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Thread: WTB: British Baritone - 4-valve comper

  1. #1

    WTB: British Baritone - 4-valve comper

    Yeah, I know the 3-valve compers are out there, and I'm reasonably familiar with the good reviews on the Wessex BR140 -- but I'd really like to explore the 4-valve compers out there and see if one pops up.

    I may be moving from BBb tuba to Baritone in my local brass band.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  2. #2
    I note the Wessex BR144, their brand-new 4-valve comper baritone just released last month, if what I'm reading is accurate.

    What's the wait time for one of these?
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Eupher6 View Post
    I note the Wessex BR144, their brand-new 4-valve comper baritone just released last month, if what I'm reading is accurate.

    What's the wait time for one of these?
    I just went to the Wessex site. They seem to have the BR144 in stock now. One lacquered sample left. I assume the other two (silver and silver/gold) are available. When they are sold out, the wait time for the next batch seems to be about 3 months.
    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)

  4. Just know that due to the smaller bore of the BBB baritone compared to a euph, the lower range below (BBB convention transposed treble clef) middle C will get really grainy in a hurry. That is why 4-valve comp baritones are only of recent ilk compare to the tried-and-trued 3-valve comp BBB baritone.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I just went to the Wessex site. They seem to have the BR144 in stock now. One lacquered sample left. I assume the other two (silver and silver/gold) are available. When they are sold out, the wait time for the next batch seems to be about 3 months.
    Thanks, John. I had not seen the "1 left" note earlier this morning when I looked, but did when I re-checked, so I bought it. Been wanting to buy a reasonably-priced baritone for some years now.

    I've been playing the 3+1 setup for so long, I just don't want to have to work through the awkwardness with 1&3. After all, the MD has programmed Graham's Gaelforce, which has an extended section in concert C major at tempo half note 132, IIRC. Lays well on 3+1, but would be frightful to play without it.

    Getting used to the small bore is really the only challenge I want right now, and it will be. Haven't played any kind of small bore anything in decades.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  6. #6
    I'm a huge supporter of Wessex and own three of their instruments, but I really don't think the BR144 is ready for prime time yet. You'll have to use 1+3 for concert middle C, 1+2 for the D above that, 1+2 for the A a fifth above that. To me, that's more awkward than dealing with 1+3 and 1+2+3 fingerings in the low register. The Besson prestige has these same problems, but less pronounced.
    --
    Barry

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    I'm a huge supporter of Wessex and own three of their instruments, but I really don't think the BR144 is ready for prime time yet. You'll have to use 1+3 for concert middle C, 1+2 for the D above that, 1+2 for the A a fifth above that. To me, that's more awkward than dealing with 1+3 and 1+2+3 fingerings in the low register. The Besson prestige has these same problems, but less pronounced.
    We'll see.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  8. I have posted more than once about

    Quote Originally Posted by Eupher6 View Post
    We'll see.
    my Yamaha 621s baritone and the fact that I am always emptying valves and pulling slides. So I was excited about the Wessex BR 144, ordered one, and it arrived almost 2 weeks ago. It's a very nice horn and was better than my Yamaha in terms of moisture but, as you would expect, doesn't play as well as my Yamaha, so I sent it back. It should arrive at Wessex on Friday.

    Little Jimmy

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJimmy View Post
    my Yamaha 621s baritone and the fact that I am always emptying valves and pulling slides. So I was excited about the Wessex BR 144, ordered one, and it arrived almost 2 weeks ago. It's a very nice horn and was better than my Yamaha in terms of moisture but, as you would expect, doesn't play as well as my Yamaha, so I sent it back. It should arrive at Wessex on Friday.

    Little Jimmy
    Can you be a little more descriptive about "doesn't play as well as my Yamaha?"

    What about it doesn't play well? Is it wonky intonation (maybe in the manner that bbocaner states, or something different), or something else?
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  10. #10
    The BR144 baritone came in on Saturday and I've had only a few minutes (maybe 30) to evaluate this instrument. First of all, the horn (I paid full MSRP at $1,450, plus $75 in shipping) was well packed and FedEx was unsuccessful in destroying it.

    Initial impressions, after I gave the horn a bath to clean out whatever kind of oil might have been applied to the valves. I will be using Yamaha synthetic, so some Dawn and the Quick Horn Rinse, along with scrubbing out the piston casings with a brush and hand-washing the valves comprised the cleaning:

    Fit and finish are good. Vented valves, nickel slides. I saw no poor connections, bad soldering, or other indicator of a sloppy job. The horn came with a 6.5A copy of what looked like a Bach mouthpiece. I used that mouthpiece as I don't have any other small shank mouthpieces at present. Will probably buy something a bit larger, but with a somewhat shallow cup.

    Play-testing (again, over a very limited time) did not reveal any completely weird intonation quirks, except one. As bbocaner noted above, the concert D above middle C was significantly flat played open. Using 1-2 solved that problem. Using 3 made it worse, as expected.

    Slotting was uneven, which surprised me. This could very well be a matter of me, in that I have been playing almost nothing but tuba of late, and getting used to the small bore will take more time than I had. But in general, I should be encountering even breaks between partials. Didn't have that, especially higher in the tessitura. Making the transition from concert D to concert F above the bass clef staff, for example, required more effort than it perhaps should have, with a wider-than expected gap in the partial. This will be something I will work on in individual practice, but right out of the box I found the slotting to be uneven. Not enough to be a show-stopper and something that I think could be gotten used to, but it was something I noticed.

    The sixth partial F was spot-on, intonation-wise. (Yet another argument in support of the thesis that moving to the large bore Sov created an unexpected problem with that partial in the euph world, perhaps.)

    In fact, I didn't encounter any other really wonky intonation problems except for that concert D above middle C. I'm not having to use any other alternate fingers save for that note, at least right now.

    Will write more as things develop.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

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