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Thread: Looking at some new Euphoniums for college

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Smoketown, Pa
    Posts
    198
    The best to my knowledge Besson is made by the Buffet Crampon group and I know the 4 valve non compensator is made by B&S. I would agree Dave and others that a good top of the line used is less risky than the Chinese brands. Myself, I do not advocate for Chinese manufactured instruments for various reasons. Buying a used instrument from a dealer or looking at one through a dealer would give you a chance to give the instrument a try. In my college days, there were plenty of dealers to go around and play all different horns. Unfortunately I didn't do that and chose a Conn for college which actually was an excellent choice. That horn served me well for over 50 years and was still in very good condition. A note of humor, as much as I tried, the music department would only list me as a baritone horn major even though I played the American style euphonium.
    B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
    B&S PT33-S Euphonium
    B&S PT37-S
    Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone

  2. #12
    I've had several Bessons, from several year groups, and I've never had a bad one. I love the tone and the build quality
    Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium, Denis Wick 4AL

  3. I'd like to weigh in on the Besson dogma- the production is so good today on the Sovereigns they basically don't need triggers (some of us never had a horn with triggers so we are not missing one without). Yes if you want to bash them go back to the 90's but that is over twenty five years ago, and those were English made instruments when they rested on their laurels and all the names mentioned (including Yamaha) were not even born yet. A lot has changed since then. And yes there were some good horns intonation wise back in those days (and a lot of bad), but not anywhere near the consistency of today. A prudent shopper should always try the horn first to look for quirks, or have a known player/professor/teacher play-test it for you (and be able to put his or her personal feelings aside). Now if you are considering a new horn at an intermediate price point- no one is talking about the Besson 165 intermediate horn, and you should because of the feature set, and it resembles the Sovereign horn.

  4. #14
    Besson Sovereigns that don't need trigger? Now that's a very interesting thing I've read. This is admittedly the first time I've heard about a Besson not needing trigger
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. And always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euphonium)"

    Euphonium: Yamaha 642II Neo - 千歌音, JP 274 MKII - 千歌
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL
    Gone but not forgotten: Yamaha EP100 - Euphy (Thank you for the past 15 years)

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

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    Besson Sovereigns that don't need trigger? Now that's a very interesting thing I've read. This is admittedly the first time I've heard about a Besson not needing trigger
    In this context, "need" is an interesting word!

    My Adams does not have a trigger; I feel I do not need it. But there are a few sharp notes that a trigger could help with. For me, the trade-off is not good so I avoid having the trigger.

    Before anyone had triggers on production compensating euphoniums, I would be in awe at some of the British players using Besson/B&H who seemed able to play in tune with natural fingerings. I used alternate fingerings because I could not make the natural fingering sound "natural" as I adjusted its pitch. Now in some cases, probably many, the player went to the factory or a larger dealer and tried multiple samples before buying a horn. With variation from horn to horn, some played closer to pitch. That might have helped. But I think the main reason some of these players did so well is they grew up with Bessons and simply learned to play them in tune, even though the instrument itself had a very sharp 6th partial.

    Big the biggest argument on whether a Besson needs a trigger is made by the top-notch Besson artists you can see on YouTube. Their thumb will disappear inside the 3rd valve tubing as they press the trigger on 6th-partial notes. Could Steven Mead play one without a trigger? Of course! But a couple decades ago I noticed his Besson had a trigger custom-installed before Besson began to include it. So did/does Steven "need" a trigger on his Prestige? I think you could make a case either way.

    BTW, here is a comparison of the Sovereign and the Prestige for overall tuning. The Sovereign was a British model, so the German one may be more like the Prestige these days:

    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

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BDeisinger View Post
    The best to my knowledge Besson is made by the Buffet Crampon group and I know the 4 valve non compensator is made by B&S.
    B&S and Besson are both brands of the Buffet Crampon Group. The legacy B&S factory in Markneukirchen is where most of their European-made instruments are made, including Besson Prestige and Sovereign euphoniums since 2007. Last I heard, the student-level (noncomp) instruments were made in India.

    Starting in the late 1990s but prior to 2007 The Music Group owned Besson and parts were made at the Keilwerth-Schreiber factory (also in Markneukirchen, now also a part of the Buffet Crampon Group) and assembled in the UK.

    Before that, they were made entirely in the UK and were owned by Boosey & Hawkes, which is now just a music publisher.

    A lot of people like to say that the advent of the national lottery in the UK in the mid-1990s meant that brass bands got a lot of grant money to buy new instruments which led to a demand problem and consequently poor quality control. Around the same time, Besson, for a period, switched to a system in which they used a precision computerized mill to finish pistons rather than hand-lapping them into their casings. I'm not sure instruments from this era are truly poorer instruments as a rule. I had a 1990 sovereign that was truly awful from a quality standpoint that I replaced with a 1994 sovereign which was a really fine instrument. That's just one set of data points, but I'm personally convinced the reputation that globe stamp instruments as well as UK-made instruments from the 80s and early 90s get in some circles is not completely deserved. There were always some good ones and some not so good ones.

    With regards to a trigger - any instrument CAN be played without a trigger, whether it be through lipping or alternate fingerings, or a combination of both. But at what point is this diminishing returns? That question is answered differently by different players. I prefer to not have to use alternate fingerings at all if I can help it. And having a trigger can help there. But the 6th partial on Besson instruments has always been high. It's better on the german-made instruments than on the older ones, but even the top players playing on new prestiges today can be seen burying their thumb in the trigger for those 6th partial notes. It has nothing to do with the production, which is generally excellent. It has to do with the acoustic design of the instruments.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 06-18-2019 at 01:14 PM.
    --
    Barry

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