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Thread: Trying to find the right Euphonium for my son

  1. Trying to find the right Euphonium for my son

    My son is currently a junior in high school. He has been in the band program since 6th grade. He started with the trombone, moved to a tuba for a few years, and this year, his teacher asked him to play the euphonium. He loves the euphonium, so we have started looking to get him one. He is currently using a Besson BE765, it is a school horn. He intends to stick with band in college, possibly looking at getting a minor in music. He is looking at Veterinary school, so long term, not so sure how much, or what he will do music wise after college. His high school band director has recommended possibly getting a Mack, as the school has purchased a few of them over the last 5 years or so. None of them are euphoniums, they are various other brass instruments though. Obviously I would love to get him one of the higher end models, but $2,000 is about as far as I can push the budget. Also, he wants the 4th valve on the side. He has been doing real well in band, making numerous, all fest, and all region bands, and this year made it to the last cut of all state band, before just falling short. Any help, and advice is greatly appreciated. I am an ex football player, turned band junkie thanks to my son. Thanks again,

    Minkster

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    691
    Hard to beat these guys; Quality, playability, warranty.

    https://wessex-tubas.com/products/we...uphonium-ep100

    Dennis
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  3. #3
    I second Dennis's comment above. I own a high end horn and a Wessex and another pretty good horn. The Wessex is a very good 4 valve (3+1 configuration), compensating euphonium. Can't go wrong with the Wessex Dolce for about $1,500 or so.
    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)

  4. #4
    Same as Dennis & John, superb choice, have a Dolce that I lend to students to give them a feel of the 3 + 1 valve concept before purchasing.
    S E Shires Q-40
    Besson New Standard
    Conn Connstellation 24i & 25i

  5. #5
    You might also check on the John Packer JP274 euphoniums. I got quite a good deal. Contact Joe Sellmansberger at Mid south music.
    John Packer JP274L Euphonium
    __________________________
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    30
    I believe that most of the relatively inexpensive four valve (3+1) compensating euphoniums are based on the Jinbao 1150 euphonium, which is a Yamaha clone, though some of the resellers apply their own quality control system and/or improvements to the basic model 1150 instruments manufactured for them by Jinbao. (Better QC and improvements are likely to be things like fit and finish, though there might be other improvements as well.) I think Mack Brass and Wessex may be among those who do this. I understand that at least one of these companies even has its own manufacturing line within Jinbao to manufacture the instruments made exclusively for them.

    Anyway, another instrument that is, I believe, based on the Jinbao 1150 is the MZEP-1150L (and the silver variant, the MZEP-1150S) sold by musicstore.com, located in Germany. Their house brand is called Monzani. The export price for the MZEP-1150L is € 461.34, including hard case and mouthpiece, which works out to be about $512 US. Shipping to the US is another € 30, which is about $33. I just ordered one and have had it for about one month. Is it as good as a Yamaha or a Mack Brass or Wessex instrument? I don't know, but I can say that so far I am extremely happy with it, and I saved a lot of money by buying it from musicstore. Their shipping time estimate was a little optimistic (about 2 weeks), but I got my instrument within less than a month, which isn't too bad.

    If you decide to order from musicstore you need to be aware that, depending how you navigate to the description page, there are two prices. On one page the price includes VAT (value added tax) and on one page the price is without VAT. You will want to order from the page that does not include value added tax, because that is the appropriate page for US delivery.

    Here is the link to the page that does not include value added tax: https://www.musicstore.com/en_OT/EUR...BLA0002559-000. Note the "en_OT" in the middle of the web address. If you end up on the page with "en_OE" in the middle of the web address you are on the page that includes value added tax, so replace "en_OE" with "en_OT" to get to the right page.

    I believe that some of the other vendors might provide some financial or other support for the dwerden.com web page, though I am not sure about this, but if so then you might consider this in your buying decision. Also, some of the other vendors might provide better quality control on their Chinese-built instruments. Again, I am not sure if QC at those vendors is better than what muscistore provides, but it is also something to keep in mind. As for me, the price difference between musicstore and other possible vendors is so large that it came down to a go/no-go buying decision, and I am extremely happy with the instrument I received.

    By the way, musicstore.com also has excellent prices on Chinese-made tubas. For example, I am pretty sure that their 4/4 MZBB-210L Bb-Tuba is based on a Hirsbrunner 192 clone, and they have a 3/4 tuba for even a little less money.

  7. #7
    massmanute,

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    In this case I'm going to recommend purchasing from a USA dealer. Parts are not always interchangeable among clones based on the same instrument, and getting a repair done on an unfamiliar brand could be very difficult (many shops would not accept an instrument if they don't know of a convenient parts source).

    Wessex is the safest bet. They have a long track record by now and have made MANY improvements from the foundations of the clone world. They also have good support. Each horn they sell has been tested at the factory by a Wessex employee BEFORE it is shipped to the USA. That facilitates holding the factory responsible for their work.
    Note that Wessex is a sponsor of the forum. Also note that I approached them to be a sponsor - I only use sponsors known for quality products and services.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    massmanute,

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    In this case I'm going to recommend purchasing from a USA dealer. Parts are not always interchangeable among clones based on the same instrument, and getting a repair done on an unfamiliar brand could be very difficult (many shops would not accept an instrument if they don't know of a convenient parts source).

    Wessex is the safest bet. They have a long track record by now and have made MANY improvements from the foundations of the clone world. They also have good support. Each horn they sell has been tested at the factory by a Wessex employee BEFORE it is shipped to the USA. That facilitates holding the factory responsible for their work.
    Note that Wessex is a sponsor of the forum. Also note that I approached them to be a sponsor - I only use sponsors known for quality products and services.
    I agree that this sounds like a good recommendation for a wide variety of reasons, particularly since an instrument from a US dealer like Wessex is within the budget of the OP. (My experience is more relevant for someone like me whose budget would not stretch that far.)

  9. Thank you everyone for the advice. I had read a few other posts on this site, and the Wessex seemed to be the direction the majority was leaning towards. I just wanted to give the info on my son, where he was at musically, his direction, and make sure that was the right choice for him. So when it comes time to have the Euphonium worked on, as time goes by, is it any more difficult to get serviced than say some of the more popular brands?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Minkster View Post
    So when it comes time to have the Euphonium worked on, as time goes by, is it any more difficult to get serviced than say some of the more popular brands?
    As I mentioned, unknown brands (to the repair shop) are problematic. Wessex is selling very well, and I suspect most shops are becoming familiar with Wessex now for repairs/dents (the ARE used a lot in schools, after all). They are also waaaaay past the stage where a repair shop might worry, "If I try to use my torch on this thing, will it melt?" (That actually is a problem with some Chinese and Indian instruments, or at least it used to be - not sure if it still is, and I don't think it ever was an issue with Wessex, Mack, etc).

    Buying a famous brand is not assurance that you'll have an easy time getting repairs. Besson is very popular and high-quality, and it is one of the oldest brands in use, but they have reportedly had major problems in recent years responding to parts requests.
    Last edited by davewerden; 12-27-2019 at 04:35 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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