always intuitive. For example, you may find that you really like a heavy red bell on an E1 and you may find that you really like the E3 you tried with a light yellow bell, but when you order an E3 with a heavy red bell and it actually gets made you may find it to be a disappointment. (hypothetical scenario -- I haven't tried that particular combination myself)
    Good observation. I might opine, though, that working very well or not very well may still be mostly dependent on the player's needs. I have not yet tried every combination of Adams, but I have tried a bunch, and thought they might all be good for someone, but only about a third of them really seemed to fit me well. And one of the biggest surprises was a .50" red brass horn that was a real honey! If I were doing only small ensembles and recitals, I might have gone that way because it was so rewarding to play.

    About 40 years ago I had a conversation with Brian Bowman about mouthpieces. He explained that one of the things he liked about the model he was just trying (which was a 51D or something close that he had made), was that it had a narrower rim, which helped endurance, but made up for the expected lost tone of a narrow rim by having a deeper cup. (By "narrow rim" I mean the distance across the hole, not the thickness of the rim's surface.) Anyway, it's similar with horn options, I suppose. The 51D has never seemed right for me in a few ways, but it has clearly satisfied a large number of players.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    155
    regarding tuning in Europe, here in the Netherlands we tune pretty much most of the time on A=440, sometimes on A=441 and rarely on A=442, but the latter is sometimes done to be in tune with for example the glockenspiel if it is tuned to that.
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4

  9. #19
    For those who can visit the Adams booth at ITEC in Knoxville, here is what I know about the horns that will be available to test:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...-2016?p=135226
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    For those who can visit the Adams booth at ITEC in Knoxville, here is what I know about the horns that will be available to test:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...-2016?p=135226
    Dave, that's awesome.

    Also, interesting that the short action valves are still in prototype. That may account for some of the weirdness I experienced with the horn I tried.

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