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Thread: Cheap Euphonium - Besson clone or Yamaha clone?

  1. Smile Cheap Euphonium - Besson clone or Yamaha clone?

    Hi everyone, my name is Kenneth. I come from Hong Kong. This is my first post and is my pleasure to share my observation and research on cheap horns. Sorry for my English, but I will try my best to explain.

    Recently I am thinking of buying a new cheap euphonium to practice at home (my main instrument is Yamaha 642Neo. I store and use it in my church. Since I don’t have a car so it is painful to carry the horn between two places). So I started web surfing and did some research on the cheap euphoniums.

    I observed one of the main discussion is that whether the euphonium is a Besson clone or Yamaha clone. I was curious and eager to find out what is the difference between Besson and Yamaha. My finding is that the most distinction is at the back, the compensating tube of the 1st and 2nd piston.

    As you can see below, the tubes of Besson, both 967 and 2052, are oblique; and the tubes of Yamaha, both 642Neo and 842 are vertical.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6132 <-967 and 2052

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6134 <-642Neo and 842


    The positions of the tubes are so different, needless to say, the pistons are different too. It proves that they are different tubing designs. Therefore, I think this is the easiest way to distinguish the “clones”.

    Here is my analysis:

    Wessex dolce: Vertical tubes – Yamaha design
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    Mark Brass EU1150S: Vertical tubes – Yamaha design
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    Thomann 804GP: Vertical tubes – Yamaha design
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    JP274: oblique tubes – Besson design
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    JP374: oblique tubes – Besson design
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    Thomann 902: oblique tubes – Besson design
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    Thomann 906GP: oblique tubes – Besson design
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    Schiller Elite IV: oblique tubes – Besson design
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    Schiller Elite V: oblique tubes – Besson design
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ID:	6143

    I understand they all sound different, but if they are the clones of Besson or Yamaha, by the design of tubing, this is the result.

    I am quite surprised that with the same tubing design, some horns sound apparently different. According to “Matonizz: JP274s vs Schiller Elite. Best CHEAP Brass Instruments” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-OSpMLgN5o , although the JP274 and Schiller Elite are both on the Besson side, they just sound so different. At first, I thought Schiller Elite is a Yamaha clone, but I was wrong.

    I believe that not only the tubing design affect the sound, but also the materials, bell size, thickness, bore size, leadpipe and other many factors that can affect the sound finally come out from the horn. And different factories have different bracing materials and technique too.

    To conclude, we cannot choose a cheap euphonium only by the brand (Thomann has clones of both) and the design. An euphonium is a mixture of every parts and the design. But generally, we can distinguish a cheap euphonium by the tubing design at the back.

    At last, these are my Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjq1NI5kUkE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTTc43SXSmY. Feel happy to share with you. Thank you.
    Last edited by kennethli; 06-27-2018 at 12:27 AM.
    Yamaha 642S Neo
    Romera brass PEPE signature MPC

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum! That's a great comparison and it answers some questions that come up often.

    I have a student with a Schiller Elite V, and it does feel like a Besson 967 in many ways. Its sound is also similar.
    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

  3. Thank you for your appreciation!

    There are two more hints that we can find out what design it is:

    1. Besson design has a slightly bend near the bottom cap of the first valve , while Yamaha is straight at the same place.
    2. The fourth valve of Besson is longer than Yamaha.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kennethli; 06-26-2018 at 10:55 AM.
    Yamaha 642S Neo
    Romera brass PEPE signature MPC

  4. #4
    Thank you for sharing the comparison, it's an interesting read. I have yet to play enough brands to know the difference, but it's interesting knowledge still.

    And hey we are neighbours! I am from Malaysia.

    Also, I am jealous of your Yamaha Neo!

    Checked out your Youtube and loved both the pieces you played! I've been messing around with the Sound! Euphonium etude, but not the Flow of Fate. Going to try and figure out the notes for Flow of Fate

  5. Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    Thank you for sharing the comparison, it's an interesting read. I have yet to play enough brands to know the difference, but it's interesting knowledge still.

    And hey we are neighbours! I am from Malaysia.

    Also, I am jealous of your Yamaha Neo!

    Checked out your Youtube and loved both the pieces you played! I've been messing around with the Sound! Euphonium etude, but not the Flow of Fate. Going to try and figure out the notes for Flow of Fate

    I wrote the sheet music by myself. But unfortunately, I lost both of them.

    If you really want the score, I can write it again for you.

    What kind of clef do you read? Treble or bass? PM me and I will help you.
    Last edited by kennethli; 06-27-2018 at 02:56 AM.
    Yamaha 642S Neo
    Romera brass PEPE signature MPC

  6. Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    Thank you for sharing the comparison, it's an interesting read. I have yet to play enough brands to know the difference, but it's interesting knowledge still.

    And hey we are neighbours! I am from Malaysia.

    Also, I am jealous of your Yamaha Neo!

    Checked out your Youtube and loved both the pieces you played! I've been messing around with the Sound! Euphonium etude, but not the Flow of Fate. Going to try and figure out the notes for Flow of Fate
    I know kenneth already asked, but treble or bass? I've got a transcribed copy of Sound! Euphonium as in the show, but it's bass clef. I've also got an expanded version for a solo with band, if you'd like.
    Whatever you lose, you'll find it again. What you throw away, you'll never get back.

    -- Kenshin Himura




    1974 B & H Imperial / Bach 3G -- no LTE mouthpieces for me!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kennethli View Post
    I wrote the sheet music by myself. But unfortunately, I lost both of them.

    If you really want the score, I can write it again for you.

    What kind of clef do you read? Treble or bass? PM me and I will help you.
    Thanks for the offer! Managed to transcribe it by listening to your playing and looking at the piano arrangements. I was listening to your playing the whole day! Haha It's beginning to be one of my favourite piece. Just tried it this morning and I think I got them all down correctly.

    And thanks Himura!


    Back to the topic, I tried a Besson 3 valve Eupho a decade + ago, and I have to say, I honestly did not pay attention to the difference in tone compared to the Yamaha model I've been using all these while. Guess I was too young to appreciate the difference or notice it. I remembered it was a joy to play on that instrument, and that's about it.


    Good to know that Wessex is based on Yamaha design though! Hoping to upgrade to that one day! My Yamaha student model has served me well for years, but the lack of a 4th valve and compensating tubes does kinda sucks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    …..Good to know that Wessex is based on Yamaha design though! Hoping to upgrade to that one day! My Yamaha student model has served me well for years, but the lack of a 4th valve and compensating tubes does kinda sucks.
    I'm hearing a new motto for Wessex Euphoniums. "Upgrade to a Wessex Dolce, 4-valve, compensating euphonium and suck no more!" Jonathan might not agree, but I think it is kind of catchy.
    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)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I'm hearing a new motto for Wessex Euphoniums. "Upgrade to a Wessex Dolce, 4-valve, compensating euphonium and suck no more!" Jonathan might not agree, but I think it is kind of catchy.

    Think I can get a discount for that motto?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I'm hearing a new motto for Wessex Euphoniums. "Upgrade to a Wessex Dolce, 4-valve, compensating euphonium and suck no more!" Jonathan might not agree, but I think it is kind of catchy.
    Even as I type this, I'm watching out the front window for the FedEx truck
    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)

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