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Thread: How does a Conn Constellation Euph compare to a YEP 321 or other intermediate horn?

  1. #1

    How does a Conn Constellation Euph compare to a YEP 321 or other intermediate horn?

    Hi all,

    New to the forum but have been lurking for the better part of two months. I'm in the market for a horn and am looking for some advice. After playing euphonium for all of middle school and high school and half of college, I'm now about 3 years removed from playing. I'm itching to join a community band and start again. I've only put a significant amount of playing time on a YEP 321 and a non-compensating (3+1) Andreas Eastman horn (large bore). I would like to find a gently used, 4-valve, mid-range horn.

    I've been watching this Constellation (link below) horn on ebay for a few days now and was wondering if anyone could comment on how it would compare to something like a Yamaha 321 or other intermediate level horn. It appears to be missing the main tuning slide trigger and has what looks to me like a modified lead pipe. I've seen largely positive reviews for these old Constellations on this forum. My budget is ideally a max of $1000, and a mid-level horn would be fine for my purposes, which will likely only be community band. Just wondering if anyone thinks a Constellation would be worth considering as well.


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/291974063962?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageNa me=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

  2. I'm not sure I would want that horn. Looks like it may have been through the wringer. If you're vigilant, you'll find a Yamaha 321 or a King 2280 for a similar price. This is an example:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-used-br...-/172455746146

    I did a lot of research before I bought my King 2280. I got it for less than your budget. Most never used the trigger, and those that did didn't think it too convenient. So, I wouldn't be worried about the lack of a trigger. My King 2280 came without the trigger and it is a wonderful horn.

    Another option that many will suggest is either the Mack Brass euphonium or the Wessex Dolce. I've not played the Mack but it gets good reviews. I have demoed the Wessex Dolce a number of times and couldn't say enough good things about it. I live in Michigan and have visited their showroom many times. The Wessex is a bit over your price range, but well worth the wait if you can swing it. There is a Wessex Dolce in my future, for sure. You can read a lot about the Wessex on this site.

    Hope that helps.

    KKORO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Smoketown, Pa
    Posts
    224
    Not sure what particular model the Conn is and what year. I would think pre 60's. I own a 24I which is a 1963 horn which has the odd sized receiver and mouthpiece. Not being a Chinese made horn advocate, I would go with the King 2280 as a non compensator. I have played the King and much better euphonium like sound than the Conn. There is also a VMI on Ebay which is made by B&S which is German made. I have a 4 valve B&S non compensating which I love and has a much nicer sound than the King and some Yamahas. Not sure if the VMI is a clone of my horn but it looks like it. I've never seen a review or comment on the forum about B&S so I am pretty much alone on my evaluation. I've also played the Wessex Dolce with my own mouthpiece and wasn't impressed and I stand pretty much alone with that as well. If you want my choice it would be the King.
    B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
    B&S PT33-S Euphonium
    B&S PT37-S
    Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    234
    As an owner of a Conn 24/25i, I agree with others who advise staying away from the Conn euphonium linked above. It indeed looks pretty beat up. It also seems to be missing the important spring-loaded mechanism on the tuning slide that allows the musician to make intonation adjustments while playing.

  5. #5
    Regular forum members know I'm a fan of the Constellation. However, even if this particular horn were in great shape, I would not recommend it for someone who is just looking to get back into the horn. The Constellation is a rare breed and a neat horn. But the best customer for such a horn would be someone who has a clear idea of what they want and buys the horn because it fits that bill.

    For your situation, a King 2280 or Yamaha 321 would be a better choice in that price range, if you can find one in good shape. Either is a safe bet.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. Conn 24i vs. Yamaha 321/King 2280

    As a current owner of a Conn 24i/25i Connstellation, I would strongly advise the King 2280 or Yamaha 321. I particularly favor the 321 because of the evenness of response and smooth lighter tone compared with the King 2280, but as you can see above, many (including Dave) favor the King. I played Connstellations for 6 years straight through high school and junior college. I soloed all 6 of those years performing everything from the Mozart Bassoon Concerto to Boccalari's Fantasia di Concerto and the Rimsky-Korzakov Trombone Concerto. One can get a very nice, lyrical sound, with lots of projection, but to be honest, the response, depth of tone, and openness of the Yamaha or King will beat the Conn handsdown for most modern ensembles. Plus, since most performers today use bell-up/valve-up horns that point to the right, it is usually better for section play to use a similar horn.

    These days, I use my Conn for 4th of July parades and for Tuba Christmas in Boston and that is about it. If, OTOH, I were to perform "Shores of the Mighty Pacific", I would trot the Conn out in a minutes...
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Smoketown, Pa
    Posts
    224
    I agree with Doug. That is a 25I on ebay and it is too beat to justify restoration. The King or the Yamaha will serve you well.
    B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
    B&S PT33-S Euphonium
    B&S PT37-S
    Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone

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