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Thread: Advice on Budget Compensating Euphoniums

  1. Advice on Budget Compensating Euphoniums

    Hello all,
    So I'm a beginner musician that has played for 4 years now and I've been wanting to buy a budget euphonium. Being a student, I only tried out a limited amount of euphoniums. Out of all of it, I did like the King 2280 the best. It provided a rich and deep tone when I play. Besides that, I wanted to get into the compensating euphoniums that has the same rich and deep tone that it had on the King 2280. Of course it might've not been the instrument, it might've been the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece I used on the King was Dennis Wick. London 5AL(reading it off the mouthpiece). I also want a new mouthpiece also. The one I'm using right now is the Vincent Bach 7C. Can I have suggestions on what mouthpiece I can buy in the high ranges and the budget range($0-80)? Besides the mouthpieces, I want to buy a euphonium under $2000 or $1500 if possible. I researched some euphoniums and found these 3 sites
    Besides the first 2, I thought the mack brass euphonium was too good to be true. I wanted your review upon it. Anyway, I was choosing between jp and wessex. I didn't know which was better but was leaning towards jp because of all of its good reviews for a budget euphonium. But it was $1990 and the wessex was $1440. I was skeptical for the wessex but the reviews were great too. They both looked the same but I had no idea if the metal affected the instrument's sound. If they were both exactly the same, of course I would choose wessex but I just don't know. I want your thoughts on this. Thank You! If theres any other euphoniums that are under $2000, please list them! And also, for the mouthpieces, since i'm just a student, how do I know which mouthpiece is the right size for the instrument? Large shank, small shank? I just don't know!!. But thank you for reading this and I would love to hear your response.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum! I think your question deserved a thread of its own, so I moved it here.

    All 3 horns you mention are made in China, and all began life by emulating the design of a pro horn. We have members here who purchased each of those brands, and they are all regarded as a good value. Taking them in reverse order...

    The Mack is, as far as I can tell, a Jin Bao horn without any special modifications. However, the instrument is checked when it arrives in the USA and adjustments are made if necessary. Mack has a good reputation for customer service.

    Wessex began life in a similar way, but they have greatly expanded on the "clone" concept. The Dolce benefits from many modifications beyond the original concept and is a better instrument as a result. On another thread there is a discussion of the improvements made to the Dolce, but suffice to say it is worth the extra money if you can afford it. I have tested this horn and like it. Their customer service has been excellent.

    JP is more of a mystery to me, as far as how it evolved and the ways in which it might differ from a stock Jin Bao. But I believe it benefits from the influence of Sterling's design to some extent. I don't know what specific changes have been made to it, but it plays nicely. On my initial of the model 374 4 years ago, I was concerned about intonation in the low register and the overall response. However, that is a long time within the history of these Chinese horns and I'm sure more changes have been made since then. Also, I've seen some very positive reviews of the JP from players I trust. Unfortunately, I can't make a direct comparison between the Wessex Dolce and JP 274.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Dolce is a solid buy. The JP probably is as well, but I can't speak to what you get for the extra money.
    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
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