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Thread: NEW Front-Action Compensated Euphonium

  1. NEW Front-Action Compensated Euphonium

    The NEW Wessex Tubas EP104 'Festivo' front-action compensated euphonium. The new Festivo has the compensated system of the regular euphonium combined with the much greater ergonomic comfort of front action valves which mean the arms are in much more comfortable position. Designed so the 4th valve can be operated by the left hand like regular top action euphonium, or the little finger of the right hand as on many tubas.

    The prototype Festivo will be on display and available to try at ITEC, Knoxville, USA in one month - and expected to be available to purchase from November 2016







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  2. Any specs yet as to bore size, bell diameter, weight, etc.? I surmise it will have the standard large receiver? Thanks.

  3. Will have regular large (bass trombone size) receiver. Bore is identical to Dolce euphonium of 15mm (0.59′′) valves 1-3, 16.8mm (0.66′′) 4th valve. Bell diameter is 300mm on prototype, but we are looking at reducing to 280mm on production model to make a tonal difference from the Dolce.

    Weight of prototype is around 9╝lb.

    The idea was to make a euphonium that played as well as the Dolce, with the greater comfort of the front valves. Initial indications are it may even play better with it straighter route through the bugle.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathantuba View Post
    The new Festivo has the compensated system of the regular euphonium combined with the much greater ergonomic comfort of front action valves which mean the arms are in much more comfortable position. Designed so the 4th valve can be operated by the left hand like regular top action euphonium, or the little finger of the right hand as on many tubas.
    This is a very interesting (and I would even say "innovative") approach to the design of the instrument. I'm afraid it will make it difficult for some people to continue with the argument that the Chinese instruments are simply "copies" of Western designs. Of course, perhaps the design is "western" (UK?), but it matters little since the real importance lies in the result.

    Personally, I'm a little skeptical of the ergonomics -- for myself. But I can't really make a judgment on that until I try the instrument. I was previously skeptical of my ability to use a 3+1 instrument, but now I'm not inclined to consider anything else. I thought that the top-action valves coupled with the side fourth valve would give me more problems with my shoulder arthritis. But they didn't, and in fact they seem more comfortable -- for me anyway. I do suspect that this instrument may be noticeably easier to play while standing or marching.

    There are definitely advantages to a front-action horn like this -- not the least of which is how water drains in it.

    So I guess the real question is "When will the replaceable bell front / bell up model be released?".
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    So I guess the real question is "When will the replaceable bell front / bell up model be released?".
    No plans for bell front on this model. The height of the upward bell makes it not suitable for so configuring.

    This euphonium you can say "designed in UK, manufactured in China"!

    I am trying to move Wessex away from selling clones, except where it is to resurrect discontinued designs. A completely new bass trombone is also in development, as well as tubas.
    Last edited by Jonathantuba; 05-01-2016 at 05:41 PM.
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  6. #6
    This is very intriguing! Well done. Have you been able to tell if there will be water or other sundry things spewing from the bottom of the valves? I know they are now mostly sideways. I can't remember back 50 years if my student model baritones spewed stuff from the bottom of the valves or not.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  7. It has not been played enough by me to identify if water will spew from valves - but guess going from experience with front action tubas, that will not be a problem. John Powell of Tubalate is currently trialling the Festivo, so he may be able to conclusively say.
    www.Wessex-Tubas.com
    Customer Services & Chicago Showroom visits: Opus@Wessex-Tubas.com
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  8. #8
    For a long time I played a Conn front-action 4-valve (see sig), and I don't remember ever having a problem with water from the valves. For both the vertical-valve Jinbao (both the euph and the bari) I had to get grime gutters.

    Jonathan, repeating what I said on FB, I'm hoping you can send someone with the prototype to IET in Atlanta, in June. The ergonomics of front valves are ingrained in my brain, since that's all I played from 1958 to 2012, and I'd love to try that horn out.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  9. #9
    The more I look at that horn, the more it is just "way too cool"! When I first looked at it, I thought genetic engineering for some odd reason I can't explain. It was just so different yet similar all at once. And this puts your peepers going around the right side as opposed to the left side with the classic upright 3+1 horns. I will be at ITEC, and even though I have a custom Adams E3 Euphonium in the works, and one of your fine Wessex Dolce Euphoniums (which I am keeping even after the Adams arrives), I want to try this horn. If I like it, who knows, I may unload the Wessex Dolce (several people I know already have asked me to sell it to them when my Adams arrives) and get one of these. They look easy to hold. Anxious to give it a blow at ITEC. Don't sell it before I get a chance!!

    My wife, Linda, and I are traveling to ITEC on our almost new Harley Ultra Limited. Just got J&M headsets installed in some new helmets, so we can listen to an endless supply of top 10 euphonium hits on the way. Will not forget to bring my mouthpiece(s) along for testing all the good stuff at ITEC. I only mention the motorcycle because coming to ITEC with all the instruments to drool over is exceedingly dangerous - I may be inclined to buy way more things then I could possibly use or afford. The motorcycle kind of limits my buying to maybe valve oil or a new mouthpiece.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-01-2016 at 07:26 PM.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  10. #10
    As a tuba player, I LOVE THIS

    this makes me double my efforts to get to ITEC, I may have to sell my king and move to one of these

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