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Thread: Besson 700, Boosey & Hawkes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tromso, Norway
    Posts
    7

    Besson 700, Boosey & Hawkes

    Hi,

    I am in need of a new euphonium, since I can’t borrow my Willson 2900 from 1989 anymore.

    I have been offered a used Besson 700. The bell is stamped with “Besson London 700” and “Boosey & Hawkes England”. The price is about NOK 5000 ($560), and it is a four valve non-compensator bought new in England in December 1988 for £1300

    I am aware of the fact that it will be a step down from a compensated Willson, but I think it will suffice as a stop gap until I can afford another horn. Especially the intonation will probably be worse, but that can always be fixed with lipping or alternate fingerings.

    Have anyone tried this type of euphonium? How was the quality of the intermediate instruments made by Besson from this age?

  2. #2
    I have play-tested one of these in the mid(?) 1980's and it was a pretty good horn. I think it would do nicely as a "filler" horn for you.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    150
    I played on a 3-valve non-compensator of that series for years and tried a 3-valve compensated one of a colleague euph player and both were good horns, lightweight, very quick and consistent responsive, no real problems with intonation. I also played on a 4-valve non-compensated International (the successor of the 700) from the late 90s and those ones were... well, garbage tbh... thin sound, horrendous intonation and tuning, very meh response. So since it's one from the 80s I'd say you're fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tromso, Norway
    Posts
    7
    Thanks a lot for the fast and helpful answers!

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