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Thread: Contemplating 1st purchase for our student son (Intermediate+ level player)

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveBj View Post
    Totally agree with you, John.
    I agree with David in his agreement with John!
    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

  2. #22
    Is there a good pedagogical reason for professors to "force" a student to get a particular brand or else they'd be denied lesson? Or is it just purely because the prof. may be an artist for a brand and is trying to give business to said brand by driving students to dump their own horn and get a new one?

    First thing that came to my mind was the comment in another thread that was saying how people who play music for a living wanting brands to give them a free horn or something.
    "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, JP 274 MKII - 千歌
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL
    Thank you for the past 15 years -Yamaha EP100 - Euphy

    https://soundcloud.com/ashsparkle_chika
    https://www.youtube.com/user/AshTSparkle/

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I agree with David in his agreement with John!
    I agree with Dave in his agreement with Dave in his agreement with John!

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    Is there a good pedagogical reason for professors to "force" a student to get a particular brand or else they'd be denied lesson? Or is it just purely because the prof. may be an artist for a brand and is trying to give business to said brand by driving students to dump their own horn and get a new one?

    First thing that came to my mind was the comment in another thread that was saying how people who play music for a living wanting brands to give them a free horn or something.
    In this case, he truly believed that Willson 2900 was the best horn.

    Mike

  5. Hello gang...

    I'm back :-) Wow - I can't believe how much activity this thread received in just a day!

    As for the tarnishing - I'm relieved to hear that's all it is and not a by-product of thin plating. It was just an inexperienced guess as I haven't seen a shiny silver horn exhibit soft yellow/gold colors before. When I go to Wessex's website, their pictures DO look very impressive - especially the silver plated model with gold accents. Also interesting how the tarnish starts off discoloring as gold before becoming more dull - eventually leading to "black soot". Knowing this, I imagine using the Hagerty polish Dave recommended should take that away.

    As for the valves - Please keep in mind I'm not a brass player, but am still aware what normal valve noise is - that "clanking" sound when the valve knobs hit the bottom. This was more like a BRUSHING/GRINDING effect. Even when our son would S--L--O--W--L--Y press any of the 4 valves (and all 4 did it), you would hear this soft scratching noise. I wonder if someone opened the knobs and inadvertently replaced the springs incorrectly. It's worth going back just to check that out. Thanks to ghmerrill for the idea of Yamaha's plastic coated springs. I see no reason why one can't do some easy upgrades here & there. I was aware Yamaha's springs were compatible with the MackBrass, but didn't know they were also be compatible with the Wessex and JP models. Obviously I cannot fault Wessex for the tarnish, and it sounds like there are several FIXABLE issues that are related to valve noise. So on both of these accounts, Wessex is back on board as a solid option again :-).

    To answer guidocorona, my son just used his own inexpensive mouthpiece. We have plans on upgrading it, and I'm sure that will be another fun adventure in and of itself. Bach and Denis Wick are two of the preferred mouthpieces that get the most "buzz" around here (pun intended). Some of these bad boys can cost several hundred dollars, but from my understanding you can get a terrific mouthpiece for around $60. Are the Wick mouthpieces in that range? Is it best to pair the mouthpiece with the instrument, or with the performer? Perhaps it's a bit of both, and no doubt using a different mouthpiece would change the instrument's tonal flavor.

    To comment mbrooke, if I could get a used Willson 2900 for less than $2,500 I would probably JUMP on that! Finding used horns that are local for testing is extremely difficult. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. I don't have an issue with purchasing a new model from a company knowing there's a warranty. But I feel it's too risky to purchase blind on sites like eBay (or even Reverb to some degree) even though I have a lot of trust with horn musicians. I do like the piece of mind it gives to perform on it and closely look things over - like removing the slides & valves, etc. Some websites have stated the Willson 2900 was one of the best valued quality compensating Euphoniums. Also, I'm not stressed (or going crazy) by doing this the research. I'm actually enjoying all of this, and it has been fun becoming as emotionally/knowledge invested as we are financially supportive. Music has been a life long hobby of mine, and this experience has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Within a week or two, we should have a really good idea what the best choices will be. I'm pretty certain it's either going to be the Wessex Dolce or the JP274 despite that we could save $500 on the super-valued MackBrass line. I'm not objecting to a higher end $2,500-$3,000 used opportunity either... so if any of you have any leads I’ all ears. A huge part of me still prefers finding a higher end used model, but I'm afraid $4,000 is pushing the budget a bit too far.

    To answer john morgan, it was THIS forum that I learned Ash Music is selling the Wessex Dolce. :-) I also thought Wessex was an Internet only based company, but for whatever reason Ash Music must have worked some kind of deal since many stores have the Dolces in stock. And yes, it was indeed a new model and not a used one. They do sell used horns for reasonable prices, but I didn't see any used Euphoniums. However, they *DID* have that cool looking rotary mini-tuba! I know it's kind of silly, but it does look pretty neat actually! It would be a nice portable gadget to have for Christmas caroling, don't you think?

    Comment to don winston - THANKS for the encouragement on the JP!!! One location I discovered today (thanks to this forum) is a store called "The Horn Guys", and they’re located in the Glendale / La Crescenta area. They have QUITE the inventory! They sell Adams, Hirsbrunner, Willson, Yamaha, King (cough), Meini Weston, other reputable brands. As luck would have it, this is the only store I could find that sells John Packer - although the model they keep in stock is the JP374. It's about $1 grand more than the lower model I prefer, but we're going to make the drive to test it out. From my understanding, the main difference is it has a trigger (probably not too important I'm guessing), and also has the "seal of approval" from a well known U.K. brass guru. Sorry I don't know his name (blasphemy, I know), but at least I'm aware of his connection to the "Sterling" lines. I think we’re better off saving the thousand bucks and stepping down to the "inferior" JP274. It’s going to be a very tight race between this and the Wessex Dolce. I'm hoping the tone will be close to the same even if the intonation is improved with the JP374. I'm just happy we can actually try out a comparable model. I’m going to try my best to avoid the lure of our son testing out an Adams or high-end Besson. I'm afraid once one experiences what a high-end instrument can do there's no turning back (will power... will power... we can do it).

    Thanks again to EVERYBODY (including those I forgot to mention) who took the time and effort to respond to this thread. It's been a blast, and I look forward to hearing more stuff and keeping you guys posted. Later this week we're visiting a store to test out a non-compensating Eastman, and next week we plan to visit "The Horn Guys" to experience that JP374 (and try our hardest to keep our eyes far away from Medusa).
    Last edited by EyeInSky; 05-22-2019 at 11:17 AM.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeInSky View Post
    Hello gang...
    I'm sure most everyone on here knows all about it, but we're better off saving the thousand bucks and stepping down to the "inferior" JP274. I think it's going to be a VERY tight race between this and the Wessex Dolce. I'm hoping the tone will be close to the same even if the intonation is likely improved with the JP374. I'm just happy we can actually try a comparable model out! I'm going to try my best to AVOID the lure of our son testing out an Adams or high-end Besson. I'm afraid once one experiences what a high end instrument can do there's no turning back (will power... will power... we can do it - lol).
    I totally understand that feeling! After I got to test out my band mate's Besson Sovereign and Sterling Virtuoso, I honestly been having persistent thoughts of upgrading to a pro brand!
    Do tell us how the testing of the JP374 goes. The trigger is mighty useful, but maybe not needed at this point in his musical journey. And I've heard some people saying that the JP374 Sterling is just a slight step up from the JP274 and isn't necessary worth the extra dosh. I personally never got to try it.

    On a side note, Google Duchy Brass and see if it tickle your fancy. Jenny, the owner of the business/site, sells used brass instruments and she has been a very reputable seller as far as I can see. There's currently 2 Boosey and Hawkes on sale, which are very good instruments. Though she is located in the UK, so testing them out is probably out of the question.
    Last edited by ChristianeSparkle; 05-20-2019 at 11:13 PM.
    "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, JP 274 MKII - 千歌
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL
    Thank you for the past 15 years -Yamaha EP100 - Euphy

    https://soundcloud.com/ashsparkle_chika
    https://www.youtube.com/user/AshTSparkle/

  7. #27
    It may be worth mentioning that sometimes there is residue from the manufacturing process in the valve casings. (Edit: This May be causing the scraping noises you described.) It may take awhile to clear it all out, but the feedback is that once you do, it’s all smooth sailing.
    Last edited by Clayton M.; 05-21-2019 at 01:42 PM.
    Clayton M.
    Musician for Fun
    Euphonium Newbie - XO 1270S
    Trumpet Novice - XO 1602RS

  8. #28
    Hello Sheldon, although your son's own mouthpiece may not be the "most bestest" or the one "to rule them all" *smiles!*, he is doing the right thing to utilize consistently for his tests.... Removes an uncontrolled variable from the process. Just bear in mind that once he selects an upscale mouthpiece, his euphonium might very well sound/feel a little different.

    Several people here, including Dave Werden, favor the Wick 4AL mouthpiece.... This in silver plate can be found at WWBW with a price fluctuating between $60 and $80... Best is for him/you to subscribe to the WWBW newsletter, which will alert you -- and bother you, unfailingly every couple days about the latest discount coupons.

    I am currently using a Wick Sm4U, which I like quite a bit... But I will take delivery in a few days of a 4AL... Sorry, have no idea which one I will like better... 'Tis all a voyage of discovery for me.

    Concerning Wessex valve guides.... My Festivo was delivered to me with a handful of spare plastic guides, as well as with a full complement of spare valve springs... And if you ever ran out of valve guides, a quick call to Wessex USA would fix the issue at little cost.

    Concerning actual Gold plating... It is worth pointing out that Gold is a relatively soft metal, and is many times as expensive as silver... As a result, it is applied in much thinner layers over the underlying Silver plate.... And being soft, it is known to gradually fade, and so let the silver layer gradually show through.

    Concerning the online live comparison of JP 274 and Dolce.. You might have heard the one by MR. Mattoniz.... My suggestion is that you listen/watch it again.... Try to abstract yourself from his conclusions and the poppy/distracting background music popcorn... Listen to the clips carefully, and base your conclusions only on what you hear from the horns. If you could feed the youtube to a stereo, you might hear a little more differences between horns than through the pip-squeak speakers of your computer or mobile phone.

    Regards, G.
    Euph - Wessex EP104 Festivo - SM4U
    Flugel - Kanstul 1525
    Trpt - Adams A4 LB
    Bb Cornet -Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
    Eb Cornet - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    110
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    I totally understand that feeling! After I got to test out my band mate's Besson Sovereign and Sterling Virtuoso, I honestly been having persistent thoughts of upgrading to a pro brand!
    Do tell us how the testing of the JP374 goes. The trigger is mighty useful, but maybe not needed at this point in his musical journey. And I've heard some people saying that the JP374 Sterling is just a slight step up from the JP274 and isn't necessary worth the extra dosh. I personally never got to try it.

    On a side note, Google Duchy Brass and see if it tickle your fancy. Jenny, the owner of the business/site, sells used brass instruments and she has been a very reputable seller as far as I can see. There's currently 2 Boosey and Hawkes on sale, which are very good instruments. Though she is located in the UK, so testing them out is probably out of the question.
    My last three euphoniums (and all associated accessories) have come from Jenny, and she merits my highest recommendation. Excellent service, well priced, and brilliantly sourced. The hooters are refurbished by Paul Riggett and come superbly prepared.

  10. #30
    Let me question one of the comments in the initial fine overview of the various horns. I have played a silver plated Mack Brass for about 5 years and I have seen no evidence of worn sliver plating. Granted, I usually only play my euphonium about 3 times a week, except for the summer community band season. Most of the year, I play one of trombones more frequently.

    However, I believe that I have played it enough that if plating was a serious issue, it would have shown up.

    I have never worn gloves, nor have I put any leather wrap on the hand brace, something I probably should do.

    Just my personal experience, I know, but I thought I should share it.

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