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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    142

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

    I'm now on my 6th euph with a trigger and I'm fed up with them!
    Without exception they have all created problems:


    -Not least the comfort factor....... triggers add a significant weight and most of the "paddles" go just where we traditionally wrap our left thumbs around the outer 3rd valve slide leg. This diminishes your left hand grip which is where I like to take most of the instrument weight, leaving the right hand more relaxed on the valves. Add to this that I find many of my recent euphs have had the false piece much nearer to the valves than on early Sovs means weight levering on the right thumb instead of Cradled in the web of the hand. For me and my hours of over practicing this has meant severe tendinitis in both thumbs and mid back strain. One very good way of helping with this is the horn rinse lift kit..... I use the cushion when my back is bad and keep the wrist strap on all the time.
    -Everyone I have had has snapped at least once in some place or another
    -More hassle when it's bath time, I found it prudent to partially dismantle rather than wrap a cloth around and hope for the best on the scratch and snap front!
    -the only free easy to use one I've had was a prestige, but I soon found out why......a very loose main tuning slide that constantly dribbles....looks great on my trousers! I planished it so it was a better fit, but unless I over lubricate it with unwatered down Lanalin so I can't use the trigger affectively it still dribbles. And yes I've tried everything from slide cream, trigger lubricants to light greases!

    But they are very good for those top Fs and Gs etc (TC) above the stave or a top E on second with trigger to bring it down, below that I find notes very easy to lip. I can lip these notes so far but with some ensembles it's only just enough.... But depending on the euph, alternate fingerings particular on and around those notes can feel quit stuffy.

    Sorry got ranting on a bit.........probably as I'm considering going for another euph and fancy not getting a trigger this time.........or is it worth it???? Any thoughts? I know when I changed from my round stamp that non of the new euphs played in tune ...... I was so used to putting the notes in very different places! I think that a lot of younger players seem to think it essential.......yes it makes life easier to be able to blow notes thru the middle with a trigger....but at what cost? Trevor Groom, Lyndon Baglin, David Moore etc seemed to play very nicely without them!
    YD
    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!)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,131
    Hi Dave. Haven't seen you post in awhile. That's quite a stable of horns you have there.

    I don't care for triggers either as I have enough trouble coordinating my 4 fingers. I'm thankful that my Miraphone 5050 Ambassador doesn't need one. The worst note on the M5050 is the 'A' on the TC staff (concert 'G'). I use 3rd valve for that note - unless it's a 16th note... your semiquaver.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (excerpts)
    ; Raphael Hernandez, arr. Iwai from our Swing/Salsa concert 2018
    Video of above: El Cumbanchero:

  3. #3
    I feel your pain! Perhaps even more so, because I have an old injury to my left wrist that makes it a bit "fragile" in some ways. The trigger on my Sterling was a lot of stress on my wrist.

    With the Adams I did not need to order a trigger, and I (like Rick) am very glad to be rid of it. No horn has perfect intonation, but the Adams can be managed without a trigger.

    My trigger did not break, but it was put out of action after a Delta flight. The flat-sided wooden case was apparently squeezed enough that it sprung the main tuning slide and the trigger could not operate it. Actually, the trigger itself was not damaged, but the tuning slide problem made it unusable. Unfortunately, I had practiced very hard on the piece I was to premier on that trip and was dependent on the trigger. And of course there IS more maintenance with the trigger, which is nice to be rid of.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  4. #4
    I, on the other hand, have vowed that if I ever do buy an upscale horn (waiting to win the lottery, but must wait first for Alabama to get a lottery, and that's not on the horizon), it WILL have a trigger, because I'd rather have one and not need it than need it and not have it. I'm tired of having to fit alternate fingerings into passages that I'm learning, wondering if the note will pass quickly enough that its sharpness won't be noticed, etc.
    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)

  5. Currently wrestling with this question myself. I've a great 1974 imperial in wonderful condition and it makes a lovely sound, but the usual area around the sixth partial is wild. Good fingerings seem to be d-3;eb-1,3;e-2,3;f-12(a bit flat)g-3.
    They slot well and the sound is sweet, but constant re-fingering of entire passages is a pain. I'm currently torn between just a lot more practise until these fingerings become second nature or spending on a trigger.

  6. YD,

    Yup, I have had all of the problems you describe. That is why I have 2 horns, my Sterling (with Trigger) and my English-made late Sovereign 967 with Eminence leadpipe. When the tendinitis kicks in, I switch to the lighter triggerless Sovereign.

    Doug

    PS My Sterling is the same vintage as yours was. I still love mine. But I recently "improved" the trigger situation by getting the trigger spring "lightened".
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    142
    One thing to consider for my own playing is that I use an awful lot of alternative fingerings anyway despite the trigger. Not for intonation so much as smoothness in very quiet playing and speed for very fast playing when a lip slur just won't do the job well enough. I'm all for making things easier then I can concentrate on other aspects of my playing.
    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. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    142
    Hi Doug
    never stopped loving my Sterling......the Baufiend (spelling?) valves never felt like home... Bigger than the trad Boosey and Hawkes. I always said that if Paul started using a smaller valve block I would revisit them......which is what I am now thinking.
    Best
    Dave
    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!)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sturgis, South Dakota
    Posts
    824
    My Adams E3 has a trigger. I use it seldom, but like having it there, ready if I need it. I never even think about using it on notes less than a quarter note, and even then don't usually use it unless I am on the note for a while. What is a while? A while is long enough to hear the intonation is out of whack and wishing it would be more in tune. As I play and am familiar with a piece, I hear the notes before I play them, so I always try to pitch the note correctly (in tune). There aren't many notes on the Adams that are bad, and perhaps none that are really bad. The staff G (Bass Clef) on my horn plays fine 1-2 or 3. The F above the staff plays a little sharp, and if I am not liking how I have the pitch centered, I may use a little trigger. There are a couple other notes I tend to adjust on.

    The trigger on the Adams seems robust enough. I don't expect any problems. I have owned two other euphoniums with triggers, the Besson Prestige 2052 and the Miraphone M5050. I did not like the aesthetics of the Besson with the big plastic "gut guard" piece (that has been changed??). Both of these triggers worked okay and I had no problems with them, however I only owned them for a few years in each case.

    I think if I had it to do over again, I would still order the Adams with the trigger. I could live happily without it, but just kind of like to have it as David said above. When you have to lip a note, no matter how good you are, if you move that note off center to get it in tune by using your lip, you lose a little of the note's best sound. And alternate fingerings are seldom, if ever, as good-sounding as normal/usual fingerings. And you are doing it typically on a note that you sustain long enough for you and your audience to hear. Why not give you and them the very best sound?

    My fifty two cents (adjusted for inflation).
    Last edited by John Morgan; 03-07-2017 at 02:08 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
    Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone, Edwards T396-A Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YSL-891Z Jazz 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. Those of you that play/played the pre large receiver and bell boosey / bessons. Do you think they were a lot better in tune or just easier to 'lip' than the bigger sovereign and large receiver imperials?
    One concern that I have is that now the trigger is an almost universally accepted 'fifth valve' some manufacturers will give up trying to develop instruments that are better in tune. We still have to deal with our (few) flat notes too!

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