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Thread: My New Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Euphonium

  1. #1

    My New Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Euphonium

    Long post alert:

    This past Saturday I received my new Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal euphonium, and I wanted to post a few first impressions, since I know a lot of people (myself included, obviously) have been curious about the Geneva brand in general.

    Note: All my impressions are in comparison to the Willson 2900 I've played on since college.

    First off, it's a stunning horn to look at. The photos don't do it justice. From what I learned you can get a variety of options on these horns. This one is silver plated with red brass slides and black bottom valve caps, a tuning slide kicker, and there's extensive engraving along the bell (which I know won't be everyone's cup of tea. The other Cardinal I looked at didn't have it).

    Physically, it's a lot beefier than my Willson - holding it reminds me more of a Besson Prestige. The third valve tubing sits a little farther away from the horn, so I have to spread my hand a little more, and the whole horn feels "wider" than my Willson if that makes sense. Not necessarily a good or bad thing, just different. Someone with smaller arms/hands than me would probably find it uncomfortable. And the position of the main slide water key is something I'll have to get used to. My horn also has a lexan/plexiglass shirt guard, which has a really durable/non-chintzy feel.

    Sound: Huge. Open. The horn sings. I took the risk of playing an Indianapolis Brass Choir concert on this horn the day after receiving it, and it filled the space with ease. I'm still getting used to how freely it blows and compared to my Willson, so my guess is the more I play it the more I'll love it.

    Response and note slotting is a breeze. I found myself almost overshooting lip slurs and high notes just because I'm so used to having to exert more effort than this horn obviously requires.

    Valves are nice and heavy with easy action and comfortable, concave finger buttons. The fourth valve has a heavy bottom cap.

    I'm still exploring mouthpiece options. For my Willson, the Giddings Danny Helseth solo model was a perfect fit for me, so that's what I'm currently using, but who knows?

    I'll post more impressions on the horn (like intonation) as we grow more acquainted (I haven't even had it a week yet), but just based on the short time I've spent with it, I don't think I'll ever be needing another euphonium. I can also post more detail photos if anyone wants to see something specific on the horn, as well as answer any questions anyone might have!

    A NOTE ABOUT OBTAINING THESE HORNS IN THE STATES (since that's probably a big thing people are wondering about!) - Joe Johnson of the Salvation Army in Altanta, GA is apparently the sole(?) US Geneva retailer. He was extremely nice and easy to do business with. He doesn't show at conferences because he runs a shop that sells other brands as well, and he doesn't feel right "competing" for sales with his own suppliers at a conference. I can certainly supply his email for anyone interested.


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  2. #2
    Thank you for the review! The horn looks stunning!
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. Always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euph)"

    Euph: Yamaha 642II Neo - 千歌音
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Boy, "a stunning horn to look at" is correct! Thanks for the review. Looking forward to intonation report as well. Congratulations.
    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
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    I like the attack eagle. Is it diving on a Wyvern?
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area
    ...and he sounds great on it; I know this from sitting next to him in various ensembles.
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meters)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103E, SM3.5
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone

  6. #6
    Beautiful horn! Congratulations. Will be interested in more playback analysis, intonation, projection, etc. Really nice looking. I like the engraving, as I have that on mine. Enjoy it forever!
    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
    Dec 2014
    How is the angle of the 4th valve? is it similar to your Willson? Or is it more horizontal? That was one of the main gripes I had when I tested a Geneva a couple of years ago.

  8. #8
    The angle is definitely a little more horizontal than the Willson 4th valve. I don't have any problems ergonomically, but like I said before, someone with a smaller hand than me probably would. I feel like the overall configuration of the horn lends itself to the way the 4th valve is positioned, if that makes sense. The Willson has a very "compact" feel, so I held it with the bottom bow somewhat "tucked" under my left arm. I think the sharper-angled 4th valve lent itself to that. The width of the Geneva is making me hold the horn more in front of my body, so the more horizontal valve feels more natural to me.

    I hope any of that stream-of-consciousness explanation made sense. :|

    Semi-related aside - I remember seeing Gail Robertson demonstrate on her Willson 2950 that her hands are so small she can't reach the 4th valve and the tuning trigger at the same time. She'd probably hate holding the Geneva.

    Gary - The engraving is all eagles of varying size. One huge one in the middle and two smaller ones above and below it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    That made a lot of sense from my experiences with my own Willson, thank you

  10. #10
    Do you have any problems with vibrations coming from the horn? I had the same horn for a few months earlier in 2018 and ended up having to send it back because my tech could not solve the vibration generated either from the trigger assembly or the bell ring. LOVED the horn otherwise though, was very sweet sound. I actually miss it
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D

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