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Thread: B.A.C. Euphonium

  1. #1

    B.A.C. Euphonium

    So I know everyone's talking about the new Shires euphoniums this week, which have debuted at ITEC, but another one that had a much quieter introduction was the new compensator from B.A.C. out of Kansas City - a maker of some pretty ostentatious custom trombones and trumpets. I had heard a few weeks ago (I think) that B.A.C. had purchased tooling from the now-seemingly-deceased Kanstul factory. A rep had their brand new prototype euphonium in the large vendor room for the first few days of the conference.

    As our friend Snorlax can confirm, I was extremely impressed with this horn. I played it three times over a couple days - once side-by-side with my Geneva Cardinal. Very easy response in all the registers, good note slotting, and the sound, to me, felt like a more "focused" version of the Besson sound, which I quite liked. I would've loved to get it in a practice room for a couple hours and REALLY test it, especially for intonation.

    It looks like the horn is *probably* based off a Besson design? It's got the "kink" in the main tube where it approaches the tuning slide, that I have only seen in Besson and Geneva horns.

    Everyone's different, obviously, but to me, this was one of two favorite horns that I tried at the conference. (The other being a particular Adams E1, but for a completely different reason.)

    Anyone else get to try it out? Thoughts?

    PS - The guy informed me that the pre-order price until June 1 is only $3995, which is confirmed on the B.A.C. Facebook page, and the price will go up to the $5000+ range once production starts. Looks like they might be really pushing to get those first few horns out into the community. And if the production models are at LEAST as good as the prototype, it's certainly worth every penny.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    I’ve not heard of B.A.C. getting into the euphonium business. Interesting. I found this video of it being introduced by Mike Carrigan (president/founder of BAC) and Roger Oyster, formerly of the Marine Band in Wash DC and now with KC Symphony. Looks nice and sounds good.
    Rick Floyd
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    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
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  3. #3
    I think it's likely they just put together an instrument with leftover Kanstul parts. I think it's probably too soon for them to have gotten tooled up to produce any parts on their own. Getting tooled up to produce pistons and the like would seem to me like it would take some time.

    oh! <edit> I watched the video and he calls it an "artist series euphonium" -- my understanding is their artist series instruments are jinbao-made. That makes more sense.

    I had a horrendous experience with BAC, and I'm far from the only one. On the old trombone forum I had dozens of messages from other people who also felt scammed. This was several years ago, but it was extremely negative and I don't see much evidence that they've changed.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 05-31-2019 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #4
    except it doesn't look like a jinbao... it does look a lot like the JP Sterling, though -- not sure what factory exactly that comes from, but I'll bet it's a Chinese instrument of roughly equivalent design to the JP Sterling, perhaps with a few tweaks.

  5. Funny, before I read Barry's comments I thought it looked like the JP to me too. Particularly the valveset and the wrap. That would be consistent with the other comments since JP tends to "clone" Besson unlike Jinbao which tends to clone Yamaha.
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  6. #6
    All I have to go on is what I observed when I played the horn, and it certainly didn't feel like a jinbao ��

    E - just found this from Derek Molacek, who was the one showing off the horn in the vendor room. Not a great quality video, but at least a little more to see/hear

    If this horn is in fact a jinbao or other Chinese "copy" horn it'd be pretty unscrupulous to be taking pre-orders on a model they plan to make in house with this as the representation.

    EE - I'm also seeing what you guys mean about the resemblance to the JP. Especially the tiny brace between the bell and floating leadpipe, which I've never seen on another horn.
    Last edited by spkissane; 05-31-2019 at 03:43 PM.

  7. #7
    My experience is that "unscrupulous" describes Mr. Corrigan perfectly. But in this case, they do say it is "artist series" and they do explain on their web site (although it is buried in the FAQ) the following:

    Our Apprentice and Artist Series Instruments are designed by B.A.C. Craftsmen in Kansas City, and produced to our specifications in the Beijing, and Tianjin Region of China.

    I would think that means there is no intention of making it in-house, meaning in their KC facility.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 05-31-2019 at 04:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Well, that's a *little* disappointing. The horn they had at the show was definitely a nice player, but perhaps it was just a very good example of a copy horn. And in that case, the higher "production" price would probably be better spent on a more consistent quality brand.

    So that leaves one question: why the h*ck buy tooling from Kanstul in the first place? Unless the plan is to roll out a "custom" product a-la their trumpets and trombones.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Sacramento, CA area
    "produced to our specifications in the Beijing, and Tianjin Region of China"

    If I understand the geography correctly, the JinBao factory complex is in Tianjin, which in turn is not far from Beijing. Now whether there are other brass instrument manufacturers also located in Tianjin, I do not know.

    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  10. #10
    The manufacturerJin Bao might very well be the shop that makes the B.A.C. eupho.... While Jin Bao's labeled instruments are mostly Yamaha clones, the factory does make horns patterned over other brands... Case in point is the Wessex Festivo, which as far as I know is manufactured by Jin Bao and patterned over a Besson.

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

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