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Thread: Suggestions where to start?

  1. #1

    Suggestions where to start?

    My son is currently playing a Wessex Dolce and we are very happy with it, but it has a lot of miles on it and as he prepares to head off to college, he wants to have a new horn.

    He has been offered significant scholarship money and we might be able to get him a good horn based on how well his music auditions go (two more auditions and then we start getting offers in a month or so.)

    He is leaning towards a blended degree in music and either psychology or kinesiology. (This is a wonderful new development in degree programs, can’t wait to see it take off in more places.) he certainly has the talent to be a professional musician, but that isn’t his primary focus.

    After he really has liked the Adams E2 and Yamaha 842. He’s tried the Besson Sovereign and Prestige; both good as well. Not a fan of the XOs he has tried, or the Miraphone, but that was limited exposure. I’m not sure that’s enough information for someone to recommend a horn (obviously he’d try any horn first) but we are just looking for brands he may have missed.

    He’s looking for something which projects well, has great intonation, and obviously something he likes to play.

    What are the other brands we should look at? Willson obviously is one he’d love to try. He’s hoping to go to ITEC or the Army conference next year to try horns out. I don’t know of any place nearby which would have a bunch of horns to try out.

    Also - we will obviously take into account the euphonium professor’s advice. However, in one of his studios, the professor has said brand doesn’t matter to him.

    I appreciate any suggestions of models or brands to check out!
    I play a Wessex Prague
    aka “Pocket Kaiser”
    Stofer Geib Mouthpiece

    My Son plays
    Mack Brass Compensating Euphonium
    Wessex Dolce Compensating Euphonium
    Doug Elliott EUPH SN103, I, I9

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    787
    Hi...Try a Yamaha 642-II Neo. I'm very pleased with mine and it has a different feel than many of the other name brands.
    I swore up and down that I wasn't going to buy another instrument, but I had played a couple of Neos and jumped on mine
    when a decent deal came up.
    Despite the odd way Yamaha chose to brand it, the Neo bears virtually no musical resemblance to either a "regular" 642 or the 842.
    Jim
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103A/Wick 4AL
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  3. #3
    Hi Jim! Thanks! He played a “custom” 842 at the state convention. How would that compare to the Neo? I’m really confused with Yamaha now
    I play a Wessex Prague
    aka “Pocket Kaiser”
    Stofer Geib Mouthpiece

    My Son plays
    Mack Brass Compensating Euphonium
    Wessex Dolce Compensating Euphonium
    Doug Elliott EUPH SN103, I, I9

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    659
    The Yammi will probably have less warranty callbacks than the Adams, according to lots of blog chatter.

    Dennis
    3 notes and the truth.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard, early model Wick 4AL
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original, Bach 5GS

  5. #5
    If your son has enjoyed trying out the Adams E2, it might be worth while having a look at some of the Adams E3 configurations... I E3 is the newest euphonium design from Adams... A number of experienced professional members of this forum adopted E3 as their main instrument, and are extremely fond of it, including David Werden who migrated to a sterling silver E3 from E1... The configuration mostly preferred seems to include the Sterling Silver bell.

    I am but a nube on euphonium, and won't outgrow my Wessex Festivo for quite a spell.... But by reading these pages and listening to a variety of video clips, if I ever could justify an upgrade of my own instrument, I would be inclined to examine in depth E3, as well as at the Miraphone 5050. The latter to my ears could seem a bit of a "Helden Euphonium", perhaps fitting slightly more as a soloist, or perhaps a symphonic instrument, rather than a euph to blend in a band or brass ensemble.

    Needless to say, I would not exclude landing on any other brand, such as Yamaha

    Saluti, Guido
    Last edited by guidocorona; 02-03-2019 at 11:54 AM.
    Euph - Wessex EP104 Festivo - SM4U
    Flugel - Kanstul 1525
    Trpt - Adams A4 LB
    Bb Cornet -Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
    Eb Cornet - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS

  6. #6
    I can't speak for the Yamaha 642-II Neo, but I can for the Yamaha 842S. I owned the 842 and while I liked it, I didn't like it tremendously. The high B natural is not good on that horn and there were some intonation issues with it. I know that now the Yamaha 842 comes with a trigger, but I don't know what that has done for the high B natural. I did like the Yamaha, just wasn't totally in love with it. The sound of the 842 was to my ears on the bright and light side, not bad, but just not the warm, full sound I really like. The Miraphone M5050 is a GREAT horn, and probably my all time #2 horn. If I had better lungs (too many years smoking before I finally quit), I probably would not have gone over to the Adams E3. The Miraphone is really a nice horn, but it is BIG and requires good, sufficient (make that a lot of) air to make it sing. I have owned half a dozen Bessons over the years to include 967's, 2052's, and a couple models in the 1970's time frame. The quality on those varied tremendously over the years. A few were very nice, a couple were not. Besson is a nice horn. Besson has a lousy high B natural. I hated the way the trigger was engineered on the 2052, I thought it was absolutely ugly (the plastic part to protect your gut from the slide). But, a good Besson is a viable option, and I understand they are being made quite good now. I have not owned a Willson, but have played them. The only comment I can make is that when I did play on a couple of them, they did not "move" me. That is a totally subjective, unscientific assessment of Willson, but the only one I have. The Adams E3 is the best sounding horn I have ever played. And I have had it now for going on 3 years. It probably sounds even better to me today as I have gotten totally accustomed to it. The horn just resonates, and I can feel it more than any other horn I have owned. I am not sure that the sound of my Adams is a direct result of all of the materials used (SS bell, .60 gauge metal, etc.), or of the engineering, or the build quality and method, or other things, but the net result is a horn that sounds better to me than any other euphonium I have ever played over 55 years. It may be true that there have been some warranty issues for some, and for me, too, as the hand brace came unsoldered on one side and it is right now being repaired. And the valves to this day are still not quite to my liking, and I am also having those attended to. I believe the tolerances are just a wee bit too tight. But, I would not trade this horn for any other.

    So, my recommendation for your son would be an Adams E3. Go to the ITEC in Iowa in May and check out Adams (and all the other vendors as well). Of course, if you wait until May or June to make a choice, and if your son likes Adams, it may take up to 6 months to have one made to his specifications.
    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)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    787
    As with John above, I don't get all the fuss about the Yamaha 842...I found it bland and uninspired/uninspiring after a decent trial period.

    My Neo has an OK high B natural, the C right above it is fine, but the D above that I have to really muscle. Beyond that, it's solid up to the double-high B flat.

    The middle C on the Neo runs a bit flat, but is easily controlled. I also find that the Neo is rather sensitive to the mouthpiece being used.

    The other horn that impressed me was the Geneva Symphony, but that was a few years ago, and I haven't played one since.

    Earlier in life, I let some people talk me twice into Willsons. They struck me as colorless and plain in character.

    If I could lead my euphonium life all over again, I NEVER would have sold my 968 Sovereign with the aftermarket trigger I had put on it.

    Of course, all these are highly personal and subjective judgments! ;-)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103A/Wick 4AL
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,164
    About 15 years ago Don Palmire (now retired U.S. Army Band, Pershing’s Own), posted on a Yahoo groups forum that he had trouble being heard over the band with the 842 when playing a solo. Don’t remember if he stuck with it or went back to his Willson. Just FWIW.
    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
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    About 15 years ago Don Palmire (now retired U.S. Army Band, Pershing’s Own), posted on a Yahoo groups forum that he had trouble being heard over the band with the 842 when playing a solo. Don’t remember if he stuck with it or went back to his Willson. Just FWIW.
    Don is now playing in Hawaii and is an Adams artist (E1 model).
    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)

  10. #10
    This is amazing - thank you all for the input.


    My son had said that the high range on the Yamaha came out much easier for him than his Wessex, but the low register was more of a challenge. I know there are quite a few Adams devotees here, would you say it is a horn with good projection?

    The Wessex is great, but I feel like the horn is buttoning him up a tiny bit.
    I play a Wessex Prague
    aka “Pocket Kaiser”
    Stofer Geib Mouthpiece

    My Son plays
    Mack Brass Compensating Euphonium
    Wessex Dolce Compensating Euphonium
    Doug Elliott EUPH SN103, I, I9

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