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Thread: Custom Adams E3 for Brass Band use

  1. #11
    Brand inertia is nothing new in the USA either, at least in the past. For a couple decades or so, most serious players were only going to consider a Willson 2900. Today the market is more open and more brands are found among the better players.

    There will always be a bias for some folks (maybe most, I'm not sure) based on things other than testing horns and evaluating them. It's not different with cars and other products.
    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
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    111
    Very true. If you take Tesla as an example they are taking the fight to big boys, but again Adams couldn't (probably)and shouldn't do this. In brass band terms Besson is everywhere, on every band news site, sponsoring bands, paying players, providing prizes for contests etc. The National Youth Band will always have some link to Besson in its tutors (who are handpicked by the cartel I mentioned previously), conductors and guest soloists. Conspiracy eh? Probably not, but I regard it as proof of the fat cats living off brass bands seeking actively to keep everything precisely as it is. Would Matthew van Emmerik be a great choice for guest soloist at a big contest pre-results concert, or with the NYBBGB? Damn straight, but it will always be the path of least resistance in the form of David Childs. Regrettably nepotism is at the very heart of it. The movement should welcome these fabulous instrumental innovations - imagine what Adams could do with the bass tuba - but until the people at the top have the interests of the movement at heart rather than their own, nothing will change. Sorry for the digression again!
    1983 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign
    Denis Wick SM4 (original series)

  3. What are the differences/similarities between the sound of Besson and the Adams E3?

  4. It isn't so much nepotism as it is inertia and support. For instance, Sterling have chosen to focus on brass banding in the UK and Northern Europe (Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium). They are doing pretty well and you have someone like Glyn Williams playing Sterling and soloing even in a Besson sponsored Cory band. David Thornton has also done well as a Sterling artist. But Besson puts a LOT of marketing dollars into banding and artists on a worldwide basis that the smaller manufacturers cannot afford to do. It takes a lot of money and support to pull together organizations like NYBBGB, provide a set of instruments to a top level band, or sponsor the travels and performances of artists around the world. Besson have the wherewithal to do that, and overall, it is good for the industry. In Japan, Yamaha does so much more, having repair shops in many of the schools (at all levels) and supporting thousands of beginners, intermediates, and artists.

    Given the backlogs at the custom manufacturers like Sterling and Adams, the current "system" doesn't seem to be overly broken.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  5. Hi All,

    I visited Adams in Ittervoort so I could try test the euphoniums. My preferred sound is British style Brass Band (Morgan Griffiths, Lyndon Baglin) (don’t like the overblowing sounds that seems to be a trend but that is another discussion)

    Unfortunately I was informed that there was no E3 on stock for me to try.

    The horns I tried/compared:

    Sterling Virtuoso (300mm, red brass bell) (mine)
    E2 (selected model, 0.8 yellow brass)
    E1 (0.6 red brass)
    E1 (0.6 Sterling silver)

    I started with warming up on my own Sterling Virtuoso focusing on sound only and trying to get a feel for the room I was in. (approx. 50m2)
    After warming up I tried some lyrical stuff / explored the extreme ranges and did some technical bits on all euphoniums. These are my thoughts:

    Sterling Virtuoso (mine):
    Love this instrument for it’s nice and warm sound (that’s why I bought it). Sometimes it lacks a little punch to my taste. Compensating register could do with a more open feel. High range is the easiest and fullest I have ever played. Articulation is fine.

    E2 (Selected model):
    Sound is good for all-round use. Was capable of giving some punch to the sound. Compensating register had a more open feel then the Sterling. Projection and articulation seemed a bit more difficult then E1.

    E1 (0.6 red brass)
    Lighter sound then the E2 and Sterling. Response was excellent, could easily get the horn to sound on air only (no tongue). Compensating range felt even more open than the E2. Projection was difficult again (could not fill the room with sound as I’d like). Articulation was excellent. (thought it would be a good choice if you play mainly solo with piano)

    E1 (0.6 SS)
    Felt like the previous E1 in regards to articulation and response. The Sterling silver bell fixed the problem I had with projection. This horn really resonated with me (it actually gave me goose bumps). Could mold the sound to what I prefer easily in every dynamic. The Sterling is more difficult to mold.
    My brother in law (musician as well) was with me and he was engaged with his phone until the sound of this euphonium got his attention. He found the difference in sound quality big and said he had never heard me like this (positive!). Could be compared to the sound of the Sterling but more versatile. Our only concern was if this sound would hold up in a Brass band when the euphoniums have to carry the melody over a FF playing band.


    After testing these instruments I was ready to go back home (about a 45 min. drive). On the way out I saw Miel and he asked what my thoughts where on the euphoniums. To make a long story short: he arranged for a freshly build E3 (selected model) so I could try it. So back to the testing room it was!

    E3 (0.7 yellow brass)
    This fixed the doubts I had on if the sound would hold up in a Brass Band. The best euphonium I played that day…. Projection was as good as the Virtuoso. Sound was bigger then the E1 (as big as Virtuoso) and a bit warmer then the E1 SS. Sound could be molded but not as easy as the E1 SS. What I missed was the resonating feel I got from the E1 SS (no goose bumps here).

    After playing the E3 I talked to Miel about what I like about the E1 SS and the E3 (0.7) He suggested I’d try a E3 0.6 with a Sterling Silver bell. Adams will build one for me to try in raw brass (will take up to 16 weeks to build). If the results are what I expect (a combo of the E1 SS and the E3) then my Sterling Virtuoso could be up for sale! I’d first want to test it for a longer period (1 or 2 weeks) so I could try it in a concert/rehearsal with the brass band.

    It has been a long time since a euphonium gave me the feeling the E1 SS gave me. It’s a bit of a strange feeling, like all the pieces of a puzzle fall into place at once. The sound/color in your head is matched instantly. I’ve had this feeling before, a long time ago on my very first Besson Sovereign. All the horns I’ve played after that (Prestige, Geneva, Virtuoso) are great but lacked that connection to the sound in my head. I probably sound crazy to some people, but I’m sure some of you have experienced this feeling.

    In a few weeks I will be able to test the E3 0.6 SS……
    I’ll let you know what happens after that.
    Last edited by DutchEupho; 09-20-2016 at 03:01 AM.
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


  6. #16
    DutchEupho: Nice and interesting post. When I got my E3 0.6 SS, I had not ever even picked up or seen an Adams in person, so I had no other Adams to compare it with. I got the goose bump reaction immediately with it. I still do after having it now for about 4 months. It is such a joy to play and hear. I think you will like the horn they are building for you. Guess it is a good thing I don't live near the Adams factory like you do. I would probably have a subscription to Adams horns and have a new one each year...although I can't imagine ever replacing my current E3.
    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. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    111
    What a fascinating insight. I have often wondered what it would be like to buy something truly bespoke - I have bought expensive euphoniums which have all turned to out to be faulty in one way or another, which is what prevents me from ever buying to "top of the range" off the shelf hooter, but this type of situation? Sounds ideal!
    1983 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign
    Denis Wick SM4 (original series)

  8. Time for an update:

    I’ve been try/testing a E3 Sterling Silver 0.6 (with trigger) for a bit over a week now. (used a SM3 to test)
    Things I notice when playing the Adams:

    1. I don’t have to work as hard as on the Sterling Virtuoso which results in me having extra room for musical expression. Don’t know if this makes sense to you but because it speaks easier it leaves me with more air to express myself musically because of this it feels like I can concentrate more on the music instead of the playing itself.
    2. I did some blind tests with our conductor (a tuba player who’s opinion I really value) and he thought the sound was a different flavor then the Virtuoso, not better or worse just a different flavor. He had no favorite in the beginning but the Adams sound grew on him during our test session. He could feel/hear that I was able to express myself more.
    3. The sound of the Adams came across as lighter/brighter than the virtuoso (in our practice room) articulations where a lot better on the Adams. I have a pretty dark sound naturally so the brighter sound is good for me.
    4. Could not get the sound to break up even in high range fff playing it just kept on singing/ringing. The Adams gives me more dynamic range mostly on the pp, ppp side of the spectrum.
    5. Could mold the sound more then on the Virtuoso. Was able to broaden the sound at will.

    One test left for me to do…… Playing the E3 in a bigger room with good acoustics with the brass band to see how it holds up in the band…… Next week I’ll have a chance to do just that!

    I’ll keep you informed.
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


  9. #19
    The E3 Sterling 0.6 is one, if not "the one", sweet horn. I have the trigger, too, but rarely use it. I think you will absolutely love it. Had mine now for over 6 months, and it just gets better and better for me. Get to do my first serious solo with a band I play in next month. I will be interested in your opinion of the E3 after your brass band session in a bigger room.
    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. Update:

    Before I’ve had the chance to test the euphonium, with the brass band in a hall with good acoustics, I had a chat with a well-known British brass band player (who’s name I won’t mention for privacy reasons). He had just finished testing an Adams E3 euphonium (0.6 SS bell) he liked the euphonium overall. He added the heavy valve caps (from the E2 model) and that gave him the depth of sound he wanted, after adding the trigger as well that he felt it was too much. He would need a trigger for his performances and will probably come back to Adams to fix the issue with the weight.
    That off course got me curious and I contacted Adams about the Heavy caps. They send a set of those to me the same day to try (talk about service!). My thoughts with the heavy caps:
    I added all caps and felt that the sound perhaps got a bit more powerful but lost the sparkle in the sound I liked. I was not able to mold the sound as well as I did before and lost a lot of flexibility. So not my thing those heavy caps. What did work for me was just the heavy cap (bottom) on the 4th valve, I’ve had a heavy cap on 4th on my Virtuoso as well and it gave the same effect (just a bit more presence to the sound, a bit more power I’d say).
    Now for the test in the brass band…..
    More then enough projection to soar across the band (conductor had me back off the ff a few times) only thing is the way the euphonium projects is different and i’d have to get used to that. Now it’s getting difficult to explain but I’ll give it a try. From behind the bell the sound of the Virtuoso seems to fill the room with sound directly from the bell. With the Adams the sound seems to come from a bit further away (further from the bell). I have to listen to the sound of the Euph/bari section in a different way to mix my sound in. (but it works)
    To make a long story short: I love playing the E3 (thing it does best for me is giving me more room for musical expression, especially with dynamics and timbre changing)

    Would the E3 be suitable for brass band?
    Definitely yes!

    Does the E3 have a British brass band sound?
    I’ve always felt that that sound is mostly in the head of the player and the E3 gives you more than enough room to produce the sound that’s in your head. So yes!

    Could the E3 be improved?
    There is always room for improvement and Adams is a company that’s open to new things. Only thing I’d change and add to every E3 is venting the valves. (I’ve never had so many popping noises when playing) So yes!

    What would my preferred setup be:
    E3 Euphonium
    0.6 gauge
    Sterling Silver bell
    Traditional waterkeys
    MTS trigger
    Heavy bottomcap on 4th valve
    All valves vented
    SS and Nickel silver receiver (because I haven’t tried those yet)
    Fully silver plated (I still like that look the most)

    Now all I need to do is convince the wife that it is worth every penny ;-)
    Last edited by DutchEupho; 12-27-2016 at 04:48 AM.
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


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