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Thread: Looking at some new Euphoniums for college

  1. Looking at some new Euphoniums for college

    Hello! Iím currently a rising senior in high school and I currently play on a Besson Sovereign owned by my school. Iím looking to get a horn of my own for college and I have about 5000 dollars in my budget. Obviously, there are really high quality stencil horns like Packer and Wessex that are way below the 5000 dollar mark that Iím considering. But here are the list if horns Iím considering in no particular order. Iíve played on one euphonium my entire life so I have no idea which one is better

    1) Eastman EEP526
    2) JP274S
    3) JP374S
    4) Wessex Dolce
    5) BAC Euphonium
    6) Any other Suggestions some of the more experienced people in this forum have to to offer? Iím really new to buying a new horn

  2. #2
    Honestly, a used horn from one of the "classic" brands would be a better investment IMHO. More proven, consistent quality. I believe I saw a few Yamaha Neo's (EXCELLENT instruments) on ebay for sub-5000 recently. It seems like you can typically find a used Willson, Besson, or Yamaha for around, if not less than, that.
    Sean Kissane
    Development Director - International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Custom Euphonium
    Giddings DHWA-S Mouthpiece

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by spkissane View Post
    Honestly, a used horn from one of the "classic" brands would be a better investment IMHO. More proven, consistent quality. I believe I saw a few Yamaha Neo's (EXCELLENT instruments) on ebay for sub-5000 recently. It seems like you can typically find a used Willson, Besson, or Yamaha for around, if not less than, that.
    I'll second that recommendation! The new breed of Chinese-made horns are getting very good, but the best examples of used horns from top makers would be a safer choice.
    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. #4
    $5000 will get you a nice selection of a used horn, including a used willson or yamaha. I'd personally stay away from besson, they went through a period where quality control was really low, and you never knew what you were going to get

    Of the horns on your list, I love my 274s, and would recommend it to anyone. Remember to talk to a dealer, don't just by online prices. Should be able to get one for $1600-1800

  5. Okay! Thank you for your suggestions. I donít believe Iíve heard of this issue with besson. What year did this happen and why did it occur? What issues would I have to look out for it I was testing a besson instrument and I didnít know what year it was from?

  6. #6
    I bet others can narrow it down, but I started hearing bad things about them as far back as the early 90's. It seems in the last 5 years they seem to have gotten their act together.

    I think newer models have figured out how to fix some of the tuning issues that older ones seem to have. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about that

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 58mark View Post
    I bet others can narrow it down, but I started hearing bad things about them as far back as the early 90's. It seems in the last 5 years they seem to have gotten their act together.
    From what I know, you are right about the problems starting in the early 1990's. I have some British friends who showed me firsthand. I believe they were resolved once the horns began production in Germany.


    Quote Originally Posted by 58mark View Post
    I think newer models have figured out how to fix some of the tuning issues that older ones seem to have. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about that
    That does not seem to be the case, except for now having the trigger.
    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

  8. The Besson Sovereign I play on is from the early 2000ís and I have never had any issues with it. The intonation is kinda weird but itís nothing unlike every other Besson Sovereign Iíve read about. Iíd be looking for a Besson Sovereign from around the same time the one I currently play on is from

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasoncostello77 View Post
    The Besson Sovereign I play on is from the early 2000’s and I have never had any issues with it. The intonation is kinda weird but it’s nothing unlike every other Besson Sovereign I’ve read about. I’d be looking for a Besson Sovereign from around the same time the one I currently play on is from
    I think this is what David is saying. Besson's have had the same intonation quirks for decades. My guess is there is something in the design they do not want to change for fear the characteristic sound will change. I played a Boosey in college (1975-1979) that the school bought when I was there and it was funky back then.

  10. Basically I agree with everyone else. I just finished my first year of college and I *just* upgraded to a Yamaha Neo, but I spent my first two semesters fighting with the intonation on my Wessex Dolce. So, from experience I would recommend you stay away from those sort of brands for serious college playing
    T.J. Davis

    Wessex Dolce
    G&W Kadja

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