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Thread: Triggers......can't live with them can't live without them?

  1. #11
    My band horn for a few years was a Besson with the medium shank. The band horn was just ordered from a U.S. dealer with no chance for a pre-trial/selection. It was better in tune than the next 2 horns I had, both of which were newer and had the large receiver. Then when I got my Sovereign 967 is was even less in tune on the 6th partial.

    But I've heard some of the British players with similar models sound pretty well in tune on those troublesome notes. There is something in the players' contribution, I'm sure. The British euphonium artists seem to play with very wide-open jaws and a robust vibrato, which may somehow affect the equation.

    Whatever. But I just know that for all my years of professional Besson playing (about 20) I needed alternate fingerings on the 6th partial. That covers the early medium-shank, 2 New Standards with large shank (one band, one personal), 2 band Sovereigns and 2 personal Sovereigns (plus numerous other Bessons that I tested as a Besson artist). The very sharp 6th partial was common to them all to some extent, and got progressively worse from medium to large to Sovereign. The Sterling was better by a little, but still needed alternate fingerings until I got the Virtuoso with a trigger.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. Interesting to hear your perspective having played all the bessons from the small shank imperial to the 967 during your career. I wonder if some of the British players sounded in tune because they were playing with brass band accompaniment? I think the brass band is a little more friendly to the besson sixth partial than the wind band or piano. Wind band is a particularly tough environment as some of the woodwind tend flat just as we hit the problem notes.

  3. Hi Dave. I also have the leaking main tuning slide on my Prestige the best lubricant I have found to hold off the leaking for the
    most time is Hetman Heavy Slide Lubricant 6 (Tuning Slide Oil) the trigger action is good but I agree the trigger is not comfortable but I
    have not had a trigger previously so cannot make any comparison

  4. I think some horns need it more than others, not just because of better/worse intonation on the horn's part, but also sensitivity to lipping notes, and response in general.

    As for me and my horn, I currently play (est 2006) Sovereign 967 and my life would be MUCH easier if it had a trigger. Right now I'm dealing with a flat (BC) top of staff Bb and a sharp F3. If I could just push in to get the Bb and then use a trigger for F and G (as well as other pesky notes, though I usually sit comfortably in tune on the usual problem notes (ledger line D-F). That might be a weird me thing though, since my ledger F sat somewhat flat on most of the horns I played on at TMEA (notably the larger horns like Miraphone and Adams E3)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    713
    Having done quite a bit of mechanical engineering, my feelings about the available trigger systems were they were just done in a hurry by jewelers or some such.

    Emphasis apparently on 'finesse' not on practicability of action nor durability.

    Most of you have seen the device I helped design for my Besson. It is tougher than nails, never needs adjustment, and it looks plenty 'blingy'

    Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Horns 005.JPG  
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by booboo View Post
    Interesting to hear your perspective having played all the bessons from the small shank imperial to the 967 during your career. I wonder if some of the British players sounded in tune because they were playing with brass band accompaniment? I think the brass band is a little more friendly to the besson sixth partial than the wind band or piano. Wind band is a particularly tough environment as some of the woodwind tend flat just as we hit the problem notes.
    I remember the last time I did Jupiter from the Planets with a wind band. The euphonium has the chorale melody with the clarinets, then later the same melody with the saxes. The tuning difference between the clarinets and saxes were such that I needed to use almost entirely different fingerings for the same line. (The clarinets got my flat version and the saxes got my sharp version.)

    That said, there are times I don't worry as much about sharpness in the 6th partial since I know the trumpet doubling an octave up is going to be sharp too.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
    www.adrianquince.com

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  7. #17
    Dennis I like the look of your trigger..... Mostly due to still being able to wrap my left thumb around the third valve slide for grip. I didn't like the Courtois trigger which was in the position of a 5th valve for left hand.... Over complex and confused with 4th valve freaquently! But yours looks like just a squeeze of the left hand not finger tips....I like that. But still weighty?
    Current Euphs:
    Besson Prestige (German)
    York Eminence
    Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Round Stamp/ Globe)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial
    Plus an attic of old classics in various states of repair!

    Previous Euphs:

    Geneva Symphony
    Wilson 2900 with Eminence leadpipe
    Sterling Virtuoso (300 mm heavy red brass bell)
    Cortios 167 II

    'Gob Iron': Doug Elliott Euph 105 I 9s (plus a few others!)


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    713
    Just a squeeze is all it takes, and tuning is easy with the knurled nut in the slide.

    I'm sure the extra parts add a few ounces, but I never notice the weight of the horn when playing.

    Work a tuba for a few days and a euph seems minuscule by comparison...

    d
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  9. I am a fan of the trigger on my M5050, although triggers do inherently add weight and discomfort in the left hand. I have noticed that Besson paddles seem to stick out of the horn quite a bit which looks very uncomfortable to rest your thumb on. Thankfully the 5050's is more flush with the third valve slide, but I wonder why Besson positions their paddle that way. I do like the trigger for the "on the fly" tuning of notes in ensembles or with a not-so-in-tune piano. The G that is so infamously sharp sounds best for me with the trigger activated, the third valve fingering just doesn't quite get it down far enough... Although most professional horns nowadays don't need them, I think they are still beneficial, although maybe not as necessary
    Music Education and Music Theory Major
    Miraphone M5050

  10. #20
    Interesting thread on euphonium tuning triggers. I just have a question: What if much of the trigger mechanism was made of carbon fiber or some other light-weight, durable composite? I suppose whatever the material is, it would have to be ridged, but not brittle, and would have to not adversely affect the sound/performance of the instrument.

    As an aside comment. I remember when Miraphone had a trigger mechanism for the first valve that was connected to the bell and I think operated by the left thumb.

    Robert Pendergast, DM

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