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Thread: JP274 graphed on the Werden intonation comparison chart?

  1. #1

    Question JP274 graphed on the Werden intonation comparison chart?

    Mr. Werden:
    I found your comparison chart for various brand euphoniums re: intonation to be instructive. Looks like the Adams E3 emerged an intonation winner according to the chart. Have you had a chance to compare intonation of the John Packer 274 MkII with other brands? I noted that Algirdas Matonis got good intonation results with both the JP274 and the Schiller Elite when he did the low cost comparison published on YouTube). But as you pointed out elsewhere, some of that is the earned ability of Mr. Matonis to get the best out of any horn he plays due to his skills as a professional player. On your comparison chart, is it tracking the best that can be had with the various horns with a player of your ability? Or are some horns, such as the Adams that you play, just spot on manufactured to a more true intonation? I sometimes look at my intonation using my tuner with alarm, wondering if I will ever get to the point where I can stay mostly in tune due to a better developed embouchure and ability to hear intonation anomalies and address them with different fingerings, tuning slide adjustments, or lipping adjustments. I've been in community band environments in the past where someone several horns down from me will say I've been flat or sharp on a particular note (years ago) and I was a bit unsure of whether this was a "real" or "imagined" observation. If it's mostly me, I hope I can develop a better ear for intonation over time. At this point, I'd be loathe to blame it on the horn.

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    You should read this page (which is linked from the main Intonation page). It explains how I measure the intonation for best accuracy:

    As you will find there, my goal is to NOT use my skills to make a horn play in tune. If I did so, you would have to rely on my subjective comments about how easy it was to do that on each horn. Instead I try very hard to drive my accumulated pitch sense away and find where the horn WANTS the note to be. And I try approaching the notes from different directions/intervals and at different volumes to get a sense of where it averages out.

    I would not say the Adams is "spot on." It is just the best intonation I have found on any euphonium, but as the graph shows it has some sharp and flat notes too. Of the available instruments, it is the only one I feel like I can play without using a trigger. There are times I wish I had one, but overall I'm glad not to have it on the horn. That is personal preference; many of the top Adams players choose to buy it with the trigger.

    My chops are fully capable of playing any note out of tune if I get excited or if my chops are tight from a long batch of upper range work. The upper F concert (G in treble clef) is quite well in tune, but years of playing horns that were sharp on that note have taught my ears that it should sound sharp! I have to fight that instinct, and now and then I lose the battle and push it sharp without meaning to. There are days my tuner scares me, too!
    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,


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