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Thread: Where to go to try out new horns in California?

  1. Where to go to try out new horns in California?

    Hi (hope this is the right sub forum)

    I'm looking for a new horn before I head to college for music next year since my current horn (Boosey and Hawkes Imperial) has been having a few issues that I keep on having to dump money into. There are professional horns on eBay that seem promising, but if I'm going to be spending a lot of money, I'd like to try it before I buy it.

    Can anyone recommend any places to try and buy professional horns in California? Or to be even more specific in or around the East Bay?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    The Horn Guys in Pasadena.

    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. Thanks! I'll have a look when I'm there for auditions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Sacramento, CA area
    While not in the East Bay area, I do live near Sacramento, CA. I have offered before, and I am offering again. Look me up and I will let you try out my JinBao compensating baritone. I purchased it from a dealer on Ebay. So, it is a little bit like a test drive, if you want.
    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  5. HornGuys is a great resource for new (and sometimes used) professional euphs in LA. I purchased my York Preference from them back in 2010. Noah Gladstone's BrassArk is a good place to find quality professional level used instruments. Mainly trombones, but he also has a euph every so often. Worth checking out his website or calling ahead to see what he has in stock.

    In the Bay Area, a few stores that I know off the top of my head are Peninsula Music and Repair (also known as BrassGurus) out in Palo Alto, and Bridgepoint Music in Menlo Park. I think Peninsula has a rotating stock of new/used horns, so you'll want to check ahead through the website or contact them directly to find out what they have in stock. Bridgepoint Music carries mainly Adams and Yamaha from what I've seen on their website, but again like the others, try calling ahead to find out exactly what models they have in stock before you visit.

    There undoubtedly other stores that users here will chime in with, but these were the ones I could think of at the moment! I hope you find this helpful!

    Websites for each place I listed above:



    Peninsula Music/BrassGurus:

    Bridgepoint Music:
    Willson 2900 TA-1 Euphonium - Denis Wick 4AM
    Yamaha YSL-643 Trombone - Benge Marcellus
    F.E. Olds Special Trombone (ca. 1941) - Faxx 7C

    York Preference 3067 Euphonium - Denis Wick 4AL
    Benge 165F Trombone - Benge Marcellus
    Wessex BR140 Baritone - Denis Wick 6BS

  6. Tim's Music in Sacramento has, I think, a Hirsbrunner, Besson, King, Eastman and a Willson. This is from memory, but I was just there a few weeks ago trying them out. Prices were between the 400's to the Hirsbrunner at just over $4000 I think. I only tried the Besson and the King. Here's the link to the shop:

  7. #7
    I can personally vouch for The Horn Guys and Bridgepoint.

    The Horn Guys is where I bought my Kanstul euphonium. Great service, they let me try instruments for 4 hours, and they were listening to see which horn I was clicking on. Kanstul was totally off my radar when I went in, but it ended up being the one.

    Likewise with Bridgepoint, they carry a full range of pro brass. I bought my Adams trumpet and flugel pair from them earlier this year. They also had friendly and knowledgable staff who laid out all the options.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    San Diego, California
    I'm pilling on here, but if your in So. Cal, it's the Horn Guys. They usually have a good selection of horns to try, but call in advance to make sure they have it at the location.
    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    Yes. Definitely call anywhere you're planning on going in advance to be sure of what they have. I wasted a trip to Tuba Exchange a few years ago even after "confirming" with the John Packer people in England what instruments were available at TE. Luckily for me that was just about a 40 minute drive each way, but it was a surprise that the manufacture/distributor thought the vendor's inventory was so much different than it turned out to be.

    I've never bought an instrument from the Horn Guys, but my experience in buying accessories (especially mouthpieces, mutes, etc.) from them, and in reading assessments they've made of different instruments, is that they're outrageously honest and customer-oriented -- in addition to being extremely knowledgeable and experienced.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  10. Just went to Tim's Music today! Really liked the Hirsbrunner. Apparently I missed out on the Prestige they were selling.
    Last edited by Russell_B; 12-29-2019 at 01:21 AM.

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