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Thread: Getting close to buying my college horn

  1. Getting close to buying my college horn

    Hi friends, Iím approaching a time frame to buy a new horn for college and my budget is around 2500 dollars. Iím looking at either a used Besson Sovereign Imperial horn, a JP274, or a wessex dolce. Iím leaning towards the imperial but I donít know enough about them to make a final decision. I also have someone holding a used JP374T for me but I havenít played it yet so I donít know if itís reliable. Can someone please help me decided and give me an unbiased opinion about these horns and advice on buying a new horn?

  2. #2
    Well, I own a Wessex Dolce, in addition to a Boosey & Hawkes Imperial and an Adams E3 Custom. I bought the B&H Imperial for $1,000 a couple years ago, and it is in stellar condition (it is a 1956 model). I am currently having it restored to perfect by Lee Stofer who has had it for a while. But, finding an old horn in really top notch condition that plays well and in tune, may be a little hard. You said a used Besson Sovereign Imperial horn, I assume you meant a Besson Sovereign or Imperial, there is no such thing as a Besson Sovereign Imperial horn that I know of. Sovereigns came along after Imperials. You might find an older Sovereign in your budget, but just barely, I would suspect, and you need to be really selective on the condition. JP274 or JP374 are good compensating horns in your price range. I personally would lean towards a Wessex Dolce (and the money you save from your budget could go to music lessons or building up your music library or to 200 trips to McDonalds), or if you are lucky you may find a Sovereign in good condition. I would want to play it first. I am probably a little biased towards Wessex as a low cost, very good, compensating euphonium.
    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)

  3. Just saying, this imperial new standard * is in perfect condition other than a 4th valve leak that could easily be fixed and its only 2000 dollars.

  4. #4
    I was honestly impressed by the JP374's I playtested, so if you can get that for a decent price I'd say go for it. The old Bessons obviously hold up like tanks but they are prone to intonation quirks. There's also a 967 Sovereign for sale on this forum for a great price, and those are killer horns (I do not know the seller at all, just my 2 cents).
    Sean Kissane
    Development Director - International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Custom Euphonium
    Adams E1 Custom (.6 Gold Brass, Brushed Lacquer, Sterling Silver Leadpipe)
    Giddings DHWA-S Mouthpiece

  5. I think I need to find a day to go up to dillons music in NJ and play test an old besson and a packer.

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