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Thread: Opinions on Hirsbrunner HBS479?

  1. Opinions on Hirsbrunner HBS479?

    Hi everyone,
    I've recently been doing some play testing of some different higher end horns as I'm trying to find the right horn for college. I currently own a Boosey and Hawkes Imperial (1960 something). I've tried two Adams E1s and one E3. I found the E1s a little too thin in sound (not sure if that's the right way to describe it), and the E3 was out of my price range, and also didn't really feel like a good fit for me. I also tried a Yamaha 642 that felt almost like too mechanical in the way it played, and a more recent Imperial that didn't feel like an upgrade. I tried a used Hirsbrunner HBS479 today and it felt amazing. The sound was super full, resonant, and darker feel to it. Also the high, middle, and especially low register didn't feel stuffy in the slightest which I couldn't say about the E3 (which was almost 2x as much as the Hirsbrunner) tried. I haven't tried any Bessons yet, but I've talked to one person who swore the Hirsbrunner was better than any prestige or sovereign he's tried.

    I just wanted to know if anyone could give their opinion on the horn? I know they aren't being made anymore, but out of all the horns I've tried so far, this has felt by far the best to me.

    Sorry for the long read, any opinions on the Hirsbrunner do help!
    Last edited by Russell_B; 12-29-2019 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Hi Russell,

    I think the advice youíll get from most of us is that choosing a horn is an intensely personal endeavor, and you should do everything you can to find a good fit for you.

    I also had a fantastic experience playing a hirsbrunner from the early 2000ís - it almost felt like the horn played itself. Itís possible thereís a bit of rose colored glasses going on for me though.

    Also, I believe there is quite a bit of similarity between the E3 and hirsbrunner in terms of lineage. There are more knowledgeable people than me about it, but Adams acquired tooling from hirsbrunner at some point.

    As the hirsbrunner horns are no longer being made, you may have a difficult time getting appropriate parts. Do you know how old the horn you played is?

    Where are you located? There may be additional places for you to play more instruments. Also, what is your price range? If an E1 was within grasp, there arenít many horns that wouldnít be, particularly if youíre willing to go to the secondary market (which it appears is the case)


  3. Hi,

    I'm trying to remember correctly, but the repair technician, who happened to play euphonium, I talked to said that he thought the horn was probably produced rather recently. I'll email the shop tonight, and see if they can't tell me the year it was made or at least give me a serial number. They're closed until after New Years, so it might be a few days until someone there sees my email.

    I live in the Bay Area, but I took a two hour or so drive to the Sacramento area because I emailed a few stores around me, and this one happened to pretty quickly. I went to Bridgepoint Music in Menlo Park yesterday, and the only euphoniums they had available were the Adams mentioned above. A store in Fresno had a used Sovereign for $~4000.

    The E1's were a little high for me (and my parent). They didn't have price tags on their horns, and they didn't give me the prices until after I played them. If I remember correctly, their brushed lacquer E1 was around $6400 (used) and the E1 in yellow brass with a trigger was closer to $7000 new. The Hirsbrunner I tried today was $5500. I'm currently in the process of selling an old Besson New Standard, and I have money that I've been saving for a horn for Music Ed. If I had to give my price range I'd say it's around $5500.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    I am italian, I live a few steps from the border with Switzerland. Here the Hirsbrunner euphoniums have always been considered the best in the world. I've never owned one, but everyone I know who has one is enthusiastic and unwilling to change it for all the gold in the world. The advice I give you is not to let it go.
    Last edited by franz; 12-29-2019 at 03:37 AM.
    Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone,4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves 1974, 3D K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba 3D K&G modified mouthpiece.

  5. Hirsbrunner are fine horns. They used the Bauerfeind valvesets AFAIK which are very well made. If so, parts (guides, felts, etc.) can be sourced from Adams. If the horn is in good-excellent condition, then it should a great choice.

    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  6. #6
    Ditto what Doug said. I owned a Hirsbrunner in the late 90's and it was an excellent horn. I didn't trade it because I didn't like it, I just really wanted to try a Besson Prestige when they came out in the early 2000's. I remember the Hirsbrunner had a special resonance when you played it, you could "feel" the notes. The only other horn I have experienced that with is my current Adams E3. If this horn is in great condition, seriously consider it.
    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)

  7. #7
    Hirsbrunner is a fine brand, and their euphonium have been near the top of my list. I believe I was on record in a few places, back when I played Sterling, that my 2nd choice would have been Hirsbrunner. The HB had advantages in response for sure, but I preferred the tone of Sterling slightly more. But it's fair to say that "tone" is the most personal/subjective of the various factors. If you like the tone of the HB, and if it is in fine condition, that would be a very valid choice, IMHO.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. I have a Hirsbrunner HBS 479 with s/n 0962xx which i think means it was made in 1996. I have been looking for another horn that has a more "british" sound but haven't found anything that has such a big sound, response, intonation, that makes me want to switch yet. I tried a year old prestige that has more of the tone im looking for... haven't had a chance to try an adams or sterling yet.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Steven Harmon View Post
    I have a Hirsbrunner HBS 479 with s/n 0962xx which i think means it was made in 1996.
    The shop responded to my email saying the serial number was 098934. So that means 1998 right?


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