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Thread: Adams Red Brass vs. Sterling Silver bell.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Bloomington, IN USA
    Posts
    1

    Adams Red Brass vs. Sterling Silver bell.

    Hello, long time reader first time poster. I apologise in advance if this has been covered previously.
    Iím working on building an Adams euphonium and Iím looking for an extremely dark sound and Iím working with a fellow from Austin Custom Brass. Heís advising a red brass bell and Iím toying with sterling or the red brass. If I could get some suggestions, photos, comparisons, pros and cons on building a horn. Iím also looking for a more matte finish, so this is all new to me. Iíve previously only had experience with a YEP-842, which I wasnít a fan of, and my favourite to date the Prestige 2052. Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    The inconvenient part of all the Adams options is that the variety is overwhelming. Even with all my exposure to their horns, I have not tried every combination.
    However, here are some thoughts.

    First, I assume you have followed the thread where I was testing out a .70 yellow brass E3, comparing it to my own sterling bell E3 (.60). There is an A/B recording there you might find interesting. It could give you perspective about the degree of difference such a change can make.

    In recently had a chance to test an E3 in gold brass, vs. my own. Some good listeners who heard it noticed that the attacks were slightly less clear on the gold brass. The red brass would take you further down that road. This is just one of the variables that a player can learn to adjust. Presumably with a red brass bell (or horn) one would need to use stronger attacks.

    The red brass will darken the sound. I recall playing a red brass E1 in .50 thickness. That would normally be too light for my tastes, but the red brass brought the tone color into a nice area, and the lighter metal made the horn more responsive. It was an interesting combination, but would suffer in situations where one needs to play very loud (because of the thinner metal).

    Sterling silver is the most dense of all the options, but it does not seem to muffle attacks. It is capable of very dark sound, but can also be coaxed to brightness when desired. It's still my favorite when I actually start playing stuff. What is confusing is that the yellow brass horn, for example, sounds better than mine when I pick it up to warm up in my studio. But as you can hear from the recordings, they are very close. It takes a large room to appreciate some of the differences.

    Adams has a pretty good description of the differences in their catalog. Here is an excerpt from the 2014 catalog:

    Yellow Brass
    This bell is an excellent mix of materials for all round
    work as this material is very versatile. The sound is clear
    and brilliant at all dynamic levels, with a good core and
    great projection. This alloy is ideal for lead trumpet,
    commercial playing and studio work. also a good choice
    for principal trumpet players in symphony orchestras or
    someone who is looking for good crispness to the
    articulated sound.


    Gold Brass
    like the yellow brass bell this is a very versatile horn -
    a near perfect blend of warmth and projection. The gold
    brass brings a depth to the sound which is very smooth,
    rich and dark, however it is still a lively and agile trumpet.
    it responds quickly and has good projection without
    getting as brilliant as the yellow brass bell. we find it to
    be suited to a host of applications: be it in the jazz
    soloist, the crossover artist, the classical soloist, or
    someone who is looking for depth to sound while still
    retaining projection.


    Red Brass
    The red brass bell material is an ideal choice for the
    soloist who is looking for the richest, warmest, thickest
    sound available. higher in copper content than our other
    two bell choices this provides the player with the
    smoothest transitions from note to note. articulations
    are veiled (although with a lighter red brass bell option it
    is greatly improved) and sound shape is overall a bit
    wider in shape.


    Sterling Silver
    we do offer all custom series Trumpet models with a
    solid sterling silver bell. sterling silver is a very versatile
    material but also much more dependent on the
    individual’s particular ability level. Therefore we
    recommend this bell option for the serious amateur or
    professional. The general characteristics are the bell is
    much darker and thicker when played at soft to medium
    volumes. when this bell is pushed the higher overtones
    are much more present and the result is a wonderful
    sound with great “sparkle.”
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sturgis, South Dakota
    Posts
    882
    Like Dave, I have an Adams E3 with Sterling Silver bell. Here are a couple links to my review with many pictures of my horn. It has a brushed finish, with the inside of the bell being shinny. I also had extensive engraving done on the entire bell. It is a beautiful horn, and I love it. I have had it three years.

    Part One:
    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...w#.XSkxePZFzIU

    Part Two:
    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...w#.XSkxvfZFzIU

    I think I have all the specs of my horn in the review. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
    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)

  4. #4
    On the topic of Adams differences - an interesting thing I discovered at ITEC this year:

    I played every single horn in the Adams room at least twice and the E1 was consistently my favorite model. I'm a very big advocate of "everyone's different, choose the horn for YOU" but I was honestly surprised by my preference, considering the E3 seems to be the popular one among most high-level players. I just really liked the "zing" I got from the E1 (especially a particular horn which I will not disclose because I might want to buy it if I can justify owning two horns to myself and my wife >:] ).

    Just further illustrates the high level of quality in the top brands and that you should go through and find an instrument YOU prefer rather than buying what someone else likes.
    Sean Kissane
    Development Director - International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Custom Euphonium
    Giddings DHWA-S Mouthpiece

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    208
    When taking bell materials into consideration, please understand that silver is much softer than brass. When my sterling silver belled Adams E2 was weeks old, I made the mistake of placing it bell down on the carpet while I went to another room. When I returned, it was laying sideways on the floor with a crease in the bell. Lesson learned on storage but be aware that a silver bell is much more easily damaged.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by enhite View Post
    When taking bell materials into consideration, please understand that silver is much softer than brass. When my sterling silver belled Adams E2 was weeks old, I made the mistake of placing it bell down on the carpet while I went to another room. When I returned, it was laying sideways on the floor with a crease in the bell. Lesson learned on storage but be aware that a silver bell is much more easily damaged.
    Oh man that made me cringe!!! That's a dang shame. I hope you were able to get it fixed!

    I know there aren't as many "options" for euphonium bells as with trombones (until someone makes a modular euphonium), but I know that Edwards trombones stopped offering certain bells because they were just TOO soft. As in like putting in a mute correctly would result in permanent impressions where the corks were. I believe that was their thinnest bells that were heat treated, which negated all the work hardening from spinning the bell.

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