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Thread: Willson 2950 vs 2900

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    For a while (many years ago) I was skeptical of the tone capabilities of the 2900, but then I sat next to Roger Behrend for 4 or 5 years. While I don't like everyone's 2900 sound, Roger made it sound better than anyone I've heard. Like we always say here, ya gotta find the horn that fits YOU.
    Roger is the reason I play a 2900. He and I went to college together and Brian Bowman was a huge influence on Roger. He and I both had school horns (round stamp sovereigns) at Michigan State but after graduating I bought my 2900S. Once I became primarily a brass band player I moved away from the 51D though. I still love the Willson sound even though the timbre is not in the BB tradition.

  2. AlexS - First of all, thanks for the kind comments about my recording. Wish I could still play like that, but I'm awfully glad I made a recording when I could! Secondly, after more than 30 years, I'm still playing the Willson 2900 with the Schilke 51D mouthpiece. I've tried many other horns over the years, several of which had some wonderful qualities, but I've yet to find a horn that rivals the 2900 for ability to sound good in a wide variety of settings - solo, chamber, and large ensemble work - as well as a variety of repertoire. You can sound like the God of War in Holst's Mars, play with lightness and facility on the Mantia solos, and negotiate the incredible demands of the modern solo repertoire. But as Dave astutely points out, you really need to find the horn that best helps you sound the way you want to sound. Good luck with the 2900!

  3. #13
    Welcome to the forum, Michael! We would welcome more of your posts as time permits. I always appreciated your careful, analytical was of thinking through things, especially when combined with your music insight.
    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

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    110
    This is a great thread. And has given me much food for thought.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by colburnmj View Post
    AlexS - First of all, thanks for the kind comments about my recording. Wish I could still play like that, but I'm awfully glad I made a recording when I could! Secondly, after more than 30 years, I'm still playing the Willson 2900 with the Schilke 51D mouthpiece. I've tried many other horns over the years, several of which had some wonderful qualities, but I've yet to find a horn that rivals the 2900 for ability to sound good in a wide variety of settings - solo, chamber, and large ensemble work - as well as a variety of repertoire. You can sound like the God of War in Holst's Mars, play with lightness and facility on the Mantia solos, and negotiate the incredible demands of the modern solo repertoire. But as Dave astutely points out, you really need to find the horn that best helps you sound the way you want to sound. Good luck with the 2900!
    Many years ago, I had the opportunity to play next to Michael. He was doing his Master's at George Mason and Dr. Tom Hill (tand director at GMU and the City of Fairfax Band) "compelled" him to play with the City of Fairfax Band. I was in high school at the time and played with the band. It was an amazing experience! I also got to play with Neal Corwell the same way. Another amazing player.

    Mike

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
    Thanks for the timely and helpful response!
    *update for the posterity of people who may have the same question in the future.

    I ended up getting the 2900. As a person who had tended towards larger equipment for years, this surprised me. I was lucky enough to get to play both horns in rehearsals with Marine Band San Diego and with colleagues in the band and the 2900 is designed exceptionally well for wind band playing. I ran the opening to Holst 1 with a tuba player and, while they both played well, the 2950 sounded like it was fighting for sonic space with the tuba and the 2900 fit right in with the sound making a richer sound with a nice shimmer on top, this took both of us by surprise as we both thought the larger horn would blend better. In fact the compact sound really payed off during rehearsal. I felt like I could fit in better with whatever section I wanted, add depth to the trombone, warmth to the clarinets, darken the horns up a little, basically just be the jack of all trades that wind band euphs need to be a little easier. I feel as if i also need to remark that the high register consistency is a bonus. With some horns I feel like I have to do tricky things with my air in the higher registers and as if there's unnecessary (almost dead) weight. With the 2900, faster and higher pressure air works perfectly and there's no fight, nothing tricky at all.

    I'm sure that a fair bit of my decision also has to do with listening to the Mark Jenkins CD nonstop for months, with a large percentage of my listening being 2900 players that has steered my sound concept considerably. Both horns were lovely, and were I in a different spot in my career where I could make use of the extra depth, width, and sonic colors I could see myself getting the larger Willson, or a larger horn in general. Yet, for where I'm at now the 2900 is a solid choice and there is no shortage of exceptional players in exceptional bands playing them.

    Alex S.
    This is an amazing experience. I really came up with what's better. You have fully answered it.

    Iím doing a tube recently, I wanted to ask you the difference in the mouthpiece plays a big role? And what can you advise? I used to play clarinet using DíAddario, itís hard for me to play another instrument, everything will probably come with experience, but maybe there are simpler versions of mouthpieces for me?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    16
    Sorry for the late response(November is a very busy time in every Marine musicianís life). I would say that a mouthpiece choice could be considered more important than instrument choice. Just imagine a dent on the bell vs an indented lead pipe, or mouthpiece shank: the smaller the tube and the closer it is to the player, the larger the impact on sound, tuning, and response will be.

    As for mouthpiece suggestions, try something common that many people are successful on. For euphonium, a bach 4/5 g or schilke 51d (faxx makes cheaper versions of these as well) or Dennis Wick size 4. See if you can test out a couple at a school or music store and see what suits you. If you want tuba mouthpiece suggestions, thereís a different thread on the forum thatíll be of more help than I can be.

    Good luck and happy doubling,
    Alex S.

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